I kind of always got criticism but these blogger award nominations are one of the first successes I’ve had in a long time.

My 30s were pretty good. I was also sleeping better starting in my early 30s. I would have insomnia. I don’t know what it was but some days I’d go two days without being able to get any sleep. The medications I was on made it hard for me to function because they had side effects like drowsiness and dizziness. I have been studying for the Praxis Core for a few weeks. I will be spending my week and weekend indoors just studying my Praxis Core preparation study guide. I know I am focusing on my goals and the tasks at hand. I am happier just having these four nominations. I was made to stand out not to try to be like someone else or motivated by conforming or changing the way I am. I have hope because of the four nominations I got in the past year. It’s cool to stand out. You suddenly realize being you becomes effortless as you get older. As a little girl I had got teased a lot because of the way I look sometimes I would get bullied really badly by teenagers as a eight or nine year old girl. I know particularly¬† for females girls get all these things but in our heads that we aren’t as nice as other females but it actually because of the society we live in. I was born in the U.S. and as a black woman it is almost impossible for me to be called bea-you-tiful by the standard of beauty and it seems to leave dark black ladies out, we always see these super thin Caucasian models. I know why but I feel like the society perpetuates this by always only choosing certain models that fit a standard of beauty that doesn’t include black women my complexion. I realize this is true everywhere not just here in the U.S.

I am a happy poet. I think children are natural poets.

I enjoy volunteering to work with children. I was given the greatest idea by a professor I had when I went back to school to study early childhood education. I am actually in the process of retesting for praxis core reading. I know I can pass this time. I’m confident in my ability to pass this time. I study an hour each morning through noon. I want my biological half sister Alison to know I really admire that went she far in school and I was glad when she said she liked my chapbook. Something my half sister Alison said to me stayed on my mind after our lunch date and kept me smiling.¬† Alison told me I always had a gift with literacy. Alison is actually working on a PhD program. I am going for my second Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I am going to be finishing up my course with The Institute of Children’s Literature too. I am not guaranteed publication but I want to just see what happens. After this quarantine I will be working on my last few assignments and I hope to be done by October of this year.

I believe in God and spirituality made me sure that God does exist.

As a person who had some difficult experiences early on in my life I became aware that God is there. I had a supernatural peace wash over me one day on a day I felt like I couldn’t take the situation I was in anymore. I found God right where I was. This was in 2012. I know opportunities came my way from a few people. I began to understand that God works in ways that you don’t always see him working but believe me God works through people. I can say that as a child even the female principal at the school I went to had a daughter my age. I remember her disciplining me one day. I reminded myself to always show respect to the adults in your life that are older than you are. You should always show your elders a certain kind of respect especially if they like you. You never want to be disrespectful to someone else. God put people in my life that offered me opportunities I would not have otherwise had. I knew God had opened doors for me through the people that God put in my life. I believe God cares about me enough to always hear my prayers. I had fear that was coming from the uncertainty of the future but in the midst of all of this chaos God has given me. The peace of God surpasses all understanding. I know the bible says that in one of the psalms. I was actually encouraged by an older female friend to read the psalms in the Bible. I thought what a great suggestion I just love Bible poetry particularly psalms 1, 23, 27 and 91.

I had written my memoir later in life but there aren’t too many things I regret about the past.

I know sometimes just being more comfortable with myself the way I am gives me a more secure feeling on the inside and because of God and spirituality. I am not an island in of myself but I am a person whose identity is very secure. I see myself through different eyes now that I’m older. I remember being a little girl and being bullied but my childhood was sufficient for me. I want other people out there with similar struggles to know mental illnesses are real illnesses. People may not be able to see your illness but that doesn’t make your illness any less real in the way your illness effects you. I had some rough experiences but I come from a large extended family and as a child the one thing I remember getting compliments on was my name. Friends would tell me I was a pretty little black girl too and they’d tell me they liked my name. My name is Ayesha Karim. My name always made me feel special as a child. It is a very unique name too. I know few people in the world with my name.

I am learning to appreciate what I have.

Now that I’m older I concentrate on doing things that interest me. I’m so much more confident in my own ability to learn things and also asking for help if I need help. I read quite a bit too. I read about a book a month. I know life is a miracle everyday. I try to get as much sleep as I possibly can at night. I usually get up early. I also got some tutoring last summer at The Hub at NJCU. I really feel happiest working on a project or hanging out with friends at NAMI. I hope NAMI will have the expressive arts this coming summer. I know God brought me a long way from where I started from. I appreciate being a part of this blogging community so much!

I was always a very smart person but the early onset of my mental illness was really hard for me.

My injectible medication helps control my symptoms better. I also pray and seek God in the midst of chaos. I expressed my gratitude  to the people that nominated me Miss Michelle in Paris, France and I sent Mr. Stuart a thank you card in the mail. When I think of the experiences I have had to shine on WordPress, I think it was a cool experience to have had been nominated four times and also being able to nominate other bloggers too. You guys stay safe indoors due to the corona virus pandemic. It should be better by May 2020 at least I hope so. I am doing some of my laundry too just taking it easy indoors.

I need at least seven hours of sleep to function.

I will power down at 10 pm from now on and then I will go online once or twice every week or two. I know sleep was my biggest trigger and it helps to build your own WRAP. NAMI offers WRAP classes. WRAP stands for wellness recovery action plan. I am in recovery but I decided to seek God more through spirituality and church and prayer. I am not trying to get even with the kids who teased, taunted and bullied me because they didn’t like me. I am able to kind of stand out because of my honesty about my lived experience with my illness but I thank God also for divine intervention. When a peace washed over me in the early 2010s I knew I could carry on. I never really had a lot of friends but I was able to form some friendships through my volunteer work with NAMI and I was a mentor for a few semesters at Mercer CCC my alma mater but I left in May 2019. I was actually getting paid too. I know if I share my story it will help someone else who is going through things now. I even used to volunteer with parents and teachers as allies at NAMI back in 2013 to 2014. I know if I can help others with similar struggles I will.