Embracing My Moment

 photo youngblackwoman.jpg
by Ashley Patton

Have you ever been in a room full of people and felt intimidated, beneath the masses?

I was sitting front row at a networking awards banquet given by a local self-made successful entrepreneur. My mother was the recipient of an award and my dad and I were there for support. Held at one of Houston's most elegant and luxurious event facilities, the function surpassed my expectations. The rooms were filled with professionals from every industry. I shook hands and rubbed elbows with doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs, all with business cards in hand to utilize the networking hour. It never failed, everyone wanted to know what the pretty girl in the red lipstick did for a living.

There I was, sipping on my third glass of Chardonnay, in deep thought about my accomplishments. Skipped to the first grade after only months in kindergarten; first place in a city-wide essay contest for elementary school students; National Honors Society; fulfilled my childhood dream to compete and win in a college pageant; graduated as one of the few 6% of college students who actually graduate in the expected four years, with a full scholarship; completed two internships; moved to a new, big city and completed my graduate degree in one year; landed my first full-time job as an ELA teacher.... Now what?

I'm drawing a blank. After all those accomplishments behind me I'm standing there, tipsy, wondering if anything be ahead of me. Was my resume complete? Did I already have my moment? A feeling of uncertainty washed over me leaving a flood of goose bumps and waves covering my eyes. I hung my head.

As each recipient began to accept their award, I glanced around the room. Everyone was so much older than I. At 27 years old I was comparing my achievements to men and women who had already gone over the hill. Hell, most had to look back to see the hill in the distance!

Like a tidal wave, I crashed into my seat.

I didn't miss my moment. I've had many moments and many more will come.

There is a whole lot of life to live. Senior citizens are enrolling in college, earning a degree they've longed to achieve. Barren women are birthing children everyday. Paraplegics are running in the Olympics. Black men are winning elections!

Who Am I Not To Be Great....Still!?

My moment is now. My moment is tomorrow. My moment is my future. When I decide to live in it, my moment happens. But it won't happen on its own. Thinking about being an author doesn't sell books. Putting pen to paper and fingertips to keyboards will get me in the game.

Excuse me. I must cut this a little short. I have a moment to attend to.

Photo: Getty

Ashley blogs at The Lipstick Diaries

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