I don't want to be here.
Can I take the day off?
No, I just took a sick day.
I slumped over onto the steering wheel with my eyes closed.
Why do I have to be here?
Because you have a plan.
Screw the plan, I don't want to be here. I don't want to do this.
Sitting up, I leaned against the back of my seat, staring out the windshield. I was numb. No thoughts came as I sat still, there, in my car. At some point my eyes closed.
TIME! The thought burst through my frozen state as I checked the time on the dashboard.
Now, I'm going to be late.
Do I even care? I shouldn't be here.
Okay, stop it Jasmine. You can do this.
You can do this???
Yes, you can do this.
Just make it to lunch. Suck it up and let's go.
There are millions of people in the world who would die to have this job.
I grabbed my keys and lunch (Stouffers Lasagna with Mt. Dew...let's be real, this was my breakfast) and stepped out of my car. I had a long walk to the front door. There were very few parking spaces available for employees. The spots that were available were awarded to upper management and lifelong employees who had been with the company for at least five years. The rest of us were forced to park on the street. The walk from where I had to park to the front door was too long for me to hold on to the revelation that had got me out of my car. Fifteen paces in, I stopped--mid-step-- and froze.
You don't HAVE to do this anymore.
Within minutes I was back in my car, an "out sick email" was sent to my manager, and I was racing, already halfway, back home. I spent the next two days arguing with myself.
As I type this now, I am realizing that it was exactly one year ago from that day, April 2nd, that I had eagerly quit one of the best jobs I had ever had. It took a month to come to that decision. I had been taking care of other people and helping them reach their goals for two and a half years. God whispered in my ear and told me it was time to take the leap of faith in myself and focus on my goals and aspirations. But, I was terrified. I was making good money and fairly happy with that job. Couldn't I just live one more year of contentment? My dreams kept nagging at me until one day it all became clear.
I was going to write a book and be a ride-share driver to support myself. The schedule was already planned out and written down: drive in the morning, spend the afternoons on the beach writing and drive some more in the evenings. I had prayed and prayed about it and had finally mustered up the courage to jump.
For two months it was great. I finally had time to write and was reconnecting with my creative self. Driving for all the ride-share companies all over southern California was a blast. I even had time to settle into two important roles as a board member and Big Sister. I was #LivingMyBestLife.
Then on May 22nd a young teenager slammed into the back of my car while I was stopped at a red light. No harm done, there was no damage to MY car or my person, so I continued on with my life. Eight days later a mini-van rammed into the back of my car at 40mph while I was stopped in traffic on the freeway. The impact propelled me forward into the car ahead of me and off into the carpool lane. This time I panicked. My car looked more like an accordion than a vehicle. All of my muscles in my back and neck locked up in a painful spasm and I was completely traumatized. More importantly, I was heart broken. This wasn't the way things were supposed to go.
Yet, life goes on and bills become due. So I took my savings and rented another car. Exactly 40 days after the second accident a drunk driver ran a red light and T-Boned the back of my car as I was just crossing the last lane of an intersection. At least that's how I imagine that driver, drunk. My brain can't process the thought of a sober human being crashing into a car and watching it spin half way down the street before continuing on like nothing ever happened.
I was forced into survivor mode. I walked away without a scratch but a second car was wrecked, my savings was gone, and my bills were still due. Over the next five months, I would loose heat in my apartment, face eviction, and separate those who truly had my back from those who could care less. I wasn't evicted, Thank God. At the last moment I found a job and got another rental car. For three weeks, I worked 16+ hours a day (8 hours at the job, 8 hours driving) and with the help of some ride or die people, a local church, and my brother LeLand (who lives with me) stepping up to the plate, I was able to pay off all past due rent and have the case dropped.
So, why would I put myself through that again? That was the question that I kept asking myself over and over again for two days as I contemplated quitting yet another job to take the leap of faith. Yes, this job was a horrible fit for me. There were weeks on end where there was no work for me to do and when there was, it was all left brain work when I am so right brained. On top of all of that I had to be on call every Saturday.
Throughout the whole aftermath of the accidents I kept writing. With every closed door, every NO, and every setback the dream got deeper, the goals got bigger, and the vision, clearer. I have this book that I would love--no--that I need to share with the world. I truly believe that it will help at least one person overcome the obstacles they are facing and reach for their goals and at least one other person's heart will change on the subject of helping those who are homeless in America. Those two people are two of THE best reasons to keep fighting for my goals at all costs. No matter what may come my way.
But I can't reach my goals if I only have one day a week to completely focus on them. So on April 4th, a year and two days after taking my initial leap of faith in myself, I quit my job!
Was it a crazy decision? Maybe!
Will I get into another accident? I pray that there's some unspeakable quota that I have already fulfilled for accidents.
Am I scared? Fucking petrified!
But I'm free and walking in my purpose is like hearing the transaction went through at the check out stand after you did a rain dance, kneeled in prayer, and crossed yourself in anticipation. Or eating Blaze pizza everyday without the fear of getting fat. It's finally unplugging and getting into bed after a long day, the pillow cool and refreshing against your skin. Or hanging out with Beyonce because she likes your blog and book and would like to meet with you to discuss becoming her best friend and the twins God mom (ahem...I'm ready whenever you are Bey).
If you are facing the decision of whether or not to jump in your life, I encourage you to do it. What's stopping you? Yes, people will say you're crazy, but at the end of the day they don't have to live with your decision. You do! How happy do you think you'll be years from now when you're old and gray and you've lived a mediocre life because you were too afraid to leap towards your dreams?
A Phorbe Queen is bold. A person who knows what they want and are unafraid to do whatever it takes to get it. So be bold and take a chance on yourself! When all is said and done, you'll be a happier person because of it and you'll get to eat fancy ice cream with Blue Ivy.
I'll leave you with the wise words of Mr. Jumpman himself, Steve Harvey:
It's a beautiful day to Conquer the world! So, go forth and slay!
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED APRIL 13, 2018