Last week, I had the immense pleasure of the Mississippi Business Journal honoring me as one of Mississippi’s Top Business Women. I’ll be frank, I was pretty apathetic about the luncheon held at one of my favorite places in downtown Jackson. The MBJ reminded me about the luncheon until I caved. I committed to a table and reluctantly messaged y friends, family and a few of our board members with less than two weeks before the event.
This is very unlike me. Folks have “save the date” cards from me for drinks at my house 60 days out. I was surprised everyone was excited as cousins, girlfriends and siblings worked to clear their schedules. It was humbling and helped me reevaluate my funk. Get you some people to celebrate you when you don’t have the wherewithal to celebrate yourself.
Bigger and Greater Is On The Horizon
COVID and the subsequent quarantine did a number on this extrovert. I’m happy to network and gather at media conventions where conversations need no preamble and usually start with something like: “Oh my goodness, I saw your story about A and my gosh, it was amazing and tell me what’s your doing about B?” Nonprofit and independent media types often feel like we’ve known one another for years even though we’ve never met. That’s why I was thrilled to win the Institute for Nonprofit News’ Emerging Leader of the Year last year because my media peers understand how difficult this work is, particularly in communities where the powerful belittle the hard work of our team.
I often have to shore myself up for a social event in Mississippi. I’m not sure I get as much guff as Ashton or Donna. Still, I brace myself for the throwaway comment or the nice nasty encounter because our nonpartisan journalism has ruffled yet another set of feathers. But sitting at the luncheon, I was so glad I came. Mississippi women don’t have much to celebrate as our health-care system reaches its breaking point, and our maternal mortality rate languishes at the bottom of every list.
These are some badass sisters. If every woman in that room didn’t show up on Monday to do what they do, it’s no exaggeration to say entire counties would shut down. I love getting national awards; yet, there’s something special when fellow Mississippians honor you, and this one has a very special place in my heart.
I was prepped and ready to walk to the front when they got to the Gs. The announcers skipped my name, which was weird, but things happen during big productions, and I figured they’d catch up later when they realized my award was still on the table. They also skipped the woman behind me, and her husband said, “They missed you because you’re a Top Ten finalist.” I think we were both skeptical. But then it started to make sense as the announcer didn’t call the names of more and more winners. It turns out that the husband behind me was right: I was a Top Ten finalist. That was an incredible feeling.
And that my friends, is my lesson for the week—my sermon and testimony. People will skip your name, and they may intend it for ill, but the universe, the God you serve and the path you’re supposed to follow aren’t always in the initial calling. Perhaps you’re not supposed to be in that room or in a relationship with those people who ignore and skip over you because there’s something bigger and greater on the horizon. The Mississippi Free Press gets left out of a lot of rooms, and that’s OK because I believe in my heart there’s something greater for us in another room. I won’t worry as much when they skip our names the next time.
This MFP Voices essay does not necessarily represent the views of the Mississippi Free Press, its staff or board members. To submit an essay for the MFP Voices section, send up to 1,200 words and sources fact-checking the included information to [email protected] We welcome a wide variety of viewpoints.