Pilgrimage of Purpose

It was somewhere around the age of eight when I was sure I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I suppose that dream was motivated by the summer vacations to theme parks like Knotts Berry Farm and Disneyland which was also around the same time I discovered my talents of drawing all the characters I’d encountered during those trips. I wanted to work side by side with Mr. Walt Disney himself, creating my own cartoon characters. That dream didn’t last very long. The older I became; my interest began to change. For a brief moment I considered advertising, intrigued by designing logos and campaign ads. I despised football as a child because that’s all my stepfather watched and even when he’d doze off on the couch, we knew not to try changing the channel because he was still “listening” to the game as he would say. However, I was fascinated by the commercials during the games and how catchy the slogans were. The problem was, just like the cartoons, I could draw the characters as well as the logos, but could never seem to come up with a catchy phrase of my own or humorous skit. Upon reaching my pre-teen years I became fascinated by the idea of becoming a courtroom sketch artist. My true motivation was simply a way into the courtroom out of curiosity regarding certain trials along with all the details. Now, by my sophomore year, thanks to an amazing art teacher, once again I was certain after winning my first T-square Tammy was going to become an architect! Yeah ok, that was until I found out the level of math required for this particular field.

Unfortunately, within our household there was little to no encouragement nor support regarding career choices or their requirements. Certain family members constantly preached about how important education is, but I was unaware not only of college opportunities in general but more specifically Historical Black Universities until visiting the campus of one down south well into my adulthood. I was in awe of the culture as a whole and confused as to why I had been so uninformed. Not to pass blame on my family or anyone else, I’d say it basically came down to me being stuck in survival mode after becoming a teenage mother. My career path began as a scared teen. The nurse who assisted me during my delivery had such a negative bed-side manner that I thought to myself, I can do this job. I wanted to provide comfort and support to other young expecting moms; however, my first job as a medical assistant led to working in urology instead. After a few years in various areas of the field, I decided this wasn’t the career for me. It was yet another example of how I let fear dictate my decisions. I loved the work and wasn’t bothered by the atmosphere at all, but aside from the AIDS virus just arriving on the scene with little information, the politics of how business was conducted and me constantly bearing witness to people who desperately needed care yet were being turned away. At that time, I was unaware of what to do or if there was anything I could do to change what I was seeing.

As much as I’ve always loved working, I never cared much for office jobs although the call centers helped me to develop tough skin. Most “desk” jobs in my experience were a repeat of that same boring tasks day after day. It was the labor jobs I enjoyed most like working the saw at the lumber mill and grading wood. Staying on my feet, constantly moving so the wood didn’t pile up made the time go by faster which meant getting back home to my children for the day. Be it teaching art, K-3 HOSO science, housekeeping at the Day’s Inn or standing on my feet for hours in a huge freezer packing chicken for Tyson, at each job I obtained vital skills to aid in the next phase of my journey. Wherever there was an opportunity for advancement, I did and those leadership skills helped prepare me for my purpose. Once when I was managing a Taco Bell a young girl accused me of thinking that I’m always right. The other employees were sure I’d snap back at her, instead I laughed because she was right. I think of her often wondering if she realized the gift in the lesson, she taught me that day. I was fourteen years old when I began working, remaining consistent with employment until 2016 when the seizures became more frequent and finding myself with a second felony conviction. After being denied several times for SSI benefits, even though I’d earned more than enough credits years prior, it was time to start thinking outside the box. Afterall, I am a creator one of my professors would tell me. So, I began creating opportunities for myself by utilizing the skills I’d obtained through out my journey along with all my accomplishments. Including those skills that we don’t get paid for and often go unnoticed like raising children and managing a household.

Now turning 50 later this year, I feel so strongly that I’ve finally discovered my purpose for being here-because I truly believe WE ALL have one and it’s never too late! Looking back on the circumstances I’ve witnessed, experienced and overcome, I can’t help but to acknowledge that I survived for a specific purpose. With all those situations along with people, good and not so much that have crossed my path, there was always a lesson to be learned in each scenario. I view those lessons as power which is why I can’t define myself as being a victim. All the years when I thought God had left me behind and forgotten about me, He was actually preparing me. I am convinced that my purpose is to support, inspire and offer hope to others through my lived experience by providing a platform where we can “Voice Our Individual Cultural Experiences” while combating stigma and gaining courage!

Published by 5thgenerationgirl

Tammy Wynette is a mother of three and a β€œG-MA” (grandma). Born in Warren, Arkansas, she currently resides in Sacramento, CA and is pursuing an AA degree in English at American River College, with plans to transfer to California State University, Sacramento (Sac State). She is an active leader and role model in her community, she works with teens sharing and teaching poetry, as well as providing insight for young parents to prosper. She has certificate from NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a trailblazer & Griot, keeper of stories/traditions passed down from her ancestors. As an Author and motivational speaker it’d be an honor to present at your events to inspire, encourage & let our VOICES be heard! She has short stories and poems published in Our Black Mothers Brave, Bold and Beautiful!

63 thoughts on “Pilgrimage of Purpose

      1. πŸ˜… One of my worst tasks has been writing a resume. How does one get a list of jobs they devoted their decades to, and sum it up on a page? Impossible! I’m retired and glad I no longer need to do one.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Wow, you’ve had quite the variety of jobs. I never enjoyed desk jobs either as I’m more of a people person. I never lasted long in bureaucratic work places either as the rules were so arbitrary and many employees just waiting until retirement. I did best working on my own with my own business and/or working for someone else but at least having a say in how things were done. I can’t imagine dealing with a felony or prison/jail system. That whole system is so dark, so slanted against the poor and people of color, with no true justice in it at all or intention to help people change and grow. I’m so impressed you’ve gone through all that yet landed on your feet and still out there helping others.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This post doesn’t even scratch the surface of the various jobs I’ve held which is why it took me nearly a month to structure this to my satisfaction, lol. Although I have two felonies, people make the mistake of assuming I’ve been in prison & my jail stint was only a few days, one time. Yet all lessons for me to learn & grow from. Have a fantastic day my dear. Appreciate your support as always.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Glad to hear you didn’t end up in prison and only jail for a few days. I’ve had some weird jobs, too. At one point I was pine cone picking in CO, scrambling around digging beneath trees, looking for squirrel stashes while the squirrels sat in the trees chirping at me, hoping no hunters shot me. I’d gather up a very heavy bag of pine cones, drag it to my little truck, drive backwards for miles on these tiny forest roads, to then take them to this woman who transported them to a company who spun them in machines to extract the seeds to sell to Christmas tree farms. I spent most of my income on new tires for my car.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That would be interesting. I only lasted a week working at a desk job for some financial company. I straightened up their entire file room as it was a mess but couldn’t seem to grasp their regular invoice regime. Plus it was a basement office with no windows.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you dear, that means a lot. I have to giggle because I’m not sure if it was intentional from you reading a previous post or you’re just getting to know me a bit. In an earlier post “Big Sexxy”, I believe I acctually state that resilience is one of my superpowers. Can’t recall if you were following back then, lol. Many hugs!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I loved learning a bit more about your life journey through this post, Tammy. It is inspiring how many jobs you’ve tried and that work ethic has served you very well.

    You are absolutely correct that every step and stop in our life help prepare us for the next steps – all those lessons from places like Taco Bell to your stint in the urology field, all add up to the sum of you today.

    It’s interesting you noted how you wanted to get into advertising when you were younger. While that didn’t work out, I’d say you created a fine logo for your VOICE initiative. πŸ˜ŠπŸ™

    When one door closes, another opens for sure, as your story illustrates. Good luck with stepping through your next open door.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I adore you Ab! Thinking back to the advertising, that was motivated by my mom taking a college course & asking for my help drawing back then. It was my children recently who told me my path of writing would eventually lead me back to my first love of drawing, but I couldn’t see how until trying to hire someone to design the logo for me. After becoming frustrated with people not keeping their word or following through, I did it myself. I now see it was meant to happen that way.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Booyah Queen Tammy! πŸ€œπŸ½πŸ€›πŸ½ Ok, so I needed to finish cooking dinner and eating before I sat down to digest your words of resilience. πŸ’ͺ🏽 I truly can connect to your journey, because although the events of our lives were clearly different, (although I wanted to be an artist and an architect too) our experiences are so very connected. Fear is always a driving force behind discouragement, distractions, and depression. Fear can keep us from fulfilling our greatest potential. 😣

    Like Maya Angelou once said, or maybe a few times…when you know better you do better! We know, in the words of Morris Day, “What time is it?” We know that answer, now we just have to make it happen! No time to waste! Right? Go on and do your “thang” girlfriend! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ’–πŸ₯° January is almost over! πŸ€” Hugs and smooches! πŸ€—πŸ˜˜πŸ˜

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Do you know every time I read “Booyah”, I jump? As if you right next to me & I can hear you, lol.
      All I know is that lately (last 2 yrs) I can see things more clearly than before & I’m paying closer attention to the things I thought didn’t matter or were of no concern.
      Yeah, I just finished cooking & eating dinner too. 😘

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Girlfriend, you go so deep sometimes, I have to tie a rope to my chair to make sure I don’t faint and fall out, or sink through the floor! I love your epiphany Tam, Tam baby!!! πŸ€œπŸ½πŸ€›πŸ½ Next time, I’ll try to say Booyah, a little softer! πŸ€£πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚ Keep forging ahead sista’. Again, you got this!!! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ˜ŠπŸ₯‚

        Liked by 3 people

      2. OMG, no not Tam Tam? 😲 Alright, on that note I’m going to watch TV until I fall asleep. I have to digest all of this information before I fall asleep Queen! πŸ‘‘ LOL Hugs and smooches and enjoy the rest of your evening too! πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸ˜˜

        Liked by 2 people

  4. πŸ’œ If YOU!!! Don’t also Give Goddess Credit it Will Be More Difficult; obviously πŸ™„ SHE!!! Didn’t Write The Bible in ALL its Numerous, Masculine, Competitive Versions but SHE!!! Continues to Speak with YOU!!! as a Fellow Goddess

    β€¦πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™β€¦

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  5. Reading about your journey is so inspiring! Having so many jobs and struggling made you so strong and wise and I can see this so clearly in your words! I’m 25 years old and I’m still studying (medschool is 6 years here) and not having any jobs until now, makes me a bit scared about the future so reading about you working since such a young age and so many different jobs, it really inspires me. Thank you for letting us know these pieces of your life and soul. Have a beautiful week!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aww, I’m so glad that this inspired you. That’s why I share. The main thing I’ve learned is that you simply have to keep going, eventually the law of averages will kick in and the hard work will pay off. Blessings to you on your journey my dear. I’m rooting for ya!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. This is a great post with a valuable lesson. No matter what we do, it teaches us something. I actually enjoyed being a nursing assistant more than being a registered nurse. I spent more time with the patients, learned the basics of nursing, was not so involved in the politics of healthcare, was under less stress, and felt good about myself when I went home at night. I was healthier, too! ALL JOBS ARE IMPORTANT! ALL JOBS ARE ESSENTIAL! ALL JOBS TEACH US SOMETHING.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All of life’s experiences teach us something too when we pay attention. I actually miss the medical field. After working in various areas of the field, joined the insurance industry for over a decade helping small businesses owners w/ annuity riders, security builders, etc. Although that was another way of helping, I missed being hands-on.
      Thanks dear for the feedback πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow. You blow me away. Always. And i thought i myself had worked a bunch of different kinds of jobs. You got me beat by a mile. You probably have more than one purpose, but sharing your writing is definitely one of them. Thank you for doing so!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That was one of my favorite aspects of it! That and your dad ‘listening’ to the games while sleeping on the couch. Tyson sounds like a tough place to work by the way. What was the hardest of all the jobs?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well Tyson was tough, but good money. I never minded HARD work, but w/ them you weren’t off til the job was done & it was the best gig in town at the time.
        The saddle factory was rough, I only lasted a few days & I was never great at sewing anything except hair weaves, lol.
        Then there was Vlasic pickles in Michigan. The stich of relish & saurkraut ( I’m sure I spelled that wrong) stays w/ you, even after leaving work & showering. So that didn’t last long either 🀣

        Liked by 2 people

  8. We must be the same age or thereabouts. Such an interesting post and the very best of luck in finding something that is just the right fit for you, you’re correct, now is the time. The approach of 50 feels like the half way mark and as if all that β€œback there” was just preparing us for what is to come. It’s an exciting time to be amidst and watch the unfolding.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have indeed discovered my purpose which has been in progress and coming together within the last 2 years, also the motivation behind the post. Thanks for the well wishes, I’m simply doing my best in allowing the Lord to guide me through His plan. πŸ₯°

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Queen, I appreciate you. Isn’t it an amazing feeling of discovery not only to be doing what you love but also when all confirmation continues to point in that direction.
      I’m not quite sure just yet how I will execute my V.O.I.C.E. platform, but I can feel the Lord’s guidance.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Inspiring post Tammy, and what more motivating there is to be reading, after all what you did and went through, you even chose to write. i imagine this to be the biggest job of them all. Accept my wishes.

    Narayan x

    Liked by 1 person

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