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”*

 

December 22, 2017 – Celebrating my 30th Birthday: Successes, Lessons, and Experiences

This will be a very short blog entry.

Technically, I promised myself to stay off social media and electronics, but what can I say? I owe a few previous entries anyway. So what the heck?

So, today is my birthday! I’m so humbled yet excited. I must say my birthday came quicker this year. It crept up on me. Last night, a bit before midnight, I was thinking to myself, “Lord, I’m really going to 30. I can’t believe it. Already?” I couldn’t help but smile though.

Let me explain further…

For a while, I know I was dreading the dreaded “30.” From society’s and family’s perspective, I don’t have anything as to what is usually expected of me. I’m not married, no children, no home to call my own, no relationship, and I’m still living at home with a parent out of necessity rather than wanting.  Putting it that way, I’m like super behind. You have people younger than me that are married, with children, their own homes, and have a career, not a job. I put a lot of pressure on myself. But hey, I was just following the script. What script? The script we’re drilled to memorize and executing from childhood to adulthood. I guess I didn’t make the cut.

Then, I began to feel like I had to play “catch-up.” I’m thinking: ” Man, I’m so far behind. I don’t have this. Or I don’t have that. I’m trying, but I just can’t seem to get ahead. What am I doing wrong? Why am I not good enough? Am I cursed?” Yes, I was just beating myself. Until a few nights ago, a good friend and I were having a conversation; and, she brought something to my attention.

She said, “Jasz, man’s timing and God’s timing are very different things. So don’t subject yourself to man’s time frame. Just because you don’t have now doesn’t mean you won’t ever get it. You’re 30 could be your new 20. Look at Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson, they didn’t blow up until after their 30s. And JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, is older than you; yet, she still blew up when she wrote those books. Yes, as women, we are pressured by society and family. But who really knows when except the Lord? It has to line up with God’s will and timing. Not yours or anyone else’s. I’m just saying.”

She had me thinking. Besides, I’m still trying to find out who am and what I want to do for the remainder of my existence. I have to live my life and find out who the “real” me is. I thank her for sharing that with me. And all the pressure just suddenly lifted. I decided to just take it one day at a time. It’s all a process. Not only do I have to go through it, I have to stay in the process as well. Basically, I threw away society’s script and family’s script; I’m making my own up as I go.

With my birthday, I am reflecting on so much. My book: successes and learning experiences. From self-employment to unstable, temporary jobs, I can definitely say that I can finally see my growth, not just as a poet and writer but as a person too. I can’t do anything but thank God for everything that has and is preparing me for the next level in my life.

I can’t keep running. So, I’m going to take it head-on.

But that’s tomorrow’s issue; today, I’m celebrating me and the small victories!

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!

(Next entries will catch up everything. I know I’m behind, but life continues to roll on).

*LOL, I just saw that’s it’s not a short blog after all. Wait til you see the others after this one.*

Celebrate me