Where are you now? It’s such a simple question to answer. Or is it? At the time it was asked, I failed the test!
After completing my emotional rant post-Home Grown, I was asked this question during a conversation with one of my mentors. At the time, I was walking through Charlotte’s airport to catch my connecting flight back to NY. I immediately paused, found a not so crowded area, and proceeded to respond. I was abruptly told, “You failed! That was a test. Sulé, you are walking in the airport to catch your flight.” That open hand slap of reality hit and hit hard. I failed because I was not grateful for my present. I was alive, taking in all that was in front of me, and filled with joy that could be seen and felt by anyone around me.
We forget, in the midst of all that is going on in our lives, that the most important time is the present. By acknowledging the present, we open the door to endless possibilities and are met with the simplicities of our surroundings. For this alone, we should be thankful. The world does not stop revolving because of mishaps. She purges and keeps moving, and we should do the same.
As cliché as it may seem, yesterday is history. I was just elevated by the success of Home Grown and had no reason to focus on the should haves and could haves. The WHP Team and all participants did an excellent job from conception to curtain call. At that moment, I vowed to never punish myself by taking an ounce of joy from my accomplishments again.
Speaking of joy, did I mention that Home Grown was a success?!?! I am still elated about the energy that was produced that day. Yes, we had our share of slight concerns, but with quick decision making, and no small degree of resolve, we got through it. What matters most is that New Orleans community lifted each other.
Home Grown captured the both essence of New Orleans and the work I love doing.
As the present being the theme, I wanted the community and those outside the community to know our culture is rich and need to be celebrated. As artists and community service workers, we can some times feel unappreciated due to the many challenges we face to create momentous work or simply walking in our purpose. Stay encouraged and continue doing the work.