Trust the Journey: An Interview with Award-Winning Author, Speaker & Survivor, Kendra Hall

What comes to mind when you hear the word “hero”? Some people may think of their local firefighters, police officers, and doctors. Some may even think of sports figures or Super Man and the Avengers. People who give an in-depth thought may venture as far to say parents, grandparents and teachers. These are some of the typical heroes, but what about those people that need a hero, but with no one stepping up decides to save themselves; and with that, unexpectedly saved others that shared similar stories?! That’s Kendra Hall. — She isn’t wearing a cape or even a badge, but she is someone who embodies strength in a way that many of us may deem as impossible, and she is encouraging others to find their strength as well. Through her trials and tribulations Kendra has overcome obstacles such as domestic violence, hardship, homelessness and even depression, to name a few.

1. Your story has impressed me, and I admire your journey. It makes me think about those who have been and still are in a similar situation as you were; when did you decide that enough was enough, and you wanted better for you and your family?

Thank you so much. I think my commitment to personal development was pushed to the forefront of my life when I became tired of being my own worst enemy. In the past I learned to love myself through the eyes of other people and sometimes when you are infatuated with others, you overlook their flaws and put them on a pedestal. You begin to tie your self-worth to how the treat you. These types of relationships started so young in my life that they became uncomfortably comfortable to me. I began to subconsciously seek them out.

After being in my last abusive relationship, I began to realize my contribution to these past experiences and part of that was managing my feelings. My inability to deal with my feelings openly undermined the quality and health of my relationship with myself. I was giving other people way too much power over my life by allowing their attributions and judgements to overshadow my self-worth. Ultimately, I had to my ask myself three key questions: 1) Am I a good person?; 2) Am I worthy of the love I give?; 3) Am I competent? These core questions opened up pathways to my self-healing and emotional growth.

2. Did you ever think that you would make it to where you are now?

During the period of my life when I was just trying to get through to the next day, it was hard to see the forest through the trees. I felt weighed down with the everyday challenges of life. Sometimes I just wanted to give up. However, as time went on, I became stronger with each of life’s battles. I started to feel that God had a greater purpose for me. While I didn’t know during the storms of life where I would end up; when the waters began to recede, I started slowly recognizing my own self power. Looking back on all my past experiences, I can say that you never know where God will take you in life. Life is truly a beautiful mystery.

3. What kind of support system did you have when you were facing your own battles?

My hands-on support system was comprised of mainly my girlfriends. Many were other teen mothers who were going through similar challenges as myself. We babysat each other’s children and helped each other through the ebbs and flows of life. In addition, my mother tried her best to help, although I could not stay at their home. I also had my sons father’s family during a period who were helpful. As for spiritual care, my church was supportive, and I also relied heavily on prayer.

4. You are a member of several different organizations, what role do you play in these organizations?

While I am a member of several amazing organizations, my most favorite role was with ColorComm where I helped mentor young women during one of our conferences. Right now, my energy is focused on mentoring through my book and my new non-profit so a lot of my volunteering has been put on hold while I focus on these endeavors.

5. Would you consider yourself a role model?

I consider myself an inspirational leader rather than a role model.

6. You are the voice for a lot of young women, and especially young women of color; do you believe that you are making a difference, and why?

I know I am making a difference from the feedback I receive from many young women of color. Many of our young women feel that they are trapped in their current situation and my story inspires them to hope and dream once more.

7. What are the steps that you take to remain active in your community?

I have an “each one teach one” philosophy. I mentor, train and lead by example with each person I encounter. I share my gifts, blessings, failures and successes and help build a bridge between people by strengthening their self-awareness. I hope to do more of this with my newly established non-profit.

8. For the young women out there who have found themselves a little lost, what are some reassuring things they can take with them to let them know that they will overcome?

Some gems I would share with our beautiful young women are for them to place themselves around people who want to see them win in life. Our Gems need to know they are God’s child and there is no one above or below them. Gems, if you are looking for direction, go to God in prayer. Remember that you have the power within you to achieve greatness.

9. Telling your personal story takes a lot of courage and has changed a lot of lives. What do you hope to have achieved within the next ten years with the advice you are giving today?

I hope to empower young women and people in general to reach their full potential. My ultimate achievement would be to instill hope in the hearts of those who have lost sight of their greatness.

10. If you could give advice to your teenage self what would you say?

I would tell my “little me” that life is all about the journey. We all have successes and failures; however, you must endure.

Thank you, Kendra, for sharing your story with us here at Woman to Woman Talk Magazine. Your story speaks of strength, courage, and inspiration. If you would like to learn more about Kendra Hall you can visit her website and also follow her on Instagram @jususjewelz.