So a friend/family friend danced back up for Kendrick Lamar at the Grammy’s the other night, and while watching him I couldn’t quite pin down my emotion(s)…because I was definitely feeling something (obviously not anything bad). Later on, I figured it out: he was finally beginning to see some of the big payoff(s) of his tireless hard work. He moved to Los Angeles some years ago, and had to literally work his way from the bottom up. He had to hustle for gigs, sometimes do free work/dance classes for ‘exposure,’ and really figure it out – and sometimes with little support from others. So, to see him dancing at the Grammy’s, I felt a kind of pride that cannot be simply explained by ‘congrats!’
When you’re a creative person and have big dreams, a lot of the times people won’t be so willing to support you when it doesn’t look pretty. When you’re jobless, trying to make rent, strategizing to make ends meet and hustling every day, there will be SO many people who will literally beg you to settle out of their own fear. I know this because I’ve experienced it first hand. It takes not only strength, but a blind faith almost to keep believing in yourself and your vision despite the noise around you. I’ve had to learn that even thought the universe has shown me the vision, that doesn’t mean everyone around you will see it as well. I’ve always heard people will call you crazy when you move towards your calling, but it still needs to be repeated!! You have to really and truly believe in yourself to succeed despite what others may say or think!
It also takes support! His (we’ll call him ‘G’) mom, brother, aunts and uncles, never stopped believing in him. Never told him “just come back to Michigan and work this job you’ll literally hate, man.” And now, after working his off, he has freaking Kendrick Lamar on his resume. I can only imagine how much of a confirmation from the universe that is. And when I think about ‘little’ stuff, like how his little brother paid for his flight to NYC for the performance, it really shows me how much a little support will take you.
Sometimes, even the biggest dreamers will experience fear. We think:
Is this dream even feasible?
What if I fail?
Will people laugh at me?
And you know what? Yes, sometimes you have to change directions on your plans. Sometimes, you do fail. And there will definitely be folks who laugh at you along the way. But I refuse to believe any of those are reasons to give up and turn around. Have you ever heard the saying “A ‘no’ is just a redirection”? AKA: I would rather fail knowing I gave it my all than to have failed from settling. And I can say, without a doubt, my biggest wins have come from seeing and hearing the support of those around me and knowing they believe in me. You don’t know how many times I came up on a great opportunity because a friend told me ‘I know you’re capable of this, you got it. And if you fall, I’ll help you up.’ I’m honestly tearing up thinking of all the support systems I have in my life.
I’m getting ready to take a huge leap in my life, and I do know that regardless of who believes in me, I believe in myself. But I am more confident because when I look around me, I see people rooting for me. For creatives, that means the world. Not everyone is headed to the Grammy’s but why not support them in their own journey?