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.

 

No More Begging

Submit query letter.

Wait four weeks for reply.

Receive nicely written rejection letter.

Repeat. 

Submit query letter.

Wait four weeks for reply.

Receive nicely written rejection letter.

Repeat. 

Submit query letter.

Wait four weeks for reply.

Receive nicely written rejection letter.

Repeat. 

I can’t do this anymore.

I have to break this cycle of discouragement

I’m not sure why they call creative vocations dream jobs. The process of pursuing your calling is the most challenging process a person will ever have to go through. Jumping over hurdles of rejection and low self-esteem is not for the weak of heart. It takes a certain level of strength to still believe in yourself when no one else seems to.

Well, after years of jumping hurdles and countless rejection letters, I’m done.

…with query letters that is.

I have composed a total of three books that has yet to see the light of day. Why? Because everyone who has the opportunity to read it seems to think it is not worthy of being birthed into the world. Every time I finish something and feel so proud, that confidence is brutally murdered by the slightest negative comment. And you know what I have come to realize? It’s not everyone else…

It’s me.

It’s me. I’m the problem. The only person stopping my books from seeing the light of day is me. Every time I receive a rejection letter or hear disapproval on the topics I choose to write about, I walk away from my babies (my projects). After carrying around the idea for nine months and watching it grow, I abort my efforts suddenly. I lose hope. I eventually stop looking over them and praying for them. I look for something else to nurture. As if those aborted ideas were not worth the effort. But…they are.

Each of the three books I have written is amazing. The words in those manuscripts has the potential to save a life and change the world. And you know what else? I have decided I’m no longer going to beg big name publishers to give me a chance. If they can’t see the greatness and potential in what I have written. They will see once they catch wind of it on the other side of the publishing process.

No more query letters. No more pouring my heart out to agents who only listen when you have 50000000000 followers on social media. No more setting my hopes up only to get politely rejected. No more. No more begging. No more persuading. No more proving the worth of my work.

So, what am I saying?

I’m saying,

I have decided…

…to self publish.

Exodus

I’m in the part of my journey no one will clap for; I am experiencing a wide range of emotions that no one will notice. When my shoulders slump over and my head droops, no one seems to care.

It’s an internal conflict.

I have been arguing with God lately. Not the most devout thing I have written, but ya’ll don’t expect that from me anyways. I have given him attitude and I have folded my arms in protest. He has been speaking…A LOT. Unfortunately, He hasn’t been saying things I have wanted to hear.

Yes, He still speaks life and speaks of a glorious future to come, but now, as I begin the journey, he is bringing me to the edge of the promise land. He is showing me the giants and telling me He won’t remove them all at once, but slowly. [Deuteronomy 7:22]

He is giving me a speech that I will indeed inherit the land, but my mind grows suspicious when he repeats the phrase “Be strong and courageous.” [Joshua 1:6-9]

What is happening Jesus?

I told God that I wanted to live at an optimum level inside of His will. I want to reach my fullest potential. I don’t want anything that He wanted me to accomplish to go unattended to at my funeral. I want to see all He wants me to see. I want to do all He wants me to do. I want to sacrifice, and love, and be successful. I want to be successful!! I want to experience all the promises spoken over my life before I was even born. I want to experience financial freedom. I want to minister to people I will never meet through my writing. I WANT THE DESIRES OF MY HEART.

And I went through a celebratory moment when God said, “Okay. It is done.” When He woke me in the middle of the night to tell me He loves me. When He repeated promises I had forgotten about. When He said it all belongs to me and this is the time everything will begin to shift into place.

But now, (excuse my french) I’m mad as hell. Because now, I find myself on the run. I find myself hiding in caves. I find myself being hunted down by the people I trusted most. I find myself alone. I find myself in a constant state of battle. [The entire life of David]

God, this feels like war.

The words I hear God saying now are “Life is hard,” “This will be tough, but I will get you through,” “Hard work is not a bad thing.” (yes God had to remind me that hard work won’t kill me). But I am yelling “GOD TAKE AWAY THESE THORNS!” The crown I longed for is starting to feel more like a punishment. I am now barely grasping how much courage it had to take Jesus to pray for God’s will to be done in the garden as I find myself struggling to say the same. [Luke 22:42]

This is the part no one claps for, no one notices.

When God delivered the Israelites out of slavery, they didn’t know they were going into war. Stop judging them. Their journey was a tough one. No one claps for them in Exodus, but what they experienced was real. It was hard. It was an everyday battle. The life I’m living is real. It’s hard. Its an everyday battle. However unlike the Israelites, I will not run from the land of giants.

I’m going to take what already belongs to me.

I’m ready to fight, are you?

 

A Lesson From This Season

Sometimes it’s okay to just rest. Yes we are a community of creatives. But always remember you are human first. You own your talents. Your talents do not own you. You should not feel like a slave to your gifts.

And it is okay to go through seasons where you are not creating much. It is okay to just be you for a while. You are you and you are enough with or without your gifts.

Identity

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Source: Unknown

The balance of humility and confidence is what I struggle to achieve. It seems like a constant compromise to either self-deprecate or walk with arrogance. I am learning that having a solid knowledge of who I am will keep me from wandering to either extremes. So, where does my identity come from? It comes from the Lord. I am His child. I am loved. and I am royalty. Everything else is a small detail. This is the foundation I build upon on this lifelong journey of discovery. 

-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

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.

Self Reconciliation (Revolutions)

Funny…

I had not realized I was at war with myself. This entire time God has been telling me to work and trust Him, but I did not know it was myself He wanted me to work on.

Last year was a season of discovery. This year is a season of reconciliation. Now that I have found the me that God created in His image, I must learn to become one with her. I must learn to let her lead and not my ego. I must learn how to create peace within myself.

After all, how will I cause great revolutions in the world, if I cannot direct the greatest revolution of them all.

So, my hiatus from creating is still in full effect. The most important relationship and project in my life is the one with myself. Everything else will have to be an afterthought.

 

Miscarriage (Ideas)

As important as it is to be in a constant position to partner with creativity and new ideas, so it is equally important to always be able to let go of ideas that are no longer fruitful.

It could have been great. It was a phenomenal idea, but it is not what you will procreate with. It could have been beautiful. But it is nothing, and that is perfectly okay, my darling. It is okay to let it go. Let it spread its wings and partner with another heart. Do not hold onto something that is not your own to create.

Let it go and remain open to the next idea that wants to drift in your life and wander around your thoughts.

There is life after lost ideas.

Remember It’s Okay

What you feed is what you create.

But what about when I don’t feel like being positive?

When rainbows and sunshine make me want to vomit.

When I turn my head in pessimism

I need to know it’s okay to have a bad day.

And that five bad days in a row is not an omen,

But an awning of human emotion.

Tell me, I am okay,

Because the T.V. screen paints it as weak,

Labels you depressed when you see no need to rise.

Some days are harder to get out of bed.

Some days I am a different version of myself.

That does not mean my personalities have split in two.

Aren’t we allowed to be layered

And textured?

I know I have a right,

And feelings change shape by the minute.

But writing it

Makes me remember

That I am not okay

But I will be.

And that’s okay.