Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Into Every Life...

My father is a preacher and not so long ago he preached a sermon that had a particularly lasting effect on me. Kinda like sticky goo, one phrase stuck to my mind and every now and then it just pops up and takes a seat there for a little while. Right now is one of those moments. As a police officer I noticed that there is a certain type of "job" that everyone has there niche in. Be it drugs, guns, aggravated assaults or even something simpler like giving out parking tickets. For me, its been handling domestic situations. I thought that I liked them because I would get to witness an untaped version of a reality show episode. I know, that was terrible, but I've found that I'm good at what my partner calls "counseling" the women we encounter. I just feel like it's my duty to let them know that they are not alone in this world and to give them a listening ear or words of encouragement.

I didn't start to hear it until recently but I've been building a name for myself as somewhat of a "feminist" and its because of my strong belief in the women who seem to have little to no belief in themselves. I meet women who have been in abusive relationships with their intimate partners, women who have been abused by their parents, women whose bodies are used and abused by strangers, women who abuse their own bodies by using drugs. It hurts to the core when I see one of these women and I'm left bewildered every single time. I've even seen young girls sleep with men for $5 dollars so they could buy a sandwich to split with their younger siblings. Women who had their voices taken away. I ask myself "why?" "Why do they let themselves go through this?" "Why would they let their children witness this abuse?" "Will she really walk away from him for good this time?" "Does she even want to ?" "Why doesn't she love herself enough to know that she deserves better?" Then I ask myself "Why didn't I?"

I found myself in an emotionally abusive relationship that I had no clue was even happening. Previously a very confident and strong willed person, I found myself looking in the mirror and finding absolutely nothing good about the reflection staring back at me. I cried almost every day. I second guessed every thought I had. The man who slept in my bed at night didn't even look at me when I spoke. I walked around my house like a ghost  in the shadows, afraid to speak sometimes. Smiling on the outside, self destructing within. I lost myself. And I never even saw it coming.

Sometimes we don't realize a situation until we're so deep into it that we feel trapped. Or maybe we're following a generational curse and we're just following what we know, we saw our mother go through it and maybe this is just what we expect. Or maybe, no one ever taught us how to demand that we be treated fairly, respectfully, lovingly and to accept nothing less.

I grew up in an urban Philadelphia neighborhood where it was normal, and still is, to see young girls pregnant at 14 or 15 and then again by 16 with another man's child. It was acceptable for a woman to sleep with a man that would ignore her the next day when he was around his friends or just out in public. I heard a girl once refer to herself as an "ugly bitch".  At 18 yrs old and on her third pregnancy, she told me that she did not believe that a man would want to be in a relationship with her and that all she had to offer was sex. She said that she had never been called pretty before. She was the first person to plant the seed in me that made me want to make a difference in the lives of as many women as possible.

Often times a while I'm out on patrol at work, I wonder why so many people have to go through such turmoil in life.  Then my daddy's words pop into my head. He said "Into every life a little rain must fall". My dad is,for me, the perfect person to deliver these words. It began to rain for him 28 years ago. His storm began the year that he, his brother and his friend were in a car accident in which, after being prematurely pronounced dead, he was the sole survivor. He sustained a broken neck and back. He began drinking and using drugs. His marriage fell apart as a result. His battle with alcoholism and drug abuse began that year. It was a battle that lasted almost as long as I've been alive.

"Into every life a little rain must fall". Those words might not seem like much but when I think of it I'm reminded of what rain does. It waters thirsty plants and as a result they begin to grow. But in order for anything to grow a seed must be planted. A few years ago my father's storms began to subside and the seed that was planted in him as a child has taken root and grown into such a beautiful thing. Because of his rain he is able to speak encouragement to many people and give words of wisdom from experience. Because of his rain my younger brothers have a dad that they can aspire to be like and my father is able to plant seeds in them to grow into great men.  Because of his rain I can say something that I never thought would come out of my mouth " I want my future husband to be like my daddy is today". Because of his rain I have a reference point to be able to relate to people who are going through what I went through as a child and young adult. Because of his rain he has grown and he is magnificent.
What seeds will you plant? Seeds of success, happiness and love I hope. You deserve all of those things. So when it rains, just be ready to start growing.

Thanks for reading everyone.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Starting Out

Hey everyone,  this is my first post and my first time blogging. Allow me to introduce myself and let you know what my goal for blogging is. I'm Janelle, a 28 yr old police officer and single mother to 3 yr old twin boys. I'm one of those people that has so many interests that its often hard to put everything in order and feel fulfilled. My mom refers to me as her "artsy" child but also as a "crazy little girl" (yes, I'm almost 30 but forever a little girl to mom). Let me give you an example of what I mean and why I take no offense to being called "crazy" or "scatterbrained" to people who don't understand my mind. I am a police officer who is a photographer who paints faces who plays the cello who went to school for three years while double majoring in "Photojournalism" and "Spanish Education" only to switch schools at the start of my fourth year to get a degree in "Theology". There's a lot more to add to the list, but you get the picture. I've always had so many interests pulling me in so many directions that it's been hard to focus and actually lay down a path in life. Im on a journey now to find my path, build a solid foundation to my future  and help as many people as I can along the way.

Back in high school I started to feel like there was something bigger for me to do than to just live life. I didn't really acknowledge it then, but the feeling has been growing ever since and getting stronger. In college I started to acknowledge it's presence making a sudden, drastic switch in schools and concentration. I started laying the framework for a non profit organization called "Rich Girls", to help girls and women build better self esteem.  I even got a degree from a theological college in "Urban Ministry Leadership". But, for some reason I never pushed pass the degree and aside from some seminars, never made my vision come to life. Every time life started to get busy for me I allowed myself to get distracted from my goals. Well, it  still feels like I'm always busy but I have big aspirations and I've decided that it's time to stop dreaming about what I want and start making it happen. I cant let life's distractions stop me anymore. I want to build a business that helps people and make my business a household name. That's what this blog is for. I wanna share my journey to with you. Every accomplishment and setback. All of my frustrations, my happy  and random moments, and give words of encouragement to my readers along the way. Life's tough, but we're never as alone as we think we are. My mission is to let as many people know that as I possible can. Hopefully, that this blog will reach those who need it and those who I need as well. That's it for now,Thanks for stopping by.