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A letter to my past self on brilliance and regret

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Dear Regret,  

My brilliance comes from every moment and experience that has led me to this point. I know that, and yet, past hiccups, challenges, and failures feel like they have a unique hold over me. My mishaps shape me more than moments of joy, love, creation, and who I am because… gulp… I’ve let them. I let the nuisances of each agitation sit with me, allowing my mind to review the details, the moments, the colors, and the feelings. I know I don’t get a do-over, but I regret what I could’a done, should’a done, and would’a done. Until now, that is… until today. 


Because you, dear Regret, are an incredible waste of my time and brilliance. 

Those moments of challenge were important, but they aren’t the sum of who I am today.  No. My life’s challenges are thresholds that have brought me here to this moment with a community that sees me for me.  

Thresholds have helped me to build bold, creative, and abundant enterprises. They have brought me to powerful moments of solitude and helped me gain patience, courage, and perseverance, which are the foundation of my brilliance. 

Breaking through thresholds fueled this magnificently-melanated human to manifest a life that is beautifully complex and full of love. Failure allowed me to disrupt the harms of lineages before me. Dang, that’s a word.

As a caregiver, challenging moments have given me wisdom and helped me acknowledge that life is imperfect. Diamonds get shaped under pressure creating a precious gem with unique brilliance. 

My life’s challenges and thresholds gave me permission to sit with the messiness of raising Black and brilliant biracial babies in a world that is not made for them while allowing me to guide them through their own thresholds and teach them that failure is fun. Yasssss…failure is fun. 

Helping our kids see failure as fun cultivates a different kind of brilliance. Here’s what I have learned on the journey.

1. This is a moment, and it will pass. Teach kids to ask, Will this matter two hours from now, two days from now, or two years from now?

2. Possibility is always present. Congratulate kids when they do well and congratulate them when they fail. For example, if they miss a goal on the soccer field, here’s what you say, “Congrats on missing that goal. What possibilities did it open for you?” If they get an F on a test, say this, “Congrats on that F. What’s the next step?” (The perfectionist in me finds this one very difficult.)

3. Expectations are just a story. Model and narrate the options you think about when making a big decision. For example, when planning a trip, tell your kids, “We have three options for a trip this weekend. Here are the criteria: Under $100, fun with each other, and less than two hours from here. These are the options I see to meet those criteria. What do you see?”

These three things help you and the kids in your care see a perceived failure as a temporary experience that serves unique brilliance.  

I have a profound reverence for hiccups, challenges, and failure because the fun ahead is boundless. We gon’ be alright, y’all. 

Hey, Regret, thanks for the journey and the guidance,