Girl, Keep Dreaming

Updated: Oct 29


Image of Alretha Thomas with Jen Harper and Tamela Mann

In 2016, if you had told me that in 2021 I would be on national television (BET) singing with superstar singer and actress, Tamala Mann (r) and the uber talented actress, Jen Harper (l), I would have laughed you out of the room. In 2016, I was an executive assistant at a financial firm in Century City. I would get up at dawn and drive more than thirty-five miles to my day job. It would take two hours to get there. My work days consisted of answering phones, setting up meetings, putting together reports, and myriad other office duties. I’d spend the majority of my time in the production room binding presentations. Invariably, I would get lost in the task and spend most of the time in my head daydreaming about turning in my resignation.


I appreciated having a job, but what I really wanted to do was pursue my dream. I wanted to return to acting, and I wanted to write fulltime. While binding presentations, I’d be on automatic pilot with visions of going on auditions dancing in my head. I’d laugh to myself while I fantasized about being on set and the director saying, “Action!” My heart would bloom with joy when I’d imagine myself having an international bestseller and going on a national book tour. Then someone would come through the door with a look that umistakeably said, "What's taking you so long to finish those presentations?" At that moment, I’d be hit with the heartless hammer of reality. I’m dreaming! There’s no way at my age I could return to acting after being away from the business for more than 20 years. I’d missed my window of opportunity. How could I make it financially without this job? There’s no way I’m ever going to get a good literary agent or land a book deal. I’m delusional.


Yes, that’s what I told myself. But then there’s God and His promises. So in February 2016, I took a leap of faith. I leaned on Jeremiah 29:11 where God says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Yes, God had plans. I turned in my resignation and I returned to acting and started writing fulltime. I was blessed to land a great agent and I started auditioning and querying literary agents. It started out slow and steady, but I stayed the course. Yes, there were bumps in the road, but I remembered that God said He wouldn’t harm me. So I stopped grumbling at the bumps in the road and saw them as part of the process. God was leading me to the Promised Land and those bumps would give me the strength I would need once I got to my destiny to persevere.


And then in 2020 the pandemic hit!!! God truly has a sense of humor, because it was in 2020 that I landed the role of Anastasia Devereaux on Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living. And while filming season three this year in Atlanta, I received a call from a major New York literary agent about my book. WOW, WOW, WOW. Look at God. Look at what happens when you don’t give up on your dreams! What are your dreams? What is your passion? I’m here to tell you to never give up. It’s never too late and you’re never too old!!! Just ask Sarah and Abraham. Sarah was 90 years old and Abraham was one hundred years old when they gave birth to Isaac. Nothing is too hard for God. Absolutely nothing!


Have an amazing Christmas and a Happy New Year. May all your dreams come true in 2022!



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