Started my Bucket List at 22

July 2008 my pediatric neurologist told me he was going to recommend I started treatment for Multiple Sclerosis… I was 19 years old. All I heard was you are sick and you might not be able to walk in a few years. WTF am I supposed to do with my life now? How am I gonna be able to walk across the stage at graduation? Who’s gonna chase my kids around and play with them? How can I have sex??? (passes out) I can’t walk down the aisle if I can’t have sex!!! (Passes out again)

I called my mom and Chris (my boyfriend at the time)… he brought me over a dozen of the worlds most beautiful flowers… I still have them! I was fine most of the time specifically in front of people but when I was alone I was a wreck and Chris was the only person there for me, he was the only person I wanted in my space. Besides him being my then partner in life, he was the only person that didn’t pretend to know how I felt. He had no idea what was going on and no idea what later on would look like but he was there either way. I did and always will love and appreciate him for that. One night I was having an emotional break down in his arms… he has realllllllly nice arms! lol and he told me that I should be happy I have options, I should be happy that I have medicine to take some people don’t even have that some people just die. That conversation changed my life. At that moment I decided I was going to make the best outta my situation, tomorrow wasn’t promised and if it is, it could be very different. I decided to start living my bucket list at 19 years old. I made a lot of decisions that night, including one that I didn’t stick with… dropping outta college and going to hair school so I could make a lot of money fast to start living my lavish new lifestyle in 9 months. Needless to say my silly ass was enrolled in Kent State University for the classes the next month. 4 1/2 years flew by… I started a student organization… ran it! Worked 3 jobs, lived on my own, traveled, jumped out of a plane, loved a lot and lost very little. I was motivated by using whatever time I had, to do whatever I wanted and I knew that I had to put my self in a situation to be able to afford my adventures… and I did just that.

Throughout those few years in undergrad my student organization was able to raise and donate over $1,500 to donate to the Kym Sellers Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis by hosting a yearly benefit fashion show in the spring… we also donated money to The National MS Society. I made life long friends and had experiences and dope people that money can’t buy. ✔️

The year after I graduated I decided to focus on my next bucket list item. I saw a Groupon for like $150… I bought it and called to set up my appointment, I wanted to jump on May 21st. That’s my birthday… I figured if I died then at least my tombstone (who says tombstone anymore? Lmao )would be a conversation piece when people walk by lol however it rained on my birthday that year and I had to jump the day after… welp that changes things! I took that as God saying you don’t run shit round here. Dying the day after your birthday isn’t cool 😂 that’s sad, then ppl would walk by saying awwww she died the day after her birthday.So here I am the day after my bday driving to the middle of no where with my shooter in the passenger seat, my mom was scared shitless, she was quiet the whole time! We got there I signed over my life, took a crash course of how to skydive and then got into my suit. I was strapped up shawty lol, my mom kissed me and sat with the other people whose child was also about to jump. One of my other friends Tiara, came to support me too.  The whole thing happened really fast but I remember every second of it, I was sitting in the plane and I heard the door open so I looked over to it, looked back at my instructor, looked back at the door and everybody else was gone… oh hell naw!!!!! 😂😂😂😂 what am I doing??? This is a bad freaking idea. The instructor told me to get up and get ready, he tied us together, told me to stick my foot out on the bar, put my head back and count to 3. 1…2…before i knew it I was head down and assed up going 1,000 mph towards the ground. The wind was so strong I couldn’t close my mouth…my lips were dry and back to my ears. Once he pulled the parachute, my body was jerked back up to the heavens and I was able to catch my breath. I remember thinking…I’m alive! lol I think I’m going to survive this. We floated around for what seemed to be forever in the sky just chillen. When is was time to land I was instructed to lift my feet up and slid in…he unsnapped me and I ran over to my mom and Tiara. They were proud and so very happy I didn’t die, lol, lowkey I was too! ✔️

JET BEAUTY OF THE WEEK was my next bucket list item. I had my bathing suit, a photographer and bio ready to go. I was planning to submit in August and it was May… I needed to lose my FUPA first. So I started working out and changing my eating habits, to get my gut gone. In the midst of all of this I was working for AmeriCorps and preparing to graduate in December. August came and I wasn’t ready and I was kind of hesitating to go through with it. I don’t want to be at teacher parent conferences and one of my parents walk up to me putting a Jet Magazine next to my face saying “yeah that’s her”. So I put my center fold dreams on hold. Jet magazine has been around for as long as I can remember and much longer than that. I remember being a little girl grabbing ever Jet Magazine in my sight looking for the Jet Beauty. They were soooo beautiful, epitome of #blackgirlmagic and I was trying to be apart of that legacy. The summer of 2014 Jet announced that they would stop printing the magazine and transition to an internet publication. Missed opportunity or blessing in disguise? Who knows but I intend on making sure this was the only thing that remained on my bucket list undone.❌

4 years after my MS diagnosis I was walking across the stage. I finished my undergraduate degree with no accommodations or major health problems. Sure I had trouble focusing on my homework and retaining information from the literature. Sure I was sick and tired more often than I’d like to admit. But as God is my witness, Nothing was going to hold me back. Up next is my Masters Degree coming December 2016 then Doctorate perhaps? we will see about that… I’m tired of school foreal foreal lol!

Traveling was next and shall be never-ending… I’m planning to see the wonders of the world with my own eyes. I travel around the US but I’m looking to do some traveling out of the country soon. Just have to get over the fear of being taken. If I can touch the soil of every continent then I will be satisfied. Antarctica will be a challenge however, I’m down! So far my bucket list worthy vacation has been to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica to do Yoga in the jungle. It was such a liberating and amazing experience that I want to live over and over again. I’ve never felt so comfortable in a strange place, I felt like I could just stay there forever.  This bucket list item is to be continued…I’ll be traveling till I die!


People think your bucket list is something you start when you get old, literally right before you die! Oh no!!! Its coming I’m not going to wait until I’m too old to enjoy it. I’m getting things done now…The best thing about my list is that it’s ever evolving and changing…Just like me! Somethings didn’t end up on my bucket list until it was already over. I thought to myself oh yea I’m happy I did that my life wouldn’t have been complete without it or the experience changed my life completely.

Like Trapeze school which ended up being more like Mardi Gras once I jumped down and flashed a crowd of kids and families.

 

Or watching fireworks from a yacht

 

or giving a thoroughbred stallions a French braid

 

or feeding Carp peanut butter with my toes lol


 

One day when I get a home I’ll really start documenting my accomplishments for keepsake but until then this will have to do!

-J

It’s raining men…pt.3

They say storms bring flowers right? I sure hope so cause I feel like my rain has been more like a hurricane after writing and re-reading these posts…I’m so happy to share some good news with you all, here goes nothing!

Alright, this guy is a blast from the past…like a 9 years ago blast. We met my freshman year at Grambling, from what I remembered we were just friends but according to my friends he’s been #teamJena’ lmao! I’m pretty sure I didn’t take him seriously because he was extremely flirtatious and I remember hearing his name around the yard from time to time. I didn’t end up completing my collegiate career at Grambling and he didn’t make the list of people to have and to hold. In the meantime, he left Grambling as well and enlisted in the service and had a baby.


Fast forward to a few months ago, I was on IG and I ran across his page and saw that he was Texas bound. We exchanged numbers and decided that we should do lunch (I must look like I like to eat). Lunch never happened but we continued to converse throughout the days. The following weekend was Grambling’s homecoming and due to a “friend” playing the shit outta me I wasn’t expecting to go. Somehow the universe, moon and the stars aligned for me to be able to attend, so I did. Originally, I told him that I wasn’t going to be there so when my plans changed I took it as an opportunity to surprise him…like my presence was really a present LMAO. Once we touched down we decompressed (got drinks) changed clothes and hit the streets. I ran into him at the party, we embraced each other, shared I miss you’s and laughs. The rest of the weekend was a slight blur due to mass intoxication and bad cellphone signals.


I neglected to mention he lives in VA and has been for the past several years within driving distance of where I moved from (That shit cray) but that’s neither here nor there now. Obviously the distance is a hindrance for a newly resurrected friendship but we are trying our best to be present in each others lives whilst being apart. FaceTime’s, phone calls, text messages and DMs keep us pretty well connected and interested. We are both working on building our empires so we typically update each other on our progress and small progressive accomplishments. Getting to know each other again as adults with real life shit going on. I’m enjoying it and enjoying the ride, we both understand the limitations and possibilities of our friendship right now and I’m pretty confident that as soon as either of us can make something shake we will. Now I’ve been confident abut many things in my life so this confidence had to be supported by some receipts huntyyyy. The receipts actually came sooner than expected but a lil angel of mine took it upon herself to ask him some questions during our FaceTime session (I love u Bre). She asked him a couple of questions but the most important one was “What are your intentions with my friend?” As I was attempting to crawl inside a lil hole and die, I heard a sincere and sure response, so sure and sincere that Bre just said OK!…Bre NEVER just says ok! lol In a nut shell, he said he was happy that I was back  in his life and he is playing for keeps…YASSSSSSSSSSS! Cue the violin, release the doves, Fat guy from “Coming to America” start singing, this is Music to my ears! That’s all I ever wanted was a chance to be loved hunty! An opportunity to trick someone into believing I’m prefect so they can marry me and feel obligated to stay once my “representative” takes a permanent leave of absence. Is that too much to ask??? Yea kinda huh, all the man said is he’s excited to build an everlasting friendship and that’s all it took. I want that too so I’m being an outstanding friend to him, cancelled the dove release, sent the fat guy back to Zumunda, anchored my baby toe to the ground so I wont float away while he’s sweeping me off my feet. He might sweep me off one of them but I’d be damned if he gets me off of both! LOL…to be continued!


-J

It’s raining men…Pt.2

Alright…so the same week I went out with the guy from part 1 I went to happy hour with this guy. Did I mention that I met them at the same place on the same night within 5 minutes of each other? No? ok well never mind! Moving on…

This guy is in his early 30s, good job (works for the prison), has a child, handsome and very country. He irritated my soul during our first texting conversation, asking me for a “pic”. I HATE WHEN GUYS ASK ME FOR PICS!!! I’m never going to send you a pic of me unless your my man and you sir aren’t even close! So I forced myself to get over that because honestly at this point that question is just as common as any other stupid questions guys ask me. After a few days of texting, he decided to call, I ignored it, few days later he called again. I answered this time we spoke for a few minutes, exchanged a few rounds of awkward ass questions and ended the call. Several times during that conversation he used the phrases “I know your type” and “you the type” one too many times. You don’t know anything about me sir, you just met me a week ago, who are you to say what my type is? How dare you put me in a box, bottle, category, or bag. In typical J fashion,I forced myself to get over that as well and thought maybe he was uncomfortable and needs to be received in person.


Boy was I wrong, we decided to meet for drinks and he asked me to find a place that’s offering happy hour specials. lol Oooookay! lol then 30 minutes before we were supposed to meet he pushed the time back 30 minutes. He left his ID at an apartment complex office he visited the night before. So here I am at the house all dressed up and no where to go for an hour. Once we finally, got around to meeting he came in and went to the bathroom…he was in there for about 5-7 mins, bubble guts much??? Once he came out he walked around the restaurant then finally walked over to a table and began to sit down so I called out his name, I assumed that maybe my hair was different last time he saw me so my hair could’ve thrown him off. We exchanged greetings and started looking over the menu, I had already order my glass of wine when he was pooping so he ordered food and a beer. We talked a little about nothing and then he hit me with the “you are the blahblahblah type” I put my head down laughing then picked it back up with a serious grimace and informed him of  who I was. I AM A STRANGER TO YOU… A WOMEN THAT YOU DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT, YOU MIGHT NOT EVEN KNOW MY  REAL NAME AAANNNNDDDD IF YOU KEEP TELLING ME THE TYPE OF WOMAN I AM YOU WILL NEVER FIND OUT IF YOU WERE RIGHT OR WRONG! He thought I was playing so I stopped talking and continued to sip my wine and stared at ESPN. The waitress came over to check on us and decided to drop off the check… he paid for it and I continued to drink my wine. He asked me “what you know good” 3 times during my silent protest. WHAT YOU KNOW GOOD??? What does that even mean exactly and who still says that??? I was beyond ready for him to leave my sight but I wasn’t ready to go home because I was cute and on Thanksgiving break. Suddenly, a professionally dressed handsome man walked in and sat alone, I told GrandpaWHATCHAknowGOOD he could leave me. He insisted on staying with me until I finished, I convinced him that I was fine and I would be there for a while. He decided to go ahead and leave I was eager for him to do so, so I could go speak to Mr.SuitANDtie. We hugged and he kissed me on my cheek…I threw up in my mouth, then he left.

I was about to Strut my ass over to the bar when another less masculine man strutted his ass over to my future husband right in front of me. LMAO they drank their fruity frozen drinks and I turned my glass of wine up to the ceiling (cause I’m a lady). Called my mom, my bff and Cheesecake Factory…THEEE END!

-J