For as long as I could remember writing has been my vice. My escape from reality. I loved how I could use words to transform any situation to make for a happier ending. So it was no surprise when I went to college and majored in journalism.
While in college, I honed my skill of story telling, even winning awards for best news stories in statewide and regional competitions. However, after college, I lost that spark or love for writing along the way. Well, I didn't lose my love for writing, but the confidence that once exude through my pores, somehow diminished. Starting life after college was an intimidating journey and though I continued with my writing, I never pursued a career in journalism. It may have had something to do with being in a new city, away from familiarity and I was in survival mode. The dream of becoming a professional journalist was just that, a dream.
I instead, took a "safer" route and became a social worker, which then led me to pursue education and become a teacher. I had the chance to shape the minds of our future generation. It was in the field of teaching when my spark came back. I taught in low income schools, so for many of the students, seeing a Black teacher in the classroom was a first for them.
I would teach my students about going for their dreams and being confident in themselves, the opposite of everything I was living. I wanted them to follow through on what I've taught them, but I needed to practice what I preached. I started slow with blogging for other platforms. I knew this would help build my portfolio. From there, I begin to look for people to interview for topics and events. This step of courage, landed me my first celebrity interview with WNBA Star Bridget Pettis. I was one of the first journalists in Phoenix, AZ to interview her about her community garden, Project Roots AZ. I knew then that I was on to something and I had to keep going.
I was scared with every step that I made, however, I knew there was purpose with me taking those steps, so I kept going. I saw the end result, a vision I had for years. I knew that with each small step I took, it brought me closer to my goal.
This time, I went a little deeper and decided I wanted to launch a magazine. The interview the Bridget Pettis encouraged me to tell the story of the people in the Black community. It encouraged me to be an agent of change. For too long, the narrative in the media showed the Black culture of everything but its greatness. It wasn't until the global outpouring of justice for Black lives when others wanted to get on board and highlight the Black culture.
The thing about my magazine is that it isn't for a publicity stunt to gain sales or popularity. I'm in this for the long haul, long after the noise dies down. I'm here to shine a light on the amazing people, food, innovations, etc. that the Black community has to offer.
The journey I'm on is exhilarating, unpredictable and bigger than me. I am walking in my purpose and it feels so good. For the first time, I feel alive. I get excited with what I'm doing and I'm grateful for the bumps in the road and the knocks on the head. They were needed to help me appreciate where I am today.