Are You 'Bout That Action?
I received a text from Sandrine yesterday letting me know CNN was live streaming President Obama’s speech in Chicago yesterday. I’ve been a huge fan of his since my college years and it didn’t stop once his presidency ended. President Obama has always represented a lot of things for me but most importantly, he’s represented resilience. He’s been the perfect example of how to respond to life when it is kicking you while you’re down even though you didn’t deserve that beating. Needless to say, I opened up an additional screen on my computer while at work and started listening.
Hearing him speak made me realize how much I missed him. His words have always landed in my spirit like he’s the uncle giving you the advice you need to get back on track. Over the last years, I had the opportunity to grow as a person as I watched him grow as a president. In fact, some of my most transformative years happened while he was in office and for that I’m thankful. Hearing him speak ignited feelings that I hadn’t fully come to terms with since our most recent election day. It reminded me that regardless of who runs the country…it’s still good people in the country…like Uncle Barack.
Granted this isn’t about how much I miss him or wish he’d just pull back up at The White House to save the day. This is about how your dreams are yours to keep and you have to be willing to pour into them-tirelessly. I may be bias but I believe President Obama is one of the best speakers The White House has ever seen and we as a public have ever had the pleasure to hear. He’s graceful and though rehearsed, he’s so relatable to even a girl like me from a small town in North Carolina. I would be lying if I said I could quote every important part from the panel’s discussion because I’d be lying. I will be honest and say that a few words resonated significantly with me.
Worry less about what you want to be, and worry more about what you want to do... Some people may succeed in chasing that goal, but when they get there, they don't know what to do with it.
Marshawn Lynch once eloquently said a few infamous words: I'm just 'bout that action boss. I'm not into football by any means but this speaks a mouthful. Regardless of who I am....am I putting in work? Does the title matter at all if I don't have anything to show for it? I am 27 years old and I still struggle with the question of what I want to do with the rest of my life. Do I want to start over and go back to school to take care of animals like I once dreamed as a 6 year old? Or maybe I’ll put my master’s degree to use and start teaching others about the fundamentals of communication. Maybe I’ll say forget it all and just keep trying to figure it out since that has been working thus far. I don’t know what I want to be when I “grow up” and technically, I guess I am a grown up now.
President Obama’s word resonated because I feel like this is what myself and a lot of my peers are currently struggling with. We focus so much on what we want to be and where we want to go so much so that once we reach that destination, we have no clue what is next. We make the destination our focal point and forget to enjoy the journey, good and bad.I’ve been that person who gets so caught up in a title that I fail to acknowledge all my hard work that makes it that much sweeter of a victory.
I’m here today to echo what my favorite president said yesterday. It’s not nearly as important to focus on what you want to be as it is to focus on what you want to do. I don’t know what I want to be but I surely know what I want to do. I want to help people. I want to inspire. I want to write. I want to donate my time. I want to donate my money. I want to make an impact. I want to be a giver rather than a taker. Luckily for me, these aren’t tied to any specific title and can be intertwined into so many different life paths. I don’t have to suffer being tied into a life sentence of a job I hate in order to do what I want to do. I can do what I want to do now. Right now if I so choose to.
Society would like us to believe that everyone around us has it together but us. People may seem to have it together but ask yourself if they’ve really succeeded in living out their life’s destiny or are they merely carrying out society’s expectation. On rainy days like today, I sit and reflect on all I’ve accomplished and all I’ve yet to do which is even more beautiful. I’m content with the idea that the world is a better place because of what I’ve done rather than what title I currently hold.