A Hero's Journey

"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." - Tony Robbins

In storytelling, there is something called “The Hero’s Journey.” A hero’s physical journey will end where it began. However, their internal journey as a character will leave them forever changed. The hero would go on an adventure in search for something and along the journey, he would face tasks and trials until he reached the decisive crisis of his adventure. Then, he must overcome his main obstacle, thus claiming his victory and returning home transformed. This ability to tell a story is vital to every superhero movie you can imagine. but never for a moment looking back, would I have thought that I had a Hero’s Journey of my own.

I was born on December 19, 1990, in Cleveland, Ohio and was raised in Baton Rouge, LA in a home with 3 sisters making me the only boy. Thinking back about it, I was honestly my mom’s favorite child, her only son. She even gave me her name, Raschidah De’Loach naming me Rasheda De’Loach Jr.

My mother’s love for me was more than anything I could have asked for but because of my crooked teeth, I became so insecure about myself that the desire for approval from the girls at school left an unfulfilled void inside of me that my mother’s love could not fill. Thus beginning my journey to find a way to get their approval even if that meant me letting go of who I was in the process.

The respectable young man that everyone at church said “had a calling” on his life was gone and was replaced by a fake persona that tried to fit in and get noticed by the girls and cool kids at school. But of course that didn’t happen, and instead, I stayed getting in trouble which caused my dad to always yell and whoop me so I never really had a “Positive” relationship with him but instead a distant one. Wanting attention from the girls and peers by acting out caused me to lose the only love and positive attention that I had at home, so I felt alone even more.

At one point, I even of tried to fake a suicide attempt as an act to get attention because at that point I wanted to live with my grandma where I was never yelled at and where my cousin Yusuf stayed. And my mom would always defend me at some point when my dad would get really mad so they would constantly argue about it. And only a few days after coming back from the mental institute, I heard that my parents were getting a divorce, and I blamed myself for it.

I felt alone. I was constantly shipped back and forth from household to household feeling like unwanted baggage. A burden that everyone was obligated to but hated every moment of it. So on my last transport to Gary Job Corp in San Marcos, Texas I finally decided to take a different approach, a new persona.

Before attending Gary Job Corps I picked up an accent from trying to imitate the New Orleans culture so much that I branded it into my own tongue and at some point in my earlier years at school I also started rapping under the name “Starburst” because I wanted to get attention from the crazy name but shock them with my lyrics. So I took those 2 things with me to Gary. While there I met my wife Asia Martinez and shortly after graduating and leaving there, I met my Father-In-Law Oscar Martinez.

I clinged to my Father-in-Law Father because of the distant relationship that I had with my dad as well as my mother-in-law because I felt like my mother abandoned me when I was shipped to San Antonio. He told me that I had to learn how to design websites so that he could sell them which we turned into a company called Get Sales with Joe and over the years we won 3 awards for Best Design Company in Central Texas and we were making over $35,000 in residual income each month!

But despite the growth that I was making, I still felt alone and during this time I was experiencing some issues in my marriage so I decided to move back home. In doing so, I gave up my position as the main designer in Get Sales with Joe which later was one of the reasons why it was dissolved and the why books were sold.

At this point, I lost out on what would have been one of the biggest marketing companies in Central Texas. Ultimately losing a promising future, stability for my family and the best retirement I could’ve imagined because instead of dealing with my inner issues, I felt like running back home and hanging with my family, partying and drinking would have fixed everything. But boy was I wrong!!

After moving back home, I attempted to start over, I even decided to take my music seriously. So I started a design company named Young Star.Me and I bought my first home when I was 22 years old. But despite all of my irrational decisions, my wife always stuck by my side and I was blessed to have 3 loving children who always looked up to me as their Hero.

Anyone reading my story would have thought that I would have realized that what I was searching for was around me the whole time. The love of my wife and children should have been enough to feel fulfilled with love and appreciation. But sadly it wasn’t. So I started drinking and clubbing at nights, leaving my wife and children at home for years, until my wife left me.

I also dropped the ball with every customer because my life was a disorganized mess. This happened until I couldn’t afford to sustain on my own business, so I got a design desk job making 1/3 of what I was doing on my own just to feel some type of stability because I didn’t have confidence that I could do it on my own anymore.

By this time, I was 26 years old, finally my song “Can’t Stop Jiggin” picked up and became a big song that was played in all of the clubs in Baton Rouge. I felt like everything that happened in my life may finally start to pay off.

I remember it like it was yesterday, all of the days I walked downtown and having to pull out my phone to convince girls that I was the guy who made that song because they could not associate me in person with a guy that could make a song like that. And even after all of the efforts to convince them, I still did not get a single female that made me feel fulfilled.

At this point I found myself alone at home crying like a baby. Any friends that I had up until then either felt my inner depression because of how I would treat them to try to make myself feel good or they would feel the toxicity of how chaotic my life was around me. So I ended up with no friends ultimately.

I ended up alone.. And it was only in that time by myself did I begin to find & love myself.

I finally saw everything God gave me and what I always had. I realized that what I was chasing was a fulfillment that only I can give myself and that “fulfillment” was the very “Calling” that I had as a child. A light that shined through whatever I put my focus and true happiness on. The light that everyone loved me for. So I decided at that point, that I truly needed to change. Not for everyone but for myself, so that I can become that light again.

In time, I took the few clients that I had left and I began to help feed the homeless through a portion of the profits.

I organized my music and committed to only releasing music that made me feel happy and a lot of energy to dance, calling it the #CantStopJigginChallenge where you’re challenged to dance you’re hardest like its a workout session. I also started releasing Gospel dance mixes where I use half of the donations from the downloads to feed the homeless.

I also took the design company that I was just a desk designer for to an Agency as lead Designer that I now have shares in.

And finally I’ve began to repair my relationship with my Ex-wife, Father and everyone in my life. But most importantly my children, so I can give them the relationship that I always wanted to have with my dad.

And now I use my journey as a story of empowerment as I re-build my empire, loving everyone along the way through my true inner happiness!