If truth be told, this blog post is 11 years in the making. My hope in writing this is to inspire others to live out their dreams and that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
I’ve been a scrapbooker for over 20 years, my first album was a wedding gift I made for a friend and I was hooked. In 2002 my grandmother passed away and as we were going through her things my Aunt came across all of my grandmothers travel photos. I had to have them! With that the Story Keeper in me was born. I dabbled in teaching and selling scrapbook products but nothing stuck, mostly because at that time I didn’t realize the gift and potential inside me. I became the master of self sabotaging thoughts and behaviors that kept me stuck in the “safe” path I was on until that crumbled. In 2010 I ended my 17 year long career as an Emergency Medical Technician because the fibromyalgia I had been diagnosed with in 1997, could no longer be ignored as it was affecting my ability to perform my job safely. In 2012 I decided to go back to school and finally get my bachelor degree. My youngest was starting school which gave me time during the day to myself. I decided to go to school for graphic design because I eventually wanted to create my own brand of scrapbooking products. I graduated from American Intercontinental University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Art specializing in Graphic Design. I thought I was set and went out looking for a job and no one would hire me because I had little experience. The only real experience I had was making graphics for my church, a job that I was tasked with while in school. Looking back at that time, it was a setup by God and my late friend and Bishop, William Oatman Sr. He saw the potential in me way before I did. He allowed me to have creative freedom while honing my craft. A few months after I graduated, without work, I set my sights on graduate school. I thought I needed more education so I enrolled into a 12 month program at FullSail University in their Media Design program. There I gained knowledge in branding and marketing, in 2016 I graduated with a Master of Fine Art in Media Design. Once again I set out to find a job and once again I was denied. I started to dabble in working for myself and created Mustard Seed Design & Branding which specialized in creating branding materials for Religious organizations. I thought surely this will be a success because I felt led to create for God and use my gifts for the upbuilding of the Kingdom. It was a bust. I felt defeated and more of those self sabotaging words floated in my head. I gave up on my dream.
Here is where I tell you some of the backstory to my self defeat. In the span of 6 months and all while going to school, I gave birth to my son Wesley, my now ex husband abandoned us and left me broke and stranded in West Virginia. By the grace of God I was able to get home to New Jersey where the hits kept coming. My Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and within 2 months he was gone. I was devastated. I could hardly keep it together let alone deal with a wayward husband who manipulated my fragile mind into believing his lies. I’m not going to tell the rest of that story here because while my marriage and divorce was one of the hardest and darkest places I’ve ever experienced, it is one that was necessary for me to be the woman I am today. Trials are meant not to break us but to catapult us into our next season. In the process of healing I learned to love myself and what love is supposed to be. I learned that the greatest gift I can give myself is knowing my worth isn’t what people say about me but what God says about me! I no longer self sabotage myself and for the first time in my life I can honestly say I love me and who I am!
This brings me full circle to where I am today and how the Redheaded Story Keeper was born. My dream has become a reality. It hasn’t been easy but nothing worth doing ever is. I thank God for each and everyone of you who reads this. It means the world to me for all the love and support!
In my next blog post I’ll be sharing with you all of what The Redheaded Story Keeper is so stay tuned!