I’m excited to share interview and feature about me and my book on allthemanylayers.com by GG Renee. She is one of my favorite writers! Please check it out and share the link!
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Kisha’s Chic Lessons // Texas and the City
*When did you discover your passion for writing?
At the age of seven I experienced much trauma at home. During the time of abuse and neglect I found a way to release my pain through writing. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.
*What books/authors have influenced you the most?
Maya Angelou has always been an influence to me. The way she wrote was completely captivating.
I love inspirational tales and all seven of her autobiographies are just that. I also enjoy reads from Marianne Williamson, T.D. Jakes and fun inspirational reads from Emily Giffin, Elizabeth Gilbert, Gary Vaynerchuk and Kim Gruenenfelder.
*What inspired you to write Texas and the City?
When moving to New York I had a complete plan of what it was going to be like for me. From enjoying broadway shows to creating a following of fabulous forward thinking fashionistas, I knew this would be where I would make it big. But, I found myself living in the mountains of upstate New York far from the actual City. I experienced a bear crossing my back yard and crazy snow storms which made me realize although I had a specific plan, God had a different one and with that I began to write about it.
*How is your personal vision for your life reflected through this book?
Texas and the City is my journal entries turned into an inspirational true tale about my life as a Texas girl moving to New York. My personal vision for my life is about enjoying the moments, sharing the life lessons and always finding something to smile about. This book shares all of this. It shares how I’ve always taken any lemons thrown at me and made lemonade.
*Can you share a couple of your favorite excerpts from the book?
This is the day set forth for me to go on my journey—the journey of a lifetime… the journey led with inspiration, questioning, excitement, anxiety, and uncertainty! I’m leaving at 6:00 a.m. on my twenty-eight-hour drive to New York! I can’t even believe I just said that. And although I was set to leave at 6:00 a.m., I actually didn’t depart until around 9:00 a.m., thanks to me sleeping in! It was hard for me. My soul was smiling grandly while my body shivered with anxiety. The “what ifs” attempted entering my thoughts but were instantly overtaken by the “you can do this” thoughts, and eventually, the “you can do this” won the battle that lived within. I’m doing this drive alone! I’ve never really done this before. But so what, Kisha? I say to myself. There are a lot of things you’ve never done and will do if you continue to follow the bucket list you’ve written for yourself. So instead, I chose to look at it as a conversation starter and positive releaser. I guess when they ask “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” I can respond with this!
I’m driving cross-country on a road not taken, alone and in question. Nevertheless, I’m elated. My second mom stayed over the night before, assisting me in cleaning my condo before I departed and getting rid of what she considered unnecessary—items such as my ninety-seven pairs of shoes, which she said I will never wear and will more than likely buy more due to me moving to a fashion state such as New York. She also said in her loving yet condescending tone, “You ain’t gonna have no damn space for ninety-seven pairs of shoes! Leave that shit here along with those plastic containers you have them in!” I laughed loudly as I tried to bargain with her on why I needed them, even though I hadn’t worn most of them but once and some never at all.
This five-foot-five lady, thick in the hips and breasts, forever wearing her curly coiled wig, and with a personality like no other, is someone never to be forgotten or bargained with! She is what the Puerto Rican culture would call La Dona’, which is the female powerhouse that’s highly respected, in control, and running things. “I remember being ten years old and how I would mimic her every move—the way she sashayed into the room and demanded attention without even speaking, her loud laugh and matter-of-fact tone, and her being always the woman in charge that everyone respected. Her daughter and I would play superstars where she would choose to be Whitney Houston and I never failed to choose to be Linda Steward, my second mom!
She’s a character you wanted to be! But every time I chose her, I remember that Shemica (her daughter) would quit the game, stating how I didn’t know how to play right because I was supposed to choose a superstar, and my rebuttal would always be “But your mom is a superstar! [Well, to me.]” Oh, how I love this woman. She drives me completely crazy, but I could never imagine my life without her. I call her my second mom because although she didn’t give birth to me, she’s been a mother figure that has shared unconditional love as if I were one of her own. She’s been what I needed at the times I needed it most. I thank God for her and all her craziness. And for those wondering, I call my granny mom, and my mom, my biological momma. It’s a bit complicated, interesting yet all serving a purpose, and it’s… a story for a different book!
Anyway, on September 3, my second mom helped me transport twelve boxes to FedEx, which she considered, and I quote her, “Twelve boxes of a bunch of nothing,” but she helped me nonetheless and shook her head while I paid the bill. Then on the morning of my journey, she was there to see me off, trying not to shed a tear while she hugged me and prayed over me quietly for traveling grace. She smiled, shared loving words of how proud she was of me, and said, “Don’t look back, and remember, this move is way bigger than the job you are transferring with.” How interesting. This is now the third time I’ve heard this and from three distinctly different people that have not conversed with one another. It has to be true, and I can only speculate what this journey will bring.
My Infiniti FX35 is filled literally beyond its capacity, and I feel as if I’m suffocating! I’m trying to breathe, but it’s not flowing smoothly. I’m sweating. I have all the windows down and the sunroof open, and it is not enough. Even my passenger seat is piled high. The claustrophobia in me can’t take it! So what do I do? I drive to the nearest Goodwill and dump almost everything off! This is too funny. I pull up through the drive-through area of the Goodwill in what seems as a panic. A guy comes out to assist me, and I’m just taking stuff out like a madwoman. I’m moving much faster than he is, and the startled facial expression of the assistant stops me in my tracks, only to laugh hysterically. I then apologize and tell him, “I just need to get this stuff out of my car!” He laughs along with me and says no worries. He says he is just confused on how fast I was moving while breathing so deeply. He asks me, “Do you need a receipt?” and oddly I say no! My response is more that I just need to move along on my journey. Now, when I look back at this situation, I laugh even more when I realize what I was dumping off were my sheets, pillows, comforters, all bed linens along with towels, some clothes, dishes, and everyday needs! Then when looking at what remained in my car, it was two boxes of nonsense, books, and a damn industrial steamer! What the heck was I going to do with that! This is funny beyond words, especially when I don’t realize it until a month later!
Nevertheless, I’m on the road again, and my first stop is Dallas, Texas. This is where I did a brief stop, only to give my very best friend and mentor a hug in the parking lot as he was finishing a store visit. It’s funny. I held back the tears when saying good-byes to my very best team ever at San Marcos store 471. I held back the tears when my second mom hugged me. I held back the tears when hugging and saying good-bye to my sister from another mother, Neely, but when I hugged Steve Arocha and he made jokes as he always did about my big hair, along with sharing some words of wisdom and encouragement, I drove away crying more than ever! Seeing him choke up while telling me how proud he was of me and that I will conquer anything I put my mind to still to this day bring tears to my eyes. I tried figuring out why he touched me so, and after many thoughts of analyzing it, I’ve come to the realization that he was a godsend. I was blessed with the mentorship and work relationship that turned into the best friendship anyone could ever receive. He was one of my biggest cheerleaders. He believed in me even when I didn’t. He encouraged me during the times I needed it most. He allowed me to be simply me and called me out if I were to ever try and be something else. He had a great way of developing, nurturing, and genuinely loving another person while never compromising his true self. This is what I admired about him most. Whew, mushy enough, Kisha?”
*What role does writing play in your self-discovery or spiritual practice?
Writing is therapeutic for me. Anything I am feeling inside comes out through my writing. At age seven I started writing letters to God as a spiritual practice and I found this to be the best way for me to release my anger, questions and thoughts.
*When do you feel most creative? What inspires you?
I am inspired by life! Experiencing verbal and sexual abuse as a child, having a mother addicted to drugs for the entirety of my childhood, not meeting my farther until 18, and battling suicidal thoughts through my teen years turned me into an adult that treasures every moment. Once I gained the power to know that I am not defined by the environment I was born in, I gained the power to enjoy the beauty of living.
It seems I find creativity in everything but I’m most creative when I’m jogging in my neighborhood while listening to music. It never fails… I get some of the most creative thoughts during that time or right after.
*What advice would you offer to women who are uninspired in their work and want to create a business or project of their own?
If you are looking to create a business my advice today and forever is to do what you love. Take your hobby and turn it into your hustle. When you are doing what you love, the money will follow. Start while you are still working your day job and create a six month vision board for where you want to see it go. This should include those who inspire you in your specific hobby, by month financial expectations, and photos of how you see yourself as your own boss. You also need to create an exit strategy that is completely detailed. This exit strategy should include your financial details for living expenses, savings, business expenses and sacrifices you can make now to build your savings even quicker so you can then leave your job to pursue your creative career.
*Where else can we find your work?
I am a contributing author on http://cafetruth.com and also post regularly on my personal blog http://kishaschiclessons.com. My book is available via www.barnesandnoble.com and www.amazon.com
You can also follow Kisha on twitter @KishaSpeaks.
Follow her work!