Good Girl Chronicles

2018: The Year of Bold & Courageous Rebuilding

This year I asserted that 2018 would be the year of my rebuilding. My proclamation was based on one of my favorite scriptures,

“I will rebuild you again, and you, Virgin Israel will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful.” – Jeremiah 31:4

In a lot of ways I have rebuilt a lot in my life this year:

The Rebuilding of my health
    I managed to lose 20 pounds this year. I am not quite at my goal weight. I am determined to be under 200 pounds in the coming year.

The Rebuilding of my Finances
    Thanks to a generous friend assisting with legal fees I was able to declare bankruptcy this year. I was overwhelmed with medical bills, credit card, and collections from my year of homelessness. My credit score is improving and I am slowly learning better budgeting habits.

The Rebuilding of my Independence
    This year I was able to live on my own in studio apartment. Being able to pay my own bills, find a good work/life balance rebuilt a lot of confidence in myself.

The Rebuilding of Boundaries
    In therapy I realized I had little to no personal boundaries. I realized that telling someone no is not mean, and that speaking up for yourself is a form of self love. And, people who do not respect your boundaries do not deserve your time and energy.

2018 was also the year of taking BOLD and COURAGEOUS leaps! Towards the beginning of the year I felt God whispering to me, “I can’t bless what you don’t step out on. It reminded me of Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you to be bold and courageous.”

All the dreams and desires in my heart can never come to pass if I am not BOLD enough to make a move. I prayed for so many things this year, but apart of me didn’t want to make a move unless I was sure I would succeed. I have felt like a failure in so many areas of my life the past few years and it often makes me afraid to take chances. This year I can honestly say I took that command from Joshua 1:9 and MOVED BOLDLY.

Hosting The Kevin Hines Movie “The Ripple Effect” : Kevin Hines attempted suicide off the Golden Gate Bridge when he was 19 years old. After reading his powerful memoir about his attempt and mental illness I happy to learn he produced a documentary about his story. The movie is being shown on-demand only. I decided to host a screening in Hampton Roads. To my amazement over 90 people came and I landed an interview on a local lifestyle show called ‘Coast Live’. I later hosted a screening in Lynchburg, Virginia. This required so much courage, and I am proud of myself for taking the leap. Play this clip to hear about the emotional accomplishment.

Auditioning & Performing in This is My Brave : This Is My Brave is a non-profit that gives people living with a mental illness a platform to share their stories through stage shows, and blogs. This year I attended a This is My Brave show in Arlington, Virginia and decided to audition for the next show. I was accepted as a cast mate, and shared my story of first expericing anxiety attacks. It was such a moving experience for me. This is My Brave inspired me to blog about BOLDLY about my suicide attempt and mental illness. I was also able to met the co-founder of TIMB Jennifer Marshal, a person role model of mine.

Taking a Chance on Love with Mr. Blue Eyes & The Beast I am pretty cynical about love, and relationships with men. I have trust and abandonment issues, and when I look at the desires of my heart being coupled is not one of them. HOWEVER, for a moment allowed myself to let someone in my life romantically. Neither situation worked out, but I am proud of myself for trying. And, I can say that even with my emotional bag I sincerely tried to make these situations into something beautiful.

Adopting my Fur Baby Boo I was lonely so many seasons this year. At times the loneliness made me anxious other times it made me super depressed. My psychiatrist gave me approval for an

emotional support animal. For weeks I browsed adoption websites, but stopped. Doubt, fear, and panic paralyzed me. I wondered if I could care for a dog. I remembered having to give up my last dog when I was on the street. But, this summer shortly after my birthday I decided to give it another try. Late July I found a small Chihuahua named Jayden at the Norfolk Humane Society. He was scared, shy, and barely let me touch him when we first met. In about three weeks I saw Jayden who I renamed Boo slowly warm up to me. The fact that this little four legged being found safety and comfort in me gives me a sense of pride I didn’t think I could feel again. Every morning when I lift up the covers and see his big brown eyes staring back at me I’m thankful I believed in myself enough to adopt him.

Launching Good Girl Chronicle Storytelling Nights: This year I have hosted 4 storytelling events and given more than a dozen people a chance to share their truths publicly. I attempted to host events like this two years ago with little to no success. The encouragement of a stranger who saw something in me something I didn’t see in myself encouraged me to try again. Thank you Christina. Each month the events are becoming more dynamic, more attended, and more powerful. It is also reaffirming the calling I believe God has placed on my life to show people the power of sharing their testimonies with one another.

Other 2018 Accomplishments
Charitable Giving: Close to $500 in donations to non-profits such as The American Foundation fro Suicide Prevention, This is My Brave, The Burfoot House, and the Chesapeake Area Shelter Team

Hosting Shatter the Silence , a regional suicide prevention event for teenagers. The gig stretched my talents as an event host, and was an incredible opportunity to connect to local youth.

Speaking Engagements: Keynote Speaker for Bedford Hike for Hope, Regional Peer Specialist Conference, 2 Out of the Darkness Walks

Became a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist

Nominated to the Virginia Chapter Board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Being Awarded The Hope Award by The Bennett Center for my mental health advocacy and motivational speaking

Baptism February 9, 2018


Here’s to 2019!

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