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Who am I?

 

If I am honest with myself, I must admit that sometimes I ask myself just that question. Who am I really? And I believe that, that is a question that plague those people who really want to be true to themselves.

Born in Blythe, Georgia in the United States of America, I was never satisfied with the hum- drum of just being alive. I believe I came out of my mother’s wound with a mission and a purpose in life and since my conception I have been on a journey.

There are a lot of firsts in my life.

I was the first Afro-American graduate from an all-white High School in Augusta, Georgia. At that time, the call went out, “Who will volunteer to go?” My parents volunteered me. I don’t think they realized the magnification of what they were doing at that time. They only knew that they wanted something better for their children, so at the age of 16, I was pulled out of my environment and pulled away from all of those friends and people that I knew so well, and put into an environment of hostility, hate and aggression. If you were to ask me today, would I let my parents do that to me again? I would have to say, Yes. That was a period in my life where I discovered that fighting spirit in me and I learned to excel above the norm. It was a struggle and I felt like I was in a war. What I didn’t realize was, that I was!  It was a  war which pitted itself against all the dreams and desires that were placed within my heart. It was a war against God's plan for my life, my purpose, that I have to accomplish and fulfill to be happy.

It was at George P. Butler High School, that I would meet an English teacher, a teacher of Journalism and a school counselor who would impact my life for the rest of my journey. To say that my English teacher opened me to the world of Shakespeare, William Blake, Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Victoria Holt, James Baldwin and Roderick Thorpe and many others would be an understatement. She developed and shaped my love for reading. There isn’t a book that is safe from my eyes until today, if I am curious about what it has to say. I am a voracious reader. Thus, reading books on Einstein’s Relativity Theory have been wonderous highlights for me or reading Nature’s Destiny by Michael J. Denton is a book where I can curl up on my sofa and lose myself. I am in love with reading. Thus, one of the things that I enjoy doing is buying books. For me, the digital reader was the best thing that could have been developed because now I read everything digitally and can take my library with me. What a joy that is!

The second first came in a double pack, being the only Afro-American to graduate in the summer of 1972 from Augusta State University and being the first in my father’s family to receive a college degree. It took five years. There were lots of struggles during those years; the trials that I faced were immensed, but I made it and my Papa was proud. To be the first person in his family to obtain a college degree, was something that he had always desired but could never accomplish. He had only three years of schooling, but, when it came to maths like Algebra, or Trigonometry he knew it and helped me pass through it in the University. What a father I had!

There are other firsts that I will not go into here. One of these days I plan to write an autobiography about my life. I believe it will help others who are on there journey. As of yet, I hope it will suffice when I say that I am a woman with a life purpose and I am on that journey. Having discovered that life is very precious and that every breath I breathe is a gift from God, I take my life seriously and try to live it with humour. I have learned and am still learning not to take myself too seriously. It makes my daily load much lighter and gives me the freedom to laugh at myself and my faux pas in life. I have learned that there will always be people who don’t like you and people who do like you and that you have to accept that as a fact of life and keep going on your journey. You will not be everybody’s darling. But that is okay; that is a fact of life. I have learned that I am unique. No one thinks the same and everyone is different. The task is not to make everybody alike but to accept other people’s differences.

The most important step in my life though, was accepting  the LORD Jesus Christ as my Saviour at a young age. I must admit that I didn’t understand the ramifications of my commitment and I can honestly say that I have challenged God but I have found out that God likes to be challenged. He doesn’t mind me going through my changes because then I learn to know Him as He really is.

So I am a Christian and I love being one. It is not a sign that I hang out on a billboard, but a way of life for me. It is how I deal with troublesome situations, hard times, and struggles. My christianity defines how I relate to people and how I learn to put my trust in God daily, accepting his sovereignity, knowing that He knows what is best for me.

 

Shalom,

Pat Garcia

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