Last night, I attended a winter social for the NCAPA (National Capitol Paralegal Association), a paralegal association where I sit on the board as a Director. The winter social is a fun opportunity for paralegals in the Washington DC area who are members of the association (or interested in being a member) to mingle with each other while sipping libations and eating swanky food on NCAPA’s dime! Last night, the weather was great, the DJ was awesome and everyone who came out had a great time. When I walked into Policy to attend the soiree last night, I was beat. At work, I’d been in meetings all day, without a lunch break, and felt depleted when I walked in the room. I checked in at the table and stood off to the side to eat and hydrate myself to regain energy and mingle, because as a board member, I kinda have to mingle and ensure that members are having a good time.
While restoring my energy, our President conducted introductions of the members of the Board and called out raffle numbers. When that was over, the Director of the Master’s program at GW rushed over to me to chat and explain she’d sent me a message on LinkedIn. I cringed, I’d seen her message. It was the one asking me if I’d been interested in teaching international law to graduate students at George Washington University. I was sure the message had been sent in error. So, when she reminded me of the message last night, I said “no, I think you’ve misunderstood, I’m not an attorney, I’m a paralegal.” That’s when the woman looked at me and said “Tamika, I know and don’t get me wrong, I love my attorney professors but I love my paralegal professors too, because not only do they know the law they know what TO DO.” I looked at the woman half horrified and half amazed. Could teaching part-time really be an option for me? I told her I wasn’t sure, she asked me to seriously consider it and to follow up with her, I said I would. So I will.
Okay, so, back to mingling! It’s going great, people are asking me for business cards but I don’t have any work business cards on me BUT I have my makeup business cards, so I start passing those out and people start getting really excited and in turn, so do I! And then it happens… I’m talking to a woman for a while and she says, do you have a card and I explain I don’t have work cards but that the contact info on my makeup cards is the same. She looks at me and says “You’re a makeup artist!” And I say “yes, I am” (declaring never gets old, does it?!). She exclaims that she’s a cheerleader for the Redskins (yes, that’s right, the NFL team!!!) and that they are having tryouts for makeup artists in the Spring and that she would love for me to try out…I am SUPER EXCITED at the thought of this…this is HUGE! Next, she asks me for product recommendations and I give them to her GLADLY!
Okay, so back to mingling! I keep going around the room. Putting myself out there, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and really talking to our members about starting some new committees and having them get more involved and they are interested! Before I know it, the event is over, and all the board members are packing up and heading out. As I exit Policy, I reflect over what an opportunity-filled night I’d had. And I thought about my life 2 years ago before I did the work and my take-away was this: choices are powerful, nothing happens in the waiting game, and every moment is an opportunity to create that which I want or that which I don’t want. I only went to that event last night because I gave my word I would come.
Two years ago, I would have allowed my circumstances aka my exhaustion to run me and flaked on the event. Two years ago, I would not have mingled (aka created), I would have sat in a corner only talking to people I already knew. Being different generates new possibilities, possibilities I obviously haven’t even dreamed of yet. Lucky me to be standing in many possibilities. I can remember Oprah once saying: “God will dream a bigger dream for you, than you could ever dream for yourself” and I am seeing more and more evidence of this statement every single day.
This evening I sit in bed with gratitude that I get to be myself and that I get to receive rich, bountiful blessings from the universe with love and gratefulness. Thank you, Universe, thank you God, thank you for all (perceived good and bad) of it. Because all of it has brought me to this moment.