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?
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?
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:
- Checked my emails
- Completed the tasks on my to-do list for the day
- 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.
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?