What’s up, friends?! I know it’s been a while since I’ve written. I hope you are doing well and your New Year is off to a blessed start. What are your New Year’s goals for 2019?
This year, my theme for 2019 is growth and voice. I am excited because I am on a journey of growth in my faith, marriage, motherhood, and womanhood.
I have set strong goals for myself, including finding my voice in my writing. I can’t wait to get back into blogging for Good Life Detroit and share my journey with all of you!
BUT FIRST, THE BURNING QUESTION: WHERE WERE YOU?!
Ah, yes. Where were you, Jennifer? Why were you gone for so long?
I know you’re all wondering what happened and if I was ever going to return to the blog. Well, wonder no more because on today’s blog post I am going to share with you why I was on hiatus from the blog and how things have been with me lately.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: THIS POST ALMOST DIDN’T HAPPEN.
In fact, I had considered not blogging anymore and deleting my site. *gasp* Thankfully, my husband Travis talked me out of it and he encouraged me to take a break from the blog. Travis suggested I take a break to sort through my thoughts, pray about it, and then come to a decision.
Originally, I was going to take a brief holiday break and return to the blog after the New Year. Instead, my holiday break turned into a long break– a break that lasted about six weeks or so. And believe me, it was a
The break allowed me to clear my mind and reconnect creatively, emotionally, and spiritually. I was also able to spend time with my family without stressing out about blog work because essentially that’s what the blog turned into for me: WORK.
I ALMOST QUIT BLOGGING.
Now when I say work, I don’t mean I didn’t like the blog being my job. What I mean is the blog was becoming a chore for me. I would literally dread writing a blog post or attending an event.
Travis even started to notice the difference. He noticed that I wasn’t excited like I used to be about going to an event or creating content for Good Life Detroit.
I mean, I would sit in front of my laptop just staring at the screen. With the cursor flashing in front of me, I just couldn’t bring myself to write anything. I tried for weeks to write something for my blog and I struggled with staying focused or finding the motivation to write.
I was burnt out and my anxiety was very high. I had way too much on my plate and I needed to take time to be with my family and figure some things out.
I almost posted any ol’ thing just to fill the space and stick with my consistency, but I told myself if my writing doesn’t have substance and come from the heart then it’s not worth posting. It’s better to say nothing at all and wait until the time is right.
IF YOU’RE A BLOGGER, DON’T FALL INTO THE TRAP OF JUST POSTING ANY OL’ THING. DON’T DO IT FOR THE VIEWS OR THE MONEY. WRITE ABOUT SOMETHING YOU BELIEVE IN, SOMETHING YOU’RE TRULY PASSIONATE ABOUT.Trust me.
Your readers will know if you’re just filling space or if you truly have something to say and something worth reading.
YOU WILL FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WORK WHEN you create content that you are passionate about!
BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT?
That was another big question that I kept asking myself. How will I know when the time is right to get back to writing?
How will I know my passion for blogging is back?
What if it never comes back and this truly is the end of Good Life Detroit?
After praying HARD, talking to my husband, and thinking about it, I finally came to the realization that my heart would know when the time is right. I would feel it in my soul.
I JUST KNEW!
And so, it took about six weeks for me to “just know.” Actually, about four weeks because I had my epiphany, if you will, in January.
I came to the decision I would not give up blogging and I would not delete Good Life Detroit. I felt that I still had so much to say and so much I wanted to explore about the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan, and my writing.
FEBRUARY: THE RETURN
I made the decision to come back in February. SO HERE I AM!
“I told myself if my writing doesn’t have substance and come from the heart then it’s not worth posting. It’s better to say nothing at all and wait until the time is right.”
SO WHAT LED TO THE LONG BREAK, THO?
In 2017, after my husband lost his job at GM, things had been a roller coaster for us emotionally, financially, and mentally. Travis’ unexpected job loss happened about three weeks after I gave birth to our fifth baby Zephaniah.
We were not prepared for it AT ALL.
Ever since then, my husband has been working his ass off to secure a permanent position with good benefits. Sadly, it still hasn’t happened. The only work he has been able to find has been temp work for various companies.
I’ve heard people say we’re living in a gig economy, but I didn’t really believe it. But now that we’ve experienced job loss, I get it now!
THEN OUR VAN WAS VANDALIZED.
Yeah. That happened. I had shared the news on my Instagram back in September 2018
My camera bag with my camera gear was stolen. (I haven’t been able to replace it yet because it’s so expensive.) The thief also stole my kids’ diaper bag and my makeup bag.
I had just bought new makeup and brought my bag with me for just in case. It took me months to finally replace the stolen makeup because
I don’t wear cheap shit my makeup was a little pricey.
I mean a Bare Minerals makeup brush is like $28…for ONE brush! Shit ain’t’ cheap, you feel me. So when my makeup was stolen I was pissed!
Secondly, I have very sensitive skin so I have to wear certain brands on my skin. I have been wearing Bare Minerals and M.A.C. for ten years now!
I also replaced my Tarte eyeshadow palette and eyelashes kit that was stolen. I wasn’t able to afford the big palette I had originally bought, but I did replace it with a mini palette.
AND THEN OUR VAN STARTED HAVING PROBLEMS.
As if losing a job, having a missing passenger window, and somebody stealing your shit wasn’t enough, our freakin’ van started having problems. The brakes needed to be replaced and we couldn’t afford it.
We tried getting help from the VA (aka Veterans Affairs), but we had to jump through a lot of hoops to get the answers we needed.
In the end, we were directed to DHS and another agency BEFORE Veterans
Because of our vehicle issues, we were very limited with the distance we could travel. Yes, even driving 25 minutes to Detroit was too much for our van.
When I say it was a hard five months for us, I mean it was HARD!
BUT I’M STILL THANKFUL BECAUSE…
We still had many blessings to be thankful for:
We didn’t lose our home.
We were together as a family.
Travis started college full-time to work on his bachelor’s degree.
The hard times have made us stronger individually, as a family, and as husband and wife.
Overall, despite the hardships we have experienced…despite the times we had to rely on a food pantry…despite the tears I shed out of frustration and even depression…despite Travis feeling depressed about his unemployment…
WE ARE GRATEFUL for the experience because we strongly feel it has made us stronger. It definitely has taught me a lot about humility. We found the blessings in a difficult time in our lives and we aren’t going to let it bring us down!
A DIFFERENT KIND OF HAPPY ENDING.
I’d like to tell you Travis was eventually hired by a company and he accepted a good job. Or I found an amazing career field and we bought a house and we’re living the dream.
But no. That hasn’t happened.
Travis is still in school full-time, which is a GREAT blessing. Getting your education is always a wonderful life achievement.
Our budget is very tight and we’re still renting a small home (especially for a family of seven) that is ridiculously high in rent. (We’re looking to move to a more affordable home over the summer.)
WE’RE MAKING IT! And we’re trusting in God to keep us humble and keep us strong. We’re keeping the faith and counting our blessings because we know despite all of these series of unfortunate events we’ve experienced, WE ARE STILL BLESSED!
THE LONG BREAK WAS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED.
One thing I love about Detroit is it is filled with many people who have dreams to build and succeed. They work hard to see their dreams come to fruition and they surround themselves with
The famous Detroit expression (and also business) “Detroit Hustles Harder” is the truth! I have met some amazing people who work their ass off for their family, their careers, and everything they believe in.
This has inspired me in so many ways! It has given Travis and I great hope and it has encouraged us to not give up on our dreams.
Yeah, it might be a little tough right now, but we will get through it! The journey is worth it!
So I’m not going to let hard times bring me down any more or keep me from creating. I am going to celebrate the good times with thanksgiving and use the hard times to continue to grow.
It feels so good to be back! Thank you for following my journey.
Photography location: The Scarab Club in Detroit, Michigan; photo of Travis & Jennifer – location Sterling Heights, Michigan; feature image The Dequindre Cut in Detroit, Michigan