Friday, January 25, 2013

The Corner of Dream Drive and Promise Place

          A few years ago I watched a video of a most amazing woman with the most amazing story.  She stood with simplicity in a most extravagant setting – singing for the Pope and the Queen.  It was the plain and simple woman that is now world renowned – Susan Boyle.  What an incredible journey this lady has had!  Susan was almost fifty at the time and until just a few years prior had lived her life in seclusion for the most part.  She never dated, never married, and never had a true career.  But she had a big talent and a dream.  She had been a vocal student and worked to develop this supernatural talent within.  The only venues she found for that talent over the years were her church and a few karaoke performances around town.  In 1999 she sang on a charity CD that only sold 1,000 copies.  That same year, Susan used what money she had to have a professionally cut demo made to send to record companies, radio talent competitions, local and national TV.  Nothing came of it at the time.  She continued her simple life still living in the same home she grew up in.  She is the youngest of four brothers and six sisters and was actually diagnosed with a learning disability due to lack of oxygen during her birth.  In school, Susan was bullied and nicknamed “Simple Susan”. 

          Susan was hesitant to enter talent competitions as she put it “because of her looks”.  She felt that most of those competitions would not take her seriously because of her plain and simple looks.  She continued to stay home and care for her elderly mother who continued to encourage her daughter.  Susan won some local competitions and finally due to her mother’s influence, Susan auditioned for “Britian’s Got Talent”.  Susan was hesitant this time because she felt she was too old.  So in April 2009, two years after her mother’s death, Susan found the courage to step on a large stage for the first time.  Her performance on this stage was as a tribute to her mother and was the first performance since her mother’s death. 
          The rest of the story is history in the making.  Within nine days of the audition, videos of Susan from the show, various interviews and her 1999 recording of "Cry Me a River” – had been watched over 100 million times.  Her audition video has been viewed on the internet several hundred million times.  She released her first album, I Dreamed a Dream, on November 23, 2009 and became Amazon's best-selling album in pre-sales.  In only six weeks of sales, it became the biggest selling album in the world for 2009, selling 9 million copies.  In September 2010, Susan Boyle was officially recognized by Guinness World Records as having had the fastest selling debut album by a female artist in the UK, the most successful first week sales of a debut album in the UK, and was also awarded the record for being the oldest person to reach number one with a debut album in the UK.

          Susan Boyle had the spark of a dream in her heart, talent growing inside of her and an unknown road winding in front of her.  She knew where she wanted to go just wasn't sure how or when she would get there.  There were many things that could’ve held her back – learning disability, age, looks.  For sometime it seems they did, but ultimately they did not.  Someone encouraged Susan to keep walking, keep believing.  Or rather keep “singing”, keep believing!  I have some of those "someones" in my life.  My cheerleaders, special "angels" who remind me every day to keep believing, keep walking ...well keep writing and to "never give up!"  With every step I take forward I hear the voices encouraging me and cheering me on towards my destiny.  Honestly, I am not sure what all I will face along my road or exactly how or when I will "get there".  All I know is I have to keep walking, keep believing, keep writing and allowing the words from my heart find their way like ink on a page to my computer screen.  Some critics would say to me as they did to Susan that at this point in life I am probably too old but I left the naysayers behind a long time ago!  I know better.  Things that are meant to be rarely happen over night.  When God has a plan and you have a dream - NOTHING can stop it!  Like Susan, I too "have a dream" and I have a destiny.  Each life has purpose.  It is just up to us as to whether or not we will walk towards that purpose.  We all have a moment in our journey when we are standing at the corner of Dream Drive and Promise Place.  We can turn the corner towards our destiny or stand there daydreaming and miss the bus!