Phoenix rising: The story of Tyleshay Jones

in Career & Retirement by

Shedding her old self to be anew
The phoenix rises from the ashes
Leaving behind layers of thick, weary skin
Dawning feathers of light, she floats into the sun
Firebird tails, laughter floating from a golden beak
Claws clipped like blinged-out wingtips
Turning heads, yet keeping focus
She’s got stories to tell and people to heal — K. Shivers

On a lazy drive back to Newark after a run to do some research in New Brunswick, Tyleshay Jones fields calls from her children and a handsome suitor who makes her blush.

A bedazzled cap sitting low on her crown, she talks about taking her grandson and the neighborhood kids to Branch Brook Park’s skating rink. She voices a list of life “things-to-do,” while expressing excitement and jitters about starting a job as a program coordinator at a senior facility in Irvington.

Her thick, New York accent and quick, shrewd comebacks instantly reveal the origins of Jones, a Bronx-native who moved to Newark about four years ago to depart an abusive marriage that left her homeless.

Between discussing her wig collection and batting two-inch eyelashes, she flashes a smile between long moments of contemplation.

Jones thinks about her life and starting over, something that she did several times.

During this reincarnation, she is an empty nester who enters the workforce with a spanking new master’s in psychology and an MBA, all the while, living somewhere in the trap off Central Avenue.

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