In May 2012, I wrote my first book. I just knew it would help people. It was published in 2013 then in 2014, I published two poetry books. During the time I was writing, I was also helping my son, whom I had been told was developmentally delayed. We started him in daycare and speech therapy and my daughter got a job. I kept writing poetry to help me get through until my car got totaled. For nearly two years I needed to take cabs for everything I did including getting my son to school and going to my college classes until, on March 11, 2016, I got a new car. The date has meaning because it was my first son’s birthday. Life got better. Then it got worse and I have continued to have hard times between the good ones. I got a job in 2017 as a substitute teacher but lost it in 2018 and flunked out of college because my uncle, who I was very close to, died and I took it too hard. Because I was always home and feeling depressed, I gained weight. In January 2019, when I felt better, I enrolled in the college where I am now and I applied for another job as a substitute teacher. I apologized for the incident and they decided to give me another chance. March 2020 school closed and I was unemployed. It took months to get unemployment and I had to write to my governor, attorney general, and senator. It was frustrating virtual learning with my son. We were both struggling to do the work; it was entirely too much work.
My life still has ups and downs but throughout this time writing has continued to help me along with counseling. Having my dog also helps me and my son mentally. I adopted her 12 years ago and it was one of the best things for us. I’m currently a senior in college working on my bachelor’s degree in psychology and studying criminal justice. Over the past nine years, I have found that my mission in life is being an advocate. I want to be a voice for people who need someone to fight on their behalf so after I finish my Bachelor’s, I plan to get my JD law degree.
Things like walking, watching sports, and my relationship with God keep me from being down. Throughout the challenge of this past year, my relationship with God has kept me steady, and so I use that to also write and use social media to share my story. This time with the last presidential administration was very triggering, especially when he was on Twitter, so I would write poetry on Twitter in response. My poetry seemed to be a bridge over troubled water and was able to connect people from opposite sides.
Having my son helped me to improve my life and make better choices for him, too. Had I not had him I would not have been in college. He inspires me every day. I believe God gave him to me to see what lies within myself and had been in me all the time but I didn’t see it. I am very grateful. God knows what we need to get us on the right track and I am not interested in looking back. Everything we go through in life is to help someone else. It has a purpose. For every season God has a reason. Each season is preparing us for the next one. My family saw my season of struggles in New Orleans for 20 years but what they didn’t see was that that pain helped me gain my identity and my purpose. God will use your pain for a purpose and your story will help others. Some lessons I learned the hard way: don’t date, leave men alone and focus on me and my son. Leave toxic people behind because they are always in a bind.