All Articles Tagged "dreams"
It’s amazing the way God orchestrates things. I say God, some of y’all might call it “the universe” or attribute it to the laws of attraction. Whatever you call it, sometimes, through a series of seemingly unrelated events, the things we need to see, hear or experience, land right at our feet.
Last year, we told you about the incredible opportunity the people at Walt Disney World, Steve Harvey, and Essence Magazine provide for high school students called the Disney Dreamers Academy. A weekend long event, the Disney Dreamers Academy hosts high school students who attend workshops in their field of interest, engage with celebrity and motivational speakers and network. The weekend is meant to inspire them to nourish their talents and ferociously pursue the dreams they have for themselves.
It’s all about the kids. But there’s another piece of the puzzle. Each child comes to Disney with a chaperone, typically one of their parents. And yesterday, while the children were off enjoying free time in one of the theme parks, Dr. Steve Perry, founder and principal of Capital Prep, spoke specifically to the parents about their dreams.
He told the parents that in many of the essays they had to submit in order to be accepted into the program, their children wrote about them. Whether they detailed their struggles or described them as an inspiration, or both, he said, “the children wear your issues.”
Perry acknowledged that most good parents have doubts about the way they’re raising their children. He admitted that even as a principal of a school, dealing with other people’s children for a living, raising his own sons can still present a challenge. But he told the parents that despite their faults, they were doing something right and it was evidenced by the fact that their children had been chosen to participate in this program. He asked, “Those circumstances that you passed on to the next generation, did you imagine that they would be this?” In other words, the darkest moments in the parents’ lives ultimately afforded their children an opportunity of a lifetime. He told the parents, “You’re here because you taught your child to turn tragedy into triumph.”
I hope my paraphrasing of his words do the moment justice. It was powerful and I don’t even have kids yet. After he said it, I scanned the room to see if the other parents were as moved as I was and that’s when I noticed a woman silently crying, wiping away the heavy tears that were streaming down her face. Once Dr. Perry had finished speaking, I went up to her and introduced myself. She told me her name: Jamilah. I asked her why she was so moved by Perry’s words.
She said, “My daughter, so far, is having a very powerful experience here. She was interviewed by Mr. Harvey on his radio show this morning, they’re following her with cameras, a lot’s happening for her. A big part of her essay that she submitted was discussing one of the most challenging experiences that she felt she’s gone through in her life, which was a really difficult thing in my life and some things that I had to overcome…”
I interrupted her to ask if she’d mind sharing some of those challenges.
What she said floored me.
What becomes of a dream deferred?
It goes to a cubicle and dies.
In 2011, I sat slumped in my uncomfortable office chair, surrounded by piles of paperwork and my own mind’s clutter. I pushed away from the desk.
“I can’t do this anymore.”
I could no longer sit like milk on the shelf of my office waiting to spoil. There had to be something more out there for me than a job that was slowly draining the life out of my spirit like the air in a forgotten birthday balloon.
What was my dream? I remember shuffling through old notebooks and sticky notes. Confused how my dream had a long forgotten item on the to-do list. It had been replaced by needs for money, security, recognition and a host of other things that only left me fully employed and spiritually empty.
My initial reaction was to count the reasons why I couldn’t do it. Money, location, time, space, it’s Tuesday and life changes can only start on Mondays, fatigue and whatever else comes to mind. All of which are changing variables and would eventually come together if I just tried rather than wallowing in excuses. When I pushed back from my desk that day, I pushed full steam ahead into finding my purpose and passion.
I went full steam ahead trying to “get there” and one day I finally arrived. A new city, new job, a brand new life and I was….struggling.
What happens when you take the leap of faith and you crash land instead of soaring high?
A good friend of mine said, “Just because you got there, doesn’t mean you are supposed to stay there. Perhaps there is more.” The finish line you saw in the distance was really just the starting line to another race. Although I had broken free of my cubicle, it turns out that the journey to achieve my dream wasn’t just that simple jump.
It was in this moment that true discouragement set in. Here I was, had risked it all, and found myself unsatisfied again and itching for more. While in pursuit of who you were always meant to be, occasionally you will encounter a dream deferred…again.
Every leap of faith won’t be in the right direction. Every road won’t end with a pot of gold. The part no one tells you about pursuing your passion is that you might get it partially wrong before you get it all the way right.
It was time to regroup. I revisited my notebooks and sticky notes and devised a new plan. Even a wrong turn serves a purpose and I will say that the first leap brought me to new experiences and new perspectives. I now understood that I could leap, fall, crash, tumble and get back up with my wig still on straight.
Although I wanted the fairy tale story that I leaped and landed in paradise, occasionally we miss the mark. Does that mean give up? Does that mean it’s never going to happen? Absolutely not. It means you go back to the drawing board, a little wiser and a whole lot stronger, and begin again. One of my favorite quotes speaks to this:
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Pursuing your purpose and recapturing your dream deferred is more than just one leap. You can chose to send your dream to a cubicle to die. You can chose to take that one time you failed as a sign to stay in a mediocre place. Or you can pick yourself up and jump just one more time. Have the strength to start all over again and be who you were always meant to be.
Can you think of someone, famous or not, who no matter what, has come up with yet another creative idea and is always busy?
Whoopi Goldberg is one of those people. Whether she’s lending a helping hand to a project or lending her voice to a film, she is always working beyond her day job.
This time, the comedian, actress, and host of The View has developed a new show for Nick Jr.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lounge will be a talk and variety show that will air during NickMom, the programming block of Nick Jr dedicated to mothers. NickMom runs nightly from 10p-2a.
According to THR, Lounge will feature everyday moms and they’ll have funny and honest conversations while being “pampered, celebrated and have their dreams come true.”
Goldberg will also serve as the executive producer of the show.
This sounds like it’ll be a really cool show. Although NickMom already has a few shows that they are renewing for next seasons, the ratings during those hours aren’t great. If Lounge is properly promoted (and because of the station it will be on, that doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of promotion, but moreso smart promotion), it would likely help the numbers jump quite a bit.
In addition to her behind the scenes work, Whoopi will continue her role as moderator for ABC’s The View.
“You know you’re about to be grown, right? You are grown at 25, but when you turn 26 this month, that’s really it. Next is 30!”
My dear, dear, blunt friend told me that this morning. And while she smiled and went on her way, I was left with the nerve she hit. Not the last one, thankfully, but if I’m not careful I may only have a few left! Between wrestling through childhood struggles, figuring out what I want to do with my life, and being reminded of my singleness by all the weddings and baby showers, this past year I’ve been having a quarter-life crisis! And from the texts I get from my friends, I see I’m not alone.
I remember going to college full of hopes and dreams for my future, and graduating with a head full of doubt. Four years later, while I’ve had the opportunity to work with some talented people and had a great deal of fun along the way and still am, I often wonder whether I’ll ever get anywhere near where I dreamed I’d be in life. I’m getting to do what I love (writing) by way of different platforms, but doing what you love doesn’t always pay the bills. Every now and then I find myself on Indeed.com considering applying for a full-time job somewhere I don’t want to work, so that I can stop living the life of a starving artist with supportive parents. I want to be able to pay my bills, give gracefully to my church and other organizations, save, shop, eat good and travel like other grown folks. Well, I do some of that now, but I want to be able to without praying for a freelance or babysitting gig afterwards to make up for the money I just spent treating myself. I want to live comfortably. But I also want to do what I love. Is that asking too much? I mean who buys cake not to eat it too?
Maybe it’s my parents’ fault. Yeah, that’s it. They spoiled us, especially me. Now, I can’t imagine having to work somewhere I don’t want to. Then again, I blame all the famous people on television that say you can do anything you put your mind to. Or maybe it’s the (false) prosperity gospel teaching that made me think naming and claiming was the key to unlocking my dreams. Better yet, all the positive thinking speakers and authors sold me some false hope too by giving my words more power than they actually have. None of these people sent a memo to the economy, employers, or my future husband that they were suppose to give me what I desire.
But wait, I’m 25, so I can’t really blame anyone else for what I decide to believe, can I? I can choose what to believe now about success—namely that success is not defined by status. If I’m supposed to be a janitor, then being a CEO is beneath me. That might sound strange, but success is determined by purpose and purpose is prescribed by God. And if you’ve ever heard any Bible stories, then you know God’s purposes are quite different than ours and His means are always unconventional. I could be right where He wants me to be, but too busy looking at where other people are to appreciate and invest where He has me. Now, don’t get me wrong, because of my spoiled upbringing, I do have to check my laziness and be sure that I’m not actually hindering myself. And I should dream and set goals that seem far-fetched, because I don’t know what might be in-store for me. But I also have to pursue contentment in the here and now. I have to embrace the truth that contentment is not about having what you want; it’s about wanting what you have.
Here’s to 26 and whatever it has in store!
Caresse Spencer is a writer for urban and Christian culture by way of Reach Records, Blueprint Church and the Rebuild Network who is currently working on a campaign (All is Vanity) with artist/songwriter Natalie Lauren to help women discover the best path towards getting more out of life. Check out her website CaresseDionne.com and follow her randomness on Twitter @caressedionne
Leah: Yes. I dreamt about my father dying three months before he died. I told him to go see a doctor. He unfortunately did not listen and he died on Father’s Day fourteen years ago.
Randi: I have correctly had a dream that both my cousins were pregnant and with one, I dreamt of the sex and I was right.
What Happens When It Hurts To Hope For The Best? How A Personal Defense Mechanism Began To Cripple My Faith
There are few emotions that grip my heart like disappointment. There’s just something about having my heart set on something and then realizing that it won’t happen that is so devastating. Sure, no one likes to be disappointed, but when I set my heart on something, I want it with every fiber of my being. I suppose this intense wanting developed during my childhood. I’ve been blessed with really amazing parents. There was almost nothing that I asked them for that they didn’t make an effort to provide me with. “You’re such a good girl. You never give us any problems,” they’d almost say in unison as they handed over whatever I’d previously asked them for. Although I don’t believe that this is the message that they were necessarily seeking to convey, I grew up believing that as long as you’re a good person who follows the rules, good things will come to you. I still find this philosophy to be partially true, but the real world taught me that things don’t always work out this way.
Once my wish list matured and my desires changed from Easy-Bake Ovens and My Size Barbies to an acceptance letter from my dream college and a position at my dream job, things my parents couldn’t necessarily “give me,” I was stung by the harsh reality that life isn’t exactly a fairy tale. Everything that you desire won’t just come to you because you work hard and you’re a good person and some things simply are not meant to be. My tiny world had expanded from the cozy, suburban fortress that my parents had built for me, blocking out many of life’s very real truths, and I was thrust into the real world, quickly learning the life lesson that things don’t always go as planned.
I found some of my first major let downs very difficult to handle. Having never felt disappointment so intensely, I made up my mind that I never wanted to feel it again. So I began conditioning myself to put up this emotional wall. I wouldn’t allow myself to want anything too intensely because in my mind hoping was causing more pain than it was worth. As strange as it may sound, I morphed into one of those people who pray for the best, but expected and prepared for the worst. Although this way of thinking probably spared me plenty of hurt feelings when things didn’t go my way, it severely damaged another important aspect of my life – my faith.
As a Christian, one of the pillars of my beliefs is faith. Over and over we hear scriptures like “Without faith, it’s impossible to please God” and “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” It wasn’t until I was driving home one evening that I realized my hope-killing defense mechanism was also destroying my faith. After much soul searching (and prayer), I learned that it is possible to maintain balance, allow my faith to “grow” and still semi-protect myself from life’s let downs by reminding myself of the following truths:
1. Above all else, trust God. He knows best.
2. Even if it doesn’t make sense now, almost everything happens for a reason.
3. Being told no is not the end of the world.
4. Disappointments are not to be owned or internalized.
Sure life is has its curveballs and let downs, but it’s also filled with amazing moments, wonderful opportunities and spectacular surprises. Today, I can confidently say that I’ve found the courage to hope.
Follow Jazmine Denise on Twitter @jazminedenise.
Ever gaze off into the distance and envision yourself as a bustling business owner, entrepreneur of your own bakery or interior design company? The thing that often stops you from pursuing your dream, whether it’s to publish a book, open a gymnastics center, or launch your own pet grooming service is fear. Fear of failure and not knowing how to dust yourself off and reinvent yourself to make a strong comeback. Banish those negative doubts and thoughts of disbelief that permeate the corners of your mind. Now is the time to go after your true calling. Still having second thoughts? Seek inspiration below. And then I ask you: What are you waiting for, folks?
I can’t get no . . . satisfaction won’t be your theme song because you will. You will be satisfied with the fact that you were willing to take the plunge into uncertainty. You will have to give it your all. Nobody said it would be easy, but there is something about pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps that feels oh so good.
From little girls, most of us fantasized about what we would be doing with our lives once we “got big.” Some of us have always known what we wanted to do, some of us were discouraged from our plans and others of us changed our dreams along the way. We asked our Facebook and Twitter followers this question. See what they had to say.
Shaunty: I always wanted to be a medical doctor as a child. I am just about near finished with medical school. Thank you Lord for fulfillment o my dreams.
Angelia: A Solid Gold Dancer… my dreams changed, just a bit…
Alicia: A teacher…and that’s who I am!
Susanne: A pediatrician; my fear/dislike of blood ended that dream ;o)
Yolanda: Ironically, a teacher but then faith stepped in a I became a professor!
Mizzus: A fashion designer…I became school behavior specialist…close enough. lol.
Carmen: Always wanted to be a singer and I am.
Lynnette: I wanted yo be a wife and mother. Stay at home and take care of my family. That’s what i am today. Three beautiful children and married 20 years. God is good!
Mimi: Singer and still trying to reach that dream!
Jeanne: An actress, a dancer, a performer…didn’t do it thanks to my parents who thought that was stereotypical of black people to always ‘entertain’. I should’ve followed my dreams…
Lifeis: A singer.. I am a IT specialist.. I knew my parents should have sent me to performing arts.
Veronica: I wanted to be a vampire, lol! Then it changed to fashion designer. Now I own my own business and work from home to be with my daughters. Everything worked out.
Jocelyn: A pediatrician…nope, I got my PhD in Cell and Molecular though so I did stay in the science/biomedical research realm.
Ruthe: I wanted to be a writer. And that’s exactly what I do. I am living my passion, as an author and journalist.
Shayla: Wanted to be in the military!!! I did that and I’m a veteran as well!!! And doing very well for myself!!
Kristen: I wanted to become a lawyer. My dream changed drastically after seeing so much nepotism and injustice within my city.
Jessica: All i wanted was to be happy and i am
Sandra: Well, I wanted to be an airplane. (Shame face). I thought they were beautiful and was fascinated with the fact that they could fly. Needless to say I was horribly disappointed. But hey, I’m an accountant now
@TrgdyAnn: I wanted to be a Nun when I was a little girl, yes, my dreams definitely took a detour, LoL
Jacqueline: Actress, dancer, or performer. I’m currently getting a PhD in biomedical science. Life is funny
Lillian: I wanted to be a horse, fortunately I changed my mind.
Kelly: Sad to say I wanted to be a drug dealers Itchbay as a little girl. My dreams changed and I am now a college graduate working in Corporate America making a decent living for myself. Parents should be careful about what they subject their kids to. Children are easily influenced and can sometimes be misdirected….I was!
If you’re a gospel fan, chances are Yolanda Adams’ music has inspired you over the years. Well, this weekend Adams used her music and her story to inspire the 100 high school students at Disney Dreamers Academy this weekend. MadameNoire had the chance to speak to Yolanda about how she started singing professionally, though she never had an interest in doing so. She also talked about how the high school students ended up inspiring her as well.
You know Carla Hall. The wide-eyed chef first captured our attention on Bravo’s “Top Chef” with her delicious-looking food and the catch phrase black folk know all too well, “Hootie Hoo.” This year, Carla spoke at Disney Dreamers Academy event where she hoped to encourage 100 high school students to identify and pursue their dreams. Carla took a bit of an unorthodox route to achieving her dream of being a chef. She spoke to MadameNoire about her journey, why it was important for her to speak the Disney Dreamers this past weekend and what she wants to do next. Check out our interview below.