My Love Project expanded into a book and this is a poem that flowed while writing the book. It’s my love letter to you.

If you could see yourself through my eyes, you’d be unstoppable.

Who is it that’s holding you back?
Who seeded the voice in your head?

Who told you
you don’t deserve to hear the song of your soul?

Who told you
you can only
work the job you have now?
Only live
where you live now?
life is set in stone.
From here on in
there is
no more change.

Who told you?

Hello, friend. Usually my writing and speaking is grounded in the concept of unconditional self-love. You know, the feel good stuff. Warm fuzzies and sparkle heart emojis. Today is a different journey—a challenging one, but I know you’re up for it. Thanks for being here.

I used to naively think that I built my career based on the doors that opened to me. An opportunity came up, the door opened and I walked through. In my ignorance I thought it was a series of neat flukes that I navigated. Would those same opportunities have been provided to a Black woman…

What if love was something I could produce on my own, like a hydro dam generates electricity? Several years ago, I tried an experiment with myself as the subject to see if this was possible.

The year was 2012 and it was a particularly tough year. A dying relationship was finally taken off life support. It coughed, sputtered and, as it flatlined, I moved out.

I can spare you the details, but I would not have disagreed if you had referred to me as being in a deep depression.

When the relationship was gone, also removed were the excuses to…

In 2017, I sustained a mTBI — mild Traumatic Brain Injury. It significantly reduced my brain’s ability to handle stress as I was stuck at home for weeks with crippling anxiety. Even when I healed enough to leave the house on short walks, the cognitive stimulation of a grocery store was still too much to handle. I returned to work full-time after two months, and after six months was symptom free.

Kathy arrived to stay with me unexpectedly on one of the best, hottest days of the summer. I was at a friend’s cottage lounging in the sunshine when we met. She caught me off guard and I didn’t realize we’d be spending so much time together. It was a difficult visit, to say the least.

You see, when Kathy was here, I couldn’t really leave the house. Well, I couldn’t leave her and she couldn’t leave the house. At first I stayed with her most of the day. After a couple weeks of focused time with her, I oscillated between…

Jessica Evans

Insta: @ jessica.evans.writes I enjoy drawing parallels that meet.

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