It’s the end of another month, so welcome our newest feature: Ms. Jenai Charles. If it’s nice, do it twice right? In case you’re lost, check out my previous post where Jenai did a guest post on Speaking Up. What I didn’t mention however is she’s also an author and so much more. Read on to find out! As always, remember to spread the love.
Reading Time: ~ 5 mins
I am a twenty-one years old student born in St. Croix and raised in Antigua. I am a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in anthropology. I have a hard time describing myself because I am a lot of things. I do consider myself to be a pretty laid back person but I can get snappy pretty quickly (Working on it). I love reading, mostly poetry and sci-fi/fantasy novels. I love using my hands to create things. I am a healer by nature and I hope to educate myself and expand my abilities so I can help others.
Q: How did your love for writing develop?
J: I have always loved writing. Both my mother and grandmother are writers so I have them to thank for that. I began to take it seriously in 2015 when going through a breakup. I found it to be very therapeutic. That is where I discovered my love for writing about self-care, self-love and anything that is rooted in health and wellness.
Q: Why did you choose that particular field (self-care) to write about?
J: It was something that came most naturally to me. I loved writing about my personal experiences and those experiences highlighted my own need for self-care and self-love. I was able to have open and honest conversations with myself and I just happened to write them down and have not stopped since.
Q: How do you show self-care to yourself?
J: I meditate regularly, pray, write notes to myself, take myself out, check in with myself and most of all, I practice self-awareness. I am not afraid to check myself whenever I find that I am indulging in something that is not for my best benefit. That is something that I am very proud of. I can identify a problem and make the necessary changes to correct it. I try not to be hard on myself because I am still learning, still finding my way and I’m not quite there yet. But, I always put my best foot forward.
Q: What’s your biggest achievement to date? (in terms of your writing)
J: I have two published books at the age of 21. I released my first book, Unfolding in 2017, which is a book of poetry that talks about healing and transformation through the language of flowers. This year, I published my second book Blossom, which is a self-care journal that focuses on healing through guided daily exercise, questions and weekly checkups.
Q: What obstacles have you faced while writing/publishing your book? How did you overcome them?
J: Belief. I had to overcome the fear of not being good enough. I had this crippling anxiety when I was deciding whether I should release my book or not. I didn’t know if it was good enough, I didn’t know if people were going to buy it. I had to face myself and address where these feelings were coming from. It just all came down to worrying too much about what other people would think of it. I had to assure myself that I am good enough, my work is good enough and whoever is meant to see it, will.
Q: A piece of advice you’d like to share with other young adults?
J: You are good enough. You have your vision and passions for a reason and you should not be afraid to share it with the world. Not everyone will resonate with your work and that is okay. You are not meant for everyone. Do not focus on being liked. Focus on being yourself.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, looking forward to more of your social media posts and getting to know you better. Continue doing what you love and know that you’re inspiring so many people.