I am for relationships in my future.

I want to be able to form and keep friendships I was able to form over the years with friends I have at NAMI Mercer NJ who also struggle with their difficult mental illness. I have been working since January 2016. I am back to work this September 2019. I will be working this semester. I also plan to retest for the Praxis Core Reading test next January 2020. Early in January I plan to retest and take the core reading test for the second time. I may try a third time to see if I pass. I may be able to pass this second time. I’m studying the Barron’s Praxis Core Exams and I will be studying it for the rest of this year. Early January 2020 is retest.

I discovered Alicia Keys in a music therapy group when I was at St. Francis Medical Center on the Psychiatric unit in Trenton, New Jersey back in the 2000s.

I really like Alicia Keys. I am around her age. I’m 38. I love singer/songwriters. I feel like they are cool for singing and especially if they are like Alicia and have fifteen Grammy awards and write their own songs. I like her music. I love how she plays the piano. She is so cool and she seems to be down to earth. I like how in one of her music videos she has on a nice outfit playing the piano. She has a Yamaha piano too. To be a pianist is something very cool and to write your own songs. I just like and admire Alicia Keys so much.

I had a health scare.

I was hospitalized for blood clots in my lungs and I was having anxiety too. I have been up since 7 am. I am going to be working on my writing. I am taking a course with The Institute of Children’s Literature. I am half way through my course. I need to work on my assignments and make them better. I will be in the library from 10 am to noon. Then I’m just going to chill until 12:30 pm a friend is picking me up and we’re going bowling and getting pizza.

I am so happy I am working at my alma mater as a Mentor.

I am happy to be able to help my Mentees. Some of them are African American and I work at Mercer. I try to be helpful to all of my Mentees. Some of them are Caucasian and others are Hispanic. They are all very nice and I have been able to connect with almost all of them. Sometimes when I meet a new Mentee at the beginning of the semester I introduce myself to them to familiarize myself with their names as well.

People with disabilities have rights and can work.

Nothing gives me more independence than the ability to work. I do volunteer work. I worked part time for three years with my summers off as a mentor. I had so much stress about my work history being almost non-existent before. All that was left was my time spent as a volunteer. I know I want the independence of a full time job but I am also studying for the Praxis Core. I took a prep class at NJCU and the professor told me I needed to review grammar. I will do that for the next few weeks and in early January I am going to reattempt the Praxis Core reading.

I chose myself in my early 30s.

I refuse to give other people power letting how they feel about me effect how I feel about me. I buy myself nice clothes when there is a sale. I treat myself a lot of the time. I’m middle class. I have my mental illness. It doesn’t have me. It’s always kind of been a struggle for me in my life. All it took were successes in my 30s. That helped me a lot with gaining confidence in my own abilities. I work part time. I also volunteer with NAMI. I’m looking forward to Christmas and New Year’s day. My 39th birthday is in late January 2020. I am going to enjoy the life I have. I will just keep on living. I don’t want to die. I have a difficult illness too.

I see myself through different eyes now that I’m in my 30s.

People gave me compliments and I started to feel better about myself after maybe turning 30 or 31. I felt good about being me for the first time in my life really. I told myself “Esha you are nice too.” I know sometimes even if people compliment you most people don’t realize that they need to look within if they want to build their confidence as a person. I had a difficult adolescence. I was a little girl when a female teacher than liked me skipped me two grades. I was one of the students in her school and she liked me. I had a few nice experiences in college but I realized I could have done better but the way I procrastinate is crazy. I now focus on taking one class a semester and I just devote my free time to reading a few chapters of a book. I read a book a month. I’ve read ten books in the last year including Issac Mizrahi’s memoir. It’s really a good book so far.

I started getting chiropractic care in my mid-20s. I had great luck at finding really good chiropractic care.

I recommend wholistic health. I also say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. I believe all health comes from fruits and vegetables. A plant based diet has always been healthier. I eat fish and certain seafood but no to meat. I love vegetarian chicken salad sandwiches. I love salads with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. I know salmon is a good fish. I also love fresh bread and even fresh bagels.

I worked as a mentor for students with intellectual disabilities for almost three years.

I had a job at the local community college for three years. I found out the first day that I was enjoying the work I was doing as a mentor. I thought of my experiences just working with the students in the program called D.R.E.A.M. acronym for developing real expectations for achieving mastery. I really established a rapport with the students. I feel like most of the students in the program seemed comfortable with me. I felt great especially when Dr. Onaitis who was the counseling specialist at Mercer offered me the opportunity to give back to Mercer. I felt great just being able to give back to my alma mater and creating my own success story. I was a Mercer alumna and I had some problems there but Mercer is a good school and most people are approachable and nice. I don’t think you can be free of problems they go everywhere you go.