Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Reflections on the Road to 50

Love, peace, God, joy, Mom, wife, family, excellence, pride, humility, friendship, sisters, health, faith, future, happy, sadness, laughter, travel, Mario, CJ, Nannie, encouragement, mentor, marriage, lifetime, spiritual, friend, boss, blessed, legacy.

These are the first words that come to mind when I think of my journey to 50.  WOW, what a ride!   I described myself once to a friend as a “whirlwind”…  the everlasting movement of wind and spirit.  Allowing the wind to take me wherever my spirit wanted to travel.  And travel it did!

My sweet, sweet Mommy
My journey started in the south, Jackson Mississippi, one of the poorest states in the country.  The south molded me with charm, grace, family and good eating.  But I knew early in life I would not stay.  There was a big world out there and this small southern town was only the beginning for me. 

My early years were simple and as a child I remember fun times with my siblings, quiet talks on the porch with my grandmother and crickets at night.  I also remember always being bossy and in charge, I guess you are just born with it.  I know that now that I see it in my daughter, Kylie Dakota, who is seven.  I think starting my life in Mississippi has and will continue to prepare me for the rest of my life.  The things that I learned, saw and experienced in the first decade of my life prepared me to be able to truly withstand anything!

My 2nd job at 15, Super D Drug Store
I think from age 10-20 were my hardest years.  I was popular but not well liked, or so I thought. I started working at 13, bought my first car at 15, went to college and had my own apartment by 18 and by 20 I was in love.  No time for actually “living life” just living.   My 20’s were amazing!  I was determined and headstrong.  Success was not an option but a way of life.  Now I was living life.  I went up the corporate ladder very fast, traveled the world and began to set sites on my future.  I found love a few times, but nothing stuck.  But I found something better, God.  I began to understand and love the need for church.  My Catholic upbringing was confusing, so now I was able to see His light and warmth of true love.  This period in life was the foundation for the undying and deep relationship that I share now with my husband Dwight.

My soulmate who brought me
closer to my faith!
I was growing as a woman, but still naive from my southern roots. I was fearless and tough.  Some may say too tough.  I was on my own and boy did I think I knew it all.  I didn’t need anyone and no one could tell me any different.  I didn’t listen and made a lot of mistakes. 

By 30 I was ready, or so I thought I was.  I wanted marriage.  The white picket fence, 2 babies and a Cadillac (not the station wagon).  But my real true journey had just begun.  This was my season of heartache.  From lost love to the deaths of my dearest grandmother (Nannie), my youngest brother Mario and father, Carlyle, this stormy season would not appear to let up. 

I reflect back and realize that finding yourself, your purpose, your truth is hard. It’s a journey that never stops. The winding roads of hurts and pains, the freeways of happiness, the bridges of disappointments.The red lights of frustration to the green lights of passion.  Always living in the yellow lane.  My 30’s were my quest period and one of both personal and professional growth. I stepped out on faith, leaving a great corporate job at Coca Cola to start my own event production firm The Baker Group.  Who new 15 years later that I would work with countless celebrities and have produced more than 200 events that have included several US Presidents and international dignitaries.

Select snapshots from The Baker Group events that include
AOL, Stevie Wonder, Magic Johnson, Kathy Ireland, NAWBO, USC
and the Milken Institute Global Conference. (click to enlarge image)

By the time I celebrated 40 I was finally happy. I was now blessed with a husband and a good life.  My climb up the corporate ladder had taken a different turn to entrepreneurship.  Working harder than I ever had in my life, I again, was determined to build an empire!  Life had taken me to California, the sunshine state.  A new horizon and opportunities were bountiful.  I could now truly embrace who I was becoming.  My eyes are open larger than ever before. I truly embraced who I was becoming. My eyes were open larger than ever before, I was like a vessel with my arms stretched wide yearning for all that life had to offer.

40 and Fabulous!
My life with God was solid and I finally saw the light.  I understood his power and glory.  I experienced his love and grace as he blessed me with a beautiful, healthy baby girl at 42.  When the doctors said it was impossible, I experienced his miracle after 28 hours in labor!  Kylie Dakota, my new love, my Angel.
Mommy & Pookie

I thought I knew all I had to know by 25, but by 45, I could not believe what the world was still teaching me.  What I still wanted to learn.  What I wanted to teach. My 40’s have been like being in college again.Taking classes on love and acceptance. Meeting new professors like mentors and prayer sisters.  Studying all night on the newest baby formula and sleep training. Cramming and preparing for those big presentations for the next big project. The joy of passing the exam called life. But like college, I feel like my 40’s was just one step to furthering my education. I feel like my 50's will be like grad school or better yet medical or law school! Preparing to enter this new decade in my life has been the most fulfilling and the most purposeful.   

I like who I am, who I am becoming, who I want to be.  I am working more on being a model to others and less on making people happy with superficial things.  I am working on less “things” and more time, love, peace and serenity. So now that I am turning 50 in a few months, it is truly a “New Beginning”.  I am taking time to look back at the first half of my life, reflect, learn and now really live.  I feel like I have more tools, more power, more love and more strength to truly do the things I want in my life.  I don’t care as much about what people think or who I should make happy.

Tammy, Dwight & Kylie
I care more about my family, my life and my purpose on this earth.  What has God called me to do?  Where am I to go? What am I to do?  I openly embrace 50 with wide arms and an open heart and mind.  I am excited about being the very best me I can be, in mind, body and spirit.  I feel like this stop on my journey called life is a critical one.  This is a crossroads, one in which will set the tone for my existence and legacy.

I want to live, love, and learn bigger than I ever have before.  I am eager to get started, so let’s do this thing!  Here I come “Ms. 50” in 15.

Tammy Dickerson

P.S. I want to hear from you! 

Post your testimonials, photos, videos, etc. to Instagram and Twitter using #50in15. Let me know what you are celebrating in your life at 50+. Email me at Follow us @fiftyin15 @TBakerGrp and tag #50in15. Also, visit the #50in15 on Pinterest and Tumblr.