Are you happy at the moment?
All things considered, I’d have to say yes. I am healthy, my children are healthy and we have all that we need in life and I’m excited about this chapter.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
When I was 16, I was dealing with finding out that I had a sister eight years older than me, my brother running away from home, a younger sister running away from home, my mother finding out that she was a child of rape, while learning about the hypocrisy of religion, and balancing my innate desire to help others. At that time, my life was eclipsed by a religious organization. It was during that year that I learned that not every adult lived what they preached. I would tell that 16-year-old that she deserved to have a life that did not center around making other people happy or living up to the expectations or limitations that were placed upon her by others. I would tell her that she could accomplish GREAT things, because God created her to do just that and as long as He loved her enough to be called friend, that should be all that mattered. She would know how wonderful she was and that she didn’t need to doubt the motives of others so much, because regardless of the reasons they told her, she really IS beautiful inside and out.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I feel like every year prior to 2011 has prepared me for now. I’ve actually learned two things this year, one in my professional life and one in my personal life.
The first “a ha” for me this year was that I already have everything I need to succeed. I think we hear that a lot from people around us, especially those who want to motivate us, but, until we accept it as our truth, the words are meaningless. Now that I KNOW that, I’ve taken steps to maximize my potential in every area of my life.
The more personal lesson was harder to learn. I learned that parents are flawed. When we become parents, no matter how prepared we think we are, we are flawed. Our children make no exceptions or allowances for our flaws and they shouldn’t have to. Our job is to work through our flaws, while trying to raise our children. And for the first time in my life, I’ve learned to be okay with my flaws, which means I’ve learned to love myself, imperfections and all. This freed me to be a better mom and better person overall.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I want to continue to build the brand of “That Writing Chic” and pursue opportunities related to the growth of it. Ideally, I will find security in multiple streams of residual revenue. That would include publishing two more books, teaching workshops, public speaking and becoming more active in the filmmaking community.
What’s your secret to happiness?
I was once a very angry person. I was vindictive and went into each situation defensively and ready to attack. If I had a secret, it would be the combination of seeking the good in every situation, no matter how bad it is combined with being brutally honest.
I’m honest with myself about my shortcomings, which makes it easier to tolerate those of others.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Prayer. I am praying every second that my brain is not occupied doing anything else. That’s the glue that holds my relationship with God intact and therefore, is the thing that my spirit thrives on.
What’s your biggest regret?
This is the most difficult question, because I believe if I regret any of my past, I would be denying that everything happens for a reason, which I firmly believe. While I do regret some actions I have taken in my life in years past out of desperation, I know that I would not have learned the life lessons that resulted from them. I guess from that I would say I regret not thinking through some of my past actions in regards to how OTHERS would have been affected.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
I decided to ask my children, because I realize that what I think I taught them, may not be the same as what they’ve learned:
My 24-year-old daughter said: “No matter what the circumstances are, there’s always a way through it. No matter what…”
My 16-year-old son said: “Money, mom. You taught me about money.”
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
Procrastination. I keep telling myself that I work best under pressure. While it’s true, I will ALWAYS meet my deadline, I’d like to learn to BEAT my deadline and not NEED to thrive under the pressure.
Aside from motherhood what are you most proud of in your life?
When I read my bio, I can’t believe what I’ve accomplished. I’m a simple girl who grew up in a very religious, strict home. I didn’t go to college for any of the things that I’ve accomplished. To be embraced by so many people based on my talents, affirms them for me. I’m proud that I never gave up, despite the obstacles and what I perceived as my lack at the time.
When were you happiest?
I don’t know. I’ve had happy seasons in my life and I’ve had the opposite. I’m not certain that any happy time outweighed the other.
What ten words best describe you?
Honest, Efficient, Caring, Empathetic, Driven, Resourceful, Introspective, Intuitive, Fun, Realistic
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Suncera Johnson is a mom, TV/film writer/producer/editor/director, friend of God, radio talk show host, motivator, author & freelance writer, though not necessarily in that order! In addition to creating new media and writing, her passion is helping others find their purpose in life and opt to pursue their passion, instead of merely working a job.