"This city is the city I've called home for over half of my life-- a city that has given me tragic memories, but also so many fond memories of growing up and growing old. So, with a heavy heart, I say goodbye [...]."
"No matter how beautiful a city is sometimes you have to leave to grow, and what looks like a step backward is really a step forward."
Although, I received opportunities to share my personal journey in my hometown-- my former home wouldn't allow me to grow from what they knew me as. I wanted to be an author, I wanted to be a success story, I wanted to sit beside Oprah Winfrey recounting how I came up with my book ideas. Instead, my family and the people I called friends wanted me to stay down and depressed and an overworked teacher. Many of them never accomplished their dreams-- so, of course I couldn't accomplish mine. The harder I worked to build my image, to create my brand, to grow my company-- the harder they worked to tarnish everything I was building-- even going as far as to lie.
"Many of them never accomplished their dreams-- so of course I couldn't accomplish mine."
Your Story Matters tells you to not let other people create their vision of who you are and who you can become. Other's don't have the power to stop your dream. Every author has a complicated past-- Maya Angelou was a prostitute, Saki was a homosexual (punishable by death if anyone knew), Edgar Allen Poe was a drug addict who married his 13 year old cousin, Lewis Carroll was an alleged pedophile, Dr. Seuss was a racist-- yet, they are all accomplished authors. Although, I am not advocating lascivious lifestyles, racism and definitely not pedophilia (not that homosexuality is a lascivious lifestyle), I am advocating the ability to rise above tough backgrounds, misinformation, lies, hate and other people's narratives. Other people cannot define or measure your success. You control the life you lead-- and when they try to put you in a box-- when they try to change your narrative-- remember your vision. Remember, who you are. Remind yourself of your talent. Ignore the naysayers-- and keep moving. You define your story. Use your past as your foot stool, let your tragedies move you upward, and watch their view of you change with each moment of success. The same people that said-- "Oh, she can't make it-- look at her Mama! Look at her siblings! Look at her family!" Will be the same who scream, "Oh, I always knew you could do it! I remember when she was _______ ! I always knew you would become somebody! Take a picture with me!"
"Use your past as your foot stool, let your tragedies move you upward, and watch their view of you change which each moment of success."
In fact, networking opportunities rarely presented itself in Columbus. The first time I tried to join a group of writers, I was belittled and told that I was trying to make myself "look bigger than what I was" and that I felt I was "too good for the Southside." Although, I was partly raised on the southside of Columbus. Then, I was stalked and slandered. The plantation had manifested in ways that were ugly and harsh and cruel. Even though, I was just another writer who was always honest about my success and my failures, there were those who felt the need to "put me in my place" and that place was beneath them-- no matter their lack of accomplishments. So, just like in Your Story Matters-- I decided those writers were not for me. I reevaluated my relationships-- and moved away from those I considered toxic. It was lonely, but I worked through it. And now, I am fellowshipping with writers who want to see each other succeed. Not only was I given the ability to work with other writers, but also to network with high profile people in the entertainment industry like Cece Winans. I have been given the ability to vend with Cece Winans on October 30, 2021 at the Trade Center in Columbus, Georgia (ironically, it is a group of people I met in Atlanta that is traveling down south to vend). They work with the honest belief that if one of us makes it-- we all make it! If one of the authors at our table eats-- they pass the plate around so that we can all eat! This is the type of network you want to surround yourself with. Surround yourself with people who want to see you win because they understand that winners flock together.
"We have to be willing to sacrifice who we were, who we use to be, to become the person we want to be."
"Take hold of the opportunities that come your way, and don't look back. Don't worry about the things you may lose along the way, whether it's your first home or familiar relationships, because the things you gain will be worth the sacrifice."
©Dawnell Jacobs 2021 Author of Black Magic, The Shade of Devotion, Brains Not Included, Your Story Matters: How To Be The Author of Your Own Destiny and The Monsters Within: Heart of Darkness. Now on #Amazon, #Kindle, #Nook & #Barnes And Noble. Buy your copy of The Shade of Devotion and Brains Not Included today!