PASSIONS. I spent a lot of years during my career journey figuring out where I fit. I experimented with everything! I traveled, visited museums, directed and produced a talk show called Reserved, worked for TravelNoire, created lifestyle and travel blogs, applied to law school, got rejected from law school, you name it, I did it. What I didn’t know at the time, all of my experiences were shaping me into the career professional that I always dreamed of being and ultimately would help me land a job in the industry of my dreams. A lot of people frown upon working for free or following passions, but I am the number 1 advocate for this because it ultimately leads you to your purpose.
Were you offended by his question? My friend asked me this one Friday evening while we were catching up. A few weeks prior, I went out with a group of friends to a cool spot in Bedstuy called Lover’s Rock, which gives off all types of Love Jones vibes.
We didn’t see each other for a while so we sat around our table and caught up. There was one friend there that is notorious for asking questions. So he asked me “What are you doing, career-wise? What are your next steps…?” That’s when the conversation got awkward. If you know anything about me, I am not one to talk about everything that I am doing. I’m also not one to count my chickens before they hatch. So was it so bad when I said: “Sorry I can’t share with you…”
This response piqued his interest further because he continued to pry. I held on tightly to my original sentiments…”No!”
Maybe it came off weird to everyone at the table. Maybe you’re also thinking what’s the big deal? But sometimes when you are dealing with something as huge and significant as your destiny and what you’re going to do with the rest of your life it has to remain between you and God until the time is right. I could’ve created an elaborate story of dreams and goals and everything my “inner” heart desired for conversation’s sake, but what good would that do? I’m in a season of transition, so it’s vital for me to be still and wait on God. Therefore, until the changes God has for me are revealed, I can’t be rambling to every and anyone about my plans because some people, even the ones that are closest to you may not understand and quite frankly, it’s not meant for them to understand. As Sarah Jakes said, “Your destiny is not a democracy.”
I say this all to say, protect your destiny. Everyone doesn’t have the right to know what’s between you and God because it’s between you and God. Your destiny is not up for conversation or discussion. Be still and let God direct your life because he will reveal, in his perfect timing, the plans that he has for you to shine and he will also give you peace in your heart for the people you can actually reveal these revelations to; just know it’s not everyone.
Sometimes I look at Bishop T.D Jakes and I am amazed. Here’s a man that started from nothing and by God’s grace has evolved into one of the most inspiring preachers the world has ever encountered. What I admired most about him on this particular day that I watched him, and to be honest, envied a little, was that he was walking and living in his purpose, God’s purpose and that is one of the most significant gifts life has to offer.
A couple of days later, I was asked to come to the church for a meeting on my role as a Sunday School Volunteer. I was told that one of our leaders will be taking a leave and I would assist in running my group as the Service Producer. A service producer is basically running the show. It’s a leadership role and I am responsible for our Sunday’s running smoothly. The role of leadership at church is no easy feat. It comes with a cost and a lot of sacrifices. For one, you have to dedicate more time to your group and the lessons, ensuring that Sundays run effortlessly for the children and parents. Secondly, you have a reputation to uphold as a Sunday School leader. Lastly, you have to lead others and be confident in your skills and leadership. It’s a lot of work, balancing writing lessons, directing lessons, producing skits, props, costumes, prayer, ice breakers, assigning roles, making sure the classrooms are clean, and that the children are having a great time and learning about God.
Little ol’ me was chosen out of everyone to do this job and I am so excited. I never claim to be the best Christian, sometimes I’m afraid of the title of Christian because I am far from the quintessential image of one. But God is amazing like that. If you read his word, he always chooses the least likely in the pack and exalts them. It’s interesting the heights he is taking me in ministry now that I am following his purpose. Although the work may be overwhelming, it’s so rewarding and encourages me in many other compartments in my life. I am always looking for the purpose God has for my life and I know that he is gradually revealing it to me.
For the first time in a long time, I feel good about the direction God is leading my life in terms of my career. To be honest, I’ve fought it for a long time and for the most part kept what I do a bit private, for the obvious reasons of professionalism, but what I am about to share needs to be written down, not only to help myself understand God’s plan but also to help and inspire others. Right now, with a new year looming, I am reflecting on the growth I’ve made in my life and I am happy with it. This year has not been easy. It was filled with a lot of changes, some that I feared initially, but I am so excited for what’s to come, more so than previous years. The title of this post is called “Why I jumped off the Career Assembly Line.” I picked up a book recently, at Urban Outfitters (they have an eclectic book collection), and read a passage that talked about Assembly Lines in terms of your career.
Assembly lines, if you’re not familiar with the term, is a process by which things are progressively made in parts or work stations that add on to a sequence until the final assembly is produced. It reminds me of the car company, Ford, which built their cars using the assembly line in the early 1900s. One station was in charge of putting the wheels on the car, the next station was in charge of placing the doors on the car, and so on and so on until finally, the car was complete. But the idea here is that the process is monotonous, ongoing, and straightforward. No change can happen or else the car won’t be identical to the others. The same can be said for my life (career-wise), until I decided I didn’t want to be on the assembly line anymore.
The first time I made a drastic choice in my career, and decided I would jump off of the assembly line, commenced while I was in college. I started school as a journalism major and by my sophomore year switched to pursue a pre-law/political science degree. It was a huge decision, one that I still question, although I know why I did it. Journalism was my passion. I love to write; I can’t shake that trait about me, it’s a God-given gift but my family wanted me to pursue a more stable career, so they told me, I should become a lawyer. I listened to them. I wanted to please them and so I did just that. I spent the rest of my college career, writing legal briefs, studying constitutional law in the library, and constantly on Lexis Nexis researching. As intriguing as the legal system was, I knew it was not for me. I didn’t get excited; I got anxiety. Literal anxiety. Now, as I reflect, I think it was a mix of knowing I was doing something unaligned with my purpose and being stressed by the course load.
My turning point came around the time when I started looking to pursue law school. I started visiting legal college advisors for some advice and direction on my decision to go to Law School. One said, “Law school is for people who’s really passionate about the law, why do you want to go to law school?” I gave a politically correct answer to save face, but deep down in my soul, I knew I was being fake. I wasn’t passionate about going to law school or the legal system, I was just trying to please the ones I loved most. One time I was asked this same question by another legal college advisor and I told her I wanted to help women as a lawyer. She followed up by saying “You do know you can help women without going to law school right? Besides, what do you do now to help women? Your resume shows you haven’t done anything since last year, while you were still in college.” She called me out and she was right. That day on the train ride home, I was excited that this woman had the balls to call me on my bluff because I knew, my life would change. I could do many great things in my career without going to law school, but how would I break the news to my family?
So you want to plan a vision board party? Well, as someone who just hosted a very successful one, I’ll explain how. It’s rather simple and it was an idea that came about randomly. I knew it wouldn’t take much thought to put together and it would be a fun excuse to bring close friends together for an afternoon of fellowship and fun.
I am going to start this post off with a tip. Google Docs is the best. I used google docs to plan out my party and create a contact list for attendees.
Unless you have the space, its important not to invite too many people since this is a huge arts and crafts task that requires time and space. Also since a vision board party outlines someone’s innermost desires for their present and future be mindful of who you invite and make sure everyone is encouraging to one another.
Figure out a date, time and location. I sent all my invites via e-vite. I found a cute template and the rest was history. Most importantly, my invitations didn’t cost a dime and I was able to keep track of who viewed the invitation and RSVPs.
The invite encouraged people to answer the following questions:
What is my vision for my life?
What are my dreams?
What do I need to do to achieve my dreams?
How much of my past is shaping the way I think and what I do? Is it affecting my present and future?