Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Conversation with Naomi Faith George of Before The Lights Go Out

Who are you?

My name is Naomi Faith George. I was born on August 23, 1984. I grew up in  Savannah, Georgia.  My mother is Jacqueline Harris and my father is Sebastian Roberts, I have one sibling, Stacey Harris. I am the oldest by two years. I married to Bishop George. We have two kids Jeremiah and Chloe. We currently reside in Atlanta.

What do you do for a living? I’m a stay at home mom. Occasionally I volunteer my time with non profit organizations.

Favorite color? Purple

Favorite holiday? Christmas and my birthday

Favorite hobbies? Painting, listening to music, and photography

Favorite season : Spring

Tell us a secret: I have a tattoo on my left shoulder that reads, “ Live your best life possible..”

Dream job: Pediatrician. I love kids.

Favorite food: Spinach Artichoke and Mac and Cheese

Fears : Snakes, spiders, and anything that lives outdoor

Celeb crush : Idris Elba

Favorite artist : Beyonce and Jill Scott

Just for fun :
Coke or Pepsi- Coke, I’m a Georgia girl.
Books or movies : books
Pool or beach : Beach
Dancing or singing :Both
Rain or sun : Rain
Dogs or cats : Neither
Inside or outside : Inside
Running or swimming : swimming
T-shirt and jeans or dress and heels : Dress and Heels

Tell us about your childhood :
My life was pretty normal growing up. I was a girly girl that loved the color pink, baking cookies, and planning pretend tea parties. I always loved getting dressed up. I used to sneak into my mothers closet and try on her high heel shoes.  I was a girl scout and a junior cheerleader at the rec center in my neighborhood until I was thirteen. I didn’t have a lot of friends because I was always too quiet and shy. The boys would always pull my bra strap and call me names because of the freckles on my face. I had maybe two friends. One was my talkative little sister Stacey and my next door neighbor daughter, Alyssa. Alyssa was super sweet but too bossy and spoiled at times. She always wanted things her way or else.
I was the typical kid. I hated the outdoors especially bugs and boys. In my eyes they were one and the same. I remember spending hot summer days playing uno, eating pickles, and frozen freeze pops on the back porch. My mother would puff her cigarette, blow her smoke in the opposite direction, and resume whatever activity she was doing from the window. I used to love playing with my barbie dolls. My favorite baby doll I named Audrey after Audrey Hepburn. I was obsessed with the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s . I made good grades especially in reading. I hated math. I was a teacher’s pet throughout my early years until I discovered boys.
What was your life like growing up?
My mother was a single parent for most of my childhood. I never knew my dad’s side of the family. But, my mother side of the family stayed close by where we lived. My grandmother Charlene, Aunt Dee Dee, and Uncle Ray always stopped by our house occasionally to check up on us. When my mother would have to work Stacey and I would stay at our grandmothers for a few hours. Stacey hated our grandmothers house. There was no cable TV, we couldn’t talk on the phone, and grandma always made us eat an extra serving of vegetables for dinner. Even though she was tired my mother always made time for Stacey and I even if it was just to say goodnight.  Sunday nights she’d grease my hair and very colorfully tell me about her day. In her funniest voice she’d tell me about a stranger sleeping next to her on the city bus. She’d imitate his snoring and I’d chuckle my heart out. She’d tickle me before tucking me in bed and surprise me with“the tickle monster”. Before the lights go out and the door closes she’d stand in the doorway and glance back at us. With soft kisses already planted on our cheeks Stacey she’d say, “I love you to the moon and back” and close the door. My mother worked as a part time Adult Education Teacher at the elementary school in our neighborhood. To keep a roof over our head she’d take odd jobs like housekeeping on weekends. Some days we went without food in the fridge. Sometimes we’d use candles to see inside the house when the lights were turned off. Times were hard and challenging. But, in those rough times my mother taught Stacey and I how to pray. Pray for patience and the mercy of the Lord to see us through.
My sister , Stacey and I shared a bunk bed inside our two bedroom brick house that my mother rented from the church we attended frequently.
My mother and father , Sebastian were young lovers when they had me at a young age. Growing up my father would often visit on weekends and occasionally once throughout the week. My father loved working with his hands. Every time he’d come to the house my mother would make him take off his shoes and dirty clothes on the back porch before letting him inside. I loved seeing my father. He always had a funny joke to tell or a gift for Stacey and I. For my sixth birthday he bought me a pink bicycle with pink and white streamers hanging from the handles. He promised to teach me how to ride. Everyday after school I’d run out the door and practice in the driveway. Whenever my father would come over our family felt complete. We’d have family dinners and sometime family movie night. Stacey and I would be tucked away in our beds when we’d overhear our parents arguing. Stacey would always jump inside my bed and I’d promise her that everything would be alright. I knew deep down inside that they never would be. Usually by the end of the argument my father would leave enraged and slam the front door shut on his way out. Days would go by before we’d see him again. Like a magician he’d reappear as if nothing ever happened. I never fully understood why my mom and father weren’t together. Whenever I’d ask my father, he’d say “ask your mother”. When I build up the courage to ask her she’d change the subject or say she simply didn’t like bringing up the past.  
When I was eight years old my parents got into a big fight. It got so bad that Stacey and I hid inside the bedroom closet for safety. Stacey fell asleep inside the closet, I was determined to stay up and make sure everything was alright. I crept downstairs and found my mother sitting on the sofa in tears as blood dripped from her mouth. My father was no where in sight. When my mothers eyes landed on me she shielded her face with her hand and yelled for me to go to my room. I did as I was told immediately. The sight of my mother looking fragile and vulnerable permanently cemented in my mind stuck with me forever that night. That night I swore to never love my father again for hurting my mother. I prayed for God to make him disappear. After that night we never saw my father again. Six months later we buried my father. A drunk driver killed him on his way home from work.   
What have you learned about yourself the most over the years? That I am stronger than I think. Even when I’m walking through hell with gasoline panties on. My faith keeps me resilient.
Spiritual or religious? Spiritual. I believe you can serve and praise God any and everywhere.
Do you consider yourself a victim of domestic violence? Looking back on my life and my story I see myself through the eyes of so many women. Women whom have overcome hardship and struggle. You’re only a victim as long as you wear the label. I am a survivor.
Do you still believe in love? God? Always. God is love.
Before The Lights Go Out is your story. What do you people to take away from the book? I want women and men to know that love is never pain. God is the ultimate love and it’s through him that we should learn to express it. I love my husband Bishop, but somewhere along the way I forgot to love myself. Although my faith may have been tested and my marriage is rocky. I want women and men to understand their journey and be proactive in discovering who they are, who God is, and how his love is unconditional always.