As 2013 dissolved, making room for 2014, I thought about what had happened in the last twelve months. There were some sadness in my family from the loss of a loved one, happy moments like my younger daughter's Moving Up Ceremony from Kindergarten and a dance recital that my older daughter pliéd and relevéd to Tinkerbell’s theme song while my younger one tapped to Mary Poppins‘ Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. There were fun family outings over the summer to see Annie, the Musical, two trips to an amusement park, and a day at a beautiful botanical garden. Also, there were some revelations about my health—that warrant me to eat healthier and to lose twenty pounds. And of course, the last three months filled with birthdays, anniversaries, and holiday celebrations.
But also with the reminiscence of the past year, I thought of the longevity of my writing life. I’ve been putting pen to paper and fingertips to the keyboard for the past thirty-four years and had little taps of success that had rattled my door such as my poem, Blackberry Beauty, which I wrote at the age 12, was featured in a staged production, an art exhibit, as well as published in a local newspaper before I published it in Wrapped up in Life Omniscient Eyes in 2011; I had performed my poetry with two bands:
T-7 and Hudson’s Hope live and been recorded on a couple of tracks on their CD’s; I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing one of the first African-Americans who lived on the Rockaway, New York peninsula; and most recently, I had a pretty decent year with readings and publishing credits.
I am truly grateful for these opportunities, but I think that my writing life should have more of a success story. I blame myself for lacking the confidence to market and push myself further. Some people say that the fear of ‘success’ more than the fear of ‘failure’ zaps one’s confidence and motivation. I think the fear of Success and Failure tag-teamed me and pushed me into a corner—making me feel oppressed. That is why one of my goals for 2014 is to improve on self-promotion. And to motivate me, I have made Diana Ross' song I'm Coming Out my theme song for this goal. I am ready to push Failure to the side and make my way to unlock the door of Success. I am ready to bang my drum and blow my horn and let my tresses fly in the wind (as I imagine Diana's hair is doing while she is singing). I have the feeling of empowerment—I can do anything and I will do everything.
Listen, everyone must find something that pushes them further towards their goals. Whether it’s reading; exercise; eating; yoga, meditation or listening to music. As long as it will help you to reach the next level in your goal I say do it and don't look back. That is what I’m going to do while I'm Coming Out plays in my head or is vibrating between my lips.