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Meet Dijonee’ ‘Deej’ Chester

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dijonee’ ‘Deej’ Chester.

Hi Dijonee’ ‘Deej’, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I was born in ‘92 so I grew up in the late 90’s, early 2000s. I believe that I had the typical 90’s kid life growing up. I played with Barbies, I read anything I could get my hands on, I was into comic books, I watched cartoons faithfully every Saturday morning. My introduction to anime was through Adult Swim/Toonami. I was obsessed with music, Harry Potter, Disney movies, video games, magazines, and rushing outside to hang with my friends during the summer.

I’m a Taurus & an Ambivert…which means I’m super outgoing and a people person…but I love and covet my own space and being to myself. I struggled a lot with self-confidence and positive self-image growing up. My inner saboteur was the loudest voice in the room for me most times. I loved school because I’m always in search of more knowledge, however I didn’t always have many real friends because of it. People usually thought of me as a know-it-all, a geek, and unusually gullible. On top of that, I got teased often for my weight.

Now that I look back on my childhood, I realize I’ve always had a big, bubbly personality and a passion for media/culture, music, and people. I thrive off of my interactions with people and learning about them and their experiences. I’m passionate about making a more creative world. However, being raised with certain familial values, in addition to an extreme lack of self-confidence led me to believe that those passions were fallacies and would never lead me to any real happiness or success in life. It was literally either go to school, become a lawyer, and be successful…or failure…any other considerations would lead to failure.

Now that I’m 29 and I’ve healed and overcome so much of my own self-sabotage, I feel free. I’m right back to being that bubbly, creative, confident, passionate Dijonee’ that I was when I was younger. I feel like I’m finally becoming who I was always meant to be.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It absolutely has NOT been a smooth road. I’ve struggled so much with self-image, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, poverty. I’ve struggled with valuing what others want and expect of me over what I want for myself. I’ve been in toxic, codependent relationships and valued others over myself. I’ve struggled with being manipulated and mistreated. For quite a few years in my early 20’s I was hard. What I mean is that I felt that I had to protect myself at every turn, so because of that I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone. I built a wall around myself and engaged in behaviors that were dangerous not only to my mental health but my physical health as well. I believe that in a way, the wall wasn’t so much about keeping others out but about punishing myself because of the overwhelming self-loathing. I thought for a long time that I deserved to be miserable.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
So, professionally aka how I pay my bills, I am a Paralegal. I’ve spent most of my working life working in Legal services. However, when it comes to passion, I consider myself to be a content creator, a creative writer and personality. Currently & creatively, I am a blogger, a content creator, social media coordinator, and I co-host two podcasts. I don’t believe I’m really well known (lol). But, I believe if I were to be known, I’d be known for my big personality and my connections with people and how I support/show up for people who are also doing what they love.

I’m most proud of everything that I’m currently doing creatively. It took a lot for me to come out of my shell and allow others to see who I truly am. I’m known for being such a behind the scenes person, and now I’m living my life with the intention of being seen. I’ve moved beyond my fear of having others see me and my passions. I’m proud of my social reputation and I’m proud of the friendships and creative relationships I’ve fostered because of it. I’m just authentically me, all the time…I believe that that sets me apart from others. I’m the same Deej on and off of social media.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I am always open to and looking forward to working and collaborating on creative ventures, or even if it’s for administrative/assistant purposes. I’m really still in the process of putting myself out there and doing even more projects. You can email me at dijoneechester@gmail.com, feel free to follow me and message me on IG @_xoxodeej, and I can also be reached through my website www.xoxodeej.com.

Anyone looking to support me can check out my website www.xoxodeej.com & follow me on IG @_xoxodeej. I’d also appreciate everyone supporting both the Café Hours Podcast & Black Girls Speaks Podcast by following us on IG (@cafehourspod) (@blackgirlsspeaks), subscribing to our YouTube Channels, & Downloading, Listening & Sharing the Podcasts via Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

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Image Credits
Miguel The Analog Guy

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