At Home With Sheronda Gipson-Marion
I met Sheronda Gipson-Marion in 2013. This was a perfect time in my life to connect with such a person. There was a time when it was challenging for me to have friendships with other females, and I had my own mommy issues and friendship traumas that I had not quite worked through. This made me distance myself from women in general, thus it making it extra easy for me to become codependent in my romantic relationships. It is a vicious cycle, but having the initiative to heal saved my life and enhanced my quality of life.
Since 2008, I have worked 1-on-1 with mentors to heal and advance my abilities. The beauty in healing comes from becoming whole with your mind, body, spirit, ego, shadow, and higher self. One of the gifts associated with healing is attracting people who feel like you are at home.
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I met her while working at a big box company as a Social Media Manager. She was on another team, and her team welcomed me with an afternoon cupcake party. When I was introduced to her, I knew she was special because she felt like home, and I did not know why.
Over time and through different work projects, we chatted. One day we got on the topic of marketing and business. I told her about my company, Inbound Concepts, and how it would be great to have someone to work with on this company.
We met on a Saturday at a unique pub in Northwest Atlanta. After all that time, I finally asked her where she was from because I could not understand why this woman felt so familiar to my spirit. She said Holly Springs, Mississippi, and I lit up inside because I immediately understood why she felt like home. Both sides of my family are from Mississippi. My maternal grandmother is from a small town named Ashland near Holly Springs, Mississippi. I have only been there once in my life, but when good Mississippi people are near me, I feel drawn to them.
We started working together, and over time we became friends. Over the years, we went back and forth between working for ourselves 100% and having full-time jobs. If my corporate job team needed a copywriter, I brought in Sheronda.
One of the biggest hindrances in my business life was my personal life. My marriage was tragic and left me feeling empty and weak in my home and other parts of my life. Without realizing it, our work sessions became healing sessions. Sheronda would hold space for me in a way no one else in my life could. Most of my friends in Atlanta were friends with my husband first. Years later, when I left him, they would stab me in the back. Sheronda listened to me in some of my most vulnerable and wounded hours.
We took classes at The Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta that would impact our lives forever. Our support of each other in our vegan journeys was fun and inspiring.
What Sheronda did not know was how much I admired her as a person. She was always so goal-driven with a feminine balance. Her love and appreciation for art, wine, and everything beautiful in life radiated from her; her presence alone was medicine to me.
Her home was a safe haven from the chaos and violations that existed where I lived. When I pulled up to her place, I felt like I could be the real me and not a person smothered by pain and reminders of transgressions.
When I looked at Sheronda, she made me realize what I wanted my daughters to be - free with time to explore and discover who they are, without attachments to anyone who would try to make them conform to what they need.
Years later, when I got the news of her engagement, I cried tears of joy because I knew she got what she wanted in a companion and life partner.
I was there to help her celebrate getting her Master of Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design. Within that same six-month span, I saw her walk away from the corporate world to be a full-time freelance writer who could support herself and work how and when she wanted. Today she is an instructor at an HBCU near her hometown in Mississippi.
Sheronda was there through the turbulence of the final years of my first marriage. She helped me get my thoughts in order to organize the poetry collection for Everything But a Smile. When I decided to put Trials and Tribulations of a Healing Heart together, I asked her to be my editor, and she agreed. I would have asked her even if she had not become an English Instructor at a University.
She advised me to give it more time when I presented the original concept. Months later, I told her she was right. I had over a decade worth of poetry. I wanted to combine them with the stories and lessons that are behind them, a coloring book to represent the imagery associated with the words, and the coloring books I used to calm myself the fuck down in the middle of my storms.
She knows me. She knows the creativity in my head can get wild, and she knew I trusted her to see me and be real with me. After our first meeting, I agreed to take the coloring book concept out of the book, but I just knew I could move through with the stories and lessons. After Amazon let me push the date back, I thought I could do it. She challenged me to realize that what I was writing was so much bigger than “hey, this is what happened” segments and to accept the fact that the poetry needs to stand on its own and without explanation. I needed to give the reader the freedom to feel their own feelings behind my writings.
The more people reach out to me about the poems in the book, the more her words keep ringing in my head. I am surprised by what readers resonate with and what moves them.
The other book will take more time. It is not easy to write, and it hurts. I was given the book's name and the Divine message about the book back in 2005. Subscribe for updates.
As for Sheronda, I love her dearly for who she is, what she represents, and how much she has loved and inspired me over the years. I look forward to doing more work with her in the future.
Who makes you feel at home?