A few weeks ago, I was at the university from which I recently graduated. It was late. No one was around, so I walked into the Performance Hall, thinking to maybe sing in it one last time.
For those of you that know me, you likely know that I am not frequently much for sentimentality. While I am very passionate about my art, I don't put much value in more transient things like places and things. "How," you might ask, "are those things, which are tangible, more transient than your art, which (as it is music) is perhaps the most fleeting of all art forms?" I'll gladly answer that, but it's a story for another time.
At any rate, there I was, standing on the stage that has been the site of so much of my growth as a performer. The hall was empty, and there were only one or two lights shining onto the stage. I looked into those lights, nearly blinded by them, and saw myself in the future. I saw the day of my return to that stage, not as a student, but as a master in my own right. I saw myself successful, probably wealthy, and well-known for my ability and competence as a performer. I saw my return highlighted by my old alma mater, who are as proud of my success as I am, though maybe not for the same reasons.
Subsequently, all the nay-saying comments I had recently heard came to mind. The barriers that stand between me and my success made an appearance and attempted to diminish this glowing moment of hope.
And all I could do was smile.
I smiled, for I knew then that my vision will become a reality. I knew then, and I know now, that I will achieve greatness.
Have I forgotten what stands in my way? Of course not. Am I still tried by every obstacle that presents itself? Naturally. But those things cannot nor will not detract from my certainty that I have what it takes to be successful. My success may not happen now; it may still be a work in progress in five or ten years.
But mark me well:
I will be successful. People will know my name and they will respect it. My name will be associated with quality, integrity, wisdom, compassion, and determination.
I refuse to think anything less. If you want to help me on my journey, I will welcome it.
If all you have for me is negativity, do not waste my time. I am too busy pursuing my destiny and I cannot be bothered with your pettiness, jealousy, or "realism."
I am Danielle St. John, and I will not back down.