Day 7: Sabbatical Completed; Freed by Truth

I am proud of myself for staying committed throughout this sabbatical.

I attended church today; and, I must say that my soul was more than filled. The message came from Romans 5: 1-12; the sermon, “He looked beyond my faults.” Normally, when going to church, I take notes and record the sermon.

There were a few points that made me think:

  1. Trials teach you patience – patience acquires experience – experience gains hope. These steps are sequential; you can’t skip. Hope is highly positive expectations. God is not negative!
  2. Before and during your trials, learn to praise God. You can’t be a witness if you haven’t truly learned who God is in the storm.
  3. Good things take time. While in your process, let God marinate your situations. Don’t rush them! You won’t receive what God has in store for you. Impatience cause you to just take whatever is convenient.
  4. Learn the difference between concerning and worrying. It’s ok to be concerned. But when your concern becomes worrying, you need to place it in God’s hands.
  5. If you have to ask “why,” then you don’t have faith in God. If you don’t have faith, then you don’t trust him. If you don’t trust him, you don’t believe in him. If you don’t believe in him, it causes you to doubt him.

Well, let’s recap.

Day 1 was basically testing the waters. It did feel good to visit my “academic” mother. She believes in me which causes her to push me to my greater.

Day 2 was heavy hitter #1; I’m learning how to commit and work on me. I’ve always tried to prove myself to others by subjecting myself to be whatever people wanted. I’m learning that self-sacrifice doesn’t help anyone especially me.

Day 3 helped me reconnect to the flow of creativity again. Also, water was a healing element that proved to be more meaningful than I ever realized.

Day 4 was heavy hitter #2; I had to really dig within myself, scratch beneath the surface. I had to unearth the two main traumas that took root. I had to stop doing guesswork and actually acknowledge what I have been truly running from for years.

Day 5 – Bonding is a beautiful form of commitment and trust. Though I bonded with my sister, with anyone else, I know it is a matter of time.

Day 6 reminded me of God’s promise and how I just have to keep trusting in him while still working on me.

Day 7; the day of completion. Everything has come to fruition and seeds have been planted. I’ve seen the truth – I have been set freed.

I love how everything that has been revealed by the good Lord seems to tie in together.

The sabbatical maybe over, but I still have to continue to initiate and commit to changing myself daily.

I’m going to get to the next stage.

Moving forward and up…all the way.

Thank you, Lord for enlightening me!

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Day 6: Nature’s Child, Kidnapped, and Coming Full Circle

With the sabbatical coming full circle, today was more revealing and unveiling than any other day.

Earlier, I had decided that I wanted to go swimming in the Reservoir and do a little writing. Due to a major event taking place at the Reservoir, I was not able to swim. So, I took advantage of being in my element, nature. While there, I placed my feet in the water and was able to connect to the flow and write. After I finished the poetic piece, I packed up my things and left.

A friend of mine, whose name is also Jasmine, wanted me to come and visit her. Once I arrived, she wanted to ride with her to the pet store to buy her dog, Massiah’s medicine; but, the pharmacy was closed. We left the store and got back in the car. We sat in the car and Jazmine shared her testimony and backstory with me. I was shocked; I didn’t understand why she felt so comfortable telling me her story to me. But, she was encouraging me to just get closer to God, grow stronger in my faith with him. Also, she decided to invest in my growth by helping me, concerning Emerson. She’s getting married in July on the 28th. She’s invited me to attend her wedding; I promised her I would come. The events included snowballs, helping her chose an outfit, eating, talking, etc. I really had fun. She kept saying, ” I had to kidnap you to finally get you to hang to with me.”

Tomorrow is the last day of my sabbatical. I just thank God for the revealing and unveiling of truth because I have truly been set free.

I will be sharing or doing a summary of all the truths I have learned.

Day 5: Sister Bonding Time

This will be a very short blog. Today was another eventful day; my sister stopped by the house to spend time with me, LOL, and wash her clothes. Little sister is always complaining about us not spending any time together. First, I made her take pictures with me. Our dog, Twyla, wanted to be included; so, I snapped a quick picture of her.

After the pictures, we decided to play video games. I chose to play Spyro 3:  Year of the Dragon. I love playing video games whenever I have the time to do so. We played games for a while until my sister told me she was exhausted. At first, I just looked at her and said, “Now, you’ve been whining and complaining for weeks about spending time together; and, you’re tired.” She replies, “I do have a job, you know. I do work, and I have to work again tomorrow.” I just shook my head. My sister is really something else, but she’s always been that way.

It felt good to have sister time as the sabbatical is coming full circle. I can’t say that each day has not been pretty amazing, enlightening, and healing.

I love my little sister even if she makes me wonder at times.

Day 4: May 16th and July 1st of 2009 – Dates of Infamy

Out of all my prior entries, I think this one will be the hardest.

I was sick most of the day due to another incessant migraine attack. I thank God I am doing better in order to stay on track during this sabbatical and not break stride.

FDR said, “December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy.”  Because of the atrocious event that happened at Pearl Harbor, countless people lost their lives. As for me, May 16th and July 1st of 2009 are the dates that are deeply rooted within the heart and soul of this wanderer.

In 2009, this year was filled with a couple of events that would bring any titan to their knees. For the most part, I’ve never wanted to revisit the ghosts of this particular past. Deep down, I knew that I would not have the choice of dealing with just one but both.  For a long time, I didn’t know how to deal with one or the other. So, I chose to not deal with it all.

Why are these dates important? Well, May 16th is the day I graduated from high school in 2006; in addition, it’s the day my grandfather, Robert Lee Rogers, passed away. While growing up, I only had two grandparents. On my mother’s side, you had “Paw Paw”. My grandmother, his wife, had passed away while I was very young; I do not remember her at all except the stories my mother have told me and my siblings. Then, there is my grandmother, Leola Magee on my dad’s side of the family. Just like Paw Paw, Grandmo Leo is the matriarch of the family. My grandfather, her husband, passed around the same time as my other grandmother. So, Grandmo Leo and Paw Paw Robert were the constant pillars in my life. He was the only positive male figure in my life; I was very close and attached to him. I never thought the day would come when he would no longer be there.

Mother’s Day in 2009 was fast approaching. My mother, sister, and I wanted to visit Paw Paw. Suddenly, I caught an instant migraine. I was highly upset.  When it came to visiting Paw Paw, I was like a little girl – I would always get excited about seeing him. Paw Paw was big, stout, and tall. Every time I would hug him, I could never get my arms to fully embrace him. Also, he and my mom’s relationship was pretty funny as well. Whenever they were around each other, like any other parent and child, they had different views on how to handle certain matters. My mother would get so easily irritated with Paw Paw that he would just laugh. At times, I would too.

Anyways, I had to stay home due to me being sick. At the time, I was in a relationship with this guy who shall remain anonymous. All of a sudden, tears began to roll down my face profusely. I had no idea why I was crying. I had this strange feeling that I would never see my Paw Paw again – the foreshadowing served as a warning of what was about to happen.

Later that week, we received a call that Paw Paw was in ICU and in critical condition – he had an aortic aneurysm. I got scared; I wasn’t a medical person, but I knew the situation was not good at all. My mother, sister, and I rushed to the hospital. Since Paw Paw was in ICU, only two visitors could see him at a time. My sister decided she didn’t want to go in. So, my mother and I entered the room. I barely recognized my grandfather. He was very skinny, white towels engulfed his body, hooked up to some kind of machine, and unconscious. I was immediately heartbroken to see him in that condition. I wasn’t used to seeing my Paw Paw like that. I approached the bed and began to talk to him. While I was talking to him, the nurse and my mom were talking. My ears overheard the conversation, and I knew… I told Paw Paw that I loved him and ran out of the room in tears. I told my mother in advance that I would not be coming back; I couldn’t handle seeing Paw Paw like that. We went back home, and I went straight to my room. I called my boyfriend and relayed the news to him. While doing that, I said a prayer, “Lord, if it’s Paw Paw’s time to go, please take him. Don’t let him suffer like that.” I had a hard time finding sleep, but eventually, I got my wish.

Early, Saturday morning, May 16th, Paw Paw passed away while my mother was on her way to the hospital. Later, the staff told her that he was holding on until she got there. But, she was too late. My father was the one who broke the news to me; I screamed in pain. I’m telling myself, on the inside, “No! Don’t tell me that. Paw Paw’s gone…he’s really gone.” When Paw Paw died, a part of me died too. I really did not know how to handle that kind of loss. I’ve suffered losses, but this one…this one was…too close.

I attended the wake, but I didn’t go to the funeral. If I did, it would be real, real that Paw Paw really wasn’t coming back. To this very day, I don’t dare go to the city he lived in because of the little girl part of me. She’s still looking for her Paw Paw; she hasn’t grasped the fact that he’s not there, he’s not at home waiting for me to visit him. It was too much to handle, so I ran. I kept running because I didn’t want to believe reality – my life was forever changed.

After Paw Paw’s death, another trauma would occur. Just like his death, I didn’t see this one coming at all. The guy I was in a relationship was acting strangely: no phone calls, no texts, just absent. Even with him knowing the death of my grandfather, and I needed him for comfort, he was still nowhere to be found. The relationship between us was already rocky: abusive and declining fast. In the month of  June, we were having multiple arguments, and the violence quickly escalated. With our last argument, he left and gave me the silent treatment for 3 to 4 weeks.

In my mind, I had already made up my mind to just break up with him. As if on cue, he called and claimed he wanted to talk. He missed me and wanted to see me. I agreed to see him, but he wanted to come to my house. I told my mother, and she told me that her and my sister would be at home with me in case something happened.

July 1st, 2009, he came to the house. My mother and sister were in their rooms with the doors closed. My mom was listening to her vinyl records, and my sister was playing video games. So, the guy kept trying to move in on me, and I pushed him off and said, “I thought you wanted to talk.” He didn’t want to do that kind of talking. After I realized this, I moved to the other end of the couch and told him to leave. He sat there; then, he asked could he go to the bathroom. I just pointed in the direction of where it was located. For a split second, I had withdrawn within myself, just thinking, “I guess it really is over.” The next thing I knew, he jumped on top of me, overpowering me… (I won’t go into details.)

I was shocked and mad. How could this happen to me in my own home? I kept trying to push him up off me until he made it to where I could no longer do so. I closed my eyes crying and praying her just hurried up before my mother and sister walked in. When he was finished, he got up and fixed himself. Then, he pulled me up and fixed my clothes. He looks at me and says, “Whew. I sure feel better. What about you?” I looked at him and said, “I told you no, multiple times. You didn’t come down here to talk! You came for “that!” I ran outside and fell on my knees. Once again, I let out this agonizing scream asking, “Why? What have I done to deserve such a fate as this?” He came outside and handed my Bible to me. “Here, why don’t you find and read a scripture to help you feel better,” he said.  I just looked at him. He got in his car and left. That was the last time I saw or heard from him.

I was already half dead from Paw Paw’s death. The other half of me was struggling, fighting to the surface to survive. He just finished me off. So, I spiraled and took a plunge into the abyss and for 9 years…that’s where I stayed. Fear took over my life. I was scared to trust, let anyone in, or get close to anyone. I knew people would leave me: voluntarily or involuntarily. Not knowing how to deal with that trauma, I ran from it too.

In the beginning, I tried to split hairs by trying to choose which one to deal with first. I quickly realize I couldn’t; the floodgate would be unstoppable once it opened. Running just seemed easier, simpler. Now, I can’t run anymore.

Recently, I’m slowly accepting my grandfather’s death. And I do mean slowly. A month ago, I did drive down to the church to visit his grave. He didn’t have a headstone, so it was hard to find. I didn’t find it but just me finding the courage to finally go was good enough. I have my memories of Paw Paw. Yes, I still get sad everytime I think of him. But I love him still. I will never, ever forget him.

However, the rape is a different story. I don’t talk about it. I may mention it, but I’m afraid that scar will never heal. He took something from me – something I was saving to share with a husband one day. Now, I feel like damaged goods – unloved and unwanted. The cut was truly deep – twice upon my heart and soul.

I’m slowly getting better. But, I don’t know what will happen once July 1st is here. It’s right around the corner, waiting to ensnare me again. Every year, for the rest of my life, July 1st is a day I will never escape.

These two dates are so colossal. Whenever they arrived, my psyche is literally at stake. Sometimes, I’m telling myself, “I just have to make through the day, and it’s over.” Some truth to it. On the other hand, every year, the pain and trauma I have to relive are endless as time itself is placed on pause.

R.I.P. Paw Paw, Robert Lee Rogers. I sure do love and miss you more than you ever know.

*Blog entry for June 28, 2018.*

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Day 3: Creative, Aquatic Remedy

Today was quite an adventure! For the first time since Elementary, I attended my first art class. Artist’s tools on the menu were paintbrushes and acrylic paint. I panicked a little bit; I was so nervous. But, Ms. Melodie reassured me that everything was going to be okay.

I had talked to Ms. Melodie prior to our art session; I conveyed to her what I wanted to paint. So, she simply drew it and told me I could just paint it.  I sat down at the desk she prepared for me. But, as I looked at the canvas, I had no idea where to start. Ms. Melodie suggested I paint the background first. As we were both working on our projects, she played music from the 90s and now! I’m thinking, “Man, yes! Okay, Ms. Melodie! We have the same taste in music.” Shortly, she received a call from her boss, asking her to meet him. She asked me to ride with her; we headed towards to the location of the community pool. Personally, I’ve never been around a community pool before. Initially, I thought it was cool.

The next minute, I see Ms. Melodie and her co-worker jumping into the pool. I’m looking like, “Why would she jump in the pool with no changing clothes?” I look beside me and her clothes were neatly folded in a chair. Suddenly, I get this itch to get in the water myself. The heat index was unbearable. I found myself staring in a trance at the water. I’m like a fish out of water when it comes to swimming. I just have to get in the water; I can’t resist the subtle call either. I believe Ms. Melodie knew this and began to coerce me.

First, she told me I could just stick my feet in the water. With me, there is no just “sticking my feet in the water.” I HAVE TO GET IN IT! Trying to fool myself, I decided to just “stick my feet” in the water. I sat by the ladder and placed my feet in the water. It felt so good. Then, I quickly inched further in where the water was up to my knees. And then, the water was up to my thighs. I cupped some water in my hands and rubbed it on my face and arms. You can only guess what happened next. I couldn’t fight it anymore. I immersed my entire body in the pool. Forgetting, I didn’t have a change of clothes.

Ms. Melodie laughed and cheered as she figured I would not be able to resist too much longer. While in the water, she provided lessons on how to swim. But, the funniest moment was when she was trying to get me to sink to the bottom of the pool to practice holding on my breath. LOL. However, I tried, and my body would not sink. It wanted to float. I tried to do it once more. This time my body turned a full circle underwater and floated instead. It just refused to sink to the bottom. Me and Ms. Melodie couldn’t do anything but laugh. We left the pool and returned to her house to finish our projects after we changed out of our wet clothes. We both soon learned that our time in the water cut into our painting time. She had another engagement with her sister – movie night.

I finished what I could and told her I would just leave it there until next time. She was okay with it. We agreed to continue our art session next week. I thanked her for the creative, aquatic remedy and how much I enjoyed it.

Once I returned home, I just sat in the bed. I felt so relaxed and calm. I was already aware that water is a healing, cleansing, and purging agent. I didn’t realize it at the time – submerging my body in the pool just sort of “baptized” me. I went in and came out a new person. All the things I was worried about or hanging onto was purged. Also, the art session allowed me to connect back to the flow of creativity I thought I had lost.

This day held more meaning than what I previously thought. I just thought I was going to paint and that’s it. But I discovered a creative, aquatic remedy through Ms. Melody. And my soul is truly at peace.

Thanks, Ms. Melodie! It was much needed.

Day 2 of Sabbatical: Commitment to Self

Day 2. Objective: Commitment to Self.

Today marks a milestone for me. This morning, on my way to see the doctor, I was looking at one of my motivational coach’s FB Live videos. She was talking about procrastination, fear, etc. But there was one word that my mind just took ahold of -commitment. I’m thinking, “Lord, what is it about this word that’s provoking me to think?” He revealed it. All my life I placed it upon myself to invest and commit to others and never made a commitment to myself.

It’s so easy to want to help others, to put all of our time and effort  – a commitment toward them. Yet, I never took the time to invest in me. In addition, growing up, I never had the time to really do it. I was so busy trying to be a great daughter, awesome sister, good friend, just to name a few. I never stopped to think about “me”. What do I want to do? What can I do to make me happy? What would I like to do as a profession? All of these questions did not surface until a little over a year ago.

I mentioned this in the “Commencement of the Sabbatical; then, the Comeback” entry. I am a very giving, empathetic, compassionate little human. I’ve always thought of others by placing them before me. To an extent, that’s how I was raised. Being the oldest, I was charged with taking care of the house, looking after my younger siblings, and looking after my ill father. I never questioned it; I just did as I was told. Now, I see the error of some of the choices I have made. I kept giving away “self” all the time. I’m telling you; it was like an automatic comparison to a robot.  

Most of the dilemmas I have encountered over the years to current came down to one basic truth: I did not want to deal with me. I did not want to work on me. I wanted to help everyone else with their problems. However, I couldn’t even take time for myself. And looking back, that’s probably why most of my relationships whether with friends to family to significant others did not last or ended horribly, abruptly.

I wanted to prove to people that I could do whatever they needed me to do; I wanted to rally their cause. And I abandoned my own. I have been running like a fugitive from myself for so long that God is forcing me to deal with me at this moment, right now. How can I be so willing to help others when I’m refusing to help myself? It was the fear. It got the best of me.

I complained about repetitive situations with friends and significant others that I’ve gained clarity. I was searching for happiness, completion away from my issues in other people. They became my escape, but it was also a trap. Yes, I was using people to avoid the pain on the inside of me. It was scary; it was ugly, and the darkness was always there waiting for my downfall. Ironic, I’ve been spiraling for a long time until I have finally found my footing.

If I can put that much time and effort into other people, why can’t I do that for myself? I can’t be anything for others until I learn how to invest and commit to me first. Think about it? You’ve put your all – heart and soul into people because they became an object, a safe haven from the chaos inside yourself. But what happens when you realize these people are not what you were hoping them to be for you? Or these people no longer want to be with you?

I’m learning I have to commit to self first. I know me; I will lose not just myself, but my way, my vision, and my voice. Because I will subject myself to that prison and will not know it until it’s too late. It’s easy to make a bed, but the question is can you sleep in a bed of your own making? Will it be too hard? It’s missing something, but you’re not quite sure what it is. Or will you keep experimenting with variations of others’ bed hoping to find rest?

Avoid this. Save yourself the heartache, the sleepless nights, and the agony by making a change in your life. We pray for change, but we are not doing the work. As my coach said, “God can’t make a move until you make a move. You have to initiate the change. You have to do the work.” And she’s right. There’s no other way around it. No matter how fast or far you run, your problems will still be there waiting. No amount of sex, drugs, alcohol, or whatever your choice of poison will not solve anything.

If you’re one of those individuals that are complaining about your situation, but you’re too lazy to put forth an effort to do the work. Then, you need to stop complaining and just accept your situation. No one is going to fix your problem for you. YOU HAVE TO MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND FOR YOURSELF. And stop expecting others to do it. They are not responsible for the work you have to do within yourself.

We keep putting it off; stop it! Do it right now; start today! Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. You want a change? Work, invest and commit to yourself. You will not be happy until you do so. Everything that you think is working out because you’re sacrificing you to make others happy is only temporary. If you want something more long-term, something real, you better put in some overtime for a relationship with yourself.

A commitment is ongoing, consistent. Working on yourself should be a daily goal. Once, you have started and endure, you will be a better person for yourself and not a slave to others.

As for me, yes, I made my choice to commit to self. I matter too. I have goals and dreams. I want to get better. I want to be better. I mentioned this before in a couple of previous entries. I have to get to the next level, but I know that I can’t get there doing the same thing.

It took 30 years for me to finally learn this lesson. My plea to you is don’t let it take you this long to make a change in your life and commit to self.

I challenge you to make a commitment to yourself right now. Start building a foundation for yourself and continue to build. Only then can your foundation be rock solid. Nothing or no one can do or take anything from you unless you give them that power to do so.

I don’t know about you, but I hate the idea of someone else having power over me, having control over the things I want for myself.

Yes. Today was an “I’m proud of Jasmine” moment. I’ve never had a moment like this before. A remarkable milestone – I’ve truly awakened.

Day 1 of the Sabbatical

This blog entry is actually the beginning of my sabbatical; it will probably be short.

Today was basically just another “Manic Monday.” Personally, I hate Mondays. I can’t remember why. I guess it’s because my favorite cartoon character, Garfield, doesn’t like Mondays either.

Anyway, I was supposed to do a research project for a writer working on a historical novel. I was asked to go to the Archives and Historical Department. I arrived, ready to work and get the assignment done. No sooner had I walked through the door, an officer stops me and says, “Sorry, ma’am. The entire building had a meeting today. They closed the building and won’t open until tomorrow.” I just let out a sarcastic laugh. Then, I say, “I wish I knew that before I drove down here.” I left the building. I’m thinking to myself, “Now, what am I going to do?”

I decided to visit my Alma Mater and visit my professors. I saw Dr. Pizzetta and Dr. McDaniels. Every time, I see Dr. McDaniels – she can’t wait to hear the crazy chaos I’ve been enduring. We talked and laughed for a while. It felt good to be able to see Dr. McDaniels, enjoy laughs, and get my mind off things. The next thing she asks about is Emerson. She had a series of questions. For instance, “Have you found a place to stay? Are you actively looking? What about a job?” My answer was, “Yes,” to all the above.

Dr. McDaniels is sort of like an academic mother to me. She stays on me every chance she gets. Before now, after I had graduated with my Bachelor degree, she kept asking, rather telling, me about graduate school. It was never part of my plans. From her perspective, yes, I was going. LOL. It was not up for debate or in question. Sometimes, I could do nothing but laugh. That woman is the busiest woman I know. Half of the time, she is on the computer: checking, reading, and responding to e-mails, answering phone calls, and checking her personal phone. I sit there and think, “How the heck does she do that?” Mind you, she’s doing all that while interrogating me about school. Guess what? She never looks at me while juggling her circus. Dr. McDaniels is amazing. I had to cut my visit short, and she looks at me and tells me, “Make sure you keep me updated and come see me before you leave.” I told her I would.

After that, I went to the store and bought a few things to eat. I got back home, got on my computer and played games for a while. Now, I’m working on blogs, book promos for my book, etc.

That’s it. Nothing else more to tell except I survived this hectic Monday.

And I got four hours of sleep. It wasn’t much, but it’s a start.

I’m wondering what tomorrow will be like and what it will bring…

Commencement of the Sabbatical; then, the Comeback

I was supposed to start this entry yesterday, but I just felt the need to pace myself. So, let’s begin.

Well, yesterday, I was really going through. For over a week now, I haven’t been able to either get much sleep or any for that matter. As a result, I have been physically drained, mentally drowning, and emotionally all over the place. Although the Sandman refused to grant me sweet rest, I took the time to check on my friends and family.

I made a couple of new friends; I felt the need to just be an active listener. See, people listen, but are they truly listening? Hence, why I placed emphasis on “active”. We must learn to actively listen to one another without interrupting or selfishly interpreting. While aiming to be there for my friends and family, I recently had to learn how to just actively listen to the distress and yearning for understanding and compassion from the people I sacredly love and deeply care for. I did what I could, and I pray what I imparted helped them.

However, I learned a few hard lessons; but, the one to cut me down to my core was people will make time for who they want to make time for. If you’re not a priority, don’t expect to be. I always make time for people: strangers, friends, family, etc. In the end, I learned that the people I wanted to care or be there for me were M.I.A.

Let’s recount. With very little rest, I discovered a lot of people I considered “friends” were not that at all. Part of me was past tired of reliving this monotone, repetitive cycle, yet the other half was glad to know that it was revealed. On my FB profile, I started doing FB live videos. Between last week to this very moment, that’s when everything was revealed. I won’t go into specifics because it’s irrelevant.

Frustration and old wounds slowly opened. I had numerous thoughts on my head, my heart was heavy, and my spirit was restless. I was angry at them, but I was mostly angry and disappointed with myself. What was I doing to keep going through this past dead routine? When did being a good person with a contrite heart – so giving and understanding become a crime? The wicked is triumphing and the good is just…I cried so much that my eyes had swollen. So guess what? I still couldn’t go to sleep.

Then, I realized something else. Some people just don’t know how to be friends.

Another hard pill to swallow.

Change kept ringing throughout my mind and spirit. Change is occurring. Again, the people I was hoping to be there for me were not. They were killing themselves to be there for everybody else except me. Contrarily, I did have a few people that stepped up to the plate to be there for me when I needed someone. I really had to grasp the transformation that was happening. The people I’ve been chasing were fading to back. I had to learn to let them go and not keep chasing after them. For me, I get attached to things like stuff animals, a piece of jewelry, a quilt like an heirloom, and people. It’s difficult for me to let go – my Achilles heel.

God was separating me from a few people in my life and forcing me to work on myself. Of course, I had to call my motivational coach and seek her guidance. We talked for a long time. And she said, “Jasmine, you can’t make people change. If people aren’t ready to be committed (not just in relationships), then they’re just not ready. But, Jasmine, you just don’t change your heart. Don’t stop giving, don’t stop loving.” Her words did something to me. They relieved me. You can’t save everyone; they may not want to be saved.

After our conversation ended, the thought train took me on a leisure ride. I introspected, reflected, and made a decision. I decided to take a sabbatical from doing FB lives for a while. On the other hand, the sabbatical goes deeper than that. I admit I’m going through a metamorphosis – the healing process. I have to work on me and heal. I have to release all the hurt, anger, resentment, and self-hatred inside of me. Before now, I wasn’t aware that all of this had grown. It was little at first; over time, it took root and grew.

This sabbatical is vital in order for me to truly release, heal, and be set free. I can’t get to the next stage in my life with all this stuff inside of me. Does that make me a bad person? No, I’m human. The difference between me and people at least I now know what it is, and I’m choosing to work on it.

Also, I’ve realized that everyone wants to change whether it’s a job, house, relationship, situation, or whatever. Are you really putting in the work? Yes, some changes just happen spontaneously. But I’m talking about changing your life. I can’t wait for anyone to find or place my happiness in. I have to learn how to be happy by myself and within myself. I can’t keep praying for “change,” and when it gets here, I’m running or fighting against it. No. I have to go through it. Yes, it’s a process that I have to endure. Am I scared? Well, not so much now. But, I won’t continue to let that fear hold me back any longer. I want to get better. I want to be better not for anyone other than myself.

I’ve decided that while I’m on my sabbatical I will be journaling on my blog. I need to get back into my writing. I got so backed up I could no longer listen to the voice, my voice. I can’t keep focusing on others, for the time being. I HAVE to deal with me. I could only run away from me for so long. Now, it’s not an option.

One of my favorite quotes is from Rocky III:
“There is no tomorrow.” – Apollo Creed, character. When I first heard this quote, I had no idea what Apollo meant when he told Rocky this. Now, I see. People keep putting things off and putting things off and putting things off. One day, we just decide to leave it where it’s at. Problems don’t just go away. Sometimes, you have to do the work even when we’re trying to use others to escape it. What happens when that person decides he or she no longer wants to be there?

You have to deal with it now. TODAY! Don’t keep waiting or running. You’re only running away from your true self – the light. The light and the truth will set you free. Hopefully, for me, I pray I embrace and experience that kind of peace.

This is the commencement of my sabbatical. Once I go through this and endure it, get ready for a great comeback! Don’t go to sleep on me; stay woke! I’m going to make power moves! I’m going to keep climbing! I will get to the next stage!

Next blog is Day 1 of the sabbatical…

Jasz McGhee: Poet and on the Way to Emerson

Check out the Author Interview by Ms. Dorothy Day, a fellow MS author!

MISSISSIPPI WRITERS' PATHWAYS

Screenshot 2018-06-18 22.10.30

pen name:  J.N. McGhee                                                      genre:  Poetry

Tell us a little about yourself (short bio).

“I’ve been writing poetry for 19+ years now; as I reflect, it saved my life, God’s gift to me. Poetry helped me discover my voice that I’d never used before. I was always, and still am, shy and meek. My words on paper spoke for me. I profoundly love and respect poetry on a level some may never understand. Recently, I was accepted at Emerson College’s Publishing and Writing Grad Program. My goal is to be a Copy Editor for a publishing company. One day, I want to have my own editorial and writing home-based business.”

When and why did you begin writing?

I was young, around the age of 10…

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Screaming on the Inside: The Meltdown Continues

Well…

This entry may be a little lengthy. However, despite the length, whatever is on the inside, it is fighting to the surface.

In my last blog entry, I mentioned that I, along with the help of many others, was able to get the $400 nonrefundable deposit fee submitted and secured. Now, there are two things left: finding a place to stay and finding a job. Before the completion of the application, I was worried about finding a place to live and a job. Of course, many have been reassuring me that I will definitely find a job and a place. Just like then and now, I’m still not at ease.

My nervousness has been escalating from afraid to scared to being terrified. On the outside, I’m doing everything I can to maintain my composure. But on the inside, I’m spiraling askew. Last night, I had trouble sleeping. Earlier yesterday, I was exhausted. However, when it was time to go to bed, it was like my mind was fully awakened by everything gnawing away at me. Physically, I felt the effect; I sat up on the side of the bed with my head in arms, literally, attempting to shake it out. I ended up taking medication to help me sleep; and, it worked. Truthfully, deep down in the back of my mind, I know the two factors are just the components of the whole ordeal. What do I mean? I’m glad you asked.

It’s not just moving to Boston, going to school, finding a place to stay, or even finding a job. The “wow” factor is this is the BIG Change I’ve been searching for over the years. Although it feels like a “too good to be true” moment, it’s happening nonetheless. Everything has been placed in motion. I couldn’t stop it even if I wanted to. Then again, do I really want to? All these years, I have always given everyone all of me. No matter who they were: family, friends, significant others, strangers, etc. I’ve always given and expected nothing in return because I felt it was the right thing to do. Now, I’m learning that I’ve poured myself into others that I can’t pour into me. I can’t save or help anyone in the condition I’m in now. I’m healing, but it’s a process that can’t be rushed. In the interim, I still have to wait and let this process run its course.

Life is in a constant state of flux. Constant changes are definite, but it’s this BIG Change that I’m referring to that has me all over the place now. This change symbolizes a new beginning, not just a chapter. Because it is placing me on the path to finding self, goals, and a career. I’ve been running and putting it at the end of the line because I was doing what everyone else wanted or expected of me. I would motivate myself with everyone’s repetitious drivel as to why I had to do it. “Because I’m supposed to; it’s my duty and responsibility; I’m the only one that can and will…” That’s how it was for a long time. In the present, I don’t have a choice anymore; now, I’m forced to take care of Jasmine. Many may think it’s selfish. It’s called self-preservation.

I’m not God or Jesus. I can’t save everyone; sometimes we, as human beings, delude ourselves into thinking we can save or change people. The hard fact to swallow is we can’t. We try to help those who won’t even help themselves. We drown by attempting to help them when we’re enabling them. People have to help themselves first. Then, after putting some work behind the action, I can do what I can. This lesson was, and is, still a difficult pill to swallow. I keep giving, selflessly. Right now, I don’t have anything to give; I poured so much of myself out. Do I regret it? No. It’s just a lesson I had to really grasp.

At the age of 30, I’m terrified. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I don’t have any control over it. I HAVE to walk this path no matter what. I want to pursue my passion, a career, not a job. A friend of mine reminded me, “A lot of people tell you to go to school and get a job, so I chose a career. Because at ‘Career Day’, you’re looking for a career.” When he said that, it resonated with me. It made so much sense.

I may not have wealth, accolades, pleasant, physical features, a mansion, or five different vehicles. Who cares? For the first time in my life, I going to pursue a relationship with myself – a committed relationship to love within intimately that it radiates! Self-fulfillment is really one of my goals! I can’t spend another 30 years waiting for others to do it; I have to start right now. No more waiting.

Yes, I’m suffering a meltdown –  the meltdown is necessary. I have to be broken down in order to start anew, to be the woman God has been calling me to be all this time. I won’t lie; I didn’t want to be that woman. I just wanted to be me. Actually, I don’t even know who I am that’s why I’m on this path to find out.

Yes, I’m screaming on the inside. We all are. I’m going to turn those screams into cheers instead. Chapter 30 was an introspection of the choices I’ve made and a question of redemption. Am I worth saving? I’m trying to save everyone, anyone else. But who’s going to save me?

Chapter 30, I don’t care about being revolutionary. I care about the Evolutionary; I have to get to the next stage. I have to keep learning and growing. I have an insatiable hunger! Evolution is a necessity! I won’t be satisfied until I have it!

My journey is just beginning. I will have to walk it, embrace it in order to see.

I will be sharing my poetic piece in the next blog, “Interim”. Hope you guys like it.