“You get to be free,” the woman sitting across from me says, and I am a puddle of emotion. I keep telling myself I shouldn’t be. That I’m at a business conference at a women’s event stuffed with bosses and queens and all those top notch titles this generation has come up with to describe the female go getters of our community. But my tears betray me. They don’t seem to care about my title because they cascade over my cheeks anyway. And just as I’m loosing my cookies a camera person/woman hovers over to capture the moment.
(Insert internal grimace). Great.
The woman perched in front of me is my business coach for the next 20 minutes, and is explaining that she understands my connection to my ancestors. When she herself researched her DNA she discovered a lineage of Jews who faced various traumas which then coursed through her veins from decades of abuse, misuse, and dish-toweling (read my previous blog post for context). She knew that we’re all connected just as God has been showing me the last few years with the passing of my mother.
My breakdown at her assessment was in response to a deeper question that she had asked.
“Nicole, what is your ‘why’?”
I’ve been in business for a while and have heard this term more than a few times. Have probably even said it to others. But it wasn’t until that moment that it became crystal clear to me why I do what I do. Why I’ve sat there for hours churning out tens of thousands of words for this novel over the last year and a half. Why I buckled down and got serious with this blog last year, and committed to eke out one post per week for you sweet readers. Why, even though when social media restricted my account, I opened up a new one and persisted with rebuilding the audience I lost for a whole 3 months, until my old account was available again.
The grind to design something sustainable and curate a hub of stories that breeds spirituality and Black culture has been deeply embedded in my heart.
I finally, boldly came into agreement with it upon the release of Urban Stories but the fears and doubts are always there. Lurking. When I went to this business conference and signed up for a 15-minute coaching session, I figured it would be worthwhile to share some of these fears with whomever I’d be connected with. I had no idea how deeply profound my advisor would be.
When she said, “You need to remember your ‘why’” and helped me to verbalize what exactly that was, well, I was overwhelmed with clarity. After my mother passed I struggled with purpose and one of those reasons was because I didn’t have children. I didn’t have a physical representation of legacy; people, or a person who would carry on what I had created and whom I could entrust to build on.
But what I see now, and what I saw through those tears that day, was that I may not have children. But I have ancestors.
Many of these ancestors weren’t allowed to read and write. Many of them were gifted to do so but the laws prevented them from the opportunity and therefore, hindered them from manifesting their full purpose.
I have that opportunity now. With every word I publish, with every book project that gets birthed, my beautiful ancestors get to do it through me.
My coach said you need to remember your ‘why’. She was saying that in response to the stress and fear that bogged down my haunched shoulders and wavering tone. She knew I had gotten away from the real reason as to why I am on this “grind”. Yes I want to increase. Yes I feel I am called to a greater platform. Yes I want readers for these books I think are filled with amazing, powerful stories of God’s love.
But, more importantly, I write for me. I write for them. I write for Him.
When I sit with my new rose-colored MacBook Air laptop, and straddle keys with my fingers, organizing thoughts and drafting ideas, I am worshipping. And a friend even told me that I am co-creating with the God of all creation.
Similar to His Word, my writing is divine.
I want to record this truth on this little blog because I fall into the trap that we all do, and forget. I forget the words of promises spoken over me so many years ago about my calling and purpose and destiny, and I let worry and fear and anxiety rule in my psyche. I believe the lies. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.
So here’s to us, who’s ancestors didn’t get the opportunities we have to build businesses, create legacies and impact our communities. Here’s to those of us who wake up every morning with a purpose driven mindset to unleash the greatness deposited in us before we were even born.
My friend told me she just wants God to get every single thing He put inside of her. Although she and I have similar callings, I’m here to say that purpose doesn’t have to look for you what it does for someone else. Maybe it looks like motherhood, or marriage, or showing up everyday to your 9 to 5 in faithfulness.
For me it looks like writing. It looks like life breathed into words through rapid key strokes on a laptop. Words that are destined to reach the nations, impact generations and make my ancestors proud.
That is my ‘why’.
That is me being free.
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.
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