The inmyskin project, series now presents a talk with Deja:
one: what is your name and where are you located ?
D - Deja L. Jones Trenton, New Jersey.
two: what do you feel is your calling in life ?
D - Most people would say to inspire others. I think what sets us all apart is how. I do believe that I’ve been given the gift of written word. I can remember so many things that have happened in my life and I would always wonder “why me” and now as a writer and someone who’s found their calling in life, I know the answer to that question now and I am writing about it and inspiring others who find themselves in similar situation. Through vulnerability comes healing.
three: when did you realize your self-worth and how has this journey of self-discovery been for you ? what have you learned the most about yourself ?
D - I could go on for days with this one. I would say that I’ve always been a confident person. Anything that I did, I was sure of, but I didn’t realize that some of the choices I made “confidently” were in reality poor choices or choices from a place of complacency. I stayed in a toxic relationship for six years, confidently because I viewed that as an accomplishment. I settled, compromised, shifted for the sake of this relationship. I had dreams of things I wanted to accomplish that I didn’t believe they were doable or that I was strong enough. Sooner or later, you’ll start to feel the affects of the settling, compromising and shifting and you’ll realize that you’re miserable. I was miserable and it took reconnecting with my friends, and meeting people like myself to give me the courage to run for the hills. I’ve been single for 2 years now and this journey of self discovery has been amazing and life changing. I’ve learned to fully accept myself. I’m kind, genuine, an asshole, a sweetheart, shy, outgoing, liberal, sexual, spiritual, feminine, rough, soft spoken, outspoken, but it’s me, unfiltered.
four: how has your struggles helped you to become a better woman ?
D - I’ve struggled with poor relationships and dating choices that caused some emotional damage, I’ve struggled financially which lead to crashing on couches, moving all over the place, going days without food and it’s all made me a better woman. It’s a humbling journey even when you don’t feel like you deserve it. It has definitely created tougher skin, it’s made me fearless in taking ownership of my life.
five: who or what motivates you to create ?
D - Everything motivates me to create. I’m a writer so I write about the things that I experience. I share the good, the bad and the ugly. My friends motivate me to create, my family, it’s my job to create, it’s my calling and there are some days when I wake up and want to do nothing, but even that’s something to write about.
six: what is your long time passion in life ?
D - I just want to write. I want to be a published author across all genres. I want to write children’s book for my future children. Even as an adult, I enjoy going to book stores and browsing the children’s section and looking at the covers with all the colors and illustrations. I want to write books for women and children that they can relate too, especially women and children of color. I’d love to travel and speak to these groups, empowering and inspiring them. It’s actually ironic because I used to hate public speaking. I felt vulnerable standing in front of people and often the words I thought about saying, I could never find the courage to say out loud, but once you finally do it, it becomes an addiction. A need to constantly empower and pass on wisdom to others.
seven: if you could give any tips or advice to the young girls and women around the world who suffer with loving and accepting who they are, what would you say ?
D - As a kid, I struggled with being overweight, as a pre-teen I started puberty early which caused acne. I was overweight struggling with horrible skin. By the time I had gotten to high school, I developed an eating disorder that I didn’t tell anyone about. There was this strong need to be skinny. I had to be small. My jeans size could not go over a 6. I ate less, involved myself in dance and track to work more fat off my body. I had become so body conscious, I compared myself to the glam girls, the girls who got all the boys. I wish I was as confident in myself then as I am now. I would tell young girls and women that they are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made. As cliché as it sounds, there is no one else in this world like you. As women we our own worst enemies, We beat ourselves up, but know that every woman goes through these things and while that doesn’t discredit your struggle there are millions of women who stand in solidarity with you. Just reach out.
eight: what do you feel needs to be told to our beautiful women of color ? do you feel that us women of color hear those words often ? if not, what can we do as a community to change that. . .
D - We are the creators of civilization. As a woman of color I marvel in the different shades we come in. There’s so much beauty and diversity in what it means to be black. There is power in being black and there is power in the sisterhood. I think women need to hear that often. Sisterhood is important and we need to love on each other. I get tired of seeing people post memes and polls on social media comparing our sisters. Who sings better? Who dresses better? The good girl versus the bad girl. It’s what keeps us divided and the only way to change that is by being more aware and conscious that it exists.
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