Today I Chose Myself Over My Job

I have been working at this same job with the same people for almost 10 months now.

Only two people bothered to learn my name, Juaquina.

I come in on my days off, I work overtime almost every single day, I work hard.

When a family member died suddenly, no one bothered to check on me. Once I returned to work after the funeral, they worked me seven days straight.

I smile at everyone, and I make sure to provide a pleasant work experience with everyone who comes into contact with me.

Yesterday, my boss told (not asked) me to cancel two very important doctor’s appointments in order to come into work on my day off. That’s right, the day I was scheduled to be off and therefore decided to care for my own being was the day he told me that I had no choice but to come into work.

I did not argue. I did not respond. I simply made a decision to choose myself over a job that would replace me within a few days if I dropped dead tomorrow. These people don’t even respect me as a human enough to learn my name (which is unique but only three syllables). They want me to be available 24/7, 365 days a year, but is that even humanly possible? It is not.

I write this, because two weeks ago I said a prayer.

God, if you don’t want me to remain here don’t let me get comfortable at this job.

Well, stuff has been hitting the fan ever since, but this was truly a moment to remember. The day my supervisor told me to put my health and well-being second. If he would have asked me to come in, if he would have asked me to reschedule my appointments, I would have said yes. But he TOLD me to put my health second. He was mistaken to think my kindness meant I did not have the capability to advocate for myself.

Today I chose myself over my job. Tomorrow, I might not even have a job.

I believe in self-care. How can I preach that to ya’ll, if I wasn’t making myself a priority? I have to stand up for what I believe. I believe in hard work. However, I believe that before one can work hard, they must make sure their cup is full. They must care for their mental and physical well-being before they can efficiently pour their dedication into anything or anyone.

So, today I chose myself over my job. Today, I heard the response to the prayer mentioned above. Today, I was reaffirmed that I was made to do something different. My answer to God’s answer is…yes. I will be an entrepreneur. I will put self-care as a priority. I will take those frightening steps that will ultimately lead to me leaving the work force, and forging my own path.

Self-love is the best love, only second to God’s love.

 

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I have lived a short 25 years, and life has been anything but easy. It feels like so many things have been thrown at me to try to break me. But this is the first time I have felt truly broken. My heart is shattered in a million pieces, and, if I am honest, I am terrified it will never heal again.

Everything I do reminds me of you. Every song I hear with live instruments makes me want to text you about it. Every new art project makes me want to tell you about it. Everytime I see a cool new gadget I think about how you would love to read about it.

To my almost step father, in you I found a home. A place I could feel safe. You showed me it’s okay to be myself and have long talks about stuff that matter. You taught me this by listening when I spoke and giving meaningful responses. You talked to me, not as an adult speaking to a child, but a wise mind speaking to an old soul.

I understand why people wear black when they mourn, because it’s the only color I feel comfortable in these days.

I don’t want to compose poetry anymore, write stories anymore, shoot films anymore. I don’t create anymore. Truthfully, I don’t want to do anything, but I know you wouldn’t want me to stop living. That is the complete opposite of what you stood for. So, as a small step towards doing things again, I will write you letters while God heals my broken soul.

Love,

Your almost step daughter

 

To The Guys Who Call Me Great But Treat Me Like I’m Average.

I’m breaking up with you. 

All of you.

The friends. The family. The potential lovers. I am done with you. 

I will no longer allow you to use me emotionally. I will not be your support system and listening ear. I will not answer every time you call, nor will I be prompt in my responses to your texts. I am not your filler.

I will not fill in the time while you wait for someone else. I will not fill in the gaps when your friends have abandoned you. I will not be there when you are in a low place in life. 

Why?

Because I know what happens next. 

You leave.

For the gazzillionth time, I have watched someone I poured so much into love someone else. I watched them give me the bare minimum of what I deserved only to give someone new the world. Do you know what that does to a person? 

Well, I’m not going to be used anymore. I am leaving you. And I am not going to tell you why, so I hope you read this post. You, none of you, deserve a last conversation from me. You don’t deserve what you never gave. I am moving on. 

Why?

Because I am a great woman, friend, and family member. I am a phenomenal woman, and I don’t have to wait for anyone to tell me that anymore. I am beautiful. And one day, a man is going to look at me with stars in his eyes. He is going to be left speechless when I walk into the room, and he is going to spend the rest of his life pouring love into me. One day, I will be treated like I am great. But today? You? Your words? They mean nothing to me. 

Do you know how it feels to be called great then treated like you’re average? I do. 

And this is me finally standing up for myself. Finally demanding what God told me was mine. Finally stepping out of the settle box and learning to wait for what I deserve. I don’t need your compliments nor do I need your attention. I need the space to spread my wings and fly into my destiny. 

I forgive you. But I’m done with you. 

Unanswered Knocks

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My friend,

You push me away when you need me most

Why does tragedy make you hide from love?

I want to give you what most don’t have

Support

But your isolated grief closes the door

Bolts the lock

So outside of your house

I stand

Clutching the flower I bought

To remind you of new life

I watch the raindrops fall

Hitting your window

Now rolling down my heart

When you lock yourself away

We both lose out on friendship

Your pain goes untended;

My knocks go unanswered

-Juaquina She

Always Remember…

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Photocred: Me. Juaquina Carter

I am like this plant.

Growing where they told me I couldn’t

Through the darkness

Flourishing where there is no soil

Where there was once concrete ceilings

I must have saw opportunity

My existence is a miracle

Not to be taken for granted

For where there is life

There is a purpose

Do you hear that, self?

Where there is breath

There is life

And where there is life

There is purpose.

So don’t forget that you are

Something rare

Something phenomenal

Alive.

 

Last night I tried to stop breathing, but the beat in my soul would not let me. I wanted permission to escape from the prison I don’t belong in. This confinement was starting to feel like home, and that disturbed me. I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to break down the walls and free myself from oppression.

Suicidal thoughts…

…begin to sound like freedom when you have lived your life in chains. I was desperate enough to answer a call from the devil. I wanted to be happy again. But how can I use satan’s plan to get to God’s glory?

I cannot.

So, I fell into a hole not meant for living. And it is in here, I find what heals me.

The darkness is so deep, it swallows my thoughts and never spits them back out. I am afraid to even move my arm, because I do not know what surrounds me. The light came on, and all I see is blackness. A mysterious hue blocking all ambition and energy. God exposed what I was creating, what I was living. And I realize, I cannot use my own strength to get out of a castle made of sand.

“Be still.”

The duality of the moment is perplexing. Here I am, in my own sin, in my own healing. I quietly wait in the darkness while God does things I cannot see. I thought I had run out of faith, but I guess this is what it practically looks like to obtain it. Running to the ends of yourself, and having nothing to rely on except…..Jesus.

He said all I needed was a mustard seed, but I didn’t have that. So, I prayed for it. He wants all of my heart, my mind, and my soul, but I lost those down here in this pit. So, I asked him to help me find them.

He is taking me through a process that will not be over in a night. I will not bounce back in a week. Nor will I be ready for relationship in a month. No, this takes a commitment so strong, I have to give it a new name.

Covenant.

Something so powerful, it uses time its tool. God will not be rushed. And I will not be moved. We will sit here together.

I, in the mysterious shadows, will be still. I will slowly realize the the chains I could not see. I will hear them rattle every time I try to solve my own problems by ignoring them. Then I will be reminded I am still in the process.

And God? He will be faithful. He will be present. He will be working. For where I cannot see, he knows perfectly. He will bring me what I need. I must only rest. He will give me the key. He will remove the chains I placed on myself. He will teach me to stand again. He will teach me to walk again. He will teach me to live again. In truth. And as a result, I will know that…

He is God. 

And through Him,

I am alive.

Rebirth.

Today is a new day.

But…

Nothing makes sense right now. Or I guess…nothing is supposed to make sense.

I have watched everything crumble. I have seen strong buildings fall and systems collapse. I have heard the cries of mourning and wiped the tears of afflictions.

I am not talking about society. I am talking about me.

Today is a new day. But nothing makes sense…

yet.

I am taking things step by step. I’m not sure what my story will be, but I know I have a story to tell. So, I will continue to write until things make sense again.

I will move forward with hope, because today is a new day.