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Showing posts from January, 2017

JJ's Year of Coming of Age- Day 95- Dreams To Dream in the Dark of the Night...

To have your childhood dream realized is a really big deal. -Maya Rudolph
15 year old me...

wide eyed...
full of dreams! 
I was gonna be a writer (check) 
I was gonna be on tv (check)
I was gonna be on the cover of magazines (check)
I was gonna move to New York (check)
I was gonna record records (check)
I was gonna own successful businesses (still building but check)
I was gonna travel the world doing what I love (check)
I was gonna win a Grammy (made it to the final ballot...but not quite yet)
I was gonna be an advocate for female empowerment (check)
I had no plans to be a wife or mother (but check em anyway)
Never was I supposed to be divorced or have a child die (check that too)
I never imagined being homeless, sleeping on the train, and singing in the subways (check)
You couldn't have paid me to believe that I would live in an extended stay hotel, or homeless shelter with my children (check)
Never conceived that I would move to 4 different states...47 different times in a 7-year span searching…

Jj's Year of Coming of Age- Day 94- There's Nothing In Hell That I Want...

"When you are going through hell...Keep going" 
-Winston Churchill
#Motivation
2012...
Matt's House- StewPot Homeless Shelter- Jackson, MS

This picture brings tears to my eyes...
I took it while living in a homeless shelter with my boys...
My car had been totaled by a woman who ran a red light...and I wasn't able to make it to my five jobs..resulting in me being fired from them all and evicted from my apartment in Detroit, Michigan. I was able to get the money for a bus ticket to Jackson, Mississippi...and after staying in an extended stay hotel...I was fired from my job (Didnt have a babysitter) and was evicted from there too...leaving me and my 12 and 2 year old sons...homeless.

To my children, it was just a new adventure...(my oldest kinda knew what the deal was...but, he graciously took it in stride.)
To me...it was one of the darkest times of my life...which in turn ended up being the most blessed times of my life. I experienced so many precious God moments in that shelt…

Jj's Year of Coming of Age- Day 93 1/2- Life...Put Cha Dukes Up!!

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” 
-Winston Churchill
I know that some of you are wondering why I am posting so much...
well...I'm sharing my secret to how I get over life punching me in the face, and get over it rather quickly...

See...My life has not been a crystal stair. I have had WAY more failures than successes. (One recent big one- being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome as an adult-seems like everybody knew...but me.) But, I'm a dreamer...a fearless visionary...the one that everyone looks at and shakes their heads and calls me a nutjob because I tend to see things on the horizon that everyone collectively agrees is not there. I admit, sometimes I take off running towards that pie in the sky, and I'm right on the money...others...the journey itself is the only prize to be won. When that happens...My eye tends to swell up, my lip bursts, and welts and bruises begin to show...life has once again handed me a royal beat dow…

Jj's Year of Coming of Age- Day 93- Such is the Life of a Vision Hustler...

"Never. Never. Never. Give up." -Winston Churchill
I have learned over the years that disappointments, let downs, betrayals, misunderstandings, hiccups, and devastation happen...regardless of how much you plan...no matter how many precautions you take. It doesn't matter how talented, how gifted, well-liked, popular, wealthy, well-connected you are, or how good your intentions are...S*** happens. And it sucks...every time.
However, what I have also learned is...The old adages and cliches are certainly true:
It truly isn't how many times you fall...but, how many times you get up...
It really is true that everything does happen for a reason...
It also has been proven that tough times don't last, but tough people do...
In the midst of adversity...Your attitude really does determine your altitude.
It's okay to be bummed and cry...but, joy will come in the morning (even if that morning isn't necessarily the very next day...it WILL come.)
Good things fall apart, so bet…

JJ's Year of Coming of Age Day 60: With a Little Help From My Friends...I Managed to Not Kill Myself.

"The wonder years??  Yeah, it's a wonder that I made it through them at all"   -Jj Thames
1993-1996 (Middle School)

I was a honor student.
The student government Vice President.
The starting center on the varsity basketball team.
Award winning member of the choir (show choir, solo ensemble, city and state choirs, etc.)
I figure skated, modeled, was on a dance team, took piano lessons, and entered talent shows.
I won tons of awards and received numerous certificates for creative writing, community service, other sports, and organizations...
There are tons of pictures of me smiling and being a normal, well rounded, upper middle class suburban kid.

But, I wasn't.
I was lonely, bullied, experiencing social anxiety, feeling ugly, misunderstood, left out, depressed, and ultimately suicidal.

By 12 years old...I had already experienced mental, emotional, and sexual abuse...by 13, I had attempted suicide 3 times. In 7th grade, I mostly spent all of my time in the counselors office i…