Trust Your Struggle…


Last summer, Ghislaine and I were at the end of our rope.  We needed a release valve from the daily grind, pressures and monotony of life in RI, but we were pretty much financially strapped.  I don’t want to say broke, but we were barely squeezing by.  Most of the side gigs and workshops had dried up, and there weren’t many prospects.  Despite this fact, we chose to take a leap of faith trip down to Atlanta to check out some new scenery/vibes.  In the back of our minds were the bills and problems that piled, but in the front of our mind was the possibility of higher ground.  Deep down, we believed that there was something out there waiting for us if we were only ‘brave’ enough to break free from our surroundings.

So, we packed the car and drove.  Then, out of the blue, somewhere about 5-6 hours down the road (in the middle of Pennsylvania), I got a voicemail from CCRI (Community College of RI) about a job opportunity as an English instructor for the fall semester.  Financial problems/worries solved (at least temporarily).  We could now enjoy the entire trip without any concerns about what was waiting for us when we returned.  This incident was the beginning of our affirmation(s) that when you move in faith, good things happen.  We have learned to trust our inner feelings more in life, and we have been rewarded every time. With faith, all things are possible.

During our time in Atlanta, we checked out several spots.  One of the places we went to was called Little 5 Points.  While walking around the area, we passed by an interesting piece of writing on the corner of a wall on a side street of one of the main throughways.  The writing on the wall said, “TRUST YOUR STRUGGLE.”  The writing stopped me in my tracks, and I asked Ghislaine to take a picture next to the wall (see below).


Fast-forward to today (August 20, 2009).  We arrived in Austin yesterday evening, and our first stop this afternoon was a place called Victory Grill – a historic landmark of the old chitlin’ circuit.  Blues and jazz luminaries such as B.B. King made stops into this place on their way to becoming national recording artists.  In fact, B.B. King played there one night for tips on his way up to Memphis for a show.  Talk about GRINDING!  That’s right y’all!  B.B. King himself played for tips at a small chitlin’ circuit club in Austin!

We ended up hanging out at the Victory Grill for about an hour, speaking with Clifford, the current managar/chef/booking agent/everything-else at the Grill.  During our conversation, Clifford told us about the rich history of the Grill.  He also told us that a group of artists came down from New York City to paint a mural on the outside of the building last summer (the same summer Ghislaine and I traveled to Atlanta).

Guess what the name of the group was?


It turns out the group is an artists collective that paints murals around the world (the image at the beginning of this post is from Colombia — shout out to Norman Ospina!).  Not sure when they painted those words down in Atlanta, but we felt them for sure.

We no longer believe in coincidences.  Trust your struggle!




7 responses to “Trust Your Struggle…

  1. powerful words! breaking the shackles of fear can only benefit us. trust that the struggle is meant to teach us something. thank you jon! and the timing of your post is no coincidence either…i was just promoted and will be relocating to central connecticut with my young son. yes, i am a bit apprehensive but i won’t be bound by fear. i KNOW i will call upon these three words in the near future. thank you and may you and ghislaine continue to be blessed 🙂

  2. Indeed and Absolutely. I am getting more familiar with mine as well. No coincindences.

  3. We are now planning for our next tour and paint those words wherever we can. Hoping that it grabs attention and give hope to those who bare witness to our work-just like yourself. We are glad that our struggles can be aligned with yours. Thank you for the post.

    – Trust Y(Our) Struggle Crew

    • Word up! If yall thinking bout coming through Austin, PLEASE let us know! We just moved here in December…paz y luz!

  4. Dear Jon and Gesslaine: Such a warm feeling from your words of faith and experience. Grandma’s words are forever circling my heart and mind. I can tell you stories of her and grandpa’s faith in some of the most heart stopping circumstances. They make my life experience ( as rugged as it has been ) lightweight. It takes great internal strength to keep your faith in a world that offers so many short cuts, hype, and conterfeit power. The struggle will always continue if you want to preserve your heart in this quagmire of crap most mistake for life. Faith is the REAL power. With your hand in the hand of the man who RULES and ROCKS, you will always be able to trust your aim and know a REAL power has your back no matter how desparate your situation appears or seems to others…Remember Noah!
    Love and Prayers Aunt Rose

  5. great post. great mural.

  6. Inspired. Informed. Challenged. Guided. Thank you for this post and many thanks for documenting your struggles and journeys.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s