What does success look like for you? Is it the material things you gain? Is it that access to certain places or people? I believe for me success means freedom.
For years I wanted to pursue the freedom of developing my skills in a way that they truly served me. Served me to the point that my purpose in this world was so clear. The truth is, nothing that I have done up to this point was planned. I graduated college with the intention to work in the corporate world. It was the thing to do. Both of my parents were hard-working Jamaicans, with the intentions to make the best life for their children and to live that “American Dream”. The least I could do is join the hustle and bustle of the white collar sector to show that my degree was “worth it”.
After realizing that college was a rat race and a boxing ring all at once, by the time I was done I was relieved and had ABSOLUTELY no idea where I really wanted to be (if that makes any sense). Now that I think about it, none of my majors made any sense. During my time on campus, I was always working, always “hustling”. Whether it was braiding hair or doing nails in my dorm room, or planning that occasional party for a friend, I should have known that I belonged in the creative world. I loved working with my hands. That need for something to feed my creative juices was something I craved.
While in school it was only natural to work in my parents business for income. Its there that I realized my true love for flowers, events and the adrenaline of it. Yes, it was crazy at times, but there is something to be said about the joy I felt when seeing a bride walk down the aisle after months of planning the said occasion. There is a feeling of pride that took over me after fitting a party of 7 groomsmen in their suits, and knowing I got every one of them to fit to the “T”. An everlasting rush of accomplishment everytime I saw my client’s face, and having them gush over how amazing their event turned out because my hard work. I was hooked, but soon realized this sacred energy (Àsë) and talent of mine needed nurturing and I needed to be mindful of being burnt out.
I ventured out of my parent’s business and bounced around in the service industry until I settled with a company. I served 13 years in that company and it allowed me to grow into my craft as a florist. When I first walked in the door, I started as their “entry level” florist, and when I left I was the Manager of 2 of their locations with an 8 employees team under my management. I was also the buyer for both locations.
In the middle if a holiday season I all of a sudden realized that the passion that I once had was now, paperwork, juggling schedules and personalities of my staff, meeting demands with no interest of my input, and chasing the validation of customers who’s incomes match the top 5% . I still loved what I did but my hands longed to touch and explore the medium I fell in love with.
In the mist of the mundane and dealing with a company that wasn’t interested in collective growth and efficiency, I also had to deal and prove to “White America” as a dark-skinned black female, plus-sized, bald, big earrings and an even bigger personality, that I was talented and amazing enough at what I do. I could go down that rabbit hole and explain but I’ll save it for another time. Y’all, I was tired! I wanted out, I wanted to breathe and I wanted to recover and replenish my cup. But wait ….. wasn’t this success? How can I leave a 9-5 to pursue freedom? You know how? You do it scared! In the midsts of your fears are your dreams! Welcome to Rooted In Culture!
Thank you for reading this blog! I look forward to sharing more of my story and adventure!