Each and every single one of us has a journey to live. We thrive on them. They teach us reality and adversity. It sure isn't a full bed of roses. Our journey's make us who we are. it is in fact quite difficult as we deal with every day pressures, struggle, hardship, and challenges that come with it. Of course we'll still have our joy's, our beautiful moments, love and hope. I see it as a constant reminder how I want to live mine. All in honesty I'll tell you bare boned, stripped and raw, authentically me. Take it as you will. I don't apologize for who I am, what I do and how I do things. I'm just who I am. The best way to tell you about my journey are through these writings. The poetry and testimonies, just as I am right now at this very moment. I may come off as a tad preachy but fortunately I don't preach. I do love Jesus, our heavenly father and count on him as he's my saving grace. Every test he's put before me was done for a reason to live. As a matter of speaking I didn't want to. What was the point in it when all things were going wrong or at least I thought they were.
After graduating high school in 1996 I enrolled into college, a technical trade school. My dad felt the need I needed additional education. It really wasn't for me. I have a learning disability, disabilities, cognitive which logical thinking and learning on several subjects takes longer to process to understand, to comprehend. My placement throughout my schooling years were in special education classes with an exception to take a few regular courses and a choice to take SATS. I didn't pass the them. I felt as a normal independent student for once. It was all that I ever did want. To be normal. I didn't know what normal was since I'm so different from others. I have to say college was however far different than high school, you don't get tutored let a lone extra help when it's needed. I had to work extra hard in college and after 2 and half years I flunked out. I look back now and have no regret of it. I had other ambitions I just didn't know how to go about them.
In that time I became somewhat of a lost soul going from what I thought I needed to what I really did need, to be listened to. No one gave me the chance, most especially dad. Mom had an inkling what I wanted but I myself really didn't know who I was truly and what I wanted and needed out of my life. Finding it was a needle in a hay stack of sorts.
My emotions became erratic over time from my bubbly upbeat self to a darker side. Of course thinking to myself, “maybe I'm just moody and don't want to be around anyone.” I was always on edge and didn't know how to act around people. Quite a few thought I was stuck up because I didn't talk much and others just didn't want to be around me. I never understood what their problem was so I went from what they thought of me to not caring whatsoever what they thought.
I became depressed and distant, my anxiety was getting worse, harder to maintain. After speaking with my doctor she felt the need to put me on anxiety medication. At first I wasn't crazy of the idea. It was working over time. I was able to maintain my anxious outbursts. The paxil was a life saver. Though over time the depression began to get worse, especially so after an injury that would be a life long struggle. Physical therapy worked but over time I had to deal and deal I did.
My left knee was never to be the same again and I live with it. My job was less than glamorous. I learned fast to be outspoken though it wasn't my strong suit. I'm introverted. I keep to myself mostly and I liked it that way. Fast food is a rough and tough kind of job especially so working with the public. I bit my lip often never said anything to get into trouble. Un be known to management though it was a different story. The job toughened me up. It wasn't the right fit in my life either at the time. I really didn't have a way to step out of my comfort zone or how to as a matter of speaking so I had to work where I was.
The depression became debilitating in time to the point I wanted to take my own life. I began writing, it was a daily way to really release all of my thoughts, feelings and emotions on paper. I never talked about it with anyone, my parents saw it from time to time in my demeanor. I slept, isolated myself rarely getting out of the house, let alone getting out of bed. I wasn't happy, there wasn't any meaning to my life, I was just a living zombie of myself. I went through a terrible addiction. A shopping addiction that led to financial strain on my part. I was stressed often, suffered with migraines, felt the lack of energy, always tense and completely on edge most of the time. I walked on egg shells around others as I didn't trust anyone and I couldn't. I had a small group of friends and I liked it that way. I met my dearest best friend through work as I once worked in a nursing facility. She and I have been the best of friends for more than a decade. Times sure have flown by. My other best girl friend and I too both met in the work place, the time spent in the fast food business, though we did grew up together not really knowing each other until after high school and my time in college. There was a period of time there were at least a few other friendships. Those friendships turned to dust and ended abruptly. The Lord did me a favor though. Friends come and go though true friends have your back when times get going and when times are joyful and happy. I wouldn't trade them for anyone else in the world. They are and will always remain the very best.
Though I worked those few jobs it was the retail job I'd learn the most from. Still not glamorous. It was a job and I liked it. What's not to like about it especially a twenty percent off in store shopping, and knowing what new things came in weekly. It was great yet I had remained to watch my back often. What back stabbers, all gossip and drama. If I want drama I'd watch a soap opera. I'm living it. “What is wrong with people?" asking myself. I didn't have the answers people just love drama and I don't. I live with enough drama why would I want to go to work to everyone's problems. It was hard enough to deal with my own, the depression and anxiety. I recall that very moment, clearly wanting to take my life. It was during my time spent in collage. I excused myself from class went to the bathroom with a bottle of over the counter migraine pills. At that moment I dumped the pills into my hands and as soon as I was to take them felt a strange breeze in the room. I thought I heard a voice, it was telling me," don't take them Shellie, go into the stahl pour and flush them", I heard. I did just that and back to class I went. No one knew of it and I never spoke of it either until now.
In reality I felt damaged, not wanted, no one liked me and who could. I didn't even love myself because I didn't know who I was, who I am and what I'm to do with my life. I spiraled often. My attitude sucked. I lashed out off and on, I was angry, I had put up a guard to not let anyone touch me let alone get near me. No one knew, absolutely no one. What was I supposed to do. Who would help me Who could I go to. Do I need to pray? What? What do I do? What comes next?
“I'm living and that is what matters mostly.”
My judgement wasn't all too clear at times which caused a riff between my parents and I and it was for good reason even though I wouldn't have admitted it then as I am now. I made some bad decisions and they cost me dearly financially speaking. I was taught to save to be frugal with my money. What a life lesson and a wake up call. Working was by the means of paying a car payment and insurance, only paying for necessities, nothing meaningless. This is life and I'm not too crazy about it. I did what I was suppose to. “Isn't there a rule book that says to have fun?", I'd ask at times. And would you know it I'd always get it. “ No Shellie it is about being an adult, taking responsibilities and learn what is going on in the world”, dad would say. Here I am, twenty something working a retail job that was good for awhile but I felt too complacent, remaining stuck in my comfort zone. I don't want to live the rest of my life wondering.
How can I go about doing what I love with my musical background on the industry. I went to a few friends and asked. “ What you're doing now are these connections you're creating with Kellie Pickler fans”, a friend of a friend of mine said. Kellie Pickler best known from American Idol season five struck me as a person who was much like me, full of these ambitions, determined to make something out of herself regardless where it took her. All sass, a bit of a hard head, a little naive with a big mouth, but deep down a heart so big she'd give the shirt off her back, pick up a stray animal and do good for others. The most I did, spent endless hours on creating some massive buzz, get the fans pumped up, keep them informed on any music news, etc. We were a solid group. The Kfan love was simply contagious. What happened along the lines though I didn't sign up for. Word was out I was moderator, operator of the official unofficial website Kellie Fans.com but I wasn't the only one who made an impact on the fan group. Others had their roles. I met one of my dearest friends through Kellie. These friendships emerged between us, we clicked as though we knew each other for years. This was my joy and loved it.
When I'm not writing I was writing aside from the retail job, diving into other artists careers and getting them the buzz needed. I'm in seventh heaven. Here on this earth doing this thing in the music industry. For once I found a love beyond my daily routine. I write but I'm writing more than just album reviews, articles, concert reviews, and interviews I was conducting with the artist themselves. These are people just like me doing what they love. I'm writing for me among the daily grind of life.
What now! here I am working this part time job, dealing and reeling, rolling my eyes at times because some smart mouth manager/managers are telling me off, what my role was with the job. I was reported a time or two, maybe it was three. I never had problems with managers it seemed to always be the other way around for some reason. I did what I was told, didn't talk back and just did my job, and did it the best I can.
Once my writings were more so constant I looked into other avenues. From the encouragement of my best girl friends took the leap of faith and entered some poetry contests. I began to read and research publishing companies who to reach out to. Doing the research was a heavy load. I knew the ins and outs a bit via social media though it was mostly who to reach out to. Facebook was good as any to reach out to published much more seasoned professionals. I took the time and effort to really do the work, once I'm all in I go full tilt. This was a new world for me and to talk with a couple of publishers felt to do more and search for publishing company's. Some fizzled and a couple wanted me but with them wanting money out of it. I thought, go to a lawyer. I walked into a lawyers office without an appointment hoping to talk to someone. In luck sat down with a lawyer who told me just as I thought. It was eye opening for sure. Maybe I can do this doing it my way no highway option. Then again I'm all in. What happened next would make you think I'm this tough chick sticking through it all.
The birth of Country Music City Promotions happened in the spring of 2011. It was a social media outlet to promote rising artists, independent artists, to already seasonal life long professionals. The joy, the happiness and content I had writing and promoting rare talent was my place, and it was all around the time writing and drafting this very first book. Throughout the entire process not only working a retail job I was scheduling artist interviews, writing articles, reviews, attending concerts, updating the website. It brought a lot of attention to me as a rising independent music promoter from North East Ohio. At one point a few other Ohioan based promoters reached out to me introducing local and broad independent acts across the state. I was floored. Several opportunities came from it to the point what I was already tackling in my life. Behind the scenes was a far different experience. I rarely found time to enjoy life and my family. My focus was my writing career and working a stale retail job that would keep me from my full potential to break out of my comfort zone. Living with high expectations from others had put a ton of pressure on me. There were moments of lashing out, to being angry with certain relatives. It finally led me to walking on egg shells around most people, all but a few who I could honestly trust and felt comfortable with. The more I prayed, talked with the Lord a sense of peace came to me. Attending church again began to enlighten me. Sermons reached me deeply, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. WOW! What a feeling.
Once I began to open myself up to fully living like Christ people saw a different me a new me in all. Meeting new people among the regular crowd at work. I was much more social, socially speaking I remain awkward. The stories were mind blowing at times and on occasion many were like mine. Sure made sense to me how life experiences intertwine. I'm not the only one. Thankfully anyway learning what make people tick. What life's about. Yet I felt shear intense toxicity around my daily routine became all too much at times. I didn't want to say something to cause trouble because my mouth has a way of it's own. Over time began to speak up, stepping in when the time was right and not only in the work place, private matters of the heart and family. Taking time with everyone was a far cry from my in patient self. I knew patience is a virtue but actually being and acting patient is another. Practice makes perfect.
I already knew the world kept on moving with me in it or not, so here I am giving you a sense of who I truly am. Through all the writing I already wrote it made much more sense to me to put it into a collection, and after re-reading all the poetry I knew how to start it. My heart was in it and my mind clearer. All the pain, loss, anger, pity, joy and happiness was a common thread that which emerged. It was in fact God's plans. God's love, as to putting my complete trust in him to get me through every single moment even through those extremely dark days of the depression and anxiety. He called unto me in several ways. The beauty of living is truly excepting ourselves for who we are and to forgive those who've done wrong to us. It grants us to finding a sense of closure and peace.
It is you the reader, your just like me and I want you to know it, it will be alright in time because healing takes a long period of time. Recovery is possible, and your not alone. My story is your story. There is nothing more spiritual than living like Christ, walking with him to act and love like him. It is moving forward making something out of yourself. That is what it is. Whether your twenty eight or forty eight life isn't easy we all go through it, and like I said your journey is my journey. Never complete, nor unending. It is getting through the adversity and it's not an easy feat to accomplish. The struggle, the hardship, every challenge to face head on, toxic people, doubters, nay sayers only to walk around on egg shells, the lack of trust in them when all who you can trust are few and only yourself. Keep moving on even when all you want to do is simply give up. There is considerable strength within you, and the wisdom, as it does grow and you learn from every pit fall. Eventually the light shines so brightly it is beautiful and blinding but beautiful in all. What a light it is and it's beautiful. Joy comes again, happiness and love does happen. It just takes time.
I'm not where I was once before who I am now is far different. I've changed for the better through the years. I've grown spiritually. I look at people differently as everyone is unique in their own special way. I have learned not to judge, to put other's down of their short comings and let people be who they are. Everyone has flaws, scars, bruises and imperfections. It's how we're created, to be different. I know there are lonely bitter souls in the world just wanting to give up not even try and walk with a chip on their shoulder. I know it. I've been in that position. At times I still feel that I am, I work through it. Why is that? I ask. I don't have the answers. Maybe one day I will. I'm merely moving forward in life and it will knock me down and hard at times. I'll get back up again and again, and again.
Thinking always, feeling deeply, emotionally wearing my heart on my sleeve. I speak it, not mostly but do. Sharing these writings gives you that glimpse into my life somewhat and I couldn't think of a better way to do it.