Right now, I am going to bring you in to the middle of my journey, although the middle is still pretty much the beginning of a new venture for me. That venture isn’t so much the business I am officially launching this month, but it is a venture into taking my way of thinking to another level so that I can achieve what I know is mine to have.
You see, the problem is I have been on this road, oh about 17 years already? Wow. I just did that math in my head and I was hoping I was wrong about that, but I’m pretty sure Ramona, my business partner (to be discussed at another time) and I once had to think back to when we started Village Works and we landed on 1999 as the conception of the idea. It is Jan. 13, 2017 right now and that means 18 years really, but I don’t think the anniversary of that idea is coming until late Spring, early Summer. It will have been 18 years ago when Ramona and I were in a toy store looking for jigsaw puzzles for the summer youth program at our church. As I said, more on all that later.
For now, the numbers tell me I got on this road to independence in 1999. Ramona and I had a lot to figure out then and unbeknownst to me, I was going to have my first child about a year later. (Ramona was to have her first and only 6 months before me.) My child was one catalyst for changing my thinking. He got me out of working a beloved job as a copy editor at a newspaper for eight years at night – the perfect schedule for a night owl like me who had aspirations of other things like starting a magazine and getting a Master’s degree, but no longer the perfect company after it was bought out – to working a traditional schedule at a traditional company, despite my knowing without prior experience that corporate life is NOT for me. During this tumultuous time, I was putting my focus on my developing family while keeping a casual eye on the business that was growing in importance too.
Ah, it’s so easy to get off track. Where were we? Yes. The numbers. I have had an ember inside me to be independent since birth. I recently had my astrological chart done because I have always been curious about it, but my Christian faith earlier in my life made such a desire seem...undesirable. I’ve grown up since then and my faith isn’t nearly so fragile. So I had this chart done and do you know one thing it said about me, born when I was born, where I was born, at the exact time certain stars and planets lined the way they did? It said I do not like authority. Ha! Me, myself and I – we all knew that from day 1. That chart told me that freedom is as important to me as breathing, not in those exact words, but as pressing as that. And it is true. But I have sacrificed some freedom, sometimes allowed it to be held hostage, for the sake of my children, my job, my husband, in other words – others.
I am 46 now. My children are teenagers and talk of college is no longer wispy words blowing in the breeze of hopes and dreams yet to be realized. It is coming. I have made it through three full-time jobs and am presently not even a year into the fourth. I have had nearly 11 years in the perfect job and that was where someone blew on my ember of independence and made it grow.
So, I am going to take you on this journey with me to full realization of my purpose. I’ll tell you about that later too. What matters most right now is that you know I am a black woman; a wife and mother who has had desires to do my own thing for a lifetime. I eventually realized that what I wanted was to be an entrepreneur of some sort. I have bills to pay, people to be responsible to, a hard-working, feet-on-the-earth husband who does not get in my way but who I know is mainly focused on making sure there is money to take care of the needs as well as some wants. There are people around me doing their own thing for sure, but I haven’t really been in the trenches with any of them except Ramona. And because our joint venture is on hiatus for now, this is me doing my own thing alone. I am going to get there somehow and I am going to let you tag along for the journey because I want you to know YOU can be free too.