I sent out an email to Demetria Lucas’ PR person last week, taking a chance at the opportunity to interview her for a special project I’m working on for VIBE. This would be my first time reaching out to someone on my own, without the help of my editors who usually do the setting up. I read the email over 17 times before having the courage to press send, although I did so with my eyes closed. In less than ten minutes, I received a reply back from her team, accepting my offer. I spent my weekend researching and jotting down questions, panicking and prepping for my sit-down with the Fairy Blogmother of them all this past Tuesday.
My hands were sweaty before arriving at the office and I felt my body warming up watching the clock and waiting for her entrance. I needed tea to calm me down – ten minutes left. I damn near had an anxiety attack when I realized I downloaded the wrong app to record the interview – four minutes left. I changed the order of my questions at the last second – one minute left. And in she arrived, with a warm personality that settled all the nerves I had in the days leading up to this very moment. I fought back tears, remembering to keep it cute and remain professional, but silently questioning myself in the middle of introducing the staff to Demetria:
“How did this happen? How did I get here?”
I do that a lot. As full off of gratitude as I am for all of these things that have happened for me at 27, I find myself asking God at 5:30 in the morning or 11:45 at night, why me? It’s not so much a matter of me doubting my experiences and questioning God for placing opportunities in my lap, but have you ever wondered after a long drought of emptiness in your life, how do these things come about, out of nowhere? Do you ever look at your partner and think about how he/she landed in your life? How you snagged a job of a lifetime and it seemed so effortless? Why you have the circle you do? It’s something like that.
I sat in the empty conference room afterwards and remembered something Demetria told me from across the table, twenty minutes before:
“If you’re not growing, you’re dying. I know all of the struggles that have gone into everything that I’ve done. I know the sacrifices. I know the hours. I know the time.”
These things have transpired because I have grown in my weakest hours. I am not the same woman I was March 28, 2014. Sometimes, the blessings come at an overwhelming rate, but I remind myself here and there, that I deserve it. In the months leading up to that moment, I’ve heard it from friends and family alike, and while you try to remain humble about it all, you have to tell yourself that you do deserve the things that you have. Because Demetria said it best – you know the hurdles you had to jump to get there. You also know the hurdles you tripped and busted your ass over, but still got back up to leap over another set.
Sometimes, I think we get so accustomed to not having anything, much less, nice things, that we don’t know how to respond and grow into what we’re all of a sudden blessed with. Very few people see the sweat; see the falls and the failures. They don’t know that the bad days got your good days beat by five on the chalkboard, but the growth somehow keeps you going. When Demetria told me she was getting “paid in experiences,” it convicted my spirit immediately. That is what all of these moments are about.
Often times, I still struggle to get by, but every spoken word performance, every interview, every feature I’m apart of, and every show I have to cover to then come home at 3am and wake up for work at 6:00, fulfills me in such a way that I wouldn’t trade it in for the world. This is what I cried over when I couldn’t return to school in 2007. This is what I dreamed of as a child and prayed for as an adult. I left that office a different person.
Looking at myself in the elevator mirror on the way home, I wiped the tears in my eyes and finally let go a small smile. I said it out loud since I found myself alone in the small space:
“You deserve it, E. You really, really, deserve it…”
I meant it.
(Full interview with Demetria up in a few weeks)