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

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