How do I start? If I could stand back to survey the overall framework of your accomplishment, I might be able to notice that you’re already one step ahead of all your shameful memories that held you bound. Sometimes I wonder how different things could have been.
I have been thinking lately on how to speak to you. Do I need an outline on how you got stuck in the false expectation of societal norms? Do I need to go deeper on how you took courage and action to persevere and eventually moved your pain into purpose? I can also dissect in real time how you’ve escaped the grips of homelessness with your young son in your arms. In as much as your smile gave me the courage and fortitude to move ahead – most days I wish the journey was less treacherous.
Dear younger me, it is difficult to have a clear perspective when everything seems to be changing rapidly, as yours was. But as long as you remained informed, disappointment and shame cannot hold you hostage. Being aware of what I know now, it would not have been difficult to realize all of your mistakes will turn out to be a blueprint to your greatness.
You were never meant to take those burdens all on your shoulders – because you’re one of the redeemed, and the weight has already been lifted from off your shoulder. You’re beautiful, you’re graceful, and you’ve been set free. You’re free to think, free to breathe, and free to excel.
Homelessness, single motherhood, failures are all moments created to move you into greatness. So as you walk on the commencement stage to pick up your diploma in your dual Masters, remember the words of Frederick Douglas – “Power concedes nothing without a demand, it never did and it never will.” Continue to place a demand on this gift call life and don’t allow fear to stop you from starting. You’ve been positioned for success and branded to thrive, all that is required of you is to sit down and do what your work. Greatness starts with you!