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Where I've been that's no longer where I am...

remember to smile!

Wow. I never thought transitioning from Jamaica back to the US would be so hard. But, my friends, I have been struggling! Most of my good friends that I had when I was at school have moved away, my family dynamics have changed drastically over the last 2.5 years, I haven't been able to get a job (do I blame the economy for that?), and I am struggling with personal relationships (where did all the people who cared about issues and others go?!).

Sometimes I feel very overwhelmed by my circumstance (can I pay rent? will I ever feel comfortable around people? will I ever have a job that I love? will I ever fall in love?). But then I remember to breath. In a n d out. I have been home for three months. I can't expect everything to fall into place immediately. Sometimes I just feel like I will never see that light at the end of the tunnel. But as the old adage goes: "This too shall pass".

How about all of you? Have you ever had a time when you didn't know when the pain/hardship would end? How did you deal with it? What was the outcome?

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Dear Sharese,

With a lovely smile anything is possible. You've got the smile.

I am still struglling a bit. I moved from Maldives (small island) to Sydney (huge island) in 2005. I left everything and moved to Australia in hope to make a happier life for me and a better future for my two kids. When I moved to Sydney I dad no job, no friends, no family and totally out of my comfort zone. I left a monoculture to merge in a multicultural society. It was unimaginably hard and emotionally taxing too but in time I made friends and reached for help too. Things slowly got better. It took me two years to get a job.

You will find love, friends and a job too. Don't be too hard on yourself. Take on step at a time. You will get there.

For me slowly things are falling to place. After 5 years I still feel out of place.... In time it will work out for you too.

You take care. Wishing you all the best :-)

With load of love and care
Amei

Sharese's picture

Thank you!

Amei,

Your words mean so much to me. Thank you for sharing part of your journey with me and for the encouragement. I send you lots of love and good vibes and can feel the warmth of your love and care.

In peace, love and sisterhood,

Sharese

Matilda Moyo's picture

It sure shall pass

Hey Sherese,

This too, sure shall pass. I think we all go through change and have to deal with uncertainty at times. While I have not moved location, I believe it is possible to be in the same location but still have to go through the uncertainties of change. I lived in Zimbabwe between 2000 and 2010 - a time of political turbulence and an unstable economic environment. This was the hardest period in post independent Zimbabwe. We were in the same country, but there was so much change and instability, we had to adjust to the changes daily. I mean hey, this was a hyper-inflationary environment, prices could change over such a short period e.g between entering a shop and paying for a product.

To be honest, living in that time felt like sinking in a huge black hole and I kept wondering when we'd hit the bottom but the pit seemed bottomless. When I thought we'd reached our worst, something even worse would happen. A new policy that negatively affected people's lives could just be passed and we just had to figure out how to deal with it.

Thankfully, that era is over and hopefully for good. Being a Christian, prayer is what I held onto the most. In fact, informal sources indicate that Zimbabwe's churches grew phenomenally as the crisis worsened. I also bury myself in poetry and music and that keeps me going.

I wish you well in your adjustment and hope you find friends and a community that you can plug into. Am sure something good's going to happen soon.

All the best!

Me/

Sharese's picture

Thank you!

Thank you for your words- I was in Zimbabwe in 2006 and the turmoil that the country was experiencing at that time was astounding. Living through it for a decade I am sure caused much grief and uncertainty! I applaud you for your strength and faith.

Just curious- what kind of music do you listen to? I have been thinking I need some new music to raise my spirits. Any suggestions?

Again thank you!

In sisterhood,

Sharese

Matilda Moyo's picture

Music

Hi Sharese

I listen to a lot of afrojazz, I find that it expresses how I feel. I like Sipho Gumede - he has a track called "Alone in a strange place," from his album "Blues for my mother," which I just love. Beyond Afrojazz, I listen to a lot of Dave Koz too and Hillsong has a lot of encouraging music like "Voice of Hope" by Lara Martin, "My hope" by Hillsong, "Still" and a whole lot more. I find Hillsong and Casting Crowns just seem to have the sort of music that moves me.

I'm not sure what your taste in music is like, but I sure hope you'll find something you like.

Cheers!

Me/

Darcey's picture

Shine On~!

Hey Sharese

I absolutely understand. I have gone through it several times...it has gotten better or in some cases, I have moved and started over. It all depends on where you are at I think. Sometimes it has required moving from a place where I hardly knew anyone, back to the place I have loved and then another time I had to leave everyone and everything I knew to find complete peace in starting over fresh. What are you feeling you need?
I think that it is difficult coming from the place where you were at as well back into a completely different culture that you were once used to. I have a friend that spent 3 weeks in Uganda/Rwanda, and was just at a loss when she returned finding how much 'stuff' just gets in the way of relationships,etc. after coming from a place where people could express joy while having so little in the way of material possessions.

Listen to Eric Bibb. He is so my inspiration, so much of the time. Listen to Sweet Honey in the Rock. Listen to 'How deep in the Valley' on the cd I sent. Listen to Shine On.

OH, and Sara Groves- 'It's going to be alright'

Please keep us posted and let us know how it goes....and if you feel like coming for a visit sometime- let me know!!

peace and love to you!
Darcey

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
— John Lennon

Sharese's picture

Thank you, Darcey!

As always, I am so thankful for your friendship and your insight. I have been listening to the CD and it does lift my spirit. I would love love love to come for a visit. Unfortunately funds are an issue. If I had all the money in the world I would travel all the time. I am trying to get to Zimbabwe to see my friend who is expecting her first baby at the beginning of Dec. But it looks like that trip will have to be delayed until later... Oh well- at least I can let my spirit travel to her and offer her love and sisterhood even though I am not physically there.

Again thank you for the inspiration- you are always such a wonderful friend :)

Much Love,

Sharese

Mei Li's picture

Paying rent...ah! You know, a

Paying rent...ah! You know, a year ago I moved into a house with my then-lover. We could afford it together. Shortly after we moved in, she lost her job. Shortly after that, I broke both of my wrists at the same time and in the three months that follow we broke up, but still lived together through most of the winter thereby agreeing to drastic discomfort and turning a once-lovely relationship into something very exhausted and angry.

Shortly after that...! I lost my job. So then, I was alone, in this house, with no job and no support. I don't have family who I can call to ask for money. I was fortunate to qualify for unemployment, but that runs out in three weeks. I am in a position right now where I can really embrace freaking out, but for some reason I'm not. I've learned over the past few months, even though my income has been very little and some months not even enough - somehow everything has been paid for and I have been fed. Somehow the pups still have food and we all have water. Somehow the car still works, and if it doesn't, the bicycle is fixed. Somehow everything I need is already in front of me.

Will you feel comfortable around people? Will you fall in love again? The answer to both of these questions, I think I can attempt to combine...you will never feel comfortable around people or comfortable enough to fall in love again until you feel utterly comfortable and in love with yourself. I have learned to be my own best friend. I have even learned to embrace, enthuisiastically, the silence, the emptiness, the solitude. It has built quiet strength in me. It has taught me what I really would want if I were 'with' someone, and it ultimately has taught me that I don't really want to be!

Over the past few months I have met many lovely women who I could have easily embraced in a possible relationship context...but something in me has changed to the point where I just don't feel like I am in the place to offer that of myself.

My mother recently told me that when I was a little girl I would cry over commercials that spoke of poverty and children or homeless animals. Every time, I would run into the room where she was with tears in my eyes, crying over how unfair it is.

Within the past few months...I have fallen even more deeply in love with being active. My lovers have been organizations in my community which have embraced me for the qualities in myself I happen to enjoy the most! Suddenly, the LGBTQ safe house adored my compassionate advocacy and creative writing skills more than any exgirlfriend ever had! The intellectual stimulation through World Pulse also curbed any woeful thoughts I might have once had about what I thought I was lacking.

Last month my friend Rebekah randomly repeated something she had read, "Only participate where there is joy."

I felt myself longing to be around more people from the LGBTQ community. I have been back in Arizona for over four years, maybe even five, and even though I love lots of different types of people, I feel sometimes like a fish out of water and like the only queer girl in the desert. So, I looked up workshops that Arizona State University offers through the LGTBQ coalition. I attended a few events that involved the Human Rights Campagine, found a lecture about the conflict between Isreal and Palestine, and within a week met two new friends who are intrigued by similar issues.

Did you know it can take up to two years to really assimilate back into a place? Like I said, I've been back in Arizona for awhile...but it hasn't been until very recently that I felt as though I was ok with my surroundings. The changes that were made were changes I could have made a long time ago...instead of feeling distant from communities I am used to, I saught them out. Instead of feeling like there was a void where my lover once was, I filled myself and gave myself to causes and organizations I am passionate about.

So...remember to smile upon yourself each day, that you are enough simply by being you, that instead of friends and lovers being around to embrace you, sometimes we must direct ourselves toward larger causes that will bring about the same feelings of intimacy. I am in love with the world and know it loves me back.

I would even suggest a garden! Being in the earth, for me anyway, gives me the opportunity to re-plant myself daily, to nourish myself daily. My relationship with the earth has to be consistent, as it is with my dogs. Both the garden and my dogs require watering, food, and sunlight every day. They both enjoy a little Moby or Regina Spektor from time to time and neither complain when I say it's time to read and be alone. Lovely relationships :)

"...our compassion is the practice of unconditioning." Jakusho Kwong Roshi

Sharese's picture

You. Are. Wonderful.

I have more to say- but I just want you to know that you are wonderful and your words always make my heart a little lighter. Thank you for being you. I will surely write you soon as these words of love deserve a full response. Right now I must study the muscles in the body in order to take a test and pass a class that will move me a step forward in my goal for making maternal mortality less in the world.

Much Love, until I get a chance to write more,

Sharese

Starland's picture

Hi Sharese

Yep, been there done that! I saw on another post that you are now in South Africa? Sure would love to hear that story!
Take care of you.

Hugs
K-lee

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

Sharese's picture

Hey :)

Hey K-Lee,

I am not in South Africa- I studied there in 2006... Maybe I posted about that?? I am trying to go to Zimbabwe so that I can see my friend who is having her first child... I will definitely keep you updated on that adventure!!

Much Love- as always,

Sharese

Starland's picture

Have fun

Need someone to carry your luggage? hee,hee I'm available. :) Yes, I want to hear all about it.

love and hugs
K-lee

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

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