Thanks to Life Balance for the Sunshine Blogger Award

As the wintry cold closes in on Atlanta, some sunshine is always welcome. Next week, I’ll be hiding out on Amelia Island in Florida, to soak up as much sun as I possibly can before heading back to the cold of Georgia.

Thankfully, vacations to the Sunshine State isn’t the only way we can find a bit of sunshine in our lives, especially in the blogging community. There are several bloggers, and many posts I have come across this year, that brought a smile to my face or set a new tone for my day.

And so, I was pleased to find that I was one of those bloggers for someone else; namely, Life Balance. Thank you! If memory serves, this is my first time getting this award. But like the Liebster Award from last week, I have a series of questions to answer, so let’s get started!

Q & A Section

What made you start writing?

I first started writing, because I wanted to create magic. As a child, I always wondered how my mother read words from a book, and knew what to say, and got it right every night. While I pondered on this, I watched The Sword in the Stone with my older cousins, and came to the brilliant conclusion that literacy was magic.

When I asked my mom where she learned this magical skill from, she told me it was school. I decided I wanted to go to school too, so I could learn to create magic. I was 2 and a half when I started, and that was when I first started making up stories.

I then started writing full-length novels in the 7th grade at 11 years old, and have been blogging on and off since 14 years old. My interest in writing only continued to grow from there.

Who is your role model, life coach or teacher? Who inspires you?

This was an easier question for me to answer as a teenager. There were so many rock musicians I admired, who had lived a similar tale or worse than myself, and had turned their angusih into art. I especially admired Sonny More (now known as Skrillex) from From First to Last, and Bert McCracken from The Used.

However, as I got older, I found myself looking closer to home. I’m most inspired by my mother. Despite living in a separate country from her for at least 14 years of my 28, I find it amusing how similar we are, in both virtues and vices. I am thankful for the way she raised me — even from 2500 miles away — and the woman I became as a result of that.

What excites you?

Books and kittens excite me.

But more than even them, is travel. I get excited at the prospect of visiting a new place, hiking new terrains, experiencing different cultures, and being away from home.

Funny enough, I am always just as excited to come home. They say if you build a life you love, you’ll never really need a vacation from it, and though I love to travel, I confess that this is true.

What do you think is the main goal in our life?

Doing the tango with a tree at Yellow River Park.

A post shared by Alexis Chateau 🇯🇲 (@alexischateau_) on

My main goal in life is to be free: to experience true liberty and freedom. This need grew in me, while working a corporate job in payroll. For the first time in my young adult life, I no longer had 3 – 5 months per year to spend abroad, as I had done for 6 years of college.

At first, I thought I could handle it. I could not. I quite honestly feared for my sanity.

After two years of suffering, I quit my job to travel and write. I now keep a part-time job on the weekends, and have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday… every week… to spend as I please.

My ultimate goal is to get to that point where I no longer feel a weekend job is a necessary Plan B.

Imagine the perfect world. How would it look?

My perfect world has plenty of beaches, hiking trails, WiFi everywhere, very cute kittens that let us pet their tummies, and amazing books to read. We should also have carbon copies of men like Kit Harington and Jason Momoa everywhere. Obviously.

If we’re dreaming big on this one, it would also be lovely to see equal rights for the LGBT, women, and minorities in America and the rest of the world.

What do you think you can do today to contribute to create this perfect world?

I’m not sure my perfect world is one you create. I think it’s a niche you find. For the tougher perfections, I can only live and/or lead by example. As the famous A Song of Ice and Fire line goes, “Words are wind”.

What do you want to do, have, or achieve in life?

I want a (more) successful business, the ability to travel more often, a beach house in Jamaica, and a loft in the city. Oh, and abs. I’m working on those.

On a larger and more specific scale, I own a lot of land in Jamaica and plan to turn that into a haven for hippies and adventure-seekers. It will take a lot of capital and time to get this done, but that’s my big goal for my 30s and 40s.

Tell me the biggest story or struggle which changed your life. What did you learn from it? What message could you share with other people?

The biggest struggle in my life was living with an abusive father. When I finally found the nerve to tell his side of the family what was happening, they went right back to him and told him what I had said. I was labelled a liar and an ungrateful child, and was threatened to be thrown out of the house.

I was 16.

When I finally made up my mind that I was leaving, and returning to family property on my mother’s side of the family, they had the police escort me there. Dead serious. My father then broke into that family property, and stole appliances, clothes, and building materials from the house.

A year later, with me gone, he turned on the family who had believed him over me. They all then wanted to reach out to me to tell me I was right, and they were sorry. I had zero interest in reconciliation, and have nothing to say to them.

The biggest lesson I learned from that experience is sometimes blood doesn’t mean anything. Family doesn’t always have your back, even when you’re a child, even when you’re the victim.

I have a stepdad now, and he’s great. I have no space for another father. My family is complete, and I have never been happier.

What are you proud of in your life?

There are a lot of things I’m proud of in life! I aced school with honours, started my own business at 16, and have lived in two countries! Quitting my job took some serious guts, too!

But I think of all my points of pride, this blog is my strongest. It’s come a long way and is growing every day, thanks to people like you (yes you!), who’s reading this now, and will probably even leave me a lovely comment.

Thanks to all of you!

Do you believe that we receive what we ask for? If yes, tell me some story which confirms it. If not, tell me why do you think so?

I believe we receive what we work for. As a Third World native, the idea of just being given something because I ask for it, is a foreign one.

There are sayings in Jamaica like “speak it into being”, but that’s religious talk. The idea is that God will grant those wishes if you pray hard enough. This is similar to the acronym PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens.

I am not religious, so that doesn’t apply to me. If I want something, I work my butt off for it. I take risks. I look for opportunities. And I make the best of every chance I’m handed, no matter how small.

Do you have any success/self-development daily routine? What is it?

A rare smile, or so they say. #NOVEMBER31 #AskMeHowIGotHere .

A post shared by Alexis Chateau 🇯🇲 (@alexischateau_) on

Though I have a part-time job, I am allowed to bring my laptop, and I have a lot of downtime. I get a lot of my work done during that downtime. So by the time the week rolls around, I only work on my business because I want to.

With five days to myself, my routine is basically to get up in the morning and do whatever I want after I have:

  1. Checked my emails
  2. Completed the tasks on my to-do list for the day
  3. Checked in with client work

That usually takes about four hours. Thereafter, I can read a book, write a book, write a company newsletter, tweet, head to the gym… or take a 5-day trip to Amelia Island.

Nominations

As I mentioned in my previous post, no one ever participates in these when I nominate them, so instead, I’ll once again highlight a few great bloggers I’ve been chatting with over the past few weeks and months.

The Big Question

My big question is for the bloggers I highlighted, and those who read this post. It’s multilayered, so I cean hear a little about your stories.

What is one thing you received as a child that you still have, today? Who gave it to you? Why do you still have it? Why does it mean so much to you?

Unfortunately, I don’t have anything from my childhood. When I was about 11 years old, my biological father lit a nice big bonfire and burned them all. If there was one thing I could have kept it was my first book with Bere Rabit.

It was a gift from my mother when I was 2 years old, and the first personal possession I can remember. I prized that book, because I knew it through-and-through as a child, and despite being so young when it was first given to me, there was not a rip or a mark. It was in pristine condition when he set it on fire…

There is, however, a teddy my mom gave me one Christmas when $20 was all she had to spend on celebrating with me. You can read about that sad but (I think) uplifting story here: Why Teddy will Always be My Number #1 Man.

What’s your story?

Alexis Chateau Black Cat

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. jesfarquhar says:

    Is that bere rabbit who escapes from bere fox? I love that story! Where I live there are a lot of briar patches and I’m constantly getting stuck in them and quoting “born and bred in a briar patch, bere fox!” Haha!

    1. Haha, I wish I could remember exactly which one of the stories it was, but it was that same Bere Rabbit character. I loved that little book. It was the first book I ever learned to read. After that, I moved on to Enid Blyton.

  2. Yuliya says:

    Hey Alexis! Thank you for your great answers! I admire how goal -oriented and self-motivated you are since your childhood. I am working hard on becoming that always up-and-running person 🙂

    1. Thanks for nominating me. Glad you enjoyed the answers. It takes constant effort to be that always up and running person, but at this point, my greatest struggle is remembering to slow down!

  3. Aww thanks for the mention dear. I’m looking forward to replying in a post soon after I’ve thought long and hard about those interesting questions. What I’m about to say next may sound rather weird because NONE of what you went through back then is even remotely pleasant but isn’t it great how what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? It makes you appreciate what you have and what you’ve worked hard for 100x more and I think overcoming pain brings out the best kind of happiness. Continue being strong & writing your story of triumph each day. I’m glad your family is now complete too.

    All the best with your goals. My bucket list will be leaving a place open for the next 10-20 years too it seems 😉 Don’t keep me waiting too long

    1. You’re welcome, Rochelle. Thanks for being one of the memorable voices on my Jamaican posts. 😄

      I don’t regret those experiences at all. Especially as a writer, I think I’m much better at channeling pain in words because I’ve lived it. Inspiration doesn’t always come from the most pleasant sources. In fact, most times it does not.

      And thank you! I hope I get to come back to Jamaica soon. I really wanted to come back for Christmas, but…politics. So off to Florida instead! I guess that’s as close as I’ll get for now!

      1. That’s very true. Safe travel!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I learned a lot more from this post. I hope you are also considering a refuge for tired elderly activists on your property. I would be right down to relax and recharge.

    1. Haha, thank you Elizabeth. As it so happens, there will always be a place for you on the property once it’s up and running 😄. And by the looks of things, I’m about to be given a second. It’s funny how poor my family is, yet we own so much land!

  5. Thanks for the mention, Alexis. It really means a lot to me coming from you. To answer your question, the one thing I received as a child that I consider invaluable and that I still have today is family. No matter what life has thrown at me, or the mistakes I’ve made, or the wrong I’ve done I could always count on the love and support of my six older sisters, mother, and father. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be here to read your thought-provoking, inspiring blog posts.

    1. Aw, thank you! I’m glad my posts inspire thought. Our generation doesn’t think nearly enough, and not about the things that truly deserve their attention!

      When you have great family members that’s always amazing. I did some pruning, and now I can say I do too haha. I’m an only child though! I got stepsiblings much later in life, and they’re kids…so I never lost that only child feel.

      1. “I did some pruning” I like that.

      2. Just being honest lol. I only speak to one person from my biological father’s side of the family. I cut everyone off and have resisted their efforts to reconnect. The last time I tried that in 2013, it ended in police getting involved and me fleeing to the other end of the island (I lived in Jamaica at the time). I’ll pass 😅😂

      3. Wow! Do you think there will ever be a point in your life where you’ll be able to reconcile with your father’s side of the family?

      4. Nope. I have no desire to. My life is so much more peaceful without their craziness.

      5. Fair enough!

  6. davidprosser says:

    Thanks so much for the nomination Alexis I’m honoured. Unfortunately,having just been discharged from hospital today I need to rest a lot and also try and find a way of getting back into the swing so I won’t have chance to take this on. I’m really grateful to have been one of your choices though.
    xxx Humongous Hugs xxx

    1. The hospital? I hope everything is alright! Thanks for dropping by, David. I hope you feel better soon.

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