Wherever your day takes you, wherever you are now, remember that moment, in that time and space, that place, is exactly where you need to be. This is one of those lessons that you should never forget and the moment you do, God will send someone to remind you. About a month before I decided to work on Bloom by 30, I trekked from the Bronx to Queens College to see Alex Elle. I needed to see the woman who’s words stopped me in my tracks. The woman who gave me the eerie feeling that I was reading about myself, but I wasn't. As a writer, l always want to know more about others that share your passion. Their experience is the motivation to keep going. Her advice, “keep writing, even if it just a sentence or a paragraph, as long as you write something.”
Three months after publishing Bloom By 30, I attended a reading at Wordup Community Bookshop with an intimate crowd and two remarkable women, Sapodilla and Akosua D. Edwards. Sapodilla and I met on Instagram and Akosua was her guest. The conversation was light, filled with love and a true inspiration.
Both encounters came at pivotal times on my journey. I had been frustrated; frustrated with the process, annoyed by my own lackluster and just annoyed. As I listened to them speak about their work, I began reflecting on where I was and where I needed to be. Akosua’s journey to Uganda taught her more than she could ever imagine. She met remarkable women whose persistence, hard work, and perseverance pushed them to achieve everything they set out to accomplish. She left Uganda with instructions to tell her story. The women didn't know her story, but they knew that she had one to tell.
Akosua’s story was one of courage on the journey to finding yourself. She recalled being asked, “why do you play small?” and jokingly brushing the question away. Things got deeper when they asked if her ancestors would be proud of her, playing small. At that moment, she realized that she was responsible for her glow and her growth. It was her job to let her light shine, to show the world what she was created to be. She had to fulfill her purpose. Sapodilla is a woman with remarkable strength and courage. She highlighted that glowing requires courage and it’s within that display of bravery that the world will see your shine. Her strength is rooted in faith and determination. She found hope, she found the need to bloom, against all odds.