I don’t know about you… but for some time, I’d felt a certain level of discomfort; an annoyance gently prodding me to grow. I could no longer deny my own existence — the woman I was to become. As I tried to ignore her, she would subtly make herself known. I’d revisit a goal I had desired to reach in my youth. I’d buy yet another craft project that I had no time to learn or complete. I’d get lost in the aisles of public libraries and bookstores, chasing random professional pursuits simply because I could read about them, and because they sounded better than my own. And I would pour over magazines, cutting out meaningful pictures and words to place in my Vision Book. (I had way too many thoughts for a Vision Board!) I didn’t know that the Book had gradually become a distraction, as opposed to the muse it was intended to be, until the day I lost my “portable” version, and once again — sans distraction — began to move toward The Vision.
The discomfort grew at an increasing rate. It would surface…without fail, in every position I held, and in every personal encounter. But it was more than passive negativity, and not merely an uncomfortable feeling within. I could read the false identities of others and their faux environments as easily as reading billboards on highways. Without even trying, I’d see beyond the phony exteriors and into realities. But who was I to confront anyone else in their out-of-control fantasies while living my own? Often, instead of embarrassing or challenging them, I’d simply pretend I didn’t see what I saw, focusing only on my “so-called” reality. My inner turmoil, however, would eventually warrant my departure from each one of those unproductive relationships, be they personal or professional.
Discerning the truth in others, I was faced with personal lies. I could no longer ignore these falsettos either. Abandoning my adventurous nature, I’d chosen to stick with the comforts of the known over the overwhelming desire for more. But I’d put off for far too long my purpose — to deliver encouraging messages to young women in challenging personal situations — believing I needed to wait until I had a triumphant “story” to tell. Truth is, the triumph I needed to wait for was not one of blazing the business trails, or one of parading my fashion designs down the runways of New York and Paris… no, it was a triumph on a much smaller scale: a personal victory — that of getting out of my own way. I’d had enough of playing the game of life with loaded dice. Raising a family as a single mom, I sacrificed career goals in lieu of jobs that would allow me to be available when my children needed me (most times); get home at a decent hour; and pay my utilities. And it was no longer enough. I finally decided to live by one rule — that I must be who Our Creator intended for me to be… I would reach my personal best in life only by being my 100% Authentic self. Everything else would fall into place, naturally.
On this (long!) road to reinvention toward my creative, entrepreneurial, cultural, aware-and-involved potential, I discovered YouTube. Researching for yet another new cell phone, I Googled my way into the world of personal reviews. I obsessed over my new find; and thanks to the YouTubers, I learned more about so much — it was my own virtual library of opinions and fact-checkers! I stumbled upon the massive natural hair community there, and my paradigms shifted. I had recently cut all of my hair off to see if I could rid myself of burdensome perms and four-hour beauty salon visits, but was largely unaware of the “movement” happening all around me. (My daughter, in the name of beauty, had an unfortunate salon experience prompting the immediate loss of all of her hair. In solidarity, I got all of my own shaved off.) The Natural Community was there for me, teaching me about proper care and maintenance, and supporting my change.
The videos reminded me of even more pseudo-realisms I needed to “shave” from my psyche. These YouTubers didn’t need audiences of thousands handsomely paying to attend their seminars (a/k/a videos) in order to produce them. They grew audiences by perfecting their crafts and taking us along for the ride – if thousands of viewers benefitted, it was gravy. They didn’t have to show us the magnificent car and house to establish the look of success matching their messages. Some even went about producing videos for us in the midst of personal tragedy and hardship. And they didn’t have to have a major platform to speak about in order to be heard; they simply went about the business of sharing what they knew with others who didn’t.
The YouTubers reminded me that I, too, had something to share; and that I’d better get on my s*** and share it. God blessed me with a vision at an early age — revealing my destiny; and I’d kept it hidden. He also allowed me to see the lesson at each turning point and grow from what some would call mistakes. I call them “my core classes” in this school of life. Oftentimes, I came up with random business ideas and later saw them developed into successful ventures by others. Reading articles about or passing by these new businesses helped to keep me focused; I would stop and thank God for the glimpses into my own future. They proved my ideas weren’t bad; but I wouldn’t act upon most of them because I lacked the passion. And those I did act upon never got past the planning stages. My failed attempts didn’t suggest that entrepreneurship was out of my league; they just showed me that the right business for me is the one that keeps me passionately pursuing my purpose.
TangledWeTees is the beginning of my purposeful pursuit by faith. It came from a need to be free of other people’s opinions and expectations; to live in my own truth. That simple thought, inspiration from the natural hair community, and my personal journey of self-discovery have taken over. LMNOPeace Productions is the other arm of this faith walk. Coming soon, LMNOPeace will promote “Love, Motivation, New Options, and Peace” in other venues, including video and print media. This has for a long time been the mantra I use to remind myself of what life has to offer, if you also give of yourself. To honor my late father, I decided to name the business his old C.B. radio handle, “WhiskeyTango.” Be on the lookout: WhiskeyTango Communications will be intentionally impacting lives around the world soon enough as long as you and I continue working toward that goal. Keeping it Real…our 100% Authentic™ adventure awaits!
WhiskeyTango’s Mission: Through media & creative design, to encourage social & political change; awareness; and self-improvement through love for God, self and other people.