Book Anniversary and In the Wilderness

It’s definitely been a long while since my last blog entry. I’m going to have to play catch up again. For this entry, I mainly want to share a few of the obstacles I’m facing; and, the unexpected surprises I never planned to happen.

First of all, today marks the one-year anniversary of my book, “Little Girl Blues: Existence of an Image,” being published along with the birth of my nephew. As I reminiscence, I would have to say it was one of the proudest moments of my life. Though my nephew has grown quite a bit, I can’t help but smile when I look at him. In this generation, babies do not stay babies for long. They grow up rather quickly. He’s already a handful like his father and grandfather before him. So, he has it honest; the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Digressing…

Now, secondly, I’m here at Emerson College in Boston which is quite a culture shock. It’s very expensive to live and thrive here. Do not even get me started on the parking; it’s a nightmare. Many people have revealed that it would be better to commute and I see why. I must confess – I miss the country. I’m trying my best to adapt; it’s not as easy as some would believe. Also, the people here are very cold and intellectual, not much common sense. For example, I’ve noticed that some people will just walk out in front of cars on the pedestrian walk while the signal is still flashing the hand to wait. I cannot count how many times I’ve come close to hitting someone. Yes, I’ve freaked out on multiple occasions. It’s very different up here and congested.

Thirdly, I’m facing several hectic obstacles concurrently. Things that were supposed to work out fell through at the last minute, and it led to me and my partner sleeping in the car for a little over two weeks now.  (I’ll have to do a separate entry about me in a relationship in next one). We barely have any money, hardly any food, and not a place to…well. You get the idea. He and I were questioning everything: being here, trying to find jobs after we were promised positions, etc. We were fighting battles after battles – we were losing, badly. Every time we thought things were going to ease up, we would get slammed with countless bundles of other stuff. I was at my breaking point, so was he.

Then, my legs and feet swelled so bad. The school clinic had to put me in a room for me to prop my feet and get some rest. Then, I was so stressed out, I caught a migraine. I’m thinking: “Why is this happening? It wasn’t supposed to be like this when I got here. Why can’t things just work out for once?” My partner stayed by my side even though I knew he hated to see me in that condition. Similarly, I hated for him to see me at my weakest point too. The school helped as much as they could such as granting us emergency temporary housing. It felt good to have a bed, bathroom, and food. But, we both knew we would be back to square # 1 again.

I had applied for several jobs at the school, but I never heard back from them even after I did a follow e-mail as the school department suggested. There was nothing. And it was the same for him too. He kept telling me, “We’re doing everything right, so why is this happening? It’s always one thing after another.” I couldn’t even begin to form an answer to his question. I was thinking the same, secretly.

In addition, the school helped with food like letting me access the “Student Food Pantry” and adding cash on my student ID to use at On/Off Campus Merchants. So, they have really done all they could. Some felt that they could do a lot more. I’m just grateful for what they did; a little truly does go a long way.

I felt like David when he was in the wilderness. I’m telling you. We tried to ask for help from home. A few did help but not from the ones we were expecting. I’m like, “Lord, we’re in a strange land. Things are different than what we’re used to back home. How can one get ahead when others won’t even give them a chance?” I even had someone tell me, “Oh, yeah. It’s expected for you to have money when you come out here to Boston.”

I told her, “I’ve never had money. Since I came into this world, I’ve never had money. All I’ve ever had was God, my faith, and my driven ambition. I come from two parents: one is sick with Diabetes Type 1, and the other is basically doing all she can, on her own, to provide for the family. So, I’ve never really had helped. Generally, I’m not accustomed to even asking for help. I just try to get by with the little I have.

Most people will “sympathize” your struggle, but will not genuinely “understand” it. Guess why? Because they do not have to go through it or endure it. Guess who does? Me and my partner. Eventually, I got tired of trying to explain and expecting empathy. Very cut-throat.

Even during these obstacles, God has continued to show us, teach us that he’s the ONLY one that will provide, protect, deliver, etc. It’s taught us to be more humble, patient, grateful, and to trust and depend on him, not man. He’s strengthened our faith and belief in him. For the most part, it has gotten just a little better. I believe it will continue to get better as long as we keep God first in everything that we do. He’ll never leave nor forsake us. He’s been with us every step of the way.

I got a few job interviews lined up, and he got a couple himself. But we’re still waiting on the good Lord to open doors, keep us safe, and lead the way. At this present moment, we’re back to sleeping in the car. We now know that it’s only temporary. God is making preparations.

There’s this quote: ““Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” —C.S. Lewis.”

I didn’t know how true it was until now. The wilderness is not always a bad place to be, just like “rock bottom.” In the wilderness, you’re broken down. Then, you’re remolded, transformed. You evolve and embrace the path and person that God is shaping you to be. As for “rock bottom,” you have to build on a rock solid foundation. If there’s a crack, the whole thing is unreliable. To paraphrase T.D. Jakes, “anything in life, you have to build it and build on it: relationships, jobs, school, character/personality, etc. It just doesn’t happen or develop on its own.”

Raw truth.

That’s all for now…

*Next Entry: “The Unexpected Adhesive”*

 

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!

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.

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…

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.

UPDATE: Emerson, Here I Come!

Hello, everyone! This will be a very short blog entry for today. I just wanted to give an update on the Emerson situation. On my previous blog, I was asking for donations to submit a $400 nonrefundable deposit fee to Emerson College to secure my spot. The ram in the bush I was praying and looking for arrived on June 7. That person was my little sister. She saw that a friend of mine had created a fundraiser for me on the gofundme platform. My sister decided to give me the entire amount; she expressed how she wanted me to finally be happy by pursuing my goals and obtaining a career in my field. I must say I did not see that coming. After all the stressing, anxiety, and worrying, God was right on time. So, we are in there! Thank you, Lord.

Now, that the deposit is secured. I have to make preparations to find a place to live and a job. A friend of mine connected to a non-profit organization who is going to help raise the money for most of that. Thank you, God…again. When people say, “it comes in 3s,” I guess they were not lying,

Also, I want to thank everyone who contributed whether you donated, invested time, prayers, positive vibes, etc. I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart. The seeds you have planted are about to come to fruition. Just watch. Still, I want to thank you all for continuing to witness my journey. This is another chapter in my life that’s about to begin.

I won’t lie; yes, I’m scared. Terrified, actually. But, the only way now is up. I can’t continue to stay at the bottom. I rather go for it and know that I tried rather the alternative.

More updates to come. You guys, be blessed.

Asking For HELP: Donations

I know I’m super late sharing this. Good news! A couple of weeks ago, I was accepted into Emerson College’s Publishing and Writing grad program! However, I was told that I had to make a $400 nonrefundable deposit to secure my spot. Of course, I have been struggling to get the money together due to unforeseen circumstances such as an idiot backing into my car at work in the parking lot which caused extensive damage, internally and externally.  A few, good people have donated or even started a fundraiser for me, and I thank God for these individuals: their commitment and their belief/investment in my goals.

To me, this is my last chance to pursue my career as a Copy Editor in the Publishing industry. I know that Emerson is going to help on this journey of growth, change, and self-discovery. If you can and will, you’re more than welcome to donate, even if it’s $1, through Paypal to my e-mail address (mcjasz2205@gmail.com). Also, you can donate to the gofundme platform that my sister, Veronica created for me. So far, we have $175. I am not far from my goal. The deadline is June 8.

If you can’t donate, I ask that you continue to keep us uplifted in prayer, send positive vibes, and share!

The Gofundme link is below. If you have any further questions, please contact me through my blog’s contact form.

https://www.gofundme.com/jasz-is-going-to-school

As Ms. Jette Jenyk would say,

“#McGheegoals #emersoncolllege2018 #thisismytime #thisismyseason #raminthebush!”

Thanks, everyone! Prayers and fingers crossed!

fingerspraying

Little Girl Blues: Existence of an Image (The Blog)/ One-Year Anniversary

This will be a short blog.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my blog. I cannot believe it’s been a year already! Time surely flew, didn’t it? I’ve experienced so much such as disappointments, rejections, becoming a published author and obtaining the role of an aunt, and many more.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but when I started this blog, it was only to support my cousin. I had no idea what I would blog about, if people would read it, or even take interest in it. However, I am proud to say that this blog has 50 followers! Others would think that’s not a lot of people. I’m glad that these individuals have chosen to follow, witness, and listen to my story as I continue to grow while finding my voice, myself.

I’m still working on making my blog current; I’m glad I don’t have too much more to catch up on. First, I just want to thank every one individual who has ever commented, liked, read, and followed this blog. I’m truly grateful and appreciate your loyalty. Second, I want to thank my cousin, Precious for this awesome idea. I didn’t know that this blog would lead the actual publication of my poetry collection; yet, it all worked out for the greater good. Third, I even want to thank my invisible haters. I had no idea I even had any. But they were fake supporters, opportunists who claim to support “indie” authors, and pretenders who try their hardest to keep you down while they shine. Personally, my favorites were the ones filled with jealousy. Why? I don’t know. Just as I’m struggling to make my dreams come true to self-fulfillment. Guess what? You can too. Anybody can.

I hope this blog continues to reach and connect other people out there; the voiceless. Just as I share my story within every entry. You can do the same too! Also, I pray that the blog will grow as I know I will. But I can’t do it without you.

Again, thank you! My story is still ongoing, unfolding.

It’s not over.

Happy Anniversary, LGB!!!

Chance of Lifetime: The L.A. Art Show

This will probably be a short blog entry…or not.

Well, back in January, I got the chance to go the L.A. Art Show and Aldis Hodge would be among the other artists to meet and greet while discussing his artistic collaboration with another beautiful artist name Harmonia.

Yes, this trip was spontaneous. Totally unplanned, but what the heck? When I plan stuff, it never turns out right. So, this time, I tried something different. I book a room; my drive was like 1 day, and 2 hours away. I started driving Friday, on January 12th. I knew Aldis would be at the event on the 14th. I wanted to make sure I was there. The drive was long especially when I had to drive through the state of Texas! My goodness! As I was driving, I began to think, “Lord, am I ever going to get out of this state?” I did enjoy the scenic route. The multiple states I had to drive through just to get to Los Angeles; the things I saw, the various speed limits, etc. However, once I got to Arizona and New Mexico, I was just drenched in sweat. When I left, it was cold like 32 degrees. In Arizona and New Mexico, desert heat! I couldn’t stand it.

But on January 13th, around 11: 34 p.m., I had made it to my destination. I was exhausted; the place where I booked the room gave me the 3rd degree about paying a security deposit. I told them I didn’t see that on their website and asked why they didn’t inform me of that information when I call to confirm my reservation. Some stranger, a guy, offered to pay the security deposit for me. I was grateful because I threatened to sleep in my car if I had to. They gave me the key to my room, and I just fell across the bed, passed out.

The next day,  I got up early to take a shower, get dressed, and pack. Of course, I had no idea where anything was located. Thank God for Google Maps (it works, sometimes). I didn’t have to drive far just an 8-minute drive. I found the Convention Center; it was massively HUGE! I’m thinking to myself, “I really got to get out more.” I park and go inside. I had no idea what the dress code would be for an event like this, so I dressed up a little with my blue jean, denim sneakers. (I was thinking about wearing heels; I’m glad I changed my mind.) The event opened at 11:00 a.m., but Aldis would not be there until 1:00 p.m. I stood in a very long line for a long while. Finally, the line began to move. Once I received my stamp, I started taking pictures of me, other people, and people asking me to take pictures of them.

The art gallery was littered with multiple art pieces from so many other artists. To be honest, I started in the middle and worked my way to the left side; I never made it to the right side of the gallery. That’s how spacious this place was. I took so many pictures of the art; it kind of made me connect to my creativity, my vision. I felt like I was meant to be there to witness other forms of talent with art: sculpturing, painting, crocheting, glass, mural…too much to count.

However, I looked up and Aldis Hodge passes right by me. Earlier, I was looking for his art piece, trying to find the section he would be in. Oddly, like me, I had passed by it. I was one of the first people to see and meet him and his mother. I asked his mother to take a picture with me. She was a little hesitant at first, but I got her to take 2. The funny thing is meeting Momma Yolette, Aldis’ mother, I almost fainted! I was hyperventilating, burning up, trying to speak…His mother had to calm me down. Why did I do that? Once, I had read how Aldis and his elder brother, Edwin acknowledged their mom: what she taught and sacrificed for them. To be in her presence, I was just in awe. How embarrassing (the story of my life).

Then, I took a picture with Aldis and Ms. Harmonia. He asked my name, shook my hand, and was like, “It’s nice to meet you, Jasmine.” I’m like, “Wow, is this really happening to me? I’m a small town, countrywoman. Stuff like this doesn’t happen to me.” I left right after the pictures were taken.

My grandfather lived in Lancaster, so I stopped by for a visit. He bought 2 copies of my book and asked me to autograph them. I just look at him and laugh to myself. I had to leave because I had to make it back to work on time. Plus, there were reports of snow hitting Mississippi. I thought I would make it before that, but I got caught in it. It was very windy when I arrived in Midland, TX. I thought my car was going to be blown off the road; I have a small car.

Before I reached Dallas, it had started snowing. It wasn’t heavy until I arrived in Shreveport, LA. I had to call my friend because I was scared. I’ve never driven in snow before. He stayed on the phone until he couldn’t anymore. I made it to Mississippi safely around 5:30 a.m. I had decided not to go to work; I couldn’t anyway. The bridges had iced over so bad that many cars were either sliding off the road or sliding into the bridge. Thank God I made it home.

3 things I will admit:

  1. Although, I’ve never driven in snow before; just watching it fall in front of me and to the ground was simply beautiful and breathtaking.
  2. Meeting Aldis, Momma Yolette, and Ms. Harmoina was one of the most treasured life experiences I will cherish for the rest of my days.
  3. The LA Art Show was definitely worth the trip. Other than Aldis and Ms. Harmonia, I hate I didn’t get to meet any other artists. Just seeing those art pieces was awe-inspiring.

With that being said, at least I’ll have another crazy adventure to tell my nephew, D-baby when he’s older. The crazy, spontaneous antics of TeTe Jasz.

Yea, I can’t wait.

*More blogs to come. I was aiming for 4 in one day, but 2/4 is not bad. Just more for me to write tomorrow.*

Here are a few pictures from the LA Art Show. Trust me, that’s not even half of them.

 

 

 

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