We had the good fortune of connecting with Jasmine Oguntuga and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jasmine, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My balance has changed over time because of my mental health and my added roles. Many of us wear many hats on a daily basis and it’s hard to find balance. For me I’m a wife, mom, educator and a published author. I used to be one of those people that said “Yes” to everything. I wanted to be there for everyone no matter the event or the distance. Not only did I do this in my personal life it started to spill out in my professional life. I found myself always taking work home and being an overachiever. It wasn’t until the pandemic that I realized that I had taken on too much and my mental health was being compromised. I had no balance at all. Once I started talking to a therapist she helped me see that what I was experiencing was burnout, trauma, and anxiety. I was up late at night trying to make sure I fulfilled all of the commitments and assignments I had taken on. Once that happen I knew that I had to find some balance. I started saying no, and setting boundaries. I had to take my invisible cape off and put myself first. When I think about balance I believe it should be a mixture of things. Life is to be lived, It’s not just about work. Balance for me is spending time with my family, friends, reading books, self-care, and doing meaningful work.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a published author of Pain; Pieces, Peace… and a social media curator @DearJasmineP

I am proud of myself for publishing my first book because it was a goal that I had for over 10 years. I wasn’t sure when or how I would write the book but God kept sending me reminders. I remember being at an event for my friend Sil the Writer and she said “If you don’t tell your story people that need hope will suffer”. It was stuck with me and together we birthed a book. I reached out to her and she helped me publish my first book.

In the book I share some of my deepest pain, and some of life’s best moments. I want people to know that how your story starts does not define you. I’ve faced many obstacles in my life each of them have made me a better person. I grew up without a mother, I was the first person in my family to go to college and graduate. I have a son with autism. Yes, life is hard and there was a point in my life that I wanted to throw in the towel. I wrote the book to inspire people like me to keep going.

Believe it or not I am still overcoming challenges everyday. I am a better person because of the people around me and because of therapy. Some lessons that I learned is that I do not have to do it all! I have learned how to ask for help. I also learned that I am not alone in this fight. There are so many people that are on my team that want to see me win. Recently, I launched @CoffeeandConversationshtx with a group of ladies who inspire me. The idea behind it is to hold a space for people to drink coffee and share authentic conversations.

My life mission is to spread positivity and hope. When I leave this world I want to be remembered by all of the hope I’ve shared. Maybe it’s a book, or maybe it’s at a coffee shop. You never know how your story might impact someone else.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ah! This is a hard question because the possibilities are endless in Houston. We would start our day at brunch because everyone loves a good brunch. I’m thinking State Fair, The Breakfast Club, or Snooze to keep it chill but this would also depend on the type of friend. If we are trying to catch a vibe 5015 for brunch, Urban Social for drinks, Dona Leti’s for lunch and Upper Kirby Bistro for dinner. We would also venture to Memorial City mall to pick up a few items. The next day would be a full day of Self Care at Spa World. This is my ultimate day of relaxation. At some point we would have to get coffee from French Press and walk around city centre to people watch. Houston has so much to offer that it really depends on your mood. I love that there’s something for everyone!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this Shoutout to Sheleah Reed. I’ve known her since I was in college, but we reconnected the last few years. Even though she doesn’t know it she inspires me to be a better wife, mom, and professional just by being herself. Sheleah shows up as herself no matter the time or the place. I think what I admire most is her honesty. When I think of her she’s really the Oprah to my world. When I felt like giving up she was right there with words of encouragement. Some people are only about what makes them shine, but she empowers everyone to SHINE!

I would also like to dedicate this shoutout to my therapist. She really pushed me to do the necessary work to start the healing process. When I started therapy I did not think that I would have so many things to unpack. I had been carrying around so much hurt and pain. I had found ways to cover it up but it was clear that I needed to work through it. I had so many reservations about starting therapy because I didn’t want to feel judged. She made me feel comfortable and she was very honest. I really don’t think I would be where I am today without her.

Website: https://painpiecespeace.squarespace.com/author

Instagram: OthatsJasmine

Linkedin: Jasmine Oguntuga

Other: @DearJasmineP and Coffeeandconversationshtx Instagram

Image Credits
Adeola Oguntuga @Justaddymedia

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.