Even at the ripe old age of 55, I’ve not yet accomplished all that I hope to accomplish in life. I still have obstacles that I wish overcome and goals that I aim to attain; a mountain of education to climb; a valley of physical improvements to traverse; an ocean of spiritual maturity to cross, and although I’ve reached a chronological age somewhere past “middle”, I keep pushing; pressing my way through; forging my way on, because I know for a fact that it is never too late. I know this because I have a role model who has shown me that it is possible; that all things are possible if you just believe; believe in God and believe in yourself.
The following essay is written by “MY INSPIRATION” and Mom.
“It has been said that, ‘Freedom is an attitude of mind and heart that frees the soul to soar.’ A caged bird may be limited in where it can fly and what it can see, but it has the spirit to soar freely as it sings its sweet song. In its spirit, all physical limitations are overcome and its true nature springs forth untethered by constraints.
I graduated from T.V. McCoo High School in Eufaula, Alabama. This school was formerly known as Van Buren High School. The year was 1958; four years after “Brown versus The Board of Education”. The Supreme Court decision was popularly known as “Separate but Equal”. The System’s solution was a new, “Separate but Equal”, black high school. The school was built and completed in the middle of my Senior year. We had been set free! For me, this was a year of great revelation.
My class was the first graduating class from a school named after a black doctor. I was voted Miss Senior and rode in the town’s parade. I also performed an oration, (even though I was frightened to death). In the spring of that year, I graduated from a new high school but not without personal setbacks. My maternal grandmother’s demise was right around that time. In spite of this tragedy, this new God given opportunity had set me free. I truly believed that this new environment was going to set my spirit free to soar beyond boundaries and appearances; to step out on faith and do what God had created me to do.
My vision would one day be realized but not without trials. First, I had to have faith and believe that; “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.And all of us….seeing the Glory of The Lord…is being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” -2 Corinthians 3:17-18. Due to financial conditions, I was unable to begin my academic flight immediately; there were detours along the way.
Within the unfolding story of my life, I created a family. So from the first flowering blossom to the last; from one side of the room to the other; from one end of the country to the opposite end, there was always God’s presence, teaching me and guiding me in the care of my family. My children grew up and created families of their own. This created the freedom for me to soar.“Finally” I thought, “I can sing and soar freely; exploring the limits of the skies of my ambitions.
For a moment, I imagined that I was a time traveler; traveling back through the centuries until I was side-by-side with Michelangelo as he turned a block of stone into something magnificent; chipping away– never giving up until a masterpiece emerged. My aspiration was to get a college education and that’s was what I was going to do, regardless of how long it took.
Upon entering college, I realized how woefully unprepared I was. I was lacking the proper educational tools, and background to compete with the younger generation. I was a generation behind; “Separate but Equal” had failed me. But like Michelangelo, I did not give up. I worked on my own stone. I worked to create something magnificent to me; my masterpiece, for God had given me the ability to create.It was not a Michelangelo, but something as simple as helping a child to learn his multiplication tables was equally awesome.
So, after many, many years and despite my lack of the proper tools; like knowing how to use a card catalogue, or how to operate a computer;I received a degree in Professional Studies and a Master’s in Education. I taught school for twenty years and have been retired for ten. I am free! I did as the caged bird had done; I broke free and I soared. I no longer allow doubts and obstructions to keep my blessings from me.
To my children and grandchildren I say, “Soar as high as you can soar. Chip away at your stone, just as Michelangelo chipped away at his; create something magnificent and then sing your sweet song.”The sky is the limit.
“I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.”
Happy Sunday My Loves!
I ran across this quote and decided to share it with you. Many of you may remember Jonathan Winters as an improvisational genius, observational humorist, actor and artist. If you are not familiar with his work, I encourage you to peruse his repertoire 🙂
Now, with Mr. Winters as my inspiration, I want to encourage you to start doing whatever it is that you dream of doing. Feel free to keep today’s quote nearby and allow it to energize you to move forward and refuse to be bothered with whether or not your actions will lead to “success.” Verily I say unto you, if you are doing what you love, by default, you are already succeeding!
So, as you continue with your day, make a vow to begin moving your dreams and goals out of the abstract into the actual.
In the meantime, cultivate loving relationships (pets count too!) and admire the beauty around you. Always seek advice from your higher power; I call this power God. If that doesn’t resonate with you, consider finding and making a connection with something that you can believe in. Resist any temptation to be unkind; promise yourself that you will do better if you slip.
After you accomplish these tasks…do them again every day! Expect insights and revelations! Your intuition will lead you to the next step; just keep moving!
Surely by now you are wondering, “What gives this chick the right to tell me what I should be doing?” Well, I really can’t give you an adequate answer to that question; however, I do know that you and I are more alike than we are different and just like you, I have dreams and goals that I would like to see come to fruition. That said, by encouraging you, I am encouraging me!
Okay, my loves, it’s time for us to go ahead! Who has time to wait for ‘success?’
Hi! My name is Gwin and I am a writer, storyteller and photographer! There, I said it!
Yes, I am fully aware that this is a strong declaration. My friends, it HAS to be! Why? Because I have concluded that I don’t need anyone to tell me what I already know about myself! I am the one who defines who I am.
Do I sound radical? Well… er…um…for the sake of clarity let me rewind this story!
Right before my last birthday, I began to think about becoming a ‘writer,’ but I immediately dismissed that thought. Then, out of nowhere, I heard my inner voice say: “Gwin, what in the hell are you thinking? If you are a writer then write! If you are a storyteller then tell stories! If you are a photographer then take pictures! You don’t have to submit your stuff to anybody! You don’t need a formal title; you just need to go about the business of doing the damn thing! Do it for you!”
Oh yeah, me and I had a good long talk!
Anyway, during this conversation with myself, I realized that I had spent WAY too much time being afraid. You see, I had always dreamed of becoming a writer/storyteller/photographer, but I never seriously pursued doing those things because I was worried that my work wouldn’t be accepted. In my mind’s eye, I could just see all of my writings and pictures being thrown back at me in big golden envelopes –stamped with the word “REJECTION”—capitalized in bold red; and that, my friends, spooked the hell out of me!
Well now I’m over it! So I started a blog where I can post whatever I want! And you, my loves, are acting as witnesses to my dreams! I thank you so much for that!
OK, that’s enough about me and my wings! What about yours? Tell me what ‘opens your wings?’