In her words…

Quetcy was 17 when I featured her as the Troy, NY Girl Noticed. Her bravery and resilience does not go unnoticed. She owns her story and continues to push through. She has allowed herself to be vulnerable in telling her story.

With her permission I share this with you in her words.

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“The Story of Me” by Quetcy Jacobs
Everyone has a story, some stories are good and some are bad but through all the stories there are meaningful messages to them all. I hope to share my story with you all and I hope to inspire all of you who read this.

It all began a little before birth, I was born premature to a mother who was addicted to all sorts of illegal substances and she did things that weren’t healthy for her or the babies that she was carrying; or even those around her. She was an unstable individual. Let’s just say my journey into this world wasn’t easy. If any of you were to look at me, physically I would appear average, if any of you were to look at me, mentally I would appear average. You wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at someone what there life story was. This is why I am sharing mine with all of you. I don’t really remember much from birth so I am going to skip a few years…

My birth mother was unable to care for me in the proper way, and because of this I was given to my paternal aunt. From the moment that decision was made, I remained in the custody of my aunt for a few years. Those years weren’t the best years of my life.

There were some days that were good but there were some days that were bad. As a child, I was physically and mentally abused. As far as education went, my aunt and uncle, whom I called “mom and dad” rarely took me to school. I didn’t really have friends, I didn’t even know how to make friends. I lacked so many skills that are important to a child’s development. On the days that I didn’t go to school I remember being very sad. School was like an escape for me. An escape from the chaos and havoc in my life. I felt like I was living a different life while I was at school.
I was always kept inside, isolated from the outside world. Due to the instability of my environment, living with my paternal aunt and uncle, I was removed and put into foster care.
My years in foster care were from ages 7 till about the age of 10. I bounced around from foster home to foster home. I wasn’t an angel. I was at times a misbehaved little child. I was very rambunctious. I was afraid to let anyone in. Afraid, that someone would hurt me. My life didn’t really get better until I was about 10 years old. On my tenth birthday my then fabulous social worker, took me to the park where I was going to meet my foster parents that were soon going to be my adoptive parents. That visit to the park was one of the best visits. I remember playing scrabble with my soon to be foster parents and laughing. It was then that I knew my life would completely change…. for the better!

I am very happy with the life that I have now. Two moms and a family that I can call my own is the greatest thing that I could ever ask for. My parents are the light of my life, they are my whole world. They inspire me to reach for the stars and strive to be the best that I can be. Both of my parents believe that education is very important so I made it a point to make education a huge part of my life. I managed to graduate at the top of my class and I even received the only scholarship that there was from my principal as well as getting a music recipient award from my music teacher.

“Flash Forward”
Fast forward to the year 2016-17
I am 18 years old about to be 19. I am an active member in the LGBT community. I am happy to be in a community that accepts individuals for who they are, flaws and all. Back then being gay, wasn’t the easiest thing for anyone; but things have changed quite a bit, especially when the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage. This was a huge positive turning point for many.

Knowing that you no longer have to hide is one of the greatest things in the whole wide world! I love life, even though life is hard I manage to find the good in every situation no matter how big or how small. When my skies are grey, I use the one gift that God gave me. My voice. I sing whenever I can. I sing in the car, in my room, and in public. I just recently sang at my parents wedding. I am still so happy that my parents were able to get married.

Over all, life is rough but with love and God on your side everything will be okay. I leave you with this: “ We may not have it all together, but together we have it all”

I just want to thank Lori Pratico for giving me the opportunity to write in her blog and share my life experiences with those around me. I hope that you all find my story inspiring and leave knowing that you are not alone!

If you would like to share your story, email girlnoticed@gmail.com 

Break out the bathing suit.

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Memorial Day weekend. Even though I live in Florida and can go to the beach any day of the year, it still ended up marking the day to pull out the bathing suit, see if it fit, and decide how I would define my body image this summer? Would the runway judges in my head be saying “bravo, you look marvelous”, or “eh hem…what are you thinking? Cover up and get your excuses ready, because honestly you just shouldn’t go to the beach or pool at all.”

I had a bold reminder of where that thinking comes from when I spoke to my mom on the phone Saturday. She was deciding at 73 years old what to wear to a Memorial Day party, since she’ll only wear 3/4 length sleeves because she doesn’t want her arms to show. She was thinking of not going because it was hot and she didn’t know what she’d wear. I asked “Mom, what’s wrong with your arms?” and I received a resounding “Oh, they’re horrible, all skin and wrinkly, it’s terrible.” Never mind that my mom lives in a senior community and she’s probably the most fit and stylish one there.

Surprisingly for myself, I chose to go with “bravo, you look marvelous”. Ok, maybe not marvelous but certainly good enough. I suppose after blogging last week that “I am ok, when I say I am”, I did indeed decide to say, “I am ok, just the way I am.”

The result, I had a wonderful weekend enjoying the beach and ocean with wonderful friends. I kind of figure we are all, at some level, a little self conscious. We can all find something we don’t like about ourselves. This weekend I chose to focus on enjoying myself, and it worked.

If this was a tough weekend for you, if you just can’t be seen in a bathing suit or even short sleeves, what would happen if you didn’t care and just had fun? It may feel like a very vulnerable place to put yourself in, but you slay vulnerability by doing the very thing that feels scary. Vulnerability looses it’s power when you take action, and you end up coming out on the other side of it with a new found courage.

Try it, and if you didn’t get out to the beach or pool this weekend, call me. I’ll meet you there next weekend.