A few trips ago, I started using #WhereInTheWorldIsJessP as a hashtag on my Instagram account, almost like "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego". The fact that I had begun traveling the world had my family and friends asking, “where are you now?” Little did I know that this hashtag would be so much more than a meaningless accessory on my exciting pictures. It’s about finding myself and growing to love myself.
Disclaimer: I’m a private person so it takes a lot for me to expose my vulnerabilities for others to see. Contrary to my once belief, the ability to be vulnerable is only for the strong-hearted. I’ve learned that if I come to accept everything that I am, I have the power! Nothing that others can say will hurt because I am who I am and I have accepted it. Besides, I don't give a darn about other people's opinions. This is my life. You ain't living it!
Now back to the point....I’ve always had this idea of writing a book about my experiences or vlogging, but I never had the time or courage to begin. What exactly was I waiting on? ::shrugs:: One day I was praying for passion and purpose and this hashtag popped into my mind. It was like God finally revealed my topic. I was so excited with ideas and in that moment, I knew!
So here's to us finding Jess P, literally and figuratively....
I learned how to pray and talk to God at a very young age. For a good portion of my earlier years, my grandmother, who is very active in church, would babysit me. This meant that we had to go to church with her for service, bible study, choir rehearsal, community service, picnics, etc. You name it, my brother and I were there. Now, I may have been in between the pews putting on red lipstick from one of my toy makeup kits, but I was there, in the house of the Lord. Needless to say, I know where my help comes from and I am nothing without Him. I’d say we have a pretty good relationship but there's certainly some areas where I can improve.
Fast forward to sometime in early 2015. I had a conversation with a good girlfriend about how I liked to travel. At the time, I was taking vacations (mainly to Florida), and I hated my job. She showed me a concept of how I could do more traveling but I was skeptical. I looked at it and said, "No, this is too good to be true." They say ask and ye shall receive. So, I started praying about it everyday that God would provide a way to travel, pray, and get paid.
One day [at the job I hated ::rolls eyes::], I was facilitating a training class and as part of the icebreaker activity, we had to answer the question, “If you could have any job in the world, what would you do?” My response was, “If I could get paid to travel and pray, I would do it in a heartbeat.” A week later, I was venting about my job again to my same friend when she showed me how to travel and get paid...the praying was up to me. Yet, I told her no because of my limited amount of time off. The cycle continued with a new excuse every time, even though I was praying for this very opportunity. Needless to say, in October 2015, I stood at the counter of my apartment in tears after praying to be able to travel, pray, and get paid. I said, "God I know I need something different." I thought about this traveling “thing” again and it started to weigh on me. I then said, "God I really want to do this, but I don’t have the money." (Checking account proved that that was a lie!) Eventually I said, "Lord, I will take a leap of faith here. I don’t know what I’m doing but I trust you and I know that you will make a way for me." So, I joined! Little did I know, this would be the beginning of a brand new life. New life....who dis?