Category Archives: Editor’s Notes
Happy New Year to all of you!
Yes, I know that I am a month late but I wanted to take a month off to re-evaluate my motives behind Distinguished Detroit. For starters, it is much more than a blog (that is all you see for now) but to whom much is given, much is required- and this scares the dickens out of me! This causes me to question if I can handle the task set before me. Do I have enough discipline, patience and long-suffering to grow with the process of building a brand? Am I transparent enough in my personal dealings where I can deliver pure content without any hidden motives? Can I selflessly go forward without seeking accolades, attention or rewards and still faithfully carry on anyway? Do I simply enjoy this enough to make it a part of my life?Needless to say, I did NOT like my answers. It is
true that you can learn from your past and I did a lot of digging so I could see the root of why I am still struggling to master discipline and self-confidence.
Here’s an example: I started running track when I was in the fifth grade and didn’t start again until my sophomore year of high school. I always loved to run and was told because of my long legs (I am all legs) that my stride would pretty much eat up any person on the track. And I’m a slender miss so it’s not like I had to lose weight to get in shape. But I did have to do a lot of strength training to make myself stronger so I could battle it out on the track with girls who were running since birth. Because it was needed and I never done any strength training in my life it was embarrassing to be in my high school weight room with my teammates, struggling to lift a bar. I didn’t believe that it would make me any stronger over time so I copped out and found ways to skip out on strength training. That one bad decision caused a negative thread to produce bad results after that. I got by on the track out of raw talent but the lack of training made a lot of races harder than they should have been. Then in my junior year, as a result of not doing strength training over the summer, I got a fracture in my knee that pulled me out of the entire indoor track season. By the time outdoor season came around (the most important season for track), I was even weaker than before and not even my talent could help me keep up in races. Instead of working harder, I completely gave up. I didn’t believe that I could reverse it and try harder. And I definitely wasn’t even looking at a track scholarship as an option even though I was told on numerous occasions it was a strong possibility. By the time my senior year came around, I made it to captain of the team but I was the weakest link. I had the title by seniority, which was rightfully mine in theory but belonged to my junior class teammate, in practice. And on top of all of my negative thoughts on not being able to get a scholarship or beat my own race times, I dealt with the insecurity of my younger and inexperienced teammates surpassing me and blowing my race times out of the water. Ultimately, I quit…in my senior year. I didn’t even finish out the indoor or outdoor season. I was too embarrassed and too busy loathing in self-pity and regret.
Looking back I realized that my lack of discipline to go through with adequate training and fight off self-doubt caused me to pass up opportunities that were set up for me. And what makes all of this even worse is my father was, and still is, a personal trainer! I had free, in-house training-an advantage over ALL of my peers- but I didn’t think it would make a difference because I didn’t take believe in the great possibilities and rewards of discipline and hard work. I also dropped the ball in other areas of my life- hindsight is 20/20 vision! Just as I had the advantage to make it into school, tuition-free, I also had many advantages to graduate. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel but was too afraid to keep walking through the darkness of my mind. And the dark mindset carried over to my work ethic and creative opportunities that were available to me. Even today, right now, I have in-house advantages to set myself up for a great future. But my lack of discipline and self-confidence is still lurking over my head like a dark cloud.
With all this being said, I wanted to quit on Distinguished Detroit. Quitting, for me, was like second nature (I’m speaking in past tense by faith). Self-doubt showed its ugly face again and told me that my time and effort into DDET isn’t worth it. But- I know I have a vision and it wasn’t born out a selfish motive. Let’s be real- everyone wants to be appreciated and recognized for what they do- human nature. What I have decided to do is appreciate and celebrate myself and not look for it elsewhere so I can keep the humble mindset of celebrating the good in the city- what Distinguished Detroit is all about. I wasn’t born here and I never attended school in the city (unless you count the Northwest Activity Center’s summer program and Vacation Bible School) but I have an invested love in Detroit. My maternal and paternal families are from Detroit. My appreciation for music came from the summer road trips to Detroit, listening to the classics in the car with my parents, and watching my grandmother rehearse church music on the piano in her basement. I know way too many creative, talented and zealous intellectuals who put their blood, sweat and tears into doing what they love and their passion drives me to love, appreciate, promote and celebrate their efforts- they are not in vain to me! So I refuse to quit on something that brings me joy. Simply put.
The culture is vibrant and regenerative and we are constantly redefining our art and business ventures. Our history bred ingenuity and individualism and our resources aren’t dried up, they just aren’t utilized. There is plenty of room for re-structuring our mindsets and investing in our youth, re-building our neighborhoods and having nationwide recognition for our artists and events like any other major city. I hope to be of service in all of the above areas, as well as garner enough motivation for others to do the same.