So, I missed you last month. But, unfortunately, my life was so busy; I forgot to write. So here I am, ready to engage with you again.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “If not now, when? If not you, who?” I have always liked that saying because it epitomizes how I have lived my life. I have always believed that I could either sit around and blame someone else for my challenges, make excuses for why I could not do something, wait for someone to give me a chance or not give me one, or plot my path.
I was excited and enthusiastic about everything when I began my work career. I remember the first time I interviewed for the management training program with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. That program offered college graduates an opportunity to join the company at the lowest managerial level and learn to be a manager. I recall the interview in Dallas and visiting the headquarters building. I was so enamored with the various professionals walking around, and back then, people wore suits to work!
Being from a family of churchgoers and not white-collar professionals, I always knew this was the kind of person I wanted to be. So, although I was not a student that anyone took an interest in, except one female basketball coach who also inspired me, I had to learn to believe in myself. I remember just being happy to be there with all the other potential hires. After the interviews, I got on the plane back to Florida, praying that I would be offered a job. Every day, I waited for the mail to see if I would receive a positive response from the company. Finally, one day, it came, and I was so happy to be seen, believed in, and accepted as a person for their program.
Today, some might think that my life’s journey has been easy, and I had only wonderful moments with no challenges at all. Truth be told, I was the first one in my family to attend college and graduate. When I said that to my family members, no one asked, “Why?” they just figured out a way for me to go. Their attitudes were, “Why not her?” and that was my attitude. No one had done it before me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it! So, if not me, who? After I attended and finished college, almost every one of my family members who came up after me attended college also. When I started working a white-collar job, nearly every family member younger than me did so, also. Why? It’s because they saw it to be possible.
Today is a new day. Don’t allow people with bad attitudes and old grudges to keep you from your dreams. Stop listening to the chatter of why you cannot do something. When others begin to project on you their limitations, don’t accept them. When they say that the system isn’t for you, I say, challenge the system, not in a hostile or aggressive way, but in a positive, polished, self-assured manner. Let your attitude be one of the possibilities, not of problems. Tell yourself and others, “If not now, when? If not me, who?” and let them try to convince you otherwise!