“New Year: New Lessons” by Q

Salutations Family & Friends, 

I know that you have probably heard this a million times already but just in case you did not,  Hanukkah Sameach! (Happy Hanukkah), Merry Christmas! & Happy New Year! If you are new to the Center for FaithJustice community, my name is Quawntashea, but you can call me “Q”. Here is where you will find personal monthly updates of my journey as I pursue a year of service with CFJ, flourish in my faith, and conquer this thing we call adulting. To my returning readers welcome back,  and thank you for your support. 

Now let’s get into it!  As you may or may not know I am a very spontaneous person. If the objective and mission resonate with me, and I have a sense of peace in the pursuit of something, I am going to do it! Story Time: So I woke up New Year’s Day after bringing the new decade in at Change Church, the night before, and had a spontaneous thought to travel back to South Jersey to have dinner with my extended family. My journey began at 11 am with an extended walk to the riverine train station. A 1.5 train ride to Camden, NJ. About a 1.5 delay in Camden to take the 410 bus to Bridgeton. I finally arrived at my aunt’s house around 3:30 pm. When I walked into the door and greeted my loved ones, I instantly felt like I was home again.  What does home feel like, you ask? Allow me to indulge for a brief moment; in the pots on my aunt Phillis stove resided; Chitlins(NOT a fan), Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, White Rice, Black-eye-Peas, Potato salad, and Cornbread.

Now, don’t get me wrong being in the presence of my aunts, uncles, and cousins was a gift,  but gathering becomes something truly special when you share a meal that has the power to temporally heal any sorrow. Our brief gathering reiterated my faint notion that the decision I made that morning was so worth it, because it provided me with a gift far more valuable and fulfilling than the pots on the stove, and that very thing was time. 

Just when I thought my week was fulfilled, I received a text from a good friend of mine, confirming our ladies’ night! Anytime I have the opportunity to reconnect with friends I take it because time is precious. My time was now dedicated to my college friend Katie B, who too was pursuing a year of service, except through the Jesuit Volunteer Core.  Her placement for the year was in Kansas City, Missouri. We could not wait to catch up and swap service stories, experiences, and to talk about the fact that the last time I saw her was days after we graduated college and now she was ENGAGED!  Typically during our conversations, Katie often refers to me as the “deep one”, but unbeknownst of the magnitude of the words that she shared, Katie illuminated three valuable principles that I consider to be life lessons;

  • Value your position. 
  • Value your work. 
  • Value the power of people and their presence. 

Moments before the lesson Katie handed me an envelope, and a tiny drawstring fabric bag. She cautioned me to read the note before looking into the bag and there on that 4 X 8 card displayed affirming words tailored to my life. While the fabric bag contained bobby pins with beautiful flowers attached to them.

Flashing back to that moment as I was reading her affirming words, my outward expression ceased when my eyes became fixated on the words “Will you please be my bridesmaid”? In case your wondering,  Yes I lost it! Made a couple of facetime calls & of course said, Yes! 


*I guess those long nights and cups of coffee finally paid off

Choose Peace & Purpose- Q 

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