By Latoya Hammond
Have you ever wanted to make something happen, but you just didn't know how? You have the vision for it. You see what you want it to look like and how it all should go. But, you just could not quite execute it. Then, girl, I GOTT U!
Really, that is how this blog began or, at least the vision of it began about three years ago. I got into reading blogs years ago when I had a head full of natural hair. I would search for natural hair blogs to help educate me on how to best take care of my own natural growth. I enjoyed being able to read different stories daily from women who were experienced or were experiencing the same issues, struggles, concerns, and triumphs as I was with their own natural hair. I began to feel a connection with the bloggers that I read on a regular basis. They would be transparent by sharing moments of their life. They were real and I appreciated that. I initially wanted to start a natural hair blog and host events. I was thinking big and looking at the entire South Jersey area. I sat at my computer created a name and began my research on how to start a blog. What I found out was, it was not as easy as it seemed. For me, navigating the tech space in this area was not my thing. But me, being who I am, tried to figure it out on my own. That was my big mistake because I became frustrated with not knowing how to do it and make it happen. I eventually gave up. I quit not realizing that that moment would affect me for years to come.
I am sure some of you may be asking, why didn't I just ask for help. Well, to be honest, I didn't even know who to ask, or where to even turn. Also, it was never a thought to ask because I thought that I could do it! Making the decision to just quit had an impact on how I saw myself as time went on. When I wanted to try to start a blog again, or when opportunities came my way for me step out of my comfort zone and create, I would doubt myself. Year after year would go by and I would want to start something, . . . anything. But, because I did not know how I never bothered to try. As I got older, I got to a point where I recognized that I was not going to be able to do this on my own. I had to go to the source of my creation. I had to go to God! As I started to mature in God and learn about who He is, I began to learn about who I am,; that I had a purpose; and a reason for being. Now, trust me, it took some time to build that kind of sense of self. This was not based on the compliments, praise, or validation of others. I started to read my word, listen to positive messages and surround myself with positive women doing something, making what we call boss chick moves. I also took mentoring classes at my church that taught me who I was as a woman of God. I joined a small group at my church for women and began to see my gifts for encouraging and empowering women begin to emerge.
Now, it was in 2017 when I knew the blog I was supposed to do would be for empowering women. I had the vision, concepts, and ideas. I had it all, thoughts were downloading to my brain faster than I could keep up with them. My plan was to start a Facebook page first, playing it safe, and then work on the blog. So on my 40th birthday, I created I GOTTU Facebook page. That was the goal and I accomplished it. It was the best feeling ever. But I still needed to get a game plan together for the blog. I put it all on paper - writing the vision and making it plain. To me, the Facebook page was a success, simply because it was more than I had done in the past. Also, because I shared my vision with other people I trusted and people I knew would support and encourage me. People who believed that I could do it. Side note: It is important to have people in your life who believe in you and walk in faith with you. Especially when it comes to your purpose and what you've been called to do.
As the days and weeks would go by, I did not put much work behind the vision for the blog and, eventually, the vision was yet again placed on the back burner. This time, not so much because of quitting, but because life happened. I guess you could say life caused me to give up! My focus shifted from working on something for me, my purpose to focusing on the needs of my family. I am a full time working wife and a mother of two boys. So, you know life was happening. The stresses of being on a job that I did not want to be working at any longer; the feeling of disconnect with my husband; and my youngest son experiencing behavior challenges at school and at home all took a toll on me. I began to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. However, I continued to press on. This takes me back to what I said about having the right people in your life. They made all the difference. The right people in your life are the ones who keep it real with you; pray for and with you; help you to see who you really are; and what you are capable of doing. So in 2018, I created another Facebook page for a year reading challenge and later on that year, I created a Facebook group titled “The I Am” challenge. Here women were challenged to post positive affirmations every day for a whole month. As I think back. I believe this was all a part of God’s preparation for this moment, literally right now as I am writing my first blog entry. I will let you in on something, I had no idea what I was going to write. I am not used to sitting down at a specific time to write. I am more of a free writer. I guess you would call it inspiration! When something comes to my mind, I just start writing . . . anytime, anyplace. So this was a challenge for me, but I said to God I release my mind, my thoughts, and my emotions to You. Whatever you want me to write, I trust You will give it to me. Because if you don't, then I got nothing . . . and I was okay with that. So I guess He has something after all.
I have shared this snippet of my journey to let you know that you do not have to know how to make it happen. In the beginning, when it is what you are called to do, it will happen. There will be times of quitting and starting again; self-doubt; and life is going to happen. But, in all that, be encouraged because it is all a part of the master plan. I am in a place today where I know this to be true. It is evident because I am writing this and you are reading it. So whatever it is you are wanting to start that lines up with your purpose, go for it and embrace the journey. And remember, girl I GOTT U!