What I Learned About Monica

I’ve been living in California for 6 months now and I’ve learned a lot about myself. When you pack only what you need and drive halfway across the country, you have to have some determination in you. Last year I read Steve Harvey’s book “Jump,” and it was a great book for motivation. But the things he talked about taking a leap of faith on didn’t really register until I truly did it myself. I was ecstatic about the idea of truly starting a new chapter in life and slapping fear in the face. I had the whole Los Angeles living thing planned out…only to have my plans stopped dead in their tracks. What was I going to do now?

Devastation probably isn’t a big enough word to describe how I felt when the world literally stopped. Was I living in a SciFi movie? And although I love a good SciFi movie, living it out wasn’t so fun. Truth be told, I was sinking into a bad place the first 2 months of quarantine. I could actually feel myself getting a little depressed and not interested in anything I usually enjoyed. I was buying stuff from Amazon Prime and then unamused when they got to the house. I got a 50% pay increase for hazard pay, but I still was unhappy with the way my life was going at the time. That goes to show, money means nothing when you lose your joy.

Imagine doing something you’ve wanted to do since you were 18 and at 33 you finally get the guts to do it. Then you get put in “jail” and the fun is over after a few months. Yes, I felt like I was a prisoner only going to work and back home. Goodbye freedom was all I heard on March 16, 2020! Then one Sunday I heard a song that said “I want my joy back” and it hit me hard, so hard that I broke down crying. I began to pray for my own joy, peace, and sanity to be restored and quickly. And God, who continues to show himself faithful, gave me joy. As the song says, I love the Lord, He heard my cry. Don’t make me catch a Baptist Fit!

As a mental health counselor, I always promote self care. I had to remind myself to do that, so I decided I was going to take off for a “staycation“ at a hotel in Los Angeles. I was going to finally get a 4 day break from reality. But then I began thinking about a mini trip back home because it was cheaper than the hotel. The airport experience wasn’t the most ideal, but I pressed through. Being back in Memphis and Collierville with my family and friends was so surreal. I was so excited that I didn’t even cry, and everyone knows I’m a big crybaby. I was home! True happiness has set in.

The second I got home, I wanted to see two people for sure. I was looking for my nephew and niece’s faces, those cute faces! After that, I was ready to proceed with seeing my loved ones. It was just so peaceful and joyous to be with people who loved me, being around familiar places I grew up around. Love was the answer to my slump. When it was time to leave, I wished I could stay for 2 more days. But I had the strength to carry on for another 2 months. I knew I’d be back and in the company of friends soon. Plus, my friends had already set a trip to see me in October. In all, I learned that I am a total people’s person and I love people, faults and all. I can’t wait until the next 6 months to show California what I’m made of!

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