“You gotta get in where you fit in” — if you’re close to me, you know that IS my signature line. Not a day goes by where this phrase does not come out of my mouth. Despite the fact that I’m a goofball and I may drop the line in a lot of unfitting circumstances for laughs, there is a reason why the phrase means so much.
Life gives us lemons, yes. We’re dealt the hand we’re dealt, sure. But it’s what we do with the lemons and how we play the hand. Nobody is going to make the lemonade for you…just like no one is going to play your card game for you. It’s all on you. Now what?
I got the call about CNN (I was featured in Black in America 5 with Soledad O’Brien in 2012) working as a summer camp supervisor. At the exact time of the phone call, I was scrubbing a toilet. Tina Matherson from CNN called me and commended me on my work with the issue of colorism. She told me that 2012’s Black in America segment would surround colorism…and she asked me to point her in the right direction of someone to follow for the program. My heart dropped. I went in the back of the room and was at a loss of words for a moment. I knew in my heart that this was an opportunity for ME to spread awareness on colorism, not to simply be asked a few questions and be forgotten about (in addition to the fact that at that time I didn’t know of anyone else personally doing the kind of work I was/ still am doing).
I got my thoughts together, and asked Ms. Matherson if I could talk to her more in-depth about the work I do. And from there, I met up with some CNN people for lunch the next week, and from there, a camera crew flew in from New York City every week for about 2 months, filming me conduct my workshop with local kids…and from there, I was flown to New York City, escorted around the city by a personal driver and interviewed by Soledad O’Brien herself. There I was, given the privilege of shedding light on an issue near and dear to my heart…my soul…on a national platform. (here’s a link to Black in America 5).
But had I not spoken up, had I not attempted to change the course of things — things would have remained just as I received them. I would be telling everyone “I got a phone call from CNN!” instead of “I got the opportunity to talk about colorism and have my work with youth spotlighted on national television to inspire others.”
“You gotta get in where you fit in.”
We all need to stop WAITING for opportunities to happen. Take the chance. Put yourself out there. When you see an opportunity, an answer, a way into something good or a way out of something bad, seize the opportunity. While some of us wait for things to happen, others are out there taking action, choosing to make things happen.
Yeah, I’m talking to you. Make it happen, cap’n.
Peace, Love & Consciousness,