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.

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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Backdrop Pt. 2, In the Interim: The Gap after the Publication of My Book and the Birth of My Nephew

It’s the last week of March. I’ve been meaning to keep my blogs current, but I will have to divulge the “why” on another blog entry. As for this one which is long overdue, I have to fill in the gap on what happened after my book was published along with the birth of my nephew.

Shortly, after those two events happened simultaneously, I was asked to come and speak at my Alma Mater, Jackson State University (JSU), to the graduate class of publishing and marketing. I shared my experience with them about being a self-published author, the marketing ordeal, etc. Overall, I admitted to having fun with marketing my book once I found my footing. I told them the various software, tools, and methods that I used and felt would be easier for me. At the same time, it helped me really tap into my creativity on another avenue. Some asked questions; others asked about the book cover, formatting, and all. One of my old instructors asked me, “Why did you choose self-publishing instead of traditional?” I answered, “Most traditional publishers do not feel that poetry will sell. However, with self-publishing or independent publishing, it opened so many opportunities for me. I got to connect with other “indie” authors, writers, graphic designers, and the other creative individuals. In the beginning, I had no idea how to market my book. I reached out, asked others about the methods used to promote their book, and they were all too eager to share their knowledge with me. It was so exciting to be able to ask for help or ideas that these individuals just opened up and advised on what to do. It wasn’t a competition. Once I had what I needed, I just had to apply what they revealed; for the most part, it worked. A couple of students acknowledged that I inspired them to write or even publish their books, poems, or whatever. When my presentation was done, I passed out my author information, encouraged them to contact me if they had any questions or needed help, and I exited that class with a smile on my face. For the first time in a long time, I held my head up. I didn’t look down at the ground as I was walking. I corrected my posture, strutted, and told myself, “I am somebody. I do matter. There are people who are looking at me, admiring me; though, I don’t know who they are. I still want to give back, plant a seed, and hope the seed takes to their soil like so many others before did for me.”

A few weeks later, I connected with my other poetry groups. I didn’t even know there were so many poets in Mississippi. (Lol, I guess they were in hiding.) Years ago, before I graduated from JSU, I had met with a group of poets called the MS Society of Poets, or as I call them, The Belhaven Poets. Why? Because they meet at Belhaven College. I wanted to become a member, but for monetary reasons, I couldn’t join at the time. Yet, I was invited to come and share my poetry. And I did. They were in love with my poetic babies. Before, I didn’t want to share because I’ve always met such negativity, skepticism, and rudeness about my poetry or how I write it. Afterward, one of the poets pulled me to the side and said, “Your poetry is something else. It’s very thought-provoking; it provokes awareness: emotionally, mentally, etc. Don’t you dare stop writing! Continue to write! Continue to be you as you’re fashionably are! Don’t let anyone take that from you! Who cares what others think or say. These are your words; let them unfold and tell your story! No one can stop you except you!” I was so shocked when she said that. But those words left an imprint. It’s funny I haven’t thought about those words until now, as I’m typing this blog. I forgot her name, but I will never forget her or what she planted inside me.

My other group is the Anonymous Poets; I love these poets. There is nothing but a handful of them; they still meet anyway. These are more seasoned, experienced poets. And I’m the only “young’un” as they refer to me. Deep down, I know it makes them happy to have a “young” poet among them. Perhaps, it makes them feel young at heart. Besides, I’m really an old soul myself. What others do or what they are into, I’m just not into it. Just the simple things do it for me.

 

Whenever I meet with them, I feel right at home, spiritually. It’s an indescribable feeling to be among the same individuals who share your passion, who crave the words and emotions that need to be expressed without ridicule or judgment. We’re all there to just share our thoughts, our vision: to just birth creativity and let it be. Not tearing it to shred because it doesn’t fit one’s “criteria.” Poetry is energy; it flows, and it comes from within our hearts, our spirits, our minds; the very thing that comprises human beings. It’s been a while since I’ve been with them, but I will return to that welcome table. Count on it!

In a couple of my previous entries, I talked about my 1st Author Vendor Event with Ms. Gigi, and the Jackson Expo, my 2nd Author Vendor. Now, I’ve caught up to what happened last year. And, well, lol, that’s last year.

This is 2018; I got to get caught up from January to now.

Hope you’re ready for it.

2018 on the Rise: New Goals, Making Dreams a Reality

2017 has been full of challenges and growth. I remember when I started this blog. It started out as encouragement and support for a family member. And it grew from there. Also, my blog became another outlet for me to stay productive in my writing. Although I fell off for a while, I am still able to pick up and continue one blog at a time.

Even though I’m still working on becoming a Copy Editor, I’ve decided to go back to school to get my Master’s Degree. It’s a one-year program. Of course, the program will not open up til August 2018, the fall. So I’m working toward getting everything together to attend. Then, I’ve been doing a lot of research about creating my own literary journal to help the creative community. I’m looking into Graphic Design, so I can learn how to do it myself. If I had the funds to pay someone else to do it, I would; however, I don’t. Plus, it will help me get back into my creative flow.

Concerning my book, I have a few author vendor events coming up, and the first one takes place in February. I have a couple of book signings scheduled. I’m very excited yet nervous at the same time. Now, that I just got hired for my new job, I will be able to promote/market my book like I want.

So many promising avenues are opening up and providing countless possibilities. I will say that becoming a published author was not in my plans. But I just thank God after 20-something years of people asking, encouraging, and poking me, it came to fruition. With my book, I was able to connect with so many authors, writers, and poets too.

I am so proud and proud of myself! 2017, thank you for the preview of what’s to come. 2018, let’s make it happen! Let’s not wait! Chapter 30 is blank and ready to be occupied with memories, adventures, and experiences. Time to make my dreams a reality!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!! Welcome, 2018! I pray it’s wonderful!

Jackson Community Expo

Yesterday, I was invited to participate as a vendor at the Jackon Cash & Carry Supermarket. This was my second event as a vendor. I really wasn’t feeling my best; but, I just made the most of the opportunity. There were a few entrepreneurs; it was great! I was really nervous. Of course, Ms. Gigi pulls me to the side to try to talk some sense into me. It worked (for the most part).

I didn’t sell any books, and that’s ok. I was just glad to collaborate with other people and learn about business. Ms. Meredith McGee was also there as a vendor. She pulled me to the side and shared a lot of knowledge with me. Basically, she told me about how to get exposure, what to do, what to say, and who to connect and reach out to. I enjoyed the knowledge that she shared with. By the end of the event, we both decided to swap our works and review them. It feels good to work with other authors as we continue to uplift and genuinely support each other.

Also, another young lady stopped by my table. I was so amazed at the fact she was excited about wanting to purchase and read my book. She was like, “Girl, it’s amazing to be a published author. In fact, it’s a blessing. God is going to take you places with this book. So you might as well strap in and get ready. I feel it is very vital as an African American to know who you are dealing with ‘image’.”  And her name was Jasmine as well.

I guess God is getting ready to take me places; I am scared and uncertain of the “where.” But I am trying to work on my faith. I know God has never let me down, abandoned nor forsaken me. To me, I’m just a small town, countrywoman just trying to find my way, trying to actually live life instead of existing, and find out who I am. And somehow I keep getting pushed back to “Square 1.”

Overall, I enjoyed the meet and greet with the other vendors. Hopefully, things will pick up. Still working on local promotion.

Next entry will begin to fill in the gap as the backdrop to catch you guys up.

Before I forget, I just updated my author/poet website: mcjasz2205.wixsite.com/jnmcghee.

I’m still working on linking my WordPress blog to my website, so I won’t have to keep starting new blogs. I will figure it out soon.

More updates to come.

Until then:

“Speak your truth, Live your truth! Use your voice.” © – Jasmine N. McGhee

 

Book Signing for December 8th – Secured!

Hello, everyone! I’ve been so busy trying to schedule a book signing. So I was finally able to secure a time, date, and location. This will be my first, official book signing! It will take place at a local library on December 8th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (The rest of the info is on the flyer that’s at the end of the blog). I’m so excited yet nervous at the same time. Also, the Downtown Marketplace in Yazoo City, MS will be selling a few copies of my book in their store! They were really nice, helpful, and supportive.

Other than that, local promotion is going pretty good. It started off on a rocky, uncertain start. Once I found my footing, it picked up some. But all praises and glory go to the good Lord. I’m just so happy and humble that he has truly blessed me beyond words. As I prepare for this book signing, I’m hoping everything turns out ok.  The flyer is ready; I’ve been printing and hanging them in local businesses.

My goal was to do at least two book signings before the end of the year. However, it was so many other writers and authors trying to do the same thing around the same time.  So I just told myself to do this one; and, at the beginning of next year, I would try to schedule another book signing.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I can’t wait to eat to my heart’s content. I have so much to be thankful. This year has been filled with ups and downs, false starts, detours, etc. Overall, I can say that I have so much to be thankful for. My new nephew, my heart, Deon’tae – my D-Baby. I’m a published author; I’m connecting with other like-minded, creative individuals.

So Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

After everything slows up, I’ll do a couple of backdrop entries about what happened after the book was published along with the birth of my nephew. 🙂

I promise.

Book Signing Flyer #2.jpg