Today is the first day of the last year of my twenties. I’m writing the last few pages of a chapter that I am excited to close.
Endings are always interesting because based on the prior chapters you can almost predict the ending. I don’t want to start talking about the end of my twenties quite yet though, because I still have 365 days, and a lot can happen in that time.
I’d like to send a special Happy Birthday to two individuals who were also born on January 21st. First, Christian Dior, the French designer who built one of the greatest fashion houses in history. Second, Eric Holder, the first African American to hold the position of U.S. Attorney General (and is currently serving in President Obama’s administration).
My birthday is sandwiched between first lady Michelle Obama (1/17), who is the epitome of grace, class and intelligence (and my style icon), Muhammad Ali (1/17), whose commitment to his community outshined his talent as a boxer, Oprah Winfrey (1/29), who started AM Chicago (the precursor to The Oprah Winfrey Show) at the age of 30 (the year that I was born!). I feel a special connection to Oprah, because she did not start building her empire until she was 30 and it took 25 years to grow into the colossal corporation that it is today. People like to act like age is more of a factor than it is, and Oprah reminds me that it is NEVER too late to be great and it is NEVER too late to start something new. Jackie Robinson, (1/31) who integrated Major League Baseball and finally Kerry Washington (1/31) who has such an incredible work ethic. It’s hard to believe that her first film was made in 2001 (Save the Last Dance). I’m so inspired when I see her current success and even more inspired by the fact that it’s only been 12 years! I’m so inspired by these individuals who were born in January!
As I approach this last year of a decade, I want to become a better version of me. I want to inspire the individuals that I come across by being open, honest and nurturing. I want to double my income by sharpening my skills and talents. I want to see more of the world. I want to speak up more for the issues I believe in – public education, arts education and good parenting. I want to fall more in love with my husband (is that even possible?!) and become an even better role model to my stepchildren. I want my family to feel my love for them in my actions and my words. I want to develop a closer relationship with God, because I’ve needed him all of my life and I know that the closer I get to him, the easier it will be to hear his voice. I want to become the type of woman that has the guts of Harriet Tubman and the reverberation of Sojourner Truth. I want to have the selflessness of my grandmother (Mary Williams), and the resilience of my mother (Wanda Williams). The difference between my 19 year old self, and my 29 year old self, is that I know that the only thing keeping me from the things that I want is me. I thank God for allowing me to travel around the sun 29 times, and I pray for more time to accomplish my mission (and help those that I love do the same).
P.S. Later today I will post my 29 before 30 list that I’ve been working on since December.