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I admit it! I was a busy child growing up. I remember some days when I would be doing several things at the same time: drawing wrestling men, watching cartoons, playing with toys, wrestling my ‘lil brother, doing pushups, running in and out of the house, asking my sister why her face was weird, dancing like Michael Jackson, all while eating my favorite sandwich (PB&J of course… no crust!)
#GoodNews Fortunately, over the years I have been blessed to learn how to channel that busyness… my creativity, my love for using my hands, my passion for working with others… into small works of good. #DoGood But, convincing my mama of this new direction is another feat… but alas, another story for another day.
Back to business… when I think of busy and productive people (I added productive b/c hamsters are really busy, but they aren’t going anywhere), one of the first people to come to mind is a young lady named Jamechia Hoyle. I call her Big Meech, but um.. YOU can call her Dr. J. I say that with a smile, but it’s also because just this month (August 2012) she was conferred with the degree of Doctorate of Health Science. And oh, she’s 25 years old. 25 people!!!
So there’s no way I could just show you the pictures (which I feel are some of my best work to date) without tapping into her mind to see what she has to share. Honestly, I enjoyed her responses so much that I decided against condensing it; so here we go!
1. Big Meech! What is YOUR story?
Wow, what a huge question. My initial thoughts are that the story is still a work in progress; however, that seems a tad cliché. My story is one of growth, triumph, victory, defeat, learning, and living out my dreams. I think I’ve had my fair share of trials, but when I take the time to look back, look around and look forward, I know that I’m living a purpose-driven life.
2. Tell us about that purpose.
I believe my service charge is to help the under-served populations of the world. At an early age, I developed this undeniable passion for health. Over the years, it has grown to encompass many aspects of health, including nutrition, infectious diseases, and maternal and child health issues. As a graduate student, I became very involved in evaluating international health care programs and delivering health education programs throughout the world. I believe those experiences coupled with my passion have helped me realize my purpose.
3. I had a great time with you during the shoot. Share what these images mean and represent to you.
I love to capture moments and memories. I’ve taken a lot of pictures lately because I feel like I’m going through a transformation. I think this transformation started with the New Year as I set goals for myself and made a plan to execute these plans. As the year continued, I experienced things that I never imagined I could or would. I cut my hair in February and I still feel the power of liberation. The culmination of it all was my 25th birthday. I can’t even put into words, what happened or what changed, but on that day, I exhaled. In that breath, I let go of all my fears, all my inhibition, all the negative thoughts that were telling me that I couldn’t have what I already knew was mine. The pictures are a visual representation of the transformation of my life from caterpillar to butterfly.
4. What’s next for you after receiving your Doctorate degree?
The first thing I’m going to do is catch up on all the seasons of every show that I’ve missed while studying. Then, I’m going to learn how to sleep like a normal person again. J All jokes aside, I would like to continue working with international communities to educate and empower women and children about various health issues affecting their communities. I also want to do some pro-bono work here in the US. I primarily want to use my skills, my knowledge and my passion to make a difference.
5. How are you pursuing your dreams?
The first step for me in pursuing my dreams is to write them down. When I write my dreams, it becomes an agreement between God and me that I’m going to put in the work and he will either hold my hand along the way or carry me, if the burden of fulfilling my dream gets too heavy. My biggest dream now is that every aspect of my life aligns with my passions and that I’m surrounded by people who can support and encourage me along the way.
6. What is one lesson that the 25 year old you would love to have given the 20 year old you?
Don’t lose yourself. You are brilliant, you are bold, and you are blessed. It is so easy to lose yourself in attempts to conform to societal norms. I would tell my 20 year-old self, to be you. There is nothing more powerful than a person who is confident. Sometimes it may be difficult to maintain your individuality; however, it’s a must because once you’ve lost the essence of you, it’s so hard to regain.
7. What’s your message to others who have a passion that they are not yet pursuing?
You owe it to yourself to pursue your passion because that is where your true happiness lies. One of my friends always encourages me by reminding me that we are merely managers of God’s things. Don’t let fear stop you from pursuing your passion because along the way God will guide you and he will carry you if things get difficult. Believe in you!
Yessir! Even reading this again has me wanting to run laps and give high fives and call all of my supporters just to say “Thank You for Caring!”
And Dr. J, you freaking rock for those poses in these pics! I know cuz my mama said so! 🙂 #MichaelPhelpsWinning You are what I call a mixture of beauty, passion and purpose…
Today, I’m thankful for the life of my friends and the BLESSING of seeing and helping them live that life abundantly! Oh, and I’m thankful for everyone who is busy with a purpose… Yes, purposefully busy! God bless.