Welcome to my blog.
My name is Stefani. I am 26 years old. Wow! This sounds like one of those grade school introduction assignments… Anyways, I grew up in St. Catherine, Jamaica. Ethnically and culturally I suppose I would be considered Chinese Jamaican. Something that usually requires some explanation and I would like to get a bit into it in another post. I have two younger siblings, one brother and one sister, who I have an ongoing developing relationship. I have grown up fairly sheltered in many ways. My parents worked hard to provide a good life for us, being able to afford private schools (which is substantially cheaper in Jamaica than in the USA) and just providing all the basics that led to us not having to be out on the road too much. I was more raised with the “uptown” crowd, which of course has coloured my experience and some would say I am “less Jamaican” for it. I disagree but that is also for another post. I got the experience of working in the family business also from a young age.
I was fortunate enough to be afforded the opportunity to travel from a young age. We visited other countries, I had relatives in many, and we did so frequently enough for me to have an experience of the world beyond our small island. I suppose I knew from a young age that I always wanted to venture off and live elsewhere. I moved to the USA officially for college almost a decade ago. I had a strange idealistic view of wanting things to always have control over my life in that I wanted to change things around me and as a result I went to not 1 or 2 but 3 different Universities. Since high school, I lost my grandparents, had a lot of family drama, experienced a dramatic heart break, distanced and moved a lot, had next to no close connections, lost myself in the process and basically fell down a hole. Underlying all of this, I hadn’t noticed small changes cropping up with my mental state and it wasn’t until I was almost done with college that I realized it had gotten so bad that I basically experiencing signs of agoraphobia and I was out of control.
I had to take a year off and with quite a bit of self evaluation, diagnostic appointments with a psychiatrist, an official diagnosis and therapy I eventually finished my degree but just that. There were so many years of this spiral that I realized I had formed so many negative habits, mentally and physically, that I couldn’t even sustain a normal existence. I couldn’t function in there regular world anymore full time. I could pass off as a seemingly functional, intelligent person to strangers and to acquaintances, but my physical and mental health was shit and I couldn’t even maintain regular work. I got a good job out of college but a small car accident threw me into having massive spine pain and I couldn’t be accommodated for it. Shortly after that I found out about my pregnancy and decided to move states to try to accommodate my daughters father, thinking I would try to make the most of the situation. I ended up developing some kind of panic disorder on top of my general anxiety over being away from her and worrying too much and the progress I had made was being undone.
Now I am living in sunny Florida, flip flopping between making the most of everything and disliking the state. I’ve grown to accept my flawed state and I’m trying to lean into it by focusing on finding myself again and improving on her. I figure the best thing I can do for my daughter is to excel as a person and to find a balance between work success, financial success and personal development. I have always ignored and suppressed my creative side, in favour of choosing the practical option and since life has led me to be in this position, I want to embrace that side and find a way to turn my interests and hobbies into a career. I’m learning to find value in different things; family, work life balance, happiness, fulfillment. And I want to document and share in that journey, not because I’m an expert at anything but because I’ve always been a self confident nerd, with an obsession to learn and grow, who somehow has all this random information stored and I never knew how to use that and add value to the world. I’m hoping with the scope of the internet now, I can share myself and give value in a different way. This blog will probably be all over the place in terms of topics but hopefully people will find some use in it and enjoy.
Thanks for reading this jumble.