I heard about a community event on Facebook. I’m about that community development life, so I decided to go. I left work a little later than expected and booked it over to the church (because 2/3 of community events are in somebody’s sanctuary). I parked my car in the crowded lot and power walked inside. As soon as I walked in, there was a bearded brother asking me to sign in and a girl welcoming me with a big smile and edges laid so smoothly I almost wanted to take a picture for future reference. Already, I knew it was about to be a good night because I have a thing for beards, I admire anyone who has dominion over their edges, and I love to see people who care about things I think are important.
I slow up a little and walk into the sanctuary because I realize it hasn’t started. These things don’t start on time. Ever. It’s cool though. I didn’t mind. I scanned the room looking for familiar faces. It was the usual woke crowd plus a few extras. I picked a seat by a girl I had never met. She was super friendly. Natural hair, dark skin, and ambitious as hell. My type of person. I decided to ask her for her card when the event ended.
They opened with prayer. Because, church. The organizer got up and said a welcome, a person from the mayor’s office brought greetings on her behalf because she couldn’t make it (I wondered if she was at home painting her toes because that’s what I would’ve been doing if I wasn’t there), and a couple of other people said a few words before the actual program started. I wondered why so much had to happen before anything really happened at these meetings but whatever.
There was a discussion about public school performance. I don’t have a child but I care anyway because the kids are our future right? One of the speakers was a teacher. He was passionate. Smart. A little funny. So attractive. Couldn’t take my eyes off of him. And it wasn’t even his looks really. I mean, he looked good for sure, but it was more than that. This man cared. He was a leader – maybe not in title but in fact. I was interested in his perspective because he added value to the conversation. Reminded me of India Arie’s “Moved By You”. I was all kinds of moved. I wondered who he was. I almost wanted to ask the nice girl beside me if she knew him, but I had just met her and wanted her to think I was cool, not thirsty. I decided to Facebook stalk him later. I kept thinking though. He was probably married. Hmmmm, no ring. He probably had a girlfriend. He probably dated a naturally thin light skinned girl with long, curly hair and hazel eyes who owned a yoga studio. I reached up to touch my puff. Dry. As usual. I instinctively put on lip gloss. I get two notches cuter with lip gloss. I reminded myself that he was not looking at me. I focused on the discussion. I was inspired. It ended, and I chopped it up with the girl sitting next to me. We exchanged cards. I promised her I would follow up and I did because I meant it. The next day I looked up the guy on social media. He was even better than I thought because he wasn’t as perfect as he initially seemed. A little imperfection made me feel better because I’m a little imperfect. I reached up and touched my puff again. It was soft that day. Shea butter be working. Anyway, I wondered if I should reach out to him? Shoot my shot. Or should I sit back? Wonder what if.
Anybody been here? Anybody ever wondered if they should put themselves out there? The thing about shooting your shot is that you might miss, and the fear of missing is paralyzing. It keeps a lot of us right where we are. The thought of tossing the ball in the air and getting a whole lot of wind with no net . . . girl. It’ll make you hold real tight to the ball. Sleep on your dreams. Ignore them and work for someone else’s funky dream. It’ll also make you lash out at the people who are taking their shots. It’ll make you jealous or cruel or resentful. There’s no way you can endure the crowd chanting “air ball, air ball, air ball” so you become the crowd. And crowds are rude than a mug. No couth. They care not about anyone’s little feelings. They’re all rooting for the other team, hoping you’ll lose.
But listen. There would be no crowd if folks weren’t in the game! Don’t you want to play? Don’t you want to see if you could dominate? Don’t you wonder if you’re actually the best? Ask the coach to put you in. No, decide to put yourself in. Shoot. The. Dang. Shot. Do it and kill it!
I chose to tell a silly story about a guy I thought was attractive (please believe I fell right off up in his DM’s), but I’ve decided to shoot all my shots. There are so many things I’ve been talking about doing but haven’t done – partly because I’ve been scared, partly because I’ve been lazy. But now is the time. There’s too much going on in the world for me not to contribute my part. I’ve decided I’m going to be about it, not just talk about it. I’m not living in fear. If my shot turns out to be an air ball and the crowd howls, I’ll find a way to bounce back and redeem myself. When I shoot again, I’m scoring. Believe it.
That business you’re waiting to start, the book you’ve been wanting to write, that art you’ve dreamed of creating – go for it. Nike. Just do it.
I can’t wait to see what y’all come up with.