I have so much on my mind. Trying not to overthink everything and just go with the flow.
About two months ago, my supervisor decided to step down from a project and make me the project lead. It wasn’t something I expected or wanted, but I’m here still trying to adjust. Since I was already doing most of the work, she said I would be able to handle it. Well, I am, because that’s what I do, handle it. But now I have more responsibilities on top of my other projects. I love multitasking. I tend to thrive on it. However, things have become a little overwhelming.
And then there’s the book anthology. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about this new venture and telling my story; however, I’m not as excited as the other authors. I keep trying to pump myself up, but it’s not working. I guess you could say I’m not excited about my part in it all. Listen, don’t misunderstand, I’m excited for the other authors, and I love their excitement, but I don’t share their same feelings. Although the book is about being an overcomer, most of the authors are entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs. So they’re super excited about the opportunity to promote their businesses. Which I completely understand because I was there a few years ago. I was just like them, all enthused and ready to make money! Today I’m in a different space. My goals are more service driven than financial. I enjoy hanging out with them because I love hearing about the services they provide. It’s information I am able to share with others.
Just had to throw this in– Y’all, there are some fascinating people in this world who offer amazing services.I’m always in awe of their stories as well as their services.To me it represents God’s manifestations.
With all of that said, I do have my baby, Mississippi Thriving. I’m so happy I created this social media platform. It allows me to share resources and information with other Mississippians. In my mind, I’m bridging gaps by connecting Mississippians to one another as well as resources and services. It’s my way of giving back.
So what am I going to do?
How do I plan to move forward?
I guess, I’ll do what I always do, go with the flow. My projects will be handled, and I will continue to participate in promotional events for the book. Y’all, I’m trying to get used to the interviews. Ugh! At the end of the day I know that I can always find solace in Mississippi Thriving. Grateful.
Yes, it is Sunday again! Seems like time is passing at warp speed (Star Trek- lol). I would love for it to slow down a little. I need time to process a few things.
Woke up thinking about the turn of events over the past month or so– personally as well as professionally. Even though I have been blogging since 2018, it was not until May of this year that I was ready to share my blogs with the world. In May, I also started volunteering again. It had been ages since I last volunteered. And, when I woke up this morning, I logged onto my professional social media accounts and began updating them. Also, this morning, it finally dawned on me why I had neglected those accounts for so long. Y’all, I did not want to be that person anymore.
Okay… moment of full transparency.
It all began two years ago. Whew, I never thought I would talk about this. At the beginning of 2018, I was asked to do a presentation for an association that was having a conference in Mississippi. I was so honored and hyped about it. I was given a topic, asked to come up with a few objectives for continuing education credits, and told I would be working with a local chef on a menu and food demonstration. Y’all, it was like a dream come true! It was everything I imagined I would be doing at this point in my career. I was ready!
The first hit I took was when I found out the association I was presenting for was not a diverse association but a national, all-Black association. Some would say I should have been honored. However, it was like receiving a blow to the heart. You see, I was asked by a predominately (99%) white company to deliver the presentation.
Just to give you some background on my relationship with this company. For several years, I had been invited to attend their sponsored events. At that time, I knew the state and regional directors well enough to contact them personally whenever I needed a sponsor for one of my events, educational materials for health fairs, or incentives for community projects. So when asked to give this presentation, I automatically assumed it was because they valued our relationship, not because they needed a Black registered dietitian to present to an all Black audience. That stung!
The second thing that happened was they changed my entire presentation. I was initially told they wanted the session to be fun and interactive. Which was right up my alley. I hate boring presentations! Well, after submitting my presentation for review, it was returned to me butchered. Y’all, the entire flow was all wrong. They kept the objectives but added random information. Even the fonts were inconsistent. They also added pictures that did not go with the text. Now, I might write crazy things in my blogs, and make all kinds of grammatical errors, but when it comes to my professional work, it has to be almost perfect before I present it. Honestly, I felt like my work had been sabotaged. Y’all, I cried.
The third thing that happened, and what finally made me question if I even wanted to be in that space anymore, happened during the night of the event. As I said– FULL transparency. This was a month and a half before my hysterectomy. My cycle had just started. Which meant I was extra irritated, cramping like crazy, and blood was pouring out of me. I wore a navy blue suit, and put on an adult diaper lined with two overnight pads, to hide or prevent any accidents. Y’all, I did not want anything going wrong. Well, I arrived at the venue and EVERYTHING was white. I mean— EVERYTHING! The floors were white. The linens were white. And ALL of the chairs were white– white cushioned chairs, that is. Talk about anxiety!! All I could do was pray– “Lord, please don’t let me have an accident on all of this white.” I kept thinking, what would I do if I stained one of the chairs? I tried to remain calm, but I was all nerves. So when I got up to present, no matter how professional I tried to be, it did not happen. Here is how the night went.
When my audience arrived, they were tired from attending hours of educational sessions. I was later informed that they thought my presentation was supposed to be entertaining. HA…so did I! Y’all, they had access to an open bar, and boy did they drink. Some, a lot more than others. Needless to say, I was giving a presentation to a room full of tired, tipsy people. As I said, my presentation had been changed. What I did not mention is that I had only received the revisions a day or two before the event. Which was not ample time to thoroughly review the changes, so I felt unprepared. I also did not have a microphone so I had to walk the room so that everyone could hear me. Funny story- There was this elderly lady that kept yelling, “I can’t hear you!” The night was a mess. When I tell you this crowd asked questions I had “zero” answers to! LOL! Funny, but sooo not funny. Y’all, I felt like a failure. Most of the night I deferred the questions to our host, the one who revised the presentation. At one point I stopped presenting because a few people would not stop talking. Y’all, one thing I hate is rudeness. And when the entire audience can hear your conversation, you, my friend, are being rude. So I stood there and glared at them until they stopped talking. Was I unprofessional…HECK YES! Y’all, I was fed up, I was sick, and I felt humiliated. I felt like an imposter– WOW! I just pinpointed when I began feeling like an imposter.
After that night, I swore I would never attend another one of their company’s events. That was also the last time I really posted anything of worth on my professional pages. I went into my shell and never wanted to come out. Honestly, I had given up. I had lost my confidence. That was two years ago.
As I mentioned, May was my turning point. Slowly, I am regaining my confidence. Maybe I did need two years to Reflect, Regroup, Refocus, and Rebuild. I do believe I am wiser and better prepared to handle the unexpected. I am also working on the way I deal with my imperfections. Recently, I attended a Zoom call with a lot of unknown attendees. At first, I was not going to turn on the camera. You know, leave the nice, edited picture displayed. At the last minute I was like, why not! I did not have on makeup. I had on a t-shirt and my hair held back with a headband. And my lighting was bad. But, I decided to show the world me. Part of my personal and professional growth is about me becoming comfortable with my imperfections. Slowly, but surely, I am growing.
Y’all, I am so grateful God loves me. Moving forward.
Please allow me to interrupt my usual “Hello Sunday” blog with a tribute to my father. I must say, it is truly an honor and blessing to spend Father’s Day with my dad. After suffering from two strokes over the past two years, I did not think he would still be with us. Y’all, God is so good!
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to get to know my father better. To get to know the man behind “Mr. Sutton.” For as far back as I can remember, all my dad has ever done is work. He was a teacher (now retired teacher), a truck driver, the snowball man, the fireworks man, the Valentine’s Day man, the tombstone man, and now the graveyard man. Yes.. my father has a tombstone and graveyard business. Y’all, he is always working.
On Father’s Day 2016, I interrupted his work schedule. That morning I informed him that I was going to work with him. He was not thrilled to hear it, but allowed me go anyway. Y’all, I was a grown woman going to work with my daddy. Lol! And you best believe he put me to work. He does not believe in people just sitting around talking and watching. If you are with him, you better be prepared to work or be prepared to leave.
Here is what I wrote and posted on Facebook the following year:
It’s amazing how you think you know someone, but in reality you only see what’s on the surface. Last Father’s Day, I discovered so much about my dad. After we made snowball juice and bagged ice, we had a long conversation about dreams and goals.
Throughout the years, we’ve had conversations about his childhood and people, but never about his dreams. After showing me the picture below (the prototype for his first snowball business), he tells me that he never thought he’d go to college. He stuttered constantly and had dyslexia (back then they didn’t know what it was). He was able to go to college on a track scholarship (yes- my daddy could run!). He said he studied so hard to make it through college; while selling snacks from his dorm room (what can I say, it’s in his blood 😁). One of his most prized possessions is his thesis. He said he worked his butt off to complete it.
He ended our conversation by telling me to go after what I want in life. He told me to never give up on my dreams no matter how impossible they may seem or who doubts me. He said people will laugh, but keep trusting God. It may take years, but it’ll come to pass. NEVER give up!
On that day, he gave me the boost I needed to pursue all of my dreams. So, if you see me reaching for other galaxies, you know where I got it from. Yes- I’m my father’s child. Happy Father’s Day, Alton Sutton!
Y’all, I love my Daddy! I cannot wait to spend today with him.
This new normal seems to be wearing on me. It is becoming harder and harder to stay focused. I am so tired of online meetings and conference calls. They seem to disrupt my days. I always have to regroup afterwards. My To-Do lists have been replaced by completing tedious work logs, which have added another level of stress to my life. I seem to spend most of my time thinking about how I can show that I am being productive than actually being productive. Ugh! Talk about stressful! All I want to do is, do my job. I want to work without the added pressure.
Then there is the lack of face-to-face interaction with others. I am a people person. I live for saying “Good Morning” as I pass others on the way to my office. It brightens my day. I miss my morning trips to Starbucks and Einstein Bagels. Again, because I get to interact with people. Y’all, I miss having real conversations with colleagues and students. Yes, I am having a difficult time. And I realize others are too. I just wish I could adjust, already!
Anyway, yesterday I had to take a step away from everything and remind myself to breathe. I had to remind myself that after the work day was over, it was OVER. No thoughts about what I had not completed. I had to let it go. After shutting everything down, I gave my 16 year old, who I feel like I have been neglecting, my undivided attention.
I remembered that this is also a new normal for him. He has been out of school for two months. He also misses his friends and teachers. This new normal has to be just as difficult for him. Last night he told me school ended last Friday. How did I not know this? I do not remember receiving an email or text from his school. I wanted to cry. This new normal is anything but normal.
Going forward, I am going to be a little more lenient with myself. I am going to focus on what matters most, my sanity and my children. Life is too short to continue focusing on stressors. So, whenever I become frustrated, I must first remember that I matter; I am loved; and God has me in His hands. Then I can focus on others and work, too.