Seven years ago I started a journey that initially left me feeling ashamed and disappointed in myself. But the moment when I thought I would be rejected, my mother and sister embraced me and lifted me up. For years after that, as I struggled to balance motherhood, womanhood, my academics, my spirituality, various jobs and personal relationships, people would step in to lift me up and keep me going. They answered God’s call to do that [for one reason or another] and as a result, I have the happiest little family a woman could have…and I’ve begun to live my dreams.
You know what that feels like? You know how surreal that feeling is?
I know society has it in us to get ahead at all cost–to jump on every opportunity that presents itself or else be left behind…but the people in my life taught me differently. The people in my life taught me how to be strong enough to know my worth; strong enough to know that my dreams are possible; strong enough to know that the world doesn’t stand a chance against my mind…if I use it. They taught me that if the world won’t give it, then God will create it–if I’m willing to take a risk…if I’m willing to believe in myself enough to go after all that I deserve.
I watch people scream YOLO but then turn around and watch their dreams pass them by out of fear.
Fear is a powerful crock of bullshit.
Tia and Carmen Ellis–two women who appeared in my life the most random of ways–taught me the greatest lesson that I could learn at this point in my life: When you know your work and your spirit is worth something, don’t block the blessings from those who recognize it too.
When they decided to honor me, I struggled with accepting it. I couldn’t wrap my mind around why they would do this for me. I couldn’t understand what they saw in me…in my work.
But as I worked to embrace it, I was exposed to Crystal Nicole, Chef Shawn Harris, Syreeta Harrison and Danni J– all people who greatly impacted my life in the shortest amount of time. When it came to #SincerelyChosen they did for me selflessly without even really knowing who I was.
They simply got a call and answered it.
As a result, I did more growing in one month than some do in a lifetime.
Thanks to Tia and Carmen Ellis, on November 30th, 2012, I had my ‘AHA’ moment.
I entered Couture At Your Door’s C-Lounge and walked into a room full of love and respect [and wine ;-)]. Thanks to Zuri “DJ G33k” Stone, that room was full of people who had come from all over the Tri-state area and the music was on point. Thanks to styling’s by Crystal Nicola and hair and make-up by Danni J Hair Studio‘s, I looked damn good when doing so. Thanks to catering by Chef Shawn Harris of Responsive Catering and my SS cake by Syreeta Harrison of Syreeta’s Sweet Treats, my guest and family enjoyed good food as we celebrated.
I listened to my family and friends take the stage in my honor and relay some of the journey that I took to get to this point…and I got to hear them express how proud they were of me, in front of everyone.
It was humbling.
I know a lot of you are going through hell. Many of you have been through hell and are in the rebuilding phase since it all fell apart. Some of you have finally gotten to the moment where you can let go of the hell you went through…so I have a few thoughts I’d like to share with you:
Don’t stop. Don’t forget. Always forgive. Always do better than what you did before. Become smarter, not hardened. Don’t hold on to dead weight and don’t back track out of familiarity and security. Take a risk on your dreams as much as you do on love. It’s okay to be a dreamer but it’s wrong to remain one–you have a gift to share; that’s the price you pay for being here. Growing isn’t easy–in fact it’s quite painful and scary, but it’s necessary and rewarding. None of your tears or pain is in vain, if you’re committed to ensuring such is the case.
You’ve really got two decisions: Stand up and fight, or roll over and die. How you die (emotionally, spiritually, etc.) depends on the way in which you surrender your life, your drive…your dreams.
Those who choose to fight–those who choose to make something out of whatever it is that they’ve been dealt–those are the #SincerelyChosen. Those are the people who looked all of life’s bullshit in the face and said, “screw you, watch what I do and watch how I help others in the process.”
For every moment that I thought to give up…
I toast to us being #SincerelyChosen. God knows this isn’t easy…but we’re still here and we’re still giving it our all.
Thank you to everyone who made #SincerelyChosen possible. A new year is on the horizon…surround yourself with people who are committed to getting you to your next level in life.
Quit talking purposelessly about your dreams…and live them.
Trust and believe that I and SincerelySyreeta.com are here and waiting to keep you going and keep you focused.
All my love,Sincerely Syreeta
A special thank you to those who made the evening possible:Tia and Carmen Ellis, Couture At Your Door/ C Lounge CoutureAtYourDoor.com Instagram: CoutureAtYourDoor Twitter: @CoutureAtYaDoor Fb: Couture At Your Door #CAYDEvents Danni J, Danni J Hair Studio www.dannij.com Instagram: GotDanniJ Twitter: @GotDanniJ firstname.lastname@example.org 215-991-1901 Crystal Nicole, Crystal Nicola (Stylist) www.crystalnicola.com Instagram: CrystalNicola Fb: Crystal Nicola Contact@CrystalNicola.com Chef Shawn Harris www.respondinc.com SHarris@RespondInc.com Syreeta Harrison, Syreeta’s Sweet Treats email@example.com Fb: Syreeta’s Sweet Treats and OF COURSE… Zuri “DJ G33k” Stone, SS COO Twitter: @DJ_G33k Instagram: DjG33k_who Zuri.Stone@gmail.com Photographers: Jamal McCoy Ishmael, Vernon Ray (CMP Photo’s) and Brandice