Why I Esq-My Personal Statement

My mother played a large role in instilling in me a sense of strength and character. She taught me many fundamental values of life: how to be courageous, how to love wholeheartedly and the importance of giving. In January of 2001, I became indebted to her when I was able to put her teachings to use. Without warning, that month, my mother became ill, and as her only child everything became my responsibility. At the young age of sixteen, I gave my mother all of my time. I was in charge of her finances, preparing meals, and doing minor chores around the house in addition to my junior year course load. I became the adult because my mother was too weak to continue with her role as breadwinner and caretaker.

Even though I applied the skills my mother taught me and took on this role as an adult, I was still very much young and naïve. I could not provide for us financially, nor did I know of any resources that could help us. There were days where my mother could barely get out of bed. Before going to school, I would bring her light snacks that would sustain her until I came back from school. It never crossed my mind to have her see a doctor because as long she was breathing and speaking to me her situation was not that dire—but it was. I also did not think to tell anyone that we were going through this hard time because it did not seem that bad. Our refrigerator was always stocked with the necessities, the rent was paid on time and our utilities were never shut off. Looking back I have no recollection of how we were getting these provisions. My only memory is of my mother stressing the importance of giving and sharing because eventually everything would come back to me tenfold. I believed her.

Four months later in April, when my mother could no longer bear the pain, she decided to check herself into the hospital. After a series of tests, the doctors discovered a stomach infection that was spreading throughout her body. They needed to act quickly because judging by the severity of the infection, she did not have long to fight. Having seen my mother in such a serious condition, there was a moment where I fell apart. Albeit this moment was very brief, I cried for all the months that I thought I was helping through my silence. After wiping my fist full of tears, I remember collecting myself and putting the house in order. My mother needed an advocate and she had given me the necessary tools to be that advocate. At 16 years old, however, I did not have answers to the questions that she had. The questions were regarding Medical Leave of Absence from her job, the steps to applying for medical insurance and rehabilitation once she started her recovery.

Fast-forward 11 years later my mother is fully recovered, but there are other families going through similar issues that my mother and I experienced.  I’ve met these families in shelters, on street corners due to homelessness and even in church. These families need someone to not only advocate for them, but give them the necessary tools to advocate for themselves. I have made it my mission to be that person. These individuals, particularly women like my mother, go through periods in their life where their voice is stifled and they cannot stand or speak for themselves. They don’t have answers to the questions my mother was asking 11 years ago. I now have the answers to the questions and have a voice to speak up for these women when their situation becomes dire, and even before it does. If at any point in their lives, these women become too weak to stand on their own, I have learned through my mother how to stand and fight their battles for them.

My experiences at 16, my mother and all the individuals currently struggling have fueled my desire to study law. I am ready to take on the challenges. I am ready to take on the challenge of saving lives through advocacy, because it is necessary and I am committed.

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Douze Janvye

I was not there but I am assuming now was probably the worst time for most, after the devastating earthquake. Those who were unconscious began to stir, trapped with no light in sight. Those who were stuck realized as it got darker, no one was coming for them. Those who had loved one’s take their last breath in their presence were praying that their time surely would come. No sharp object around to end the emotional pain that surpassed the physical. Those who were pregnant anticipating giving birth to a lifeless life or a lifeless life. 

Oh how we complain about what may seem to be a hard life, in our POV, but nothing compared to that midnight hour in Ayiti Cheri. Our beloved, Kiskeya Boyo, mother of the earth. 

Indeed, the load we carry is heavy and at any moment we may or may not collapse under it. But nothing like collapsing with an earth that betrayed you. An earth that promised to hold and guide your feet along the paths of life. 

Did you feel the heaviness of Ayiti Cheri, earth? Did you grieve along with her strife? Is destruction your method of grieving, earth? When I grieve, I repair myself. Why can’t you repair our beloved, earth? Why can’t you fix this? 

When I am depressed, everything just festers and disappears into my whole being. You, earth, your mentality is not supposed to resemble human nature. Your job is to support our feet. We are supposed to hit solid ground when we fall. But you, earth, you swallowed them whole. 

You swallowed our seeds and gave them no hope to bring forth life. 

Love: my way.

We tend to be so casual when we say I love you. Whether it is to family, friend, or lover(s) (plural because unfortunately and selfishly, it’s possible to love two people at once-cue Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature.”).

I’m learning to love differently. I’m learning not to love based on emotions or how someone makes me feel. It’s important to me that someone earns my love. Show me that you are worthy to receive these three intimate words. Love, for me, comes from respect, honor, loyalty, trust, communication, and honesty.

I stress the “me” because everyone loves differently. Everyone’s timing is different. Don’t let the next person decide when or how you should love. Love is freedom. Love is fluid. Love doesn’t always need to be reciprocated. Love isn’t staying because you have no choice. Love isn’t a trap. Love is making a decision to leave but still holding down your responsibilities. When you love, you make a judgment call. You make a promise. You give permission.

Love hard, my friends. 💕💕

Reflections on season enders

After the gruesome injury of Gordon Hayward, I found myself in deep reflection. The words from his teammates, words from fellow NBA ballers, and even words from the most hated player, the Black Mamba, sent me into very deep thoughts. Hayward’s season ending injury touched me deeply because: 1) I am a basketball fan and want to see the Celtics do nothing but win. They worked so hard to come to where they are now and winning is important for those who put in the work. 2) His injury reminded me of my life. I have had many season ending injuries and NEEDED to work my way back from them. And when I say injuries, I do not mean of this type. Sure, I’ve had quite a few very painful fractures but nothing compared to this.  My season ending injuries were a little bit more personal. They were setbacks. They were breakups. They were discouragements. They were ending friendships. They were the rebound relationships. They were not getting what I thought I needed, when I thought I needed them. These were things that I planned my life around and they fell short because it just was not my time. They were the letting myself be okay with not being perfect, even though people in my life may view me as such.

Now, the injury was very touching but my God, the inspiration, the deep thoughts, the nightly reflections stems from the recovery process, the mental rehab, the support, the discouragements, the confusion that comes with season ending injuries were the crux of my reflections and continues to be. As I reflect on my season ending injuries and think about how they keep me up at night, bring tears that I shed in the comfort of my solitude,  isolate me from my environment, and create anxious expectations from me, Hayward’s words bring to a place of peace and motivates me to move forward. Season ending injuries are just that. They last for a specific season and with continued motivation, continued rehab, continued work, I improve. Season ending injuries are temporary, in fact, they prepare you for better and greater things ahead.

As I reflect, I see this. I recall a particular season ending injury and how I grew from it. I am a better person after having gone through this. I am better equipped to teach my sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers how to move from this particular injury. Rehab from this injury not only taught me how to move past it, but also, taught me how to avoid it. One of my above mentioned fractures (see first paragraph) was a thumb fracture. I danced for a long time and when dancing, you learn to fall a specific way. You learn to catch yourself to avoid painful thumps to the ground. You learn to fall gracefully. This particular fracture was as a result of a fall. I did not apply the techniques I learned properly. Moving forward, this fall scared me into submission. I am more conscious of how I will land when I fall and remember to apply the techniques I learned in the past. Application is key. This is what season ending injuries are about. It is not to scare you from doing things again but they teach you how to move on, how to not let it happen again, and how to be stronger and better after. Will they happen again? Yes. I would be lying if I said certain injuries will not occur again. I do not believe in “to win you must lose but losing is a natural part of life.”

I’m using season ending injuries as an example and you might still be thinking, “I’ve never hurt myself before.” You are missing the point. It is not about hurting yourself but it is about the hurdles, the trials, the tribulations, the losses, the deaths, the breakups, that we face in life. Your season might have just lasted a day but there are lessons to be learned even in daily season injuries.

It is hard to prepare ahead for these season injuries, as often they occur so suddenly. But fear not, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am a living proof that joy does indeed come in the morning. You will find your true purpose, even during your recovery period. But I warn you, take the time to recover. Take the time to heal. Broken people cannot prosper. You will be toxic to your surroundings, including yourself. You cannot move forward you if you find comfort in your pain.

I truly hope you were able to grasp something from this post. I pray that whatever season injury you are currently facing brings a happy and healthy recovery.

How do you deal with season ending injuries?

En tout cas,

Me.

A teenage regression

I am grown. I have grown. I have experienced growth. I am grateful. Now though, in this very moment, in my current space, I feel 16. I feel 16 and not because I am experiencing some crazy teenage love or that childish simplicity. I am 16 because now, at 3something, where I have accomplished one of my most important goal, where I have seen and experienced the trauma, where I have found my peace, I find myself going back to the year I was forced to grow up. The year I did not get to experience because life veered off course. I find myself not really fitting into anything right now because I feel 16. I feel the weight of 16+ off my shoulder. I feel whole. I feel superior to my trials. I feel like the leader of my wilderness. I feel like I can fly because I have overcome. I feel like I owe it to myself to give myself back the year I lost.

How does one act 16? That’s the thing, at 16, I don’t know how to act. I want to be free and I act on my freedom. I want to live my truth and I am living it. I want to rebel against all institutions that bind me and I am knee deep in rebellion. I want to do things on my own terms and now, my terms are priorities. I do not want to be bound by the rules (with the exception of the law..because, well you know) and there currently are no rules.

And because I am grown, I am a responsible 16. I am making good choices. I am deciding who stays and who goes. I am not allowing my heart to experience 16 year old pain. I am being intentional. I am not hiding the truth. I am being purposeful.

I am going with the flow. I’m centered. I’m prayed up. I am watching as God surprises me. I am working on obedience. I am accepting. I am being.  I am 16.

 

Teach me how to…

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.” Am I the only one that is obsessed with William Shakespeare?  Anyway, the past 29 months have been inundated with learning. I’ve learned so much law to last me a life time. It’s at a point when I want to partake in certain activities, I’m wondering if there’s a Mass. Gen. Law prohibiting it. Besides the law, I’ve learned different things about myself. Some of these things, about me, require a little adjustment (always wanting to be in control and being skeptical of everything and everyone), some I’ve grown to love and stand fiercely in support, and some, not too sure how I feel about, but they are part of the package. I’m sharing because as mentioned in my last post, honesty is crucial. I come raw as ever, mostly because I expect the same in return.

I’ve learned….

To just be. For me, this means to do what I want, feel how I want, love how I want, move how I want, and so on. I don’t want to apologize for being in this space. It’s my time and I’ve given myself permission to be there.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to invite new people into my space because sometimes they help remove the venom of those already in. I’ve always struggled with letting people in because I feared disappointment, I feared lies, I feared people taking advantage of my vulnerability, and I feared people preying on me instead of praying for me. New, good, people are breaths of fresh air. Can’t say they won’t disappoint but my God, they serve a good purpose.

I’ve learned that I am hella skeptical, as above-mentioned. I need to trust more, but this comes with a series of heartbreaks. Not every will always inflict pain. I subscribe heavy to Proverbs 4:23 though: “Above all, guard your heart because everything flows from it.” Truth is, I’m scared and that’s the God honest truth.

I’ve learned that I am fierce protector of every one of my relationships. I literally use my heart as a shield because I want to preserve these relationships. I want them to be healthy and so I guard them. Anything I think isn’t good for them, I keep them away, including people. True story: I have different groups of friends and they’ve only recently come together during my graduation. They love each other, and I’m happy to be that glue that connects them all.

I didn’t recently learn this and some of you already know, but I like to have control. I’m learning to release. Feels good. I’ll have random moments though where things are not going how I think they should, and I’ll bow out gracefully.

I’ve learned that I have no problem leaving toxic relationships. I only want pure and true energy around me. I will exit if your energy disrupts my well-being ( I really mean aura here, but for the sake of simplicty, lol).

I’ve learned that Ritalin and Adderall do not work for me. I’ve learned to calm my ass down in other ways. Trial and error. You’re probably thinking, you don’t seem hyperactive. LOL

Finally, I’ve learned a multitude of other lessons that don’t need explanation:

Give wholeheartedly with zero expectations.

Have zero expectations.

Chase after my freedom.

Love without bounds, those that deserve.

Speak life into my dreams.

Protect my space.

Be open to new things.

Never cease my prayers.

Have you learned anything recently? Care to share?

En tout cas,

Me

 

Been a while…

Hey friends!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my deepest with you all. A lot has happened in the past few years and it has all been great! My dreams have come to life. I’ve finished law school. I’ve gotten my heart broken just a little bit. I’ve healed. I’ve conquered many giants. I’ve lost some friends. I’ve made some new ones. I’m looking forward to this new journey and sharing it with my faithful readers! I’m not sure if I want to take a new direction with this, but I definitely want to keep the honesty thing going on, because that’s the best policy.

Thanks for kicking it with me in the past, I look forward to ya’ll joining the party again.

BRB

En tout cas,

Me

As I approach 30 tomorrow

Most 29 memorable things I did at 29

1. Completely vegetarian
2. Did the whole love thang..twas great
3. law school
4. Horse back riding in the ocean w. my better half
5. Got two awards for my writing course
6. Went back to church  
7. Forgave
8.  Let go of things that were detrimental to my being
9.  Laid on the bare grass at the arboretum
10. Started oil pulling
11. Learned how to braid my hair ( almost a statistic: #blackgirlsbraid)
12. Pushed envelopes
13. Became an auntie to some babies
14. Moved on from hurt feelings..heartbreak don’t live here no mo
15. Started a blessings jar and quit -overflowed yall
16. Lost my grandfather but we still standing making him proud
17. Entertainment some BS on the road to 30
18. Learned not to clapback…just give sideeyes when necessary
19. Went swimming in the middle of the ocean miles away from shore
20. vineyard in torrential downpour…never again
21. Drove 5hrs for the 1st time after being trampled by a MACK truck
21. Put myself first.
22.  Tried vegan ice cream w an amazing friend
23. Afternoon tea at the Tahj w the same amazing friend
24. Continued to listen to trap music
25. Said no to a lot of things.
26. Headaches didn’t bring me to the E.R. far and few in between (ask me how)
27. Watched a few epi of lhhny. Never again CWA.
28. Found my purpose
29. Continued to unapologetically stand for truth and justice. I won’t ever back down.

#note2self

Because sometimes even superwoman needs to be reminded that she is everything she has ever dreamed she would be

image

Twenty-fine

I am turning 29 tomorrow, and I have no clue how to feel. I am no doubt blessed beyond measure, loved without reservation,  trusted without borders, and truly happy. There were times when I’ve expressed thoughts about feeling under accomplished, but quickly hushed because there was no way someone with my accomplishments can feel like they haven’t done enough. My thoughts, however,  were deeper than my educational/career background.  There were these lofty goals that I initially set for myself that I have yet to achieve,  and often times this leads to the aforementioned sentiment.

I’ve also been thinking heavily about my father. In a previous post I’ve mentioned how hard it was for me to even fathom the idea of being a fatherless child. I have since then hung those thoughts.

The void is still there though. It’s even harder as an adult to be without your father because you have certain expectations. My kids won’t have a maternal grandfather. He won’t be there at my law school graduation. He won’t give my man the speech or silent threat when he acts up. And he for sure won’t be able to walk me down the aisle.  At 29 this last part hurts the most. Sure I’ve got uncles, and they love me, but nothing compares to the love  Dave had for me. It was hands down a pure  unadulterated and unshakeable love. I don’t know how some folks can decide to be out of their child’s life by their own volition. The love of a parent is second to God’s love for humanity. I obviously have to muddle through this because this situation will never change.

In order to fill the void of feeling under accomplished and the feeling of being less of a woman because my dad is dead I want to do great things at 29. Some things will be hard because 9 months of it will be spent slaving over law school books, but we’ll see.

1.  Sit on a rooftop in the rain (with someone who won’t get so fed up and push me off lol….because I act up sometimes)    
2. Summer skip day to the beach (in the works….shhhh don’t tell my boss)
3. Participate/Support a strike
4. Freedom trail (did it 12 yrs ago)
5. Learn to ride a bike
6. Become completely vegetarian instead of the part timer I currently am
7. Run a race
8. Still haven’t had my cupcake and champagne (side eye to my sisters)
9.  Adopt a patient lifestyle (did you read my last blog)
10. Watch the entire 2 seasons of Hannibal over and the 3 movies (because I am so confused) 
11. Do a 30 for 30 blog series (That’s when you do a blog post for everyday of the month. I know what you are thinking lol….but I’ll try)

I’ll add more things to this, and probably do things that I don’t want to share.

Everything aside I am excited for 29. I am thankful and eternally grateful for many things. I look forward for this year to be nothing short of amazing.  I am anticipating some hard times, but the good will outweigh the bad.

L’chaim,

Me

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