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.

I have had successes in my 30s.

From having my blog receive three blogger award nominations to being an anthologized poet in three or four poetry anthologies to experiences at three Poetry Slams in NJ I have been enjoying my 30s. I have a friend who volunteers with NAMI NJ who accepts a poem from me at least once a year if I submit a poem and she always publishes the poem I send her every year since 2015. It’s been a while that I’ve known this friend. We have a friendship and she is 20 years older than I am. This friend has a 2019 award winning poetry book. I’m so happy for her. I celebrate with her this success and want her to know she is appreciated and cool too!

I feel happier. I am smiling more too.

I will enjoy the rest of my day at home. I am cleaning and decluttering my living space. I couldn’t be happier with my successes getting blogger award nominations here on wordpress.com. I couldn’t have dreamed up something cooler to have happen to me. I hope the bloggers following my blog know how much they are appreciated. I feel less alone. I was really lonely and I am smiling more and more. Thank you Stuart for nominating me. You are awesome!

I say you should embrace your quirks and idiosyncrasies.

I’ve had my share of people that didn’t like me but in my 30s I have been having the best experience just being able to be myself and treat myself good and knowing for sure that I am just as good as anybody else. I need to know that on the inside and I do know that now. As a little hurt black girl I was victimized regularly and bullied badly as a child. I always indentified with people who told me they had not had the easiest life experience but more and more I’ve grown to like my life and even the volunteer work and part time work I do. I have been working part time as a Mentor for the DREAM program at Mercer County College. I feel like I’m an asset there and I just love working there and being a mentor.

Writing a 3,000 word memoir

I shared the first two pages of my memoir entitled Memories of Me. I shared it at Memoirfest sitting in an oval circle with other memoir students and alum. I was brave enough to share my writing in a public way. I’ve never shared my writing outside of the classroom. Going to Memoirfest and sharing and getting positive feedback and so many nice comments on my writing was just the thing I needed to feel a sense of confidence that yes I can do this. Yes I can write my Memoir in three or four years! I just need to hold on and go through the process by always being present. This is where I am right now at home writing this blog post. In two weeks the Spring semester will be starting and I will be going over my 3,000 word memoir piece with Professor Giunta after our first class meeting for Advanced Memoir Workshop. For me the secret is to breathe, stay present, set my writing appointments each week, write, go back to specific chapters in Living to Tell the Tale and DeSalvo’s Writing as a Way of Healing and write five entries in my process journal every week once the semester starts.

I tell people my story from bullied kid to loving and accepting myself now in my late 30s.

I was always kind of picked last in school from elementary all the way up to college. I felt horrible about it. I hated gym class. I always got critiqued by adults who were in my life. I never felt like I was able to trust people in my life. I have certain things I just keep to myself. I keep journals too. When I experienced rejection from the other kids it hurt me really badly but now I feel like the success of my blog makes me happy. I am hoping to be able to revise and publish my memoir by 2021 too. I’ll be turning forty that year and I’d love to be able to publish my memoir Ayesha’s Story: The Schizophrenia Memoirs.

I started to like myself for the first time at around age 31.

I had struggled with being bullied in school since the beginning probably as early as 3rd grade. I remember the principal of the school I went to who also happened to be female saying she was going to need my mother (then unmarried and a widow) to give her permission to skip me. I would be a 16 year old high school graduate until I repeated the 10th grade at Pennington Prep then just finished high school through home schooling in June of 1998 at age 17. I did not take high school graduation photos for the Ewing High School yearbook. However, I am happy to say that I had senior portraits taken for my college graduation from NJ City University taken on the King Holiday in January of 2015.

I went natural. I decided to stop using hair relaxers and dangerous chemicals to straighten my hair.

I usually prefer to be able to straighten my hair even when it’s short but now I decided never to use chemicals in my hair again and to embrace my natural hair. I want to grow my hair out to a cute little afro and just wash my natural hair every two or three weeks. I can’t wash my hair more often than once a week. I like shampooing my hair but I know shampoo has stuff in it too. I just love to be able to shampoo my hair and make it smell good. I use Carol’s Daughter hair products and Luster’s Pink lotion and other oils in my hair. I find I like to use Blue Magic hair grease in my hair that the African hair braiding salons use in clients hair when they braid their hair. I like how things are now that I’m able to say I am embracing the person I am. I may have went through a phase where I changed the color of my hair and even my eyes because I once even wore color contacts. I feel very secure and comfortable saying I’ll let my hair grow back and wear a cute little afro when my hair grows back. I even remember liking having the braiders use Kankelon to braid my hair. I found I really liked getting my hair braided. It’s too much right now but I love braids.