Why I Admire Her Now…After a Bad First Impression
Posed on stage, neatly seated and smiling (not just) for the camera, behind her.
I’d developed a small degree of rapport with the other leaders in the organization and was especially excited to meet her.
Prior to this day, I seen a few videos of her performing that had impressed and intrigued me. It wasn’t that I could relate to her story, exactly, but there was some substance in the message that was…familiar.
Yay, her performance had begun! And even as she spoke on a subject that I was not super into, I saw the same power I’d previously witnessed online. Without fail, this lyricist spoke with power and pose and I, unexpectedly, saw a degree of myself in her.
As she concluded and proceeded to walk backstage, another gentleman seated on the stage attempted to give love for the performance; I think we all agreed, it was truly impactful. But to my surprise, this powerful young lady gave a look to this fan, that was so piercing, it almost seemed to be a look of… disgust.
Being an artist myself, it was only right to consider a few additional perspectives. Perhaps, this look could have represented something less dysphemistic. This sharp, cutting glare could have meant: A. ‘The topic, I just spoke on, is very serious and I am serious about it’, or B. ‘I don’t want to take away from the weight of the moment and we are filming’, or even C. ‘I am doing the Lord’s work, don’t give me kudos’. Of course, in an effort to dismiss what seemed like a negative first close-up impression, I gave the benefit of the doubt to any or all of these possibilities. I resolved to draw no final-conclusion regarding the initial meeting of this incredibly talented individual.
Immediately following the event, I spoke with several of the other poet leaders and they were super sweet to me. Not to mention the fact that someone found out it was my birthday weekend and asked the entire building to sung Happy Birthday to me, while I was on stage. And, yes, I thought about this overall beautiful experience from time-to-time. Especially, because to-this-day, I am encouraged by several people, each year, to audition again to be a feature. Who knows, maybe, I will. I just knew that on more occasions than not, I’ve become fond of a musical artist’s work and when coming into contact with their spirit, I often grew more fond and/or they became fond of my music/poetry, as well.
Well, since that year, I’d decided to continue listening to this young lady’s music, poetry and even sermons online. I find myself becoming more and more impressed with her lyrical skills and production, as well as, her unique way of spreading the Word. This woman’s ability to convey her message while interweaving relevant personal stories proves to be effective, intriguing and even humorous, at times. What I’ve slowly begun to realize, while watching her speak or hearing her perform, was that the more I live my own journey, the more I can relate to her testimony. It is almost like, although, I’d not lived the experiences she was coming out of, yet, the processes she’s been describing over the years are ones that I would eventually need to take heed to, anyway.
I, in fact, learned to appreciate her a new way. Her story is one that entails rejection, rebellion, restoration, revelation and reconstruction. Of course, when she smiles and cracks jokes, I am even more inclined to lean in to her messages, likely, because I have a deep, but silly personality. In fact, there is song of hers that was a my ‘hit the gym’, my ‘fighting temptation’ mantra, and so much more. I love it to this day. This one experience is an example of how such interesting means of empowerment can come from a bad first impression.
What I am saying is, sometimes, people do things that rub us the wrong way, not realizing that this source/person may be, absolutely, instrumental in our growth – one way or another. Whether through, an annoying coworker-that God uses to share sporadic, but pertinent words of wisdom, to a nerve-wrenching family member-that pulls through for you at just the right time, to a seemingly off-putting musical artist, you’ve not officially met that ministers to you in more ways than they may ever know.
Don’t let bad first impressions stop you from giving and receiving what you and the other person were purposed to.
-Brittany “Soul” Sharp
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