Dr. Avery

I’ve had this piece sitting with me since our conversation yesterday. I was too tired to write last night, and quite honestly I am half kicking myself for waking up before the alarm to write this morning. But such is the life. In an impromptu life chat I realized something very important about myself and before I share my revelation, I’ll start at the beginning.

I remember hearing about Dr. Avery before I met her. It is not often that people in San Diego have any ties at all to Georgia, so when people found out where I was from they told me about her. I remember meeting her, walking right up and talking college football. It did not occurred to me to consider her title or position or how brazen I was for strolling right in to introduce myself. I’ve never much considered those things until someone says, “oh I’d never do that!”

Fast forward three years now, and I’ve only gotten to know her in snippets. Conversations in hallways in-between meetings, or small chats in the suite when her door is open and she doesn’t look a though a hello will disrupt her flow. Sometimes you can’t tell, her evenness can be hard to read, but I’ve always wanted to sit with her. I think it’s because she’s a mom. I know lots of people are, but there are moms and there are Moms. People who feel like Moms. People who would cook anyone a hot meal because you need it or rub your back when you’re sick Moms. I’ve always been fond of Moms.

After meeting a member of her dissertation committee last spring, he suggested that I read her work and have a chat with her. I found it to be the perfect excuse for a meeting. While I never need a reason to meet, I have learned that not everyone is similar. And the fact of the matter is, she’s a very busy woman. I told myself I was being respectful of her time but looking back, I think I was avoiding what happened yesterday. Quite frankly I wasn’t ready to hear it before now.

Sunday we met as we are both facilitators for the EMPOWER Women’s Center retreat. I had her belief. She had my openness. We traded back. Yesterday she would ask me if I was okay, alluding to a certain solemness I had on Sunday. I looked at Nicki for clarity and I told her, “I’m just an emotional person there’s no telling what I was feeling but I think I was okay.” Writing it now it’s laughable. Exactly like Alice. “I can’t go back to yesterday, I was a different person then.” She asked a question and somehow things started spilling. Nicki explained to her the course of my week…waking up Monday expecting for a predictable week of working the two jobs, and beginning classes. By Monday evening that week was on its head. I explained to her that this was the course of my life. Things just HAPPEN. Sometimes I pull them (intentionally) sometimes it’s a surprise, but I roll with it and always end up right side up.

She then told me I was the most creative person she knew. Bells went off inside me. I revealed to her my big secret of officially NOT pursuing faculty or administration anymore. She asked what I wanted to do. I told her, “all I’ve ever wanted to do is write and inspire people.” She would later tell me that I already do.

I somehow let the details slip of how I came to know. I recalled the day of the accident and the meeting of the angels. I told her their instructions for me and also the story of how I got to San Diego. It occurred to me then that perhaps The Chair is my Virgil. She’s so magnificent and…well a post about her will come at one point but we all will have to be ready to cry. She helped me to change the course of my life. Dr. Avery sat and listened and said, you are a very blessed woman and this all happens for a reason you must have a greater purpose. I told her I was instructed very clearly that my life was not about me, it is about being in service to others. She said, I hope you share that at the retreat.

I cannot quite explain how touching her words were to me. I think it is a combination of who she is and what she represents for me, and also divine timing, but I heard her. And my revelation was that she Saw me. Or more aptly put, I was Seen. It was mind blowing. And addictive. I knew I’d write about it halfway through the conversation when my hands started to shake. If I had to describe it, I’d liken it to the night in Negril after the jump laying in the water looking up at the moon. Her evenness was just like the calm waters but the recognition of my recent bravery illuminated the moment just like the light if the moon. It’s never a bad thing to be compared to the Jamaican moon and sea.


And so another day begins and this one different than yesterday as I’ve grown a little bit more into myself. I told the whole truth to a Mom and she was proud. And as a woman of faith, she saw God work through someone. It was an affirmation to me that I am in the right place. And today I’ve already had a dream and I know I can expect a good day. I’ve already begun pulling it to me. Thank you for assuring me of myself. God must know I still need it. And for that, our conversation was anointed. There’s something extremely cool about that.

Wouldn’t you say, Dr. Avery?


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