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.

Keep Creating

When I was six years old, I wrote my first poem. I remember the moment very vividly. I was standing in the driveway of my family’s home, when I looked into the sky. It appeared that a storm was approaching, and I could hear the rumble of thunder in the distance. That is when these words rose up from within me:

“What’s that I hear?

A thunderstorm near

Oh my dear”

These words may not seem significant to you, but they mean the world to me. This was the birthplace of my relationship with poetry/writing.

Before I had friends. Before I knew how to communicate with my family. Even before I knew God. There was poetry. Poetry is how I process and communicate with the world around me. I would even say it was the starting point of God’s pursuit of me. When I write, I wish I could say I was the source, but I am not. The words seem to just flow from deep parts within my nephash (soul) that even I haven’t fully experienced. It’s like giving birth.

Last week, I was both humbled and deeply inspired when asked to be a featured artist for an event. I did nothing to deserve that platform. I did not strive for it. I did not ask for it. Yet, it was offered to me by people who could see my art even when I was not creating. I was blessed with the opportunity to display my short film and perform my poetry.

It felt like a dream the entire night. Even as I recited the poem I had rehearsed all week, I could not understand how I had grabbed the attention of everyone sitting in the bar. I could not believe they cared and related to the words of the piece, and I still can’t. However, God wanted to show me what He had been telling me all along.

I am a writer. 

He wants me to create. He wants me to be a storyteller. He did, in fact, place this gift inside of me. My poems are not in vain, and they do matter. They are part of my light. I always believed I was placed here to do great things, but after life knocked me down for seven years in a row, I was starting to think it was just a fantasy. But it’s not. It’s very real. I believe God let me go through the journey I have been on, because he wanted me to remain humble. He wanted to teach me that it will not happen by my strength but by His alone. Everything He promised will happen, but only because of His power. Yes, I still have to be obedient, but I don’t have to map out every detail of my life. Besides, our humanly plans never seem to work out anyways. Instead, I must always recognize that God is in control.

I did nothing to deserve that stage, but God gave it to me. I choose to believe this is only the beginning. I am a writer. I am a poetess. My words matter. I have a story inside of me that only I can tell. All I have to do is…

…keep creating.

The rest is up to God…

…and I think I’m in good hands.

Steps Forward/ Vivid Colors

My dreams had faded to black and white. A stale version of what was planted in my heart. They were beginning to disappear from my memory. I was beginning to forget about passion and what caused a stir inside of me, because…nothing seemed to cause a stir inside of me anymore.

But now…

I’m different. Everyday towards my healing feels like a baby’s step towards progression, but I’m getting there. It’s like all the projects I put down, I want to start again. Not only do I want to start them, but bringing them to completion now feels achievable.

This is a good sign, and I will celebrate this milestone. Plans for the future means a hope for the future. And that was something I thought I had lost. God helped me find it.

I see the color inside my dreams again. I don’t have to sleep walk in the daytime or lie awake at night. I can live again. I am living again.

And life is beginning to feel great…

…again.

 

Dead.

Photographer: Unknown

I had not realized the rabbit hole I climbed into until I was nearing the bottom. When you fall that gracefully, it leaves you wondering how you got there. I was confused to feel my body hit the ground so suddenly.

The earth shook.

Something inside of me broke off.

I lay there for a while looking at the empty space surrounding me. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. For my body to adjust to the pain. For my skin to adjust to the bruising.

This was my death.

I wanted to stand again, but I couldn’t. I didn’t have the energy to lift myself up. I wanted to search for some meaning. I wanted to find a way out. My mind wouldn’t allow me to delve into these desires. Instead, I just experienced pain.The pain from the fall resonated through my entire being. A part of me was touched that was only meant for the hands of God. And she wept.

For days. For weeks. For months.

An entire season of rain passed through the desert land of my heart, but my soil was not watered. The seeds of love drowned inside of what was supposed to make them grow.

This was my funeral.

I could not open my lips to pray. I did not ask God to save me; I did not have the energy to reach for Him.

Instead, God came to me.

Rest.” That was first word I heard. The only one that sat on my ears for a while. Then more came…

I love you.

Confusion on how a God can love someone who causes themselves harm filled my mind, but my response got lost in my exhaustion. So I rested. And I allowed God’s love to cover me like a blanket.

Except this was not a blanket meant for sleeping. It was one of restoration and of life.


To be continued.

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.

 

Update-GREAT NEWS!!!

I love ya’ll so much ❤

I want to post on my site more, and I want to be more consistent. However, every artist knows….consistency is not our strong suit. So, me posting this update is, hopefully, a step in the right direction. I still don’t know how exactly I want my website to be branded, but I know I want it to be authentically me.

So this is me right now:

Great news!!!! I started school…again! The first time around I was going to a school just because I thought that’s what you’re supposed to do right after high school. I signed up for classes and got lost in the shuffle of things, and I ended up with this gigantic bill! I could not afford what they wanted, and they kicked me out. Politely, of course. And ever since then I have been on a journey of self discovery.

It took years away from traditional learning for me to define who I am and what I actually care about. I also worked a lot of jobs that were not a good fit for me. I do not believe your job defines who you are, but we spend a lot of time at work. So, it is important for me to spend my time on something I care about.

With that being said, I asked God, “What is my next best move?” And through a series of events, He answered, “Full Sail University.” That’s the short version anyways.

Basically, after working on my series, Mixtape Poetry and creating videos for my vlog series, She Speaks, I realized how much I love creating visual stories. I also realized how hard it was to teach myself certain camera techniques. Eventually I want to create my own films and write my own scripts and publish my own books, but if I have to finance my dream through a regular job…I want to be in an industry I love! So, I am going back to school to acquire my degree in Digital Cinematography.

Why not writing?

Writing is my first love. So, I don’t want anyone to control it in any way. I don’t want it to become a chore or mundane. So, getting a writing job was never something I was interested in. Changing my writing style to comply with someone else’s vision is just not for me. I would probably grow to resent something I once loved. So, I still write! You don’t ever have to worry about that, but I am doing it on my own terms. I will still publish my own words one day.

But I’m an artist. Which means I am not locked down to one lane. Which means I have the right to explore different avenues of storytelling. And visual storytelling is something else I am passionate about.

So, I just wanted to share where I am! I love you all so much for your kind words and encouragement. I hope to start posting more on here soon. Something tells me I might make a few changes to the site in the near future.

Stay Tuned!!

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.

What I Wish I knew

I wish I knew more writers before embarking on this journey to authorship.

I wish someone would have told me the hard stuff.

Like…being a full time writer can be lonely. That spending 40 hours a week in complete solitude with you, yourself, and your thoughts is challenging for even the most extreme of introverts. That letting your thoughts run wild is scary, because you have always been told not to. That it’s so important to allow your mind to wander, for it is only then will you discover what is really inside of you. That writing is a journey into the depths of self, and self is sometimes unpleasant to observe.

I wish someone would have told me to get out the house more. To mingle. To take time to look away and do mindless activities. That using your gift so much can be draining, so extracurricular activities are a must. That your friends won’t understand what you’re going through. That people will keep asking what your life plan is as if writing is just a hobby and you need to get a “real” job. That even the people closest to you just won’t get it all the time. That your vision is not a shared experience….the only person that can see it is you. So, being your own cheerleader is a must.

Most importantly I wish they would have told me to stop caring. Immediately. Stop caring about opinions and criticism. Stop caring about the reader when you’re writing (they only matter afterwards). Stop waiting for people to celebrate milestones, because they really don’t understand your struggles. Stop caring about the outside noise. Stop caring about things that don’t matter.

I wish someone would have told me that I am the most important person in my own journey.

I wish someone would have told me to love self furiously even when I can’t stand to look at myself.

I wish I was taught earlier what it means to live an unapologetic life.

But that’s okay, because I learned. My first five months as an artist was damn hard. It was one of the most challenging moments of my life, but I am so much stronger now. I am so much wiser. I am a better version of myself, and I’m ready to continue ahead.

One step at a time. One lesson at a time.

If you are thinking of pursuing artistry full time, well…this is me telling you what was never told to me.