I’ve always had the innate urge to help other people when I can. I’ve spent a good portion of my life in different programs that have allowed me to give to others when in need. My need to help others pushed me into the nonprofit sector where I have a chance to work with a variety of people. Working for people wasn’t enough - I wanted to work with people. It wasn’t until a few years ago that my best friend and I decided we could make a life out of this. We put our brains together and decided to focus our efforts on the youth since we believe they can have such a large impact on their communities.
Pause. Have you ever had a dream so big that you knew it could change the word but you weren’t quite sure how? This was the cross road we were currently standing in that could ultimately break us. For some reason, I was misled to believe that if I wanted it bad enough that it would unfold right before my eyes. I obviously could not have been more wrong. To be honest, we didn’t really put much energy into it and because of our passivity, not much came out of it for a while. Fast-forward years later and we find ourselves on stage in front of a group of kids talking about the importance of leadership. Our presentation was engaging, energizing, and the kids loved it. This small taste of self-made success was enough to get my engine going, but would it be enough to sustain me?
Though we had one successful presentation, our faith would be tested when we took our talents to a small town in Mississippi. There were a few stark differences between this presentation and the one before, mainly being the demographic of the kids. We were just two women barging in from the city in the eyes of the kids who weren’t prepared to hear us speak. We had carefully worked on our topics and decided we’d talk about peer pressure, social media, and how to lead as opposed to following others. It seemed like the perfect idea in my head but the kids weren’t on the same page. They joked around, talked over us, and there was almost a fight during one of the discussions.
I couldn’t help but feel defeated. I felt as if I had come with a great idea only to be told that it wasn’t that great after all. My demeanor throughout the day with the kids changed as each group came with me ready to protect my precious project. Once my final group exited, I felt a wave of relief but also regret. I was excited not to have to make my case in front of more young kids who could not care less. I regretted that the message I was trying to push could have possibly helped someone had they just received it. What I didn’t realize was that I was the one learning the lesson.
Life doesn’t always come wrapped in a perfectly wrapped package. Often times it comes with assembly required and the need for you to connect the pieces. I don’t believe I would have appreciated the opportunity had it went perfectly. Having these small mishaps made me realize there were still things to tweak and that I couldn’t become comfortable. It reminded me that dreams are always worth chasing if you’re willing to deal with the upsets that may accompany it.