I’m a mix of emotions. I’m super proud and happy, and completely and utterly sad and broken up. I got my sign up in front of my studio on Monday, and I saw it for the first time Wednesday. I am SO proud, but I am SO sad that my Dad can’t see it or know about it, and I can’t hear his voice or his response. I just imagine that he would be REALLY proud of me. One aspect that I didn’t expect when I started this business was to do it alone. That tears me up, but Dad didn’t raise a weak woman. He always told me that I don’t have to depend on anyone, and that I should be independent, and I aspired to be that…and I became that. Things happened as they needed to happen for this dream to come to fruition, and God has continued to bless me. It took a talk with God a few years ago that affirmed me that I CAN do this by myself, and I had a mixed set of emotions then too. I was happy to be told that, but I was also scared. The last time I felt empowerment like that was when my Dad was alive. Leading up to that moment, and every day since, it took hours of prayer, petitioning,, and being on my knees searching…to understand what my capabilities are. It has taken a few key people saying some key things during life altering moments to help me as well. God led me to those people. But without constant prayer, faith, and belief that I had a larger purpose that I needed to fill, I would not have gone this far, committed this much, or fought this hard. I would not have a reason to chip away at the mentality that a woman-that I, especially-couldn’t build a business on her own like this. God needed me to believe that I could do this on my own, and He beckoned me to believe in myself. I had to question my mentality over and over and over again, and still do. I questioned who I was hanging out with, and what I was taking in. I am PROUD of myself for accomplishing what no one thought I could do, including me. But God knew. And I think my Dad knew. I’ve had to channel his words from when I was 19 or 20 years old. I’ve been trying to channel his words to get to a moment like this, and moments yet to come. I’ve been using that fuel for so long, and the fuel of the scriptures in the living Bible. It keeps me going. I haven’t completely “made it”, but I see what my hard work is able to create now, and I want to encourage you to never give up, no matter what you are trying to achieve. My Dad wanted a legacy for himself, and he has one. I am a part of his, and this is part of my legacy too, and that’s how I’ve always viewed my business. I’m happy that it was his hard work that I channeled to get me through-to create what I’ve created, and do what I’ve done. I just want to share this moment with you…I am really proud, and I am really sad.
Rio and Lathan, if you ever come across this, I HAD to do this for you. I HAD to become this for you. You meant THAT MUCH to me. You will always mean that much to me-this is NOT about me. It’s not. I want you to see what you can do, what your mom did, with the empowerment of where she came from, not the crutch of where she came from. I’m giving you a glimpse of what you can do, because you’re starting out way ahead of me, and I will always support you. I love you both.
Image by Michael Martinez Fine Portraits