You Don’t Know Diddley…And Acceptance Speech
I have the strongest epiphanies when I’m doing manual labor…but all the same, this thought came to me, and stuck with me all week.
This week, two parts of my world collided and moved on to a better place.
Yves Saint Laurent died earlier this week, as did the musician’s musician, Bo Diddley. I have loved YSL since I was about 12. I was probably the only “tween” and early teen reading Harper’s Bazaar and drooling over his exquisite collections and dreaming of how I would walk in them when I became a model. His signature was divine, his work was innovating and his presence was inspiring. YSL came from the “House of Dior” and created a new look, a new design, all his own. Simply Beautiful, as my friend Letetia Nicole would say.
Bo Diddley…wow, what can you say? The man singlehandedly created what Rolling Stone magazine called the most copied blues tune ever….(you know the one, “I got the blues….da da…da da….). He started off at home, with a homemade square guitar…and he just did what he loved. He was a groundbreaker and innovator. He inspired so many present and “heyday” musicians. When John Lennon arrived in the States during the Beatles’ “American Invasion”, they asked who would he liked to meet…he said Bo Diddley.
As CNN (did you think I’d be watching anything else? Poor Scarlett asked me if I saw the SATC movie. I’ve never seen an episode of the show! Let CNN come out with a movie. I’m there. Twice) talked about how Diddley played into the early nineties; he said it was because he “had to. Music contracts were written so that musicians were able to collect little royalties on the songs and music they created”. My heart felt sad, but it didn’t break until he said, “You know, I held the door open for a lot of people. And they ran right past me and left me holding the knob”.
I swear, because I am a waterbaby, I cried.
How ungrateful are we!? How ungrateful am I?! Don’t pretend by any means that you are where you are solely because of your grit, tenacity, cuteness and what my great grandfather called, your “get-a-long”. Build a bridge, and get over it. Someone paved the way for you. Did you say thank you? Did you help them when they needed it? Did you run right past them and leave them holding the knob? Fast forward a few years, a few months even…who will run right past you? Who will take all they need from you, simply remix it and leave you behind with no financial or emotional royalties? From your past actions, do you deserve any better? Better yet, instead of holding the door open, are you leaning against it, thinking you are keeping “the competition” out?
Think about it. It could be your mom, your dad, your boss, your local grocer, I don’t know. But someone allowed you to stand on their shoulders so that you could reach your full potential. Thank them.
Soooo…..My acceptance speech.
I’m nowhere where I want to be, but I’m nowhere where I used to be, and I thank God for that. I thank Him for His grace and His blessings, and the gifts of my children that He bestowed upon me.
I thank my wonderful husband for going the extra-mile, when the road was sometimes dark, scary and almost off the map. Thank you for always wanting better for me and our family and being willing to give it. Thank you to my three beautiful children who inspire me every single day to be a better person.
To my parents– thank you for my life. For everything that that means and everything it does not. You have given me life on so many occasions, and it would take me at least ten to repay you.
To Mattie and Precious, thank you for being the sisters I always needed. You tell me when I’m wrong, agree with me when I’m right, and are always there to support me. If you were any item of clothing, you’d be a really good bra 🙂
Thank you to Liene…for everything. You know exactly what I’m thinking without me saying it, and have inspired me so much1 Every time you reach your rockstar status, you always kneel down from your cloud, extend a hand and pull me up with you with your advice, your grace and your friendship. You’re the best, and I mean that. If you ever need a kidney, call me. I know a guy. (LOL).
Thank you to Linnyette, Mark, Carolyn, Saundra, Preston, Marcy, Nancy, Mindy, and the countless others “who have come before me”. This industry is tough. It’s what you make of it, and it’s not for the weak. But it is a little bit easier because you have excelled at your craft and raised the bar for all of us. You’ve made the road easier to travel because of your hard work and gifts to this profession. On behalf of everyone who owes you a debt of gratitude, I say thank you.
Kim, Scarlett, Tabitha, Laura, Randi, M.E., Jasmine, Kawania, Katasha, Andria, Khris, and so many more…Thank you for allowing me to be in your space and pick your brains. Thank you for sharing yourselves with me and allowing me full and unbridled access to your personalities, your creativity, and your savvy.
I hope you are never left holding the knob…but holding my hand as we experience this life….together!