Dreams Realized

July 11, 2022

By Nicole

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It’s the late 1990s. My naturally 4D tendrils are straightened with what we now call that “creamy crack” in the Black community. Additionally ,the hair is chopped and slanted at an angle, bob-style where one side hangs lower than the other. To top it off I have it streaked blond, the gold highlights striking against my smooth rich cocoa complexion. 24-karat gold chains hug my neck because that’s the style if you are what we consider to be “fly”. It kind of still is in some parts but in more of a vintage sort of way to pay homage to the 1980’s classic urban vibe. A time I missed most of, but still feel nostalgic about.

But, as much as I was a wanna-be diva back then, I was still a conglomerate of sorts. Though my teenage self loved the latest fashions and soaked up every R&B song lyric ever curated, I was also a thirst bucket for knowledge and my nerdy nose was usually stuffed deep into some thick bound book. At the time, the one that stole my world was “FLYY Girl”, by Omar Tyree. 

I remember sitting in my favorite honor’s English teacher’s class (shout out to Mr. Petersen) blatantly turning the pages of FLYY Girl during one of his lectures. He called on me with a question and was satisfied once I answered correctly. Without missing a beat, I resumed my reading.

(Thank you Mr. P for your favor!)

Back then I remember that book spreading like wildfire. Everyone was reading it, and I fell in love with the young Black female protagonist, Tracy Ellison who mastered the ability to use her looks, intellect and swag to accomplish just about anything. Including being “fly”.

I made sure my best friend, who just so happened to share the same name as the character, read it and she fell in love with it too. I went to the beauty shop (a cultural phenomenon in and of itself) and the hairdressers were raving about it and another urban classic, “The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah. Every other week me, my mother and grandmother had standing appointments. The beauty shop was where the grownups were quick to let loose racy gossip regardless of young ears present. At any given moment random bootleggers popped in with an assortment of CD’s, DVD’s, and any other item you wanted on discount, and everyone was oozing Black culture, music and conversation. It was great.

The only thing not so great about the hair salon was the wait, which usually amounted to two hours on a good day. Still. You were used to it, so you were ready with your CD player and book in hand. And that’s how you passed the time…Ode to the 90s!

Never could I have imagined that a simple novel would plant so many seeds in my own future writing career. Never could I have fathomed that I would even have a writing career, LOL. And never could I have dreamed that I would meet Mr. Omar Tyree himself and that he would be holding my very own “Stories for the (Urban) Soul”.

Ok, so here’s the tea. I just happened to see that Omar was going to be attending the 2022 Essence Music Festival. Now, this is way after my flight was booked and I was just randomly scrolling on Instagram, so don’t think I’m some type of crazy fan-girl stalker! LOL. No. I had already had plans to be there and that was just divine in and of itself.

For the uninformed, The Essence Festival is a cultural staple in the Black community and I knew it was going to be lit because they haven’t had one held in person since the pandemic. There was no doubt that I was going, even if I had to go alone. I also knew that my mother (a straight up music head) and my grandmother (who so loved to travel) were with me in spirit and super hype about this event too. I had been waiting four whole years to see Janet Jackson so that was motivation in and of itself. The first time I tried was with my mom but Janet came up pregnant and cancelled the show. The second time the pandemic hit and we all know what happened after that (WOMP WOMP). My mom had seen Janet twice and was really looking forward to us being able to go together. I also was super excited to see New Edition. After watching their biopic 4x’s and blaring all the classics on repeat since its release, I was able to witness BBD and Bobby Brown a few years ago, but never thought I would actually see all six members together. But the theme behind this trip was the impossible happening and meeting Omar took the cake where that was concerned. New Edition was the buttercream icing.

Once I saw Omar’s announcement that he was attending the festival, I shamelessly slid into his DM’s, LOL. I was pretty confident he would get the message since we had messaged before and he was following me (that in and of itself was pretty amazing). But being bold enough to let him know I was attending the festival and asking if we could connect, well, that took a whole other level of courageous faith. I was so thankful when he went out of his way to make sure I knew his location and that he greeted me right away, even offering for us to take a picture!

Standing there, next to THE Omar Tyree, cheesing with this mesmerized look in my eye (according to my bestie who tagged along), all I could think about was 17-year-old me. I knew my grandmother was so proud. There was no way any of us could have imagined that not only would I be meeting this NY Times Best Selling Author, but that I would be introducing him to my own writing (insert flabbergasted emoji).

Omar was gracious enough to offer me support with marketing and indie publishing needs. He started out an Indie Author and entrepreneur himself and knows the grind.

Wow. I am still in awe that God would intentionally order my steps for such a beautiful experience. Truly our Creator knows the very deep desires of our hearts, even if we buried them decades ago and locked them with a hidden key.

I’m not going to lie. It took overcoming several obstacles to get to that meeting with Mr. Tyree, but we made it. And that is what this life is constantly about; overcoming the obstacles to manifest the promises attached to each of us.

Truly this week (which I’ll have to go into detail about in a whole other blog) was filled with God-sized surprises and confirmed that NOTHING is impossible with Him.

In fact, all things are possible with Him. And He is just WAITING to blow our minds with the impossible.

In other news, did you know that I have a monthly newsletter? You can email me if you would like to receive it, or sign up on my website! Just click on “Blog”, go to any blog post, then scroll down until you see “Join Our Newsletter”! I share all of my updates on events I am selling books at and the latest happenings in authorship! You can also view the latest newsletter on my linktree.

Are you on Instagram/Facebook? If so, please reach out! I have started a series called “Word of the Day Wednesdays” where I share 5-10 minutes worth of nuggets that are on my heart, which I hope are encouraging to others on IGTV/FB Live! I have these also posted on my Youtube channel.

Have you read “Stories for the Urban Soul” and are eager to dialogue about your favorite characters, lessons learned, and so much more? Well, now you can download 20 Dialogue questions available on my website to discuss with your friends! Just enter your email in the pop up box and its there!

If you have read “Stories for the (Urban) Soul, please put up an Amazon review here! I was SUPER encouraged and blessed when a new reader put up her review for my 2nd book which you can view here :).

Did you know I have a FREE preview of my book? You can learn more by downloading here. Scroll all the way down and you will see the Kindle Version of the book depicted.

As always thank you for your support!

SHALOM

 

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