After reading about how only 3% of children’s books have a person of color as the main character, I was inspired to write a children’s book with the main characters being black. Since writing it, I’ve been working on getting the book published but the process hit a low point yesterday after a phone call with a publisher.
I was highly anticipating this phone call all day and was very excited due to hearing about his interest in the book. The conversation quickly turned into how the odds are completely against me, how I will not be a successful writer because I’m not already famous, and how the book will ultimately be a failure. I felt like the publisher, who I’m very appreciative and thankful for him keeping it real with me, was more so trying to talk me out of this.
I felt defeated.
After talking to my mom, listening to the words of encouragement from friends, and reminding myself of how stubborn I am, I don’t believe in the impossible. I will keep his words in consideration but he gave me an even bigger chip on my shoulder!
Today, I wrote out the layout for the book to I can visualize what the book will look like in physical form. The illustrations are in the works of being made and soon I will have this book published! I am going to do everything in my power to push this book and make it a game changer! Just like the title of the book states, the possibilities are endless. I am way too stubborn to hear any of that “it’s impossible” talk. If the opportunity hasn’t been there for others, I will shock the world and pave the way! I WILL be sharing a published copy of this book one of these days. Just watch me shock the word!
Today while watching Jemele Hill and Michael Smith’s Sportscenter “The Six” debut, Michael Smith mentioned something that really stuck out to me:
“Pressure is a privilege.”
The second I heard this quote, I had to write it down. The quote hit me but I did not fully understand the power of it until later in the day. As I was taking a shower, I thought about my recent trip to Kentucky for the Super Bowl (Go Pats!)!
I was truly blessed to have an incredible experience at the University of Kentucky. Honestly, that statement will never be able to do my experience justice. I have so many connections and resources on campus! More importantly though, I have an amazing support system of people behind me! Whether it’s though simply letting me know they are rooting for me or checking on me when I have a bad day, they have always had my back from the jump!
With all the support, I am often told by people that I’m an inspiration to them or one of their role models. It absolutely means the world to me, but it also adds pressure. I do not want to let anyone down or become a disappointment to anyone. Although how someone feels about me is more of a reflection of them than myself, I want to continue to inspire and encourage people to make their dreams come true. The pressure comes from myself trying to be everything I can be to the fullest so people can see it’s possible.
After reflecting in my shower, I realized how much of a privilege the pressure is! For one, I’m in a position where I influence a lot of people and have a direct impact on them. With knowing that, I can use that influence for good and continue to try to inspire them. On top of that, the feeling of knowing people are looking up to me keeps me going. Graduate school has not been the easiest journey for me. I was VERY close to not coming back to school and dropping out. What kept me going was knowing I had people at University of Kentucky, family members, and friends elsewhere that are watching me. I did not want to show them I can’t, I want to show them I can and will finish Graduate school.
At times, pressure can feel overwhelming but it’s needed for growth and greatness. I’m realizing there are 2 things you can do with pressure:
- You can continue to feel overwhelmed by it and fold under the occasion
- Or you can apply the pressure and make diamonds out of the situation.
Either way, pressure is a privilege!
I don’t know if I’ll ever get “paid” or “make a living” off of the things I create but that damn sure won’t stop me from creating. Someone recently told me I’m selling myself short by not working in a big company and using my ideas to make “good money.” For one thing, I do not like being hired to make someone else’s dream come true. And honestly, I could care less about people’s career advice or advice on how I should live my life. I’m an educated, young, and creative black man. I have one degree and come August, I’ll have 2 degrees at the age of 22. I’m good, playa. I completely and utterly believe in myself so I already know I’m going to make a living off of my creations! It’s all just a matter of time. All I need is for you to share my movements with your network and help me push the culture!
Congratulations to the homie Nate (aka N8 the Great) on getting accepted to Suffolk University! N8 is someone who is constantly grindin’ and working towards his located impact. H has shot, directed, and produced a lot of my projects for Find Your Comfort. The sky isn’t the limit, it’s only the beginning for him! N8 constantly is looking towards how he can make a change in the community and in the world. I can’t wait to see all that he accomplishes in college! I know for a fact he’s going to have a HUGE impact on the Suffolk campus and shine bright!
There is so much I can say about J. Cole!
In my opinion, J. Cole is easily one of the greatest rappers of my generation. Cole is truly an inspiration to me in so many different way. From his craft all the way to how he conducts himself as an artist, I look up to J. Cole. I dream of the day I can meet him to tell him thank you for all the lessons he’s taught me through his music, interviews, and the way he carries himself. Fun fact, I used to have this dream that J. Cole’s label Dreamville would make an exception and sign me to a book deal or invest in one of my projects. Cole easily makes my Top 5 inspirations of all time list.
In regards to this video, WOW! That’s really all that comes to mind and the best way for me to convey the power of this video to you. I remember being in my dorm room in college watching this video 2 years ago and I just had to replay it right away. J. Cole is a deep brother. There was so many lessons I took away from this video and saw the world in a new light. Every time I watch this, it’s like a flame ignites within me of inspiration to take on the world and make a change for the better!
I still remember to this day how watching this video in high school changed the trajectory of my life. I was at a place in my life where I was simply lost. In high school, I knew I was different and had something special within me. I felt like no one really understood that feeling and I honestly did not know what to do with it at the time. One day after school, I was surfing the internet and somehow I came across a blog with this video on it. Whoever made the blog talked about how inspirational and positive Levi Maestro was and encouraged everyone to watch this video. Once I watched this video, everything made sense for me! I understood the importance of speaking things into existence, being the best version of me at all times, and living positively.
Levi Maestro is truly an inspiration to me. If it wasn’t for him, I do not think I would be where I am at today honestly. Levi Maestro is a genuine and positive person who constantly radiates positive energy. He started a web series called Maestro Knows that really gives a glimpse of his life. I strongly suggest you check out a few episodes. You’ll definitely get a feeling of the type of person he is!
I hope this video changes your perspective for the better like it once did for me!