It's Been a While...
I can't believe it's been an entire year...to the day, since I published my last blog post. If you recall, my last blog was entitled "The Only One". While the focus of the blog was to share my experience of being the only Black woman in the room while in the workplace. I knew that many women shared my experience daily. "The Only One" received numerous views and I received plenty of engaging feedback. It opened the dialogue between women. For that, I am grateful. It is my desire to engage in meaningful dialogue for the purpose of helping others. If others can take something from my experience and feel inspired and empowered, then I am doing something right.
Based upon the feedback that I received from those who read by blog, the topics resonated with many. But then something happened, I stopped publishing my blog. People asked when a new blog was going to be published. Others asked "Why did you stop posting the blogs?" I didn't share the reason...I simply stated "I've been busy with work and other projects." That was certainly the truth. What I didn't share was that I was writing my first book, "Women Who Persevere: Navigating Motherhood with Power and Grace." There were only a few people who knew that I was writing a book--the people who participated in the interviews for the book, my children, and the man who was my friend and partner.
Between being in a leadership role at work, an involved mom, and an aspiring author, it was challenging to carve out time and blog frequently. I was trying to take my own advice..you know the advice that I gave in some of my blogs..."to cover up the scarlet letter across my chest" and to "put those bags down"! During the midst of writing my book, life happened. Some days, I wrote for hours after ending my work day and family commitments--and other days, I didn't write at all. Sometimes, the mood wasn't quite right.
I had given myself a deadline to complete Women Who Persevere. I had also given the publishing company a deadline. That deadline came and quickly passed. I wanted to complete the manuscript and send it to the editor before my birthday. That didn't happen. I ran out of time. I decided that I needed to get away from all of the distractions that were preventing me from completing the book. On the weekend of my 41st birthday, I drove about an hour away from my home and checked into a resort. I wrote a great deal over the course of two days. By the time, I was ready to return home, I felt revitalized and renewed. I was ready to complete this project.
And then...life happened again. I wasn't prepared...at all. I received a phone call that has forever changed my life. The man that had brought so much joy to my life for several years, had suddenly passed away. Without hesitation, I shifted my attention to planning his services. My desire to write dissipated. Actually, the thought of writing didn't cross my mind for several months. I was consumed with grief while simultaneously trying to function "normally" and make sure my children were okay.
I don't recall the exact day, but I know it was during the month of November, which incidentally is the month of O's birthday--I received a call from Marilyn Alexander, of Heavenly Publishing. She called to check on me. She wanted to know how I was doing. Marilyn and Kara (my writing coach) were very supportive when we lost O. Marilyn reminded me that I was very close to completing my book. In fact, I only had the concluding chapter to write. I decided it was time to finish what I started. I was on a mission to complete Women Who Persevere before the end of November. I set aside a couple of hours per week to review and write. On November 23, 2018, I submitted the completed manuscript.
And the rest, as they say, is history. The title for the manuscript was finalized (that was a process too) and the complete document was sent to editing. By the beginning of 2019, the editor forwarded the manuscript back to me for review and approval of edits. The next step in the process was typesetting and the cover design. Everything was moving on schedule. I was excited yet nervous at the same time. I had a renewed sense of energy and my spirit had been uplifted. The pressure and grief that consumed a better part of 2018, had began to subside--although it still exists.
I shared all of this on the anniversary of my last blog, because I want you to know that no matter what happens in your life, you should never give up on your goals and aspirations. Someone sent a message to me today that really touched my spirit. The message read as follows: "...So many people say what they want to do, but you actually did what you wanted to do..." I appreciate every congratulatory message and phone call that I have received thus far. I couldn't have imagined that I would receive so much love and support centered around this project. But I want each of you to know that I am grateful. My journey--the journey of the five women who shared their story with me--and the journey of so many others is all a testimony to the greatness of God. It is He who has given us the strength of perseverance.
In closing, I hope that by sharing a piece of my story with you, that you will be inspired to continue working toward your goals even in the mist of obstacles. The key to perseverance is faith. You must draw from the internal strength that is within yourself to find the will to persevere in spite of whatever may come your way. My motto is: "Perseverance is in my DNA!" My call to action for you is to ask and answer this question, "How will you persevere in the midst of challenges that come your way?" If you're planning to attend the Women Who Persevere Book Launch or you log onto Facebook during one of my Facebook Live posts, I hope we can answer this question together!