Sunday, March 10, 2013

Leap Forward...Alone!

The idea for this blog entry stems from a text I got from one of my daughters last night asking simply, “Can you skate?” Wise sage that I am, I saw beyond the simplicity of the inquiry to my daughter’s wish to find a fun activity and someone with which to share this activity. I responded, “yes I do skate a bit, do any of your friends skate?” The answer was “no.” Now I hear the real issue which is “Mom, there is something I think I want to try, but I’m nervous about doing it alone. Bingo! My sons each have their own hobbies. One is an inventor, and car refurbisher, the other is an accomplished body builder. But, alas, my three daughters inherited my shyness DNA. This blog is for them. Even as I approach the mid-point of my sixth decade, I totally understand the desire to have a companion, a road-dog, a sister friend, a partner, as you uncover life’s delights. Women, at least some of us, like to do things together and tend to avoid doing activities alone. Haven’t you noticed that we often go to the bathroom to tinkle, hair-comb and reapply our makeup together! However, I have learned to follow where my inner voice leads, even when I have to do it alone. The funny thing is I’ve always found friends along the way. In the 70’s as an aspiring young poet, I wanted to take writing /acting lessons and there was no peer support. I moved ahead and landed in the inaugural class of Ebony Talent Theater(renamed eTA), and in that artistic incubator, found mentors in Harold Okoro Washington, Walter Bradford, and friendship in artist/thespian and eta creative director Runako Jahai, and fellow writer Dexter Johnson. Relationships that shaped my creative life. The lynchpin for my book, Sweet Liberia, Lessons from the Coal Pot, came from reaching out in 1980 in Liberia, to work for the Liberian National Red Cross, outside of the safety and comfort of the African Hebrew Israelite Foundation, the group through which I came to Liberia. It meant embracing the challenge of working alone in the Liberian community for over 10 years. Again, my inner voice as my north star, provided me a life enriching opportunity. Around 2004, when I wanted to take riding lessons, my friends were not interested. So off I went alone on an enchanting six lesson journey to feeling very comfortable around horses. That was not an area of mastery for me but I know that if I choose to focus on riding, I’d enjoy it. There have been many instances when no one else was interested in things I wanted to do. Somehow, even though I was reluctant, often fearful,I ventured forward alone. I’ve tried tennis, became a runner, learned to step, and even most recently, developed a passion for swimming. When I think of how uneventful and frustrating my life would have been without each one of those side trips I cringe. So to my daughter(s) and to anyone who hesitates to take a journey that their inner voice has placed in their heart, for fear of taking the journey alone, I say take a chance! Journal about that journey, savor your bravery, and finally, reflect upon the power being willing to walk a path alone brings to your life. Leap forward, even if you have to do it alone! visit my website at or purchase my book on