Q: Your story “The Quest within Me” has touched me in such a way that I wanted to speak with you. How did you come to the conclusion that you needed to work on finding both your own definition of peace and happiness?
A: Figuring out what peace and happiness meant to me was the beginning of my quest. Before a person can arrive at a final destination, they have to figure out where they are going. This is why I believe a person cannot have peace and/or happiness in their life until they define what these things mean to them. I spent years trying to find joy in my life from material things, status, and finally relationships. After years of searching for happiness in those places I was left with a sense of emptiness in my life. It was not until I looked inside myself that I began finding the answers I badly desired.
Q: Many individuals find themselves in a lost place, a place that doesn’t make much sense in life. Did you experience an epiphany or moment that clicked and you said “now this is all making sense to me?”
A: Prior to moving to Maryland, I always kept myself busy. Keeping myself occupied with work, parties, etc. allowed me to ignore inner feelings I badly needed to address and/or let go. It was easier for me to ignore these feelings than to confront them. Once I moved to Maryland almost immediately things fell apart with the woman I was seeing at that particular time, I was not working, and I was all alone. I’ll be honest with you; this was a very depressing time for me. During this period, I read a bible verse that really spoke to me. Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” For me, the verse meant in order to walk the path God intends for you one must clear hate, anger, fear from his/her heart. It’s funny to me how I thought the universe was punishing me for something because of the situation I was placed in, but being isolated from everyone and everything was exactly what I needed to discover what was preventing me from having peace and happiness in my life.
Q: I think what resonated with me was the moment in your journey that caused you to speak with your father. You came to him in such a nonjudgmental way and started off the conversation with I forgive you for. To me that was extremely powerful because when we are hurt we often point a defensive finger at the wrong-doer. How difficult was it for you to go to your father and confess your ill feelings?
A: You brought up a great point about not being judgmental. Many people do not realize things they have done affect others in the way that it does, so a lot of times a person won’t even realize they are a wrong-doer. We as a people (me included) have to work on addressing issues as they occur and not waiting days/months/years. Also, we must address these issues without judging and pointing fingers, which is easier said than done.
It was very difficult for me to finally speak with my father, which is why I avoided having that conversation for so long. I knew it needed to be done, so I finally did it. A lot of times people will express their feelings to another and because the wrong-doer does not apologize in the manner the person believes he/she should, this person never truly forgives the wrong-doer. This is why I wanted to start my conversation off by forgiving my father. I felt just how powerful this gesture was immediately. I mean instantly my face was covered in tears.
Q: What lesson or lessons would you say you’ve learned the most from? Though your journey came to a conclusion in your book would you say in some ways you are still on that journey?
A: Life is always teaching us something. Granted, every lesson will not be life changing, but each day has the potential to produce multiple positive takeaways.
Every lesson in The Quest Within Me was unexpected. I started off with only four stories, and every few days/months something significant would happen. I kept writing and next thing I knew I completed a book, so the book may have concluded but the journey will continue to go on. I actually began working on another Non-Fiction book called My Quest to Love. Readers are really going to connect with this book because it’s an in-depth look into relationships from knowing exactly what you are looking for in a counterpart to actually being in the relationship.
Q: I know that the Quest within Me is your debut non-fiction book but can readers expect to see any fiction in your literary lineup?
A: There is an idea I’ve played around with in my head, and I really wanted to do something with it. I shared my pitch with a few close friends and they all said, “You need to write that book!!” Needless to say, I will make this project happen.
Q: Where can readers find a copy of your debut non-fiction or contact you for questions or book club discussions?
A: The Quest Within Me is available for purchase online @ Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Balboapress.com, and/or iTunes. I will be sure to attach the links below along with my contact information.
Before we wrap up this interview I want to express my most sincere appreciation. Even though you don’t normally review Non-Fiction you made an exception for my book, and that meant the world to me. Thank You!!