On October 8, 1985, I was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. From the beginning I had poetry in my blood, but I’ll get into that a bit later. Before the age of 1, my mother and I were living a life of poverty. We lived with my drug dealing, abusive father in the slums of a slum town. We struggled, just like most African Americans in that time; my mom’s first job was a waitress at this small restaurant on Blake Street, to which she had to walk sometimes or rely on her barely working car. My dad was one of the worst things that ever happened to my life. He was abusive, both dealt and used drugs and had not a care in the world. Coupled with his bipolar disorder our lives were hell for that first year of my life. As fate would have it at that small restaurant that my mother worked, a great man would enter our lives, he is my step-dad but I call him my father.
Throughout my childhood life was hard and always a struggle. For a little boy that just wanted to breathe freely and have fun, those opportunities were few and far between. My life is a story and with each poem or story I try to tell my tale.
Growing up, I always thought I’d be a trash man or maybe even a doctor. My goal was to help people in anyway I could. Throughout my years at Dollarway School District, I was always the smart kid with plenty potential, but I never reached my full potential. I was confused at what I wanted to do in life. Often with gifted minds your thoughts are everywhere. So around the age of 7 I started to write these thoughts down.
I never thought twice about a writing career. My goal was to try and cure Autism which affects my little brother to this day and at the same time help women to cure many things that affect them. All the while I wrote about the different things that happened throughout the day. Often they’d be poems, songs or short stories. Even my love letters had a poetic flow to them.
In high school I was know as many things, my personality was so diverse and I was so secretive no one could quite figure me out. Although I had a very successful school career, I joined the military my 11th grade year in high school. At the same time I had received an ROTC scholarship to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where I majored in Pre Medical Studies. It was in college that I started to realize that I didn’t want to be in the medical field, but this left a void that I couldn’t fill at the time. So once again I was stuck with what to do with my life. In 2005 I had dropped out of college and was headed to my first deployment to Iraq.
That first Iraq tour taught me a lot about life and the struggle of other people in the world. Iraq opened my eyes to my own life and what I was seriously lacking in it. At any given moment my life could have been taken in Iraq and it made me appreciate it even more.
The Army Life
My early Army career was a constant period of transition. I was as confused as ever and didn’t take advantage of many opportunities that came my way. I was a good soldier, but still young in the mind. That first tour to Iraq had done something to my mind that can never be reversed, scarring me forever with paranoia and flashbacks.
After a year and a half at Ft. Hood, Texas I met my first wife. We had a lot in common; we were both smart, from Arkansas and equally confused as to what we wanted out of life. We were just trying to fit the status quo, date get married and live the good life we were often told about growing up. By that time the Army had moved me to Ft. Carson, Colorado. Colorado was a definite change from what I was use to. It was cold, high elevation and the culture was totally different. To this day I am still trying to get use to Colorado.
My first wife and I tried our best to get settled into the married life as well as the army life. Before we had the chance to really work things out I was on my second deployment to Iraq, this time for 15 months. As with a lot of military marriages my marriage came to an end, because of the strain of deployments and we were newly married. That same year my sister was killed by some ingrate. This sent my life spiraling downhill and at my lowest point, I realized that writing was my calling. Writing got me through the deployment and at that time in August of 2008 I started this current blog Poetic MindState.
Early 2009 I had returned from my deployment to nothing. I had to start all over again. Picking up the pieces of my life was hard, but eventually I got to a comfortable place in my life. After my second deployment I noticed that I had some serious emotional and mental deficiencies, but me being the stubborn person I am, I never got them checked out.
I went through a phase in my life where I cared about nothing and no one. I had friends, but I was distant. I tried relationships to no avail. So I did what I thought was cool and went through an emotional escape. No fully attaching myself to anyone just having fun. Around this time my poetry and writing was getting popular and I had found a way to express myself.
As with all good times they come to an end. Early 2009 I had torn the muscle in my right knee and other health problems started to trickle down. Around this time I was recommenced to mental health. This was a horrible time in my life, it was another transition. The deployments had indeed affected me.
A New Life
Late 2009 I met Sara in a Barnes and Nobles bookstore. We hit it off pretty well. We had plenty in common and had fun together. The life I was living had gotten old and I now had the desire to settle down. As with most plans, they never go accordingly.
Because of my untreated mental and emotional problems, I was a hard person to deal with. My work life and my personal life suffered because of it. 2010 was turning out not to be my year and as with other problems I buried them inside and only let them out when I wrote. By this time I had gotten two announcements. Sara was pregnant and I was about to go on my 3rd deployment to Iraq.
I didn’t know how this deployment would go. With my unresolved issues and becoming a father, I was yet at another transition. Little did I know it would be a good transition.
As with all of my transitions, this one began horribly. Here I was in Iraq again; they had us at a small outpost in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by desert, Iraqis, camel spiders and mosquitoes. Worse yet was the fact that I had left Sara and my unborn child back home.
Like most things in life you have to adapt to survive. Little did I know, but this tour was going to be a huge learning experience for me. Trying to balance Army life and family life is hard, but I tried my best to do well at both. I built trust back with my peers and became very proficient at my job. I also noticed that my relationship with Sara was getting much better and we were communicating better.
July 8th, 2010 was the most important and joyous day of my life. That was the day Olivia Jade Jefferson was born, my first child and the immediate love of my life. From that moment on my mindset changed, I was becoming a father. A more mature individual and everything I did thereafter were for the betterment of my family. I took college courses and began to really work on my blog Poetic MindState. If I was going to do this writing thing, I was going to have to take it more serious. I had to start making moves and getting more exposure.
I came home March 11th, 2011 to see my beautiful daughter for the first time and see Sara’s smiling face. It was a very emotional occasion and was easily one of the best parts of my life.
Now I had to get use to a family, especially a newborn. There were many frustrating times, many times of laughter and joy. All in all I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Over the next few years my number 1 goal is to share what I have learned with you so that you can have a better life than me. So you can become motivated to do something you thought you may have never done. All I ask of you is to live life abundantly.
I hope my story inspires you to do something with your life. You don’t have to be rich to be happy, but instead you just need to love what you are doing.
Best of luck with your life! And feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.