by Jada Johnson
Ed. Note: WIth a deeply reflective look at her life, Jada Johnson offers the first in our Baltimore Youth COVID Diaries, a series of works to document the effects of COVID-19 on Baltimore's young people in their own voices.
Since Corona has come amongst us my biggest fear has been being completely behind and possibly at risk of failing myself, school and others around me because of serious procrastination throughout the years.
Feeling like I’m behind on everything has been a heavy burden on me and my pockets because it has stopped me from reaching my full potential and lowered my chances of getting the job of my dreams that eventually leads me to the land where financial troubles no longer exist.
I also tend to self-sabotage. This created a lot of doubt and skepticism in me because I became conditioned to always believe I would never be good enough. To this day I struggle just a little bit.
Recently there have been many opportunities coming my way which has heightened my level of belief in myself and lowered my tendency to self-sabotage. Overall it’s allowed me to focus on other problems I face within myself.
With all of the chaos I created within myself, I began to have low self-esteem. I saw everybody else around me succeeding and exceeding expectations, while I wasn’t even walking the speed limit of some of my younger peers.
It weighed heavily on my mental health. My low self-esteem kept me from seeing my true beauty. I would not post pictures of myself, join in other peoples pictures, or allow people to post pictures of me on social media because I thought that I was not as pretty as my peers.
Keeping myself in such a tight closet kept me from going outside and enjoying time with my friends, attending events and even participating in any high school memories.
To this day I regret allowing my self-esteem to hinder me. I’m not saying that it doesn’t still shadow over me, it just isn’t a burden now.
Procrastination became my strategy for high school. After trying and failing Freshman Year, instead of revamping my plan of attack, I got scared and ran to hide.
Sometimes as I walked the halls of Western High School I felt like an imposter. I felt like I didn’t belong because the first year was such a struggle.
As Sophomore Year approached I tried to learn how to be an effective high school student. Then my grandmother passed away and I decided Sophomore Year wasn't going to be one for the books.
After a long summer of grief, I decided to go back my Junior Year and fake the happiness until it became true, but that didn't work either because of my home environment.
Senior Year came and I was completely done taking loss after loss, so I decided to flunk most of my year.
Once January hit Western put me out and I was completely shattered. I transferred to a school that I thought was beneath me and reacted negatively by not going to school at all.
Then Corona came and I just put my hands up and thought that I should surrender completely and be a failure.
As time set in and Corona got worse I began to self reflect. I took this time to evaluate my friends and myself. I had recently become a part of Heart Smiles in January, but I wasn’t as serious about being successful so I didn’t really try to get any opportunities. Soon enough I had noticed that not taking HeartSmiles seriously was a bad idea.
After joining HeartSmiles and attending Winning Wednesdays, which is led by a mother full of love, it helped me love myself a little more and move toward success. In Winning Wednesdays I started to focus on what I was good at instead of what I was not good at.
That's when I came across journalism and writing. But not only did I see my full potential, people around me began to see it as well. One person who saw me was Ms.Joni, who has given me endless opportunities to show my true talent.
Honestly, even though all of these things happened to me before Corona, I feel like these things made my quarantine become a successful time of self-reflection and repair. I am actually quite thankful for Corona and all of the people who have assisted me in this time period. It has really helped open my eyes and see the clearer side of things.
Even though I still struggle a little day by day with procrastination; having nothing but time on my hands has allowed me to turn what I saw as a burden into a small worry.
SO THANK YOU CORONA FOR TURNING MY OLD DEPRESSED LIFE INTO A NEW-FOUND LOVE STORY OF ME AND MYSELF!