We had the good fortune of connecting with Marcus Dickerson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marcus, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe that risk is necessary. A person cannot live without taking some type of risk in their life and I have decided that the only way to live is by undertaking some small risk everyday. I used to be an extremely pragmatic person and always made very calculated decisions regarding everything in my life. I was doing fine professionally, but one day I realized that I truly wasn’t living the life I wanted to live, rather I was living the life I was conditioned to live. I was numbing myself to the monotony of working a job that I couldn’t stand, because I thought that was how society functioned and I’m so thankful that I broke myself from the shackles of complacency. My biggest risk was to strike out from the corporate world and pursue my passion of writing. I made a plan of writing a book and within six months of leaving that job, i had self-published my first book and I’m currently working on my second. Through taking charge of my own life I had finally discovered how beautiful life was when you live it on your own terms and I learned that lesson simply by taking a risk.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is in the written word and my voice. I have loved reading since I was a little boy and although I have always written, I never took myself seriously until three years ago. The reason why I now take my gifts seriously is because back in 2017 I was diagnosed with Bipolar II: Hypomania. I have known since the sixth grade that something “wasn’t quite right” with my thought patterns and the bouts of depression that I suffered from adolescence into adulthood and it wasn’t until I was 27 years old that I finally decided to get help. Having a mental illness impacts every single part of my life and through therapy I have been able to learn good coping mechanisms to pull myself into a neutral space when I”m feeling out of sorts. My professional life has always been challenging, because I have always had to pull myself out of a bad space in order to be productive at my job. I have had several panic attacks while at work and I have had to pull myself together in order to finish the day out. Being in a professional space while Black is challenging, now add a mental illness on top of that and it is seemingly impossible to navigate those spaces especially since there is still a huge stigma on mental health and the help and resources really aren’t available. I believe my brand and art is one Black story. I have overcame my challenges by leaning on my friends and family and seeking help in the form of my therapist. My therapist has been extremely valuable to my success because he has affirmed in me that I am not alone. That knowledge has afforded me the confidence to continue working on my craft. I am most proud of my resilience, my applied knowledge in the arts and corporate world and my humanistic approach when dealing with people. We all have a voice and we all deserve to be heard.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Kansas City, KS, so I will be taking them around the metropolitan area to a variety of different places. Jack Stack BBQ in the Freight Yards in KCMO for some amazing BBQ. Shawnee MIssion Park in Shawnee, KS is my favorite spot in the KC metropolitan are to see nature trails. Strawberry Hill in Kansas City, KS is the best place to watch the sunrise/sunset. The 18th & Vine District in KCMO is a must visit for incredible jazz and live music. The Mason Jar in Kansas City, KS has some of the best cocktails in the city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to shout-out my parents and brother, my two best friends in the entire world Theo & TJ and R&B music. Those elements together have gotten me through the last year dealing with COVID-19 and reminded me how important the small things are to push you to the next hour.
Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.