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Self-Sustainability & Inspiration

Hi, I'm Essence Smith from south Florida

I'm not sure how to start, because I've always had to figure it out by myself, being raised by a very independent mother I was raised as an introvert and got used to struggling, going without things that many around me had or their mothers sacrificed for them to have. I was often told no, I couldn't or influenced not to, even when I was very intelligent, innovative and naturally gifted at many things at a young age. Being forced to stay in the house because it was "too hot" in the words of my mother, I honed in on braiding and drawing at a young age. There were a few things I was able to do extracurriculars, from art programs, artist spotlights at the museum, African drum class at the boys & girls club, ballet and modeling because of my talent but that quickly stopped when monetary funding was required. This stifled my growth, greatness and hustle. She was quite pessimistic when speaking to her about things, so I didn't do much.

I am healing from generational trauma despite not having a relationship with my father or my mother who has trauma that she doesn't want to feel. I've never had a real conversation with her as an adult and I feel like she only sees me as a child, not necessarily her child. She has never contacted me to ask me anything about myself, my well being or anything. When I get the chance to speak with her she ends the conversation by hanging up on me. I've felt silenced and ignored my whole life, not being able to express myself.

Although I went to college, I went without my mothers' support, so life as an "adult" started at 18. I did hair for money, joined on-campus groups and eventually left. On a greyhound bus with only a duffle bag of things, I moved to Louisiana with my dad, whom I didn't know much of since he was incarcerated for the majority of his life. I had family there and they made me feel welcomed but I was also a stranger to them because they didn't even know I existed until that moment. My father lived in a halfway house so I had to quickly become stable with a job, car and apartment as I was living with one of his sisters. That was a rollercoaster ride, as I learned my father was not even trying to build a relationship with me, nor was he responsible enough to take care of himself since he was accustomed to being taken care of. I've only wanted a connection with those that made me. After being there for some years I felt the need to go back to Florida for some reason in 2018, thinking being near the family I was raised around would be better. I quickly realized that didn't matter at all, and struggled more in the same city as my mother who had a 3-bedroom house.

After seriously starting my brand and clientele in Louisiana as a stylist, I got into crafting and the arts, I was a weekly/monthly vendor at festivals, and markets. I got more into painting and received great love and support I continued finding those types of things when I moved back to Florida, but it baffled me that my family didn't show up or support me.

The 2020 Pandemic changed life for everyone, but I was grateful to find a job as an Overnight Merchandising Supervisor where I was able to work throughout and travel the united states. I have never been afraid to move to new places and explore the world because I didn't have a true home, no one called or checked on me so I had nothing but myself and the business things I have accumulated. After losing material things and not growing up with material things I take pride in what I can create with my bare hands out of nothing, being able to think of an idea and create it, no one can ever take that away from me. I taught myself to crochet while working overnight, and I added that to the list of skills and services, I could provide.

After being fired unexpectedly in May 2022 from the traveling merchandising job, I had to once again quickly figure out what to do. The job was going to send me back home ( Florida) but for me, that wasn't an option because although my mother has a home I haven't lived with her since before graduating high school and I don't know why but it seems my mother doesn't want me there for whatever reason and would purposely make it hard for me if I ever did so that has never been a thought. She has never been someone I can call on in an emergency or depend on in any time of need, and it's so sad for me to even think about that smh I just never thought someone could have a child and show no care for them. I reached out to a lifelong friend and decided to go to Alabama. This was a state I researched for a few years looking at land and opportunity for self-sustainability, agriculture, growing my food, and building my own home. With my previous job taking care of transportation, I am without a vehicle, in a new location where I know no one and realize not only how dangerous that is but how hard it is to keep employment without a vehicle. I assume I am not "close" to the city, after commuting with uber to different employers which unexpectedly cost $25-$40 one way depending on the time of day. I was spending more than I could make just to make it to the job, and despite needing assistance It is hard to get help without children.

In this new season 2023, I decided to live my life to the fullest and not to hold myself back from the many great visions, dreams and passion. This very moment is divine and I must have had to go through it to be where I am today, comfortable in my skin and creativity. I've never been comfortable asking for anything because that was just how I was raised, didn't have support emotionally, mentally or physically and I am just so tired of being alone, desiring support and genuine love. Receiving the same love I show to others, the same energy I give to others because of my spirit, good must come back because I have put so much good energy into the universe. I work hard giving 1000% in whatever I do, and I am a part of it, have never asked for handouts.

I have been wanting to learn Welding after getting a taste of it in the HVAC program, in which I was enrolled to start January 9th, 2023 and received a grant to attend a technology program at the community college here in Alabama but was not able to due to the lack of transportation. I was devastated that my plan didn't work out. But I refuse to give up, I'm thankful for my mind, vision and the creative bones in my body. I'm thankful for strangers giving me positive affirmations and motivation to keep going with what I am doing. Amid adversity, I create because that is the only thing that keeps me going, I started showing my crafts and doing live Art Auctions on Tiktok to get my small business out there again. Just finished the biggest painting I've ever created named "Bag Lady" inspired by Erykah Badu I hope she gets to see it soon. I have many paintings, maybe one of them is my million-dollar painting.

Gaining those hand on experiences enthused my passion to create and be a positive inspiration in the world. Bringing your ideas to life, while helping you embrace your essence. Being the end to generational curses and creating a positive outlook in our community inspires me to not only want change but be a part of the positive change in the world by any means necessary. Living by the quote "I may not change the world but let me inspire someone that will". T. Shakur. I call myself an Artrepreneur, and my evolving business I am Essence Designs & Interiors LLC provides Original Fine Art, Soulful Beauty & Creative Designs entirely crafted by hand. Exclusively tailored Paintings, Decor and Designs. Creating the vibe you want and need in any space and time.

With the funds, I will not only be out of debt and raising my credit but also be able to purchase an RV, Sprinter Van, or Bus I can convert into a studio I can live and create from, not having to stress about money and bills ever again. I want to get back to traveling and participating in Arts & Craft Expos and Events. Not have to worry about losing a place to live or someone taking anything away from me, so I can focus on living and breathing, getting natural light regularly, and starting a small garden I can eat from. I would love to have a family soon in the future but I know I must get myself prepared to bring another soul into this world, being the best version of myself, emotionally intelligent, and giving all the love, support and light I missed. I never want a child to feel the way I feel or have felt.

The state of the world and the direction it is heading it's essential more than ever for me to create, be self-sustainable, and control my quality of life. Being connected to nature, getting sunlight, clean water, fruits and vegetables. Being able to protect and provide for myself, I look to live on the land uncontrolled by what I can and cannot do, where I cannot be positioned or forced to do things I do not care to participate in. I am healthy, not allergic to anything and have never broken a bone, I strive to live a long prosperous life, leaving my children and generations after with the same radiant light free of trauma. We must take control of our present for a better future.

Not sure where this life will take me in the next week or so, but I AM HERE. and I AM the Creator of my reality. I HAVE Unlimited Potential and My Possibilities are Endless!

I hope this all makes sense and hope my words will be received positively, I thank you so much for listening and am overjoyed for your donations in advance.

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