If nothing else, I am grateful to Hampton University for:
1)being the venue where God chose to claim my heart as his own (and)
2) introducing me to the amazing people that I am able to call my friends
One amazing person that Hampton University’s freshman, female dorm, Virginia Cleveland, introduced me to was my dorm director. “Mrs. Nina”, as she is so endearingly addressed. Brought into my 18 year young life as a mentor, I am most privileged to know her now also as a friend. She is the type of woman that refreshes you with her presence and enlivens you with her laughter. Something about her essence is similar to walking barefoot through your front yard after a summer rain at sunset, a subtle breeze interrupting the humidity while you inhale. Real. Earthy. Fresh.
Excuse my South Carolinian. I associate many pleasant things with country summers.
Anyway, I had the pleasure of receiving her undivided attention recently, and boy did I fight and pray for that moment. I’ve reached a very exciting realization! I want to passionately pursue the arts. I’ve loved music, poetry, literature in general, and visual arts ever since I can remember. However, I have a very high aversion to risk, and my logical side just doesn’t believe I can live a stable life with my head following my heart’s desires. Thus, I majored in business. (entrepreneurship with a concentration in marketing) Doggy paddling in a sea of online job applications and various job leads from friends, and wondering why none of them are working out for me, it dawned on me: I am most happy when I’m being creative and when I’m around other creative people. Desperate for some practical guidance with how to f0llow my dreams (my logical side cringes in fear at the phrase), I sought the advice of the fabulous, “Mrs. Nina”.
This woman does it all. She sings, often with the talented Myra Smith. She is a motivational speaker, a poet, a GORGEOUS model, and she can now add author to her resume. Her memoir, Dramas of a Bald Head Queen, is scheduled to be released this summer. How could I fail to seek her counsel?
Much different from what I anticipated: instead of being probed and prodded with questions demanding to know what I’ve done with my year out of college, where have I performed recently, what have I written recently, and where do I want to be in 5 years…I felt genuinely nurtured. Welcomed into her and her husband’s home, I was given a full tour. She explained the artwork, crafted by her own fingers. She shared with me details of her stacks of mail. I was invited to drink an AMAZING glass of a sweet red wine that, in Italian, means “Judas’ blood”…which we didn’t know prior to drinking. Eery, but still amazing. I was given stories about end tables, and stories of her life and how she is where she is with her art and her vision. I was challenged to question my true passion and challenged to commit. I was invested in, and I’m so grateful. I’m ready to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors I’ve toyed with and second guessed myself out of. I’m ready to MAKE time to write and perform.
I’ve told myself that my first purchase after being hired for a more professional career will be a bottle of a fairly inexpensive sweet red wine. Sitting in the home of my mentor and friend and her husband, sipping a quality and fairly pricey glass of sweet red wine, I felt it was a kiss from God. He wants me to have the desires of my heart. Whether or not this is the way I will make my living. I am committed to making art a priority. It makes my spirit feel alive, and I’m tired of denying myself the pleasure of embracing that experience. Tired of living a compartmentalized life.
With the economy the way it is, college education is under a lot of scrutiny. I must say, I have my bones to pick here and there. But without Hampton University, there would be no Left Side Poets. There would be no me and “Mrs. Nina”. I would not have had my night with the [bald headed] queen.
– Key ❤
ps- click her picture to view her facebook page!
pps- follow me/us @lovelyiskey @leftsidepoets