Changes…in Circumstances

Today on Alex Elle’s Instagram story, her journal question was:

“How can YOU change your circumstances?”

And I think that I have more power over my circumstances than I realize sometimes. I’m not saying that I have total control over what happens in my life…I’m saying I have control over how I react to what happens in my life.

For instance, on Monday, I was determined to make it a good day even though I knew there was a long week ahead of me. I arrived at work, and could feel the tension and burn-out of some of the people around me. I had two choices – to join the feelings of burn-out, or to move past those feelings, and try to make the day something worthwhile.

I didn’t succeed as much as I wanted to, honestly; Monday was still a hard day. But then I had another choice – to allow my bad first day of the week to dictate how the rest of my week would go.

So, in this way, I can see how I can change my circumstances in my life. My attitude about what is going on in my life can truly determine how I go about working through it, and whether the next things that occur will build or break me.

There are definitely other ways to do this – instead of waiting last minute to put up a blog post, I could write some drafts, or write earlier in the day before doing other important things I need to do (I’m sort of feeling this right now, if i’m honest haha). But I guess I just want to be more mindful of how I’m viewing the circumstances in my life, and change the way I react to things because I tend to react sort of…well…dramatically to the things that happen in my life sometimes. And I need to remind myself that it’s not the end of the world.

How do you normally react to the circumstances in your life? Do you think you need to make any changes in your reactions? If so, are you willing to do so?

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

Changes…in Routine.

The moment you've all been waiting for…

Yes, this is me NOT starting that "Changes" series like I said I would. Wow, the first day, and already I can't keep up with it.

But maybe what happened to me today ties in with the Changes series more than I think it does. I mean, I had to change my after-work routine today, and that change caused a domino effect in how my afternoon went.

Fasten your seat belts…it's story time. And this story has a few different chapters…

Chapter 1: Road Rage in Reverse

So, most of the time after work, I go to the gym, and then head straight home. Well, I needed to stop by Walmart to pick up some things for dinner and for later in the week, so I went out of my way to do so.

I figured I'd stop at the gas station right in front of Walmart to see if they were selling this drink called Celsius. As I was walking across the parking lot, this blue SUV completely full of people whips in and passes me, and as I'm about to walk right behind it, it starts backing up towards me. My initial thought is that the driver will see me in the rearview mirror and stop. Despite the thought, I start walking a little faster so I can get out of the way.

I don't know if the driver just didn't see me, or what, but he's not slowing down at all. So what do I do? I start running. And the more I run, it seems the faster he's driving in reverse in my direction, as if he was trying to hit me on purpose.

Clearly, I'm sitting here typing this to you, so I escaped unharmed, but I was flustered. The people sitting in the back of the car saw me, and I didn't hear them say a PEEP to the driver about me running away from his driving. After my unsuccessful search for Celsius, I had to walk right by the car and the driver who could have hit me. And I just did what any young person in this day and age does…look down at my phone. No eye contact. Nope.

When I start to pull out of the gas station parking lot, I realize that I'm right behind that blue SUV, and see from their license plate that they're from New York.

I'm just going to leave it at that.

Chapter 2: Conversations with a Cook

So, my game-plan is this: get in Walmart, grab the stuff I need, get out. I don't want to have to spend more time in there than I need to.

I head to the produce area, pick up a few peaches, and am sort of day-dreaming/aimlessly looking to see what kind of vegetables I want to cook for the next couple of weeks, when this voice asks, "Can I help you find something?"

Now, normally when you hear that question, you can safely assume it's a Walmart employee wondering if you're lost and need some help. My assumption was wrong; I look up to see this heavy-set, gray-bearded man with glasses, possibly in his late 30's or early 40's, wearing a canvas bucket hat and yellow vest. I told him I didn't need any help, hoping my shock that he wasn't a Walmart employee wasn't obvious, and instead of saying, "Okay," and walking away like most people would do, this man goes on to tell me about how a Walmart employee helped him find the vegetables he needed for this chicken noodle soup recipe he was making.

And from there, he continued to tell me about several other different recipes he'd made for friends and neighbors, asked me if I'd ever tried to cook certain things, and suggested some recipes I should try for myself and even for the children I look after. This went on for maybe a good fifteen to twenty minutes.

While I was trying to be kind and receptive to what he was saying (the recipes he was sharing did sound good), in the back of my mind, I was really wanting to end the conversation and get out of Walmart. But I mean, this poor man even told me he didn't get out much, and when he did get out, he loved to just talk to people, and I felt sort of obligated to provide him with some good social interaction before he decided to retreat away from people.

I will say, I wasn't as frustrated with this situation as I probably would have been months ago. Sure, I wasn't expecting to have a full-blown twenty minute conversation about cooking with this dude. But there was just something about a stranger wanting to have a conversation with me that made me think about how these days, we don't want to talk to strangers or even have prolonged contact with them unless they are attractive to us in certain ways – appearance, status, significance, etc. We prefer to keep to ourselves, and to focus on our own agenda.

And that's not a bad thing, but when was the last time we sacrificed our time to just listen to a stranger and get to know them a little? As I was listening to this dude, I thought about how cooking was an art to him; he didn't just go by recipes, in fact, he told me that most of the time he was experimental with his cooking, and it fascinated me how he could be so passionate about food, just like I'm so passionate about my words, writing, and speaking.

I was face-to-face with an artist; not the traditional kind by any means. And it was pretty cool.

Chapter 3: "Can I Ask You a Question?"

After saying goodbye to this culinary artist, I rush up and down the aisles to grab the rest of what I need in the grocery section so I can make my final stop in the hygiene department for my contact solution (whoo-hoo, contacts! I'm living the dream, friends. I love them. Seriously.).

I reach the eye care area, and squat down to compare prices for solution, when I hear this voice behind me ask…

"Can I ask you a question?"

Without even looking up, I reply, "Sure, what's up?" And I look to see who it is, and it's this dude with dreadlocks that were tied up in like two ponytails (think of Arnold from Hey Arnold!'s hair, and that's pretty much what it looked like) with his headphones in his ears. Immediately, I recognized him; while I was talking to the cooking dude, I'd seen this guy sort of lurking in the background. I didn't think much of him until I remembered seeing him again in the background of a different aisle I'd gone to with the cooking dude, and even again in a different aisle I'd walked down for something else.

I didn't think much of it until I saw him right there before me, face-to-face, and I already knew what he wanted.

"Do you got a boyfriend?"

It took everything within me to stop a sigh from escaping my lips. I didn't even make eye contact with him when I replied…I just continued looking through all those boxes of bottles of contact solution.

"No."

I should've lied and said that I did have a boyfriend, because I already knew what was coming next…

"Oh, so, can I have your number?"

Me, being the awkward person I am, told him that I wasn't looking for anything like that, and he was like, "Oh so…you just chillin?"

"Yeah, I'm just chillin!"

He proceeded to say that he just thougtht I was pretty and, "ya know, maybe we could just hang out, and I could get your number. You know, as friends." And I proceeded to be awkward and still tell him "no."

He was a good sport about it though; laughed it off and walked away. And I finally made it out of Walmart an hour later, a little stressed that I'd had to deal with a couple of conversations I wasn't really expecting.

But hey, it's content, and I praise God for providing some interesting moments in my life to share with y'all!

I gotta go fold my laundry and sleep LOL.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

Changes : the introduction

I prompt this blog post by a tweet from Hannah Brencher:

"Write about the things that change you."

And man, when I think about the things that have changed me…well, I feel like I could write an entire book. Like there aren't just things that have changed me…there are people, places, events, days, that have changed me, and made me the person I am right now. Change is constantly happening, and I don't think I'm as aware of it as I should be. Or maybe I'm not aware of where I am in the moment until a change happens, and I notice where I am, and where I'm headed. Wow, change is a crazy topic.

Hmm…should this be a new blog series? I just thought about this as I was typing. Recently, blog series have been difficult for me to accomplish because I'll be in the middle of a series, and then I'll want to write about something else, but I feel the need to continue the series instead of writing what I felt I should write. Does that make sense? I don't know how I was able to write series' so easily last year. Maybe it shows a change or growth in my writing? If so, that would be dope!

Maybe I'll just take it and run with it for a while until I get sick of it. Seriously, the mind of a writer, guys…it's not as organized as I thought it would be!

But, hey, I guess since sticking with a series has deemed itself a challenge, why not?

So, with that being said…welcome to this new series: Changes

Tomorrow, let's talk about the people who've changed me. I mean, there are so many, but maybe I'll just hit the highlights for y'all haha!

I personally thought it was kind of cool how I wrote out my thought process about my writing for the next few days to all of you? Anyone else think it was kinda cool? Just me? Awesome. I don't think this was the first time I've done that. But hey, content, right?

Can't wait to write to you all tomorrow. Thanks for riding along with me!

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

favorite day of the week.

I write this post exhausted, and sad that I didn't blog yesterday. Grr. Oh well, moving on…

It's Saturday, my favorite day of the week! And this is what's been happening…

This weekend marks the first weekend in like three weekends that I'll be home, not traveling to theme parks or Atlanta for concerts or meet-ups. And I'm grateful for it because it's been pretty restful – I slept in and slowly got myself ready for today. I got to talk to some friends who live miles away from me, and laugh with them. I hung out with my sister and treated her to a sushi dinner, something we both hadn't done in a while. I got to take pictures again around downtown, and feel super accomplished about it. Both of my roommates are gone, so I took the opportunity to dance in front of one of their full-length mirrors (thank you for letting me do it lol).

Even though a small part of me is a little stressed and overwhelmed about some things, I think back on my day and realize that I'm okay right now. Truly, I am.

And I was talking with one of the writer's who regularly contributes to my #JustStartWriting website, and she informed me of a major anniversary for her writing and mine, and it honestly has me so humbled and in awe of how God has been moving in my life and writing, and in hers as well. Like, a year ago today, I couldn't imagine what writing a blog post every day would create; how God would use my faith and faithfulness and trust to inspire her. How her writing would continue to shape and grow through the same process of trusting and sticking with it. Praise be to God; this is crazy.

It's got me excited for what's to come in the next year. Where in the world is God going to have us both in our lives, and in our writing? I used to be so nervous about the future and its uncertainty. Maybe it was because I was skeptical that anything positive could happen with where I was in my life; my mindset was focused on all the wrong things back then. And even now, it's still hard to focus on the right things, but I've been learning on how to really push myself to hone in on what really matters.

But Saturday is not quite over (I mean, it almost is, but…)! After a shower, I'll talk to some more friends before bed, probably make a to-do list for tomorrow, and get some sleep for church in the morning.

I'm excited because tomorrow I'll actually be able to have a somewhat restful and productive day – going to do some adult things like grocery shopping and cooking, but hopefully do some relaxing and renewing things too. It's going to be awesome.

Until Monday, luvvies!

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

growth.

This is gonna be short because I lost track of time.

But tonight, I recorded some spoken word poems, and the friend who helped me record truly encouraged me tonight. After going through both of the poems, he told me that he could see growth in the writing and speaking I’d done.

And he said four words that made me feel on top of the world, if I’m being honest: “Mishy, you’re a writer!”

I can’t express how much those four words meant to me. And even before I heard those words aloud, as I was speaking those words, I could feel it.

#MishyWrites

this season

Tonight, I was encouraged during a dinner I had with some friends. Each friend possesses a different creative spirit – one is a musician, the other an artist/businesses owner – and they both inspire me to continue in my own creative field of writing/spoken word.

We talked about each of our own creative endeavors and experiences, our goals. We also touched on where we currently are in life – one of those friends and I are in the midst of a living transition as we try to find a place to live together. The other friend has this grand idea, and is wanting to execute it within a certain time, and involve as many creative/artistic people she knows. We briefly spoke of our college days, which now seem like a distant memory or even a dream compared to the lives we're living right now.

And as I sit here in my bedroom, thinking about the season I'm currently in and seasons that I've passed through, I am trying to think of the goals I have in mind for the future, and how I can make a plan, and start executing that plan. Honestly, I've been in the planning season for a while, and I've also been trying to prioritize other things, like my health.

But I don't want my goals and dreams to sit on the bench; yes, what I've been trying to prioritize is important, but I also need to make sure that I'm doing something every day to obtain my dreams. I think for the remainder of my night, I'm going to sit here and really ask myself what I want to accomplish / where I want to be this time next week, next month, next year.

It's scary to come up with a plan, sometimes. One of my friends pointed out tonight that there's just something about making an actual plan to reach a goal that seems intimidating, and it sometimes stops us from really thinking through the process and achieving our goals. Maybe it's seeing how many steps we have to take. Maybe there's one particular step that requires us to really get out of our comfort zone.

But if there's one thing I've learned, planning and process is so important. And tonight, I realized that in a way, I've kind of been avoiding the planning process probably because I'm a little fearful of it. I've been focusing on other things I need to focus on, but at the same time, I knew I should be working on my craft.

No fear, though. Time to take advantage of this season.

What kind of season are you in? Are you doing things that are actually productive to you and where you want to eventually be? Ask yourself where you want to be next week, next month, next year; sit down and write those things down. Now write out how you're going to get there, no matter how crazy or scary it seems. Get together with a close friend and share these things with them, and come up with ways to stay proactive within your plans. 

We got this, luvvies!

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

Enough is Enough.

*Disclaimer: I’m not bashing anyone who has said that they are “ugly,” “worthless,” “stupid,” and any other derogatory terms on social media. There is freedom of speech; you can say what you want on your account. I’m only saying that I wish better for those who do say these things (myself included). We are so much more than we think we are.

So…I’m done.

I’m tired of hearing and seeing all of this self-hate, and I’m also tired of being a part of it. Recently, I’ve seen a lot of my friends or followers on social media say in various ways that they’re ugly, unloved, or not enough. And I feel like there are numerous reasons why they say such things…(and this is all just generally speaking. I’m not accusing any of my personal friends or followers of doing any of these things said below. These are just thoughts and observations of what I’ve been seeing and thinking about)

1. A Joke. Some people say they’re ugly as a joke. And while I’m not trying to be that person who’s always so serious, I honestly don’t think calling other people or yourself ugly is a joke. Ugly is a hurtful, heavy word. You shouldn’t use it for others or for yourself.

2. Attention / Assurance. Some say they’re ugly for the attention. They want people to prove them wrong, to give them some positive feedback and attention because they’ve called themselves ugly.

3. Humble. Unfortunately, many people can’t/don’t know how to take a compliment, maybe because they feel like they don’t deserve the compliment being paid to them, or they’re just bashful. So instead of, or even along with, a “thank you,” there’s sometimes a “but…I’m actually [insert demeaning adjective or noun here].” When did we think that humbly receiving a compliment meant that we had to tear ourselves down to deny the positive thing someone said to us? Now, I’m not saying that every single time someone does this in particular, they are 100% serious; but the fact that they think it is a good way of being humble just doesn’t sit right with me.

And I’m not just pointing fingers at my friends/followers/other people. I’m pointing the finger at myself too; I am just as guilty of saying that “I am merely a bean!” to people who say that I look gorgeous or flawless. It’s just something we’ve got ingrained in us; I feel like we can’t handle how amazing we all are, so we have to tell ourselves that we actually aren’t that great compared to the entire population.

But every time I see or hear someone I know say something negative about themselves, I always try to combat it. Because, whether it’s a joke or not, everyone feels ugly at some point, and if they’re talking about it or bringing it up, I want to take the opportunity to assure them that they are definitely not whatever negative noun/adjective they said they are, but they surely are “wonderful,” “amazing,” “worthy,” “loveable,” etc.

Am I angry at the people who keep saying they’re ugly on social media or otherwise? No, of course, not. I tweeted today that I’d fight those people…

…but I mean that out of love. We all go through moments when we don’t feel pretty or handsome or good enough. Some go through these moments more than others. And I am so adamant about assuring people that they are beautiful and worthy, not because I’m trying to flatter them, or because I just want them to like me. I say those things – “You’re gorgeous,” “You’re flawless,” “You’re worth it, luvvy,” – because I truly believe it and mean it. Because I’ve had those moments when I didn’t feel beautiful, and wished someone would look at me, and sincerely tell me I was worthy, beautiful, enough.

I’ve seen way too many physically beautiful people say they’re physically unattractive. I’ve heard way too many people with beautiful personalities wish they were more physically attractive because they feel like their personalities don’t matter unless they are what the world defines as beautiful. There is not more stock in physically attractive people, or in personality attractive people. Both are equal, yet the world wants us to think otherwise.

I’m sorry that the world has established these standards of beauty that are unattainable for most of us. I’m sorry that we may feel unworthy because the person we like thinks someone else – someone who looks nothing like us – is attractive. I’m sorry that we think that taking a compliment means saying we’re actually the opposite of that compliment. I’m sorry that you not getting the attention of someone you love made you feel less than.

But oh, dear luvvy, you are so worthy.

Enough is enough. I stand for beauty of all types, shapes, sizes. No person on this earth is exactly alike, and that is the most beautiful thing about us as humans; as God’s creation. We are each created in His Image, His likeness. We have no idea what He physically looks like, but there are so many adjectives in the Bible that describe His character – good, faithful, wonderful, mighty, powerful, the list goes on. Now, we are not all-powerful, or all-good; we’re still humans who make mistakes, and we won’t ever be perfect in this life. But if we depend on the Lord, we are capable of being as faithful, wonderful, good as we can where He has placed us.

You probably saw this coming…those typical Bible verses that everyone brings out when talking about self-esteem, beauty, etc. Psalm 139:13-14. Maybe some of you didn’t see it coming / don’t know them, but even if you did, I’m still gonna drop them here:

“For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.” (ESV)

You, dear reader, are beautiful, unique, wonderful, enough because the God of all creation created you, a wonderful work, a masterpiece. And He longs for you to know this very well, and to praise Him for it.

I know it’s hard sometimes; listen, I have just as much a hard time as anyone convincing myself that I am good enough in this world, that I am beautiful enough to be considered worthy of loving, that I am unique enough to stand out from the crowd. We beat ourselves up, and we have no reason to.

Also, the problem is not in wanting to be assured of how amazing we are; the problem is us being unable to see how amazing we are. It’s okay to want that affirmation from people, and I pray that there are people in your life to assure you of your beauty and greatness. But sometimes outside affirmation isn’t enough; sometimes that one person you want to hear it from doesn’t tell you what you want to hear. And this is why we have to be okay with ourselves, no, more than okay with ourselves; we have to see ourselves as worthy masterpieces. Not to the point of being prideful, but to the point of being able to see the beauty in other people too.

And I pray and encourage us all to look in the mirror tonight, tomorrow morning, right now, and say, “I am beautiful. I am worthy. I am unique. I am loved. And so is everyone else I come in contact with, be it face-to-face, or over social media.”

Say this with me: “I am amazing. You are amazing. We are all amazing.”

Now say it, and believe it.

#MishyWrites