from prompts 1 and 2.

Last weekend, one of my writing buddies Rachel invited me to this creative writing group that meets at a coffee shop in St. Elmo every first Monday of the month. And for the first time, I think ever, I was excited to meet with other writers and just sit and write and share and listen. I actually didn’t end up sharing what I wrote (maybe next month!), but it was great to be in that type of atmosphere again, even though I used to really hate it.

Any type of writing class I took in college gave me both excitement and dread – it was exciting to learn new things about writing, but I dreaded having to possibly read my work in front of other English majors and writers. But this time, even though I didn’t share, I felt less intimidated. Maybe it’s because I’ve been sharing my writing through my public blog, so really, anyone in the world can read it? Or maybe I’ve just grown up, who knows.

Anyways, in this creative writing group, we chose three words out of a mug, and for twenty-five minutes, we’d write something inspired by those words, or if we weren’t feeling it, just write whatever came to our minds.

My words were ringglide, and fear. And for the second prompt, I had the words empower, effect, and armadillo.

And yes, I’m going to share with you some of what I wrote in my journal that night. And no, they aren’t really finished. I’m not really sure if I’ll ever finish them. But here they are…

Number One…

I work with kids. So really, anything and everything needs to be taken into consideration – the size of the foods they eat, what you as a teacher/co-teacher/floater/substitute wear and if it is valuable enough tot keep at home, for anything you bring to work is in danger of coming into contact with a child’s bodily fluids. Or solids. I’ll just leave it at that.

Since I started in the winter, my rings have had a habit of slipping off my fingers, and gliding across the floors, onto the mediocre beige carpet. One time too many has a co-worker brought my thick, silver thumb ring to my attention lying on the carpet amidst primary colored toys and plush animals. And one too many times has this occurred in the infant room, the worst place a small object like my ring could land – in the midst of ignorant infants who will put any and every thing into their mouths, no matter what shape or size.

This has happened so often, either to my knowledge or unknown to me, that i fear the worst – the choking of an infant on my behalf. I’m constantly checking my hands to be sure that all is in place.

Number Two…or “another poem about this.”

 

When I think of you I’d

Like to think what we’ve been  through

Has a huge effect on

How I think or how I write.

I spent too many days and nights

Trying to fight the affections I had

For something that never was.

I guess I can’t get past it because

It’s what began this journey for me –

A path that’s led me to be more of a who I am.

Empowered, I stand

With more focus on my goals.

More care for those with false hope.

More love on those

Who have always been there.

When I think about it, its really not fair

That out of our ashes, strength took hold of my hand,

While you were left with nothing but

Fears that you’d never be the man

Someone like me deserved to be loved by.

Gone are the moments when I think of you and

Cry or

Ask God, “Why?”

 

 

#JustStartWriting

💙 Mishy 🦋

for momma and honey.

I wrote this piece near the end of last month, and considered posting it later on, maybe for Mother’s Day, but thought maybe it was appropriate to post it today since it is International Women’s Day. Truthfully, I feel like it’s still a little rough around the edges, but here it is.

I dedicate this to two of the most important women in my life, who have loved on me and taught me so many things that I know today. And still, despite distance, I am continuing to learn from them. Every day, I do something or say something that I can point back to something my momma or Honey (my step-momma) taught/told me.

So, this is for you, Momma and Honey. I love you, and thank God for you both.

***

I had a thought this morning as I untwisted my hair, separating the ringlets and curls…

I come from a lineage of strong women. I was raised by strong women. All the women in my family are strong. Capable. Fierce.

My mother taught me about hard work. Perseverance. Endurance. Never giving up hope. Staying strong in the faith. Taking the high road to take care of her babies, her daughters, the girls she deemed princesses, yes, she never took the easy way out. She never let doubt stay in her head and her heart. Her love for me and my sisters is stronger than any earthly love I have ever felt.

I look back on the days of her absence, and understand why she was gone. Every day without her was a day she strove so I could have days with her in sight. I swear, the amount of days she now sees my face are double the amount she went without.

She worked hard. She prayed hard. She loved and still loves so hard.

She refused for her reality of living most of her life without her own mother to become my reality. I never really thought of this until now.

Many people say I favor Momma in the way I look. I pray that as I grow older, I will favor her in the way that she thinks, believes, lives, loves.

My stepmother also taught me strength in many of the same ways. Her insight and intuition of the human heart – particularly my heart – led her to express her concern over my fragility. I never understood her concerns until I grew older, and my patterns of loving others harder than loving the Lord and loving myself made it evident that her wisdom was something to behold, treasure, hold tight to.

She knows me better than I know myself. She saw the softness in me, encouraged it in the areas it would work well in, and warned me in the ways it could hurt me.

She has been through a lot – physically, she has been tested. Emotionally unrested at times, specifically when her own mother, a ray of sunshine to so many lives I can’t even count,  unexpectedly left this earth during my ripe age of sixteen.

But spiritually, she has been a rock.

She has stood her ground when all hope couldn’t be found. She has reminded me of the Lord’s promises when my life seemed to come unwound.

And even though we’re not related through blood, I am told that I favor Honey as well. And I pray that I do in more ways than one.

And I guess that time will tell.

 

#JustStartWriting

💙 Mishy 🦋

second-guessing.

I dreamt of you last night for the first time since Christmas Day.

It seemed so real…

I guess since I found out what

Really happened to you,

I’ve been wondering if I’ve

Over-reacted

About everything.

Maybe I just

Assumed

Too much.

But then I think…

“I admitted all that.

I saw how wrong my perspective was, and

Chose to handle it in the way

I thought was best for me.

And ever since then, I’ve felt

Completely free.”

So,

No.

I didn’t overreact.

Sure,

You didn’t react

The way I thought you would,

The way I hoped you would.

But that’s okay.

It had to be this way.

And even if I see you

Soon

I still don’t know how I’d react to you.

 

#JustStartWriting #FromtheDrafts

Mishy

#FromtheDrafts – 12 Days Ago…

I am writing this as I anxiously lie in bed, overwhelmed with so many different thoughts about so many different things.

I know worrying about these things isn’t going to benefit me, but this rational thought is pushed out by all the worry I am having. I was just telling a good friend of mine earlier today too that Philippians 4 is a good chapter to read when anxious. Looks like I’m going to hit that up myself.

Isn’t it crazy how something small can start to overwhelm you, bringing up all sorts of other bigger issues that you’re facing? 

Being worried and anxious is a subject I talk about a lot in my writings, and I’m sorry if you’ve read through the other blog posts about it before. But I’m pretty sure this is going to keep coming up; like Paul had the thorn in his side, I sometimes see this as the thorn in my side, the thing that I’m always going back to God for, asking Him to take away from me. He may or may not in this life; I rest assured knowing that this feeling will be gone someday though, even if it is after I’ve passed.

I can remember this night twelve days ago vividly. I lay under my comforter, arms wrapped around Mr. Pep (my childhood teddy bear), eyes squeezed shut, trying to battle the overwhelming doubts that aimed to conquer my mind, and shatter whatever peace I had.

Yes, as a twenty-one year old, I still have that stuffed bear that I’ve always had since I was born. And during this night, like a child, I embraced it just as tight as I was squeezing my eyes closed. I’m unashamed of this fact; we all have things that bring us comfort.

This night is reminiscent of a day during my senior year in college in which I was so worried, it felt like I could physically feel something sitting on my chest. I felt claustrophobic; while sitting in one of my classes, I had to close my eyes, and take several deep breaths – in, out. in, out. – because I was afraid I would pass out.

I’m not trying to be dramatic here; when it comes to me, the anxiety is real. It’s something I’ve always wrestled with, always had to throw open my Bible for, always had to fervently pray over. I would say that at night, or in the darkness, it gets worse, but that’s the thing about worries and anxiety – it can occur anywhere at anytime. And it takes one thought. One action. One word. And suddenly, it sparks a set amount of questions and doubts that will shake me to my core.

I’ve memorized Philippians 4:4-9 to say to myself over and over whenever I have that anxious feeling:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Saying this to myself as many times as I need to helps, and simply praying to God, letting Him know what I’m anxious about, even though I already knows, helps too. I was going to say that this doesn’t work every time, but I can’t tell you a time when it didn’t. Of course, it wasn’t magic, and it didn’t immediately alleviate all of the worries for good.

But it’s all about reminding myself Who is in control, what I should be dwelling on.

I know there’ll be more anxious nights like the night twelve days ago, or days like the day a few months ago when I was in school.

With this in mind, though, I pray that I never forget Philippians 4. Or the fact that, I am where I am even past all of the anxious thoughts I’ve had throughout the years. Being where I am just shows how faithful God has been in my life. I worry so much about things, and when God moves, and outcomes appear, I realize just how much time could have been spent on things better than worrying about it.

Thanks for going through yet another worry/anxiety post with me. I’ll have to be reminded of this again soon, for sure.

Speaking of reminders…I’ve considered getting a tattoo to symbolize this constant narrative of worry that I’ve wrestled with all my life. Nothing too big, okay, just a small symbol. I was thinking a bird (I know, how basic could I get, right?), but I was thinking about it based off of the Scripture in Matthew 6:26-27; if the Lord cares for the birds of the air by providing for them, He surely cares for me.

I don’t know, I’m still thinking about it. I wouldn’t even know what it would look like, or where I would get it, although I’ve been given some suggestions.

What is something you’ve always wrestled with? (You don’t actually have to give me the answer to this.) What brings you comfort/strengthens you when you are in the midst of the struggle? Also, if you have any bird tattoo designs that are simple but cool, and placement ideas, PLEASE HOLLA AT YA GIRL.

#JustStartWriting #FromtheDrafts

❤ Mishy

#FromtheDrafts – “Fiction, Adulthood, & Reading in General.”

Okay, so I was scrolling through all the drafts I have on my profile…

Y’all. There are 25 drafts. TWENTY-FIVE.

And it’s crazy because I’m reading a few of them to pick one to share and finish for tonight, and I wrote some of them when I was still in college. And reading them now, I’m just like dang…this is who I was several months ago, a year ago…maybe even a couple of years ago.

To prompt a current blog post with a draft is pretty…bold? I don’t think that’s the right word. Maybe “challenging.” Because I don’t think the same way I used to, you know? So to try to finish some thoughts I had a while ago today, well, they would provide something completely different now than they would have in the past.

But I guess it’s also a beautiful thing – to create something new with previous thoughts and ideas. To take what I believed back then, and apply it to now, or defend or correct myself for what I wrote before.

Since this is supposed to be a mini-series, I think I’ll post five #FromtheDrafts posts for now, then move on to other things, and later I’ll come back to the other drafts. It’ll be something I do every couple of weeks or something.

Okay here goes!

Fiction, Adulthood, & Reading in General.

I talked to Bria on the phone yesterday (Sunday), and we briefly brought up books we were planning on reading. And we both expressed how, for some reason, it is SO DIFFICULT to get into fiction reading now. 

Why is this? All I read back in high school was fiction. Now, I have such a hard time trying to place myself within a fictional world and mindset. And that used to be my favorite thing when reading fiction; being a part of a world or situation that wasn’t my own.

Maybe it’s because, as an adult with all sorts of adulting responsibilities, my world is already hard enough to maneuver. I don’t need another fiction universe with its fictional problems to stress me out when I have things to deal with in reality. 

But I kind of do this when I watch Netflix – I escape into the BAU or Tree Hill or the White House alongside Olivia Pope, and I long to be a part of their world. Maybe it’s just easier to do this because the world and its characters are created for you, so there’s no need to put any effort into it.

This makes me sad. I don’t wanna lose that enchantment I had when I was curled up on the couch reading fiction books, so caught up in the story that I couldn’t hear my mom talking to me. It’s depressing to think that I can’t just imagine myself somewhere else without feeling like maybe I won’t be able to “fall” for these fantasy tales anymore.

Along with this sense of somewhat lost wonder in fiction, has come a strong love for nonfiction. Since I took a nonfiction writing class in my last semester of college, I’m always looking in the recent biography or memoir section when I’m at the library or Barnes and Noble. I do look at the fiction section too, but it leans more towards the classics, and less toward the detective or mystery fiction I used to hold dear.

Speaking of classics, I tweeted several days ago about how Bria and I somehow graduated both high school and college without reading some of the main classics out there; books such as The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, To Kill a Mockingbird (I actually read this for fun in college, convicted that I had never indulged in such a classic book. I thought  it was okay…maybe I should read it again). 

And maybe this is all just because I’m getting older, and things change, and it’s not a bad thing. Interests change all the time. But as a writer too, I don’t want to disengage myself from reading fiction stories, from truly diving in and asking myself What is the writer trying to say here? and dissecting it, and also learning about the writing style as I read too.

I briefly spoke to my good friend/writing buddy Rachel yesterday about how it’s interesting how now we read books and stories that we’d read or heard when we were kids, and we have a totally different perspective on the story now. Something Rachel said was…

…I’m realizing I don’t know as much about them as I should! So I wanted to read them (The Lord of the Rings series) as an adult now.

And it’s made me think of all the books I sped through as a kid, or even as a teenager, just wanting to put another read book under my bookworm belt. But did I gain anything from that story? Did I learn anything? Did my views on life change because of what I read? This has all been very convicting. It’s making me want to go back to all those detective/thriller novels, and read them again to get a better understanding of, not just the story and its morals, but the author and the writing as well.

I am currently reading a fiction book by Toni Morrison – The Bluest Eye. And so far, I’ve been pretty hooked, which leaves me thankful that I’m not completely disconnected from the fictional world. And it’s also nice because I resonate with it in some ways. I felt the emotions and thoughts that are being portrayed in that book. I’ll definitely have to write a book review on it. And in that review, I’ll write whether or not it was hard for me to be engaged in the tale or not because it was fiction.

What do you think about the connection between fiction stories and growing up? Have you lost interest in fiction stories, or have you become more entranced by them knowing that you’ll be able to understand them more since you’re more mature than you were before?

#JustStartWriting #FromtheDrafts

Mishy