Two Years Ago…

This morning, my newly downloaded Google photos app notified me that I should look back on this day, two years ago. Curious, I opened the notification to pictures of me, my sister, and my best friend Bria at Mojo Burrito and then at an Issues concert.

I remember the day like it was yesterday.

Two years ago today, it was a school night; a Thursday. I probably got someone to cover my library work shift so I could go to this concert. Before leaving town, the three of us got dinner at Mojo Burrito, then  made our way to Atlanta. I remember realizing we were going to be late to the concert, which meant it would probably be harder to try to find parking for the venue, and we might miss some good opening acts.

My usual self would be visibly frustrated, to the point in which my sister would attempt to calm me down, but only irritate me more, which would then cause Bria to truly calm me down. But I clearly remember making the conscious decision to just let everything play out instead of worrying and freaking out, which made the car ride down more enjoyable.

And when we got to the venue after sitting through some typical Atlanta traffic? A couple left their parking spot that was right across the street from the venue, and I was able to perfectly parallel park into it. When we got into the venue, we’d missed one or two opening acts, but we were still able to catch the main two bands we wanted to see (PVRIS and Issues), plus we got to meet Bad Seed Rising after the show too.

The night ended with a trip to McDonald’s for fries and a large sweet tea, what would become a regular post-concert snack for me. And once we got back to campus at like 2:30am, Bria and I were still awake enough to take a picture of us wearing our Issues shirts.

And I remember at the end of the night thinking and expressing to Bria how I’d just let go of the frustrations I was wanting to hold onto, and allowed God to move throughout the night, and He’d provided in so many awesome ways. He didn’t have to, but he did, and it was awesome to be a part of that amazing night.

Crazy how that was all two years ago; how I could remember all those details, and remember that that was probably one of the first nights I actively trusted God with a situation, and I watched Him provide. Two years later, and I would see so many more of these kinds of situations in my life, and I’m grateful for every single one of them, and how they’ve all shaped me, my faith, my perspective.

With me actively getting back to work with writing and whatnot, this was the type of reminder I needed: that I could let go of the fear, the worry, the frustration that this process has the potential to cause, and just have faith that God will work His way through every single detail.

Happy Saturday, luvvies, aka my favorite day of the week! Whatever you’ve got going on today, I pray that you’ll release any fears, worries, and frustrations; call on God; and watch Him work through your circumstances. He hears you. He knows your heart and your desires. Trust in Him.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

Changes…in Blogging/Writing?

So, clearly it has been a minute since I’ve blogged. The past several days have been crazy, and last night it culminated into me being extremely tired and just needing sleep.

And during those past several days, I’ve been wondering if I should change the way I blog to you all. I’ve been seeing the way some of my favorite bloggers blog – writing a post or two here and there, maybe once or twice a week, and their content is so relevant and real and truthful, and I’m sitting here wondering if the way I’m blogging is just too much for me, and isn’t the best way to blog.

A little over a year ago, I challenged myself to blog every day, forcing myself to write every day so that I could get better at writing. And granted, I’ve missed a good amount of days throughout, but overall, I’ve blogged so much more overall in the past year than I have in the past maybe four or five years since I’ve started blogging.

But I’m wondering if me just trying to rush a post out to you every day is really doing anything. Is it really giving you the best of me as a writer? Am I just getting sloppy in the writing I’ve done / am doing? Am I only giving half of myself over to you as I try to work on other writing projects I have, and if so, is that fair to you? Is it fair to me?

I’ve been wrestling with these thoughts, and here are some conclusions I’ve come up with…

It’s My Fault

The way I feel about blogging every day right now – like it’s rushed, like the content I’m putting out isn’t enough, like I’m boring you guys with insignificant details in my life – it’s all my fault really. Truly, if I could just prioritize the things in my life correctly, maybe blogging things won’t be so hard or painful for me sometimes. Not that there won’t be days in which I sit at my computer and think, “Dude…I have nothing to write about, what am I going to write about??” But I feel like less of that would come with better planning on my part.

Yet what do I do? I don’t plan. I work and write I feel on a whim, and I sometimes feel like it’s all rushed. Maybe I work well under pressure. Who am I kidding, I say that, but while I’m working like that, I’m stressed as all get out!

So, as always, some priorities need to be shifted. I write this, yet will I actually shift anything? Hopefully. Someone keep me accountable, please, I beg.

A Break

Blogging to you guys only two or three times a week would be an amazing break for me, honestly. It would give me more time during the day to do other things I need to do. It would give you guys an expectation of when the blogs will be coming out and when they wouldn’t (because right now, y’all may be expecting a blog post every day, and clearly that isn’t happening).

Better Content

Only blogging a few times a week would give me the chance to write better content for you guys, I think. Especially when it comes to deeper subjects – I can’t even tell you how many things I want to write to you all about, yet I feel like I can’t just crank it out in an hour or however long I have in my day to blog. Maybe I just need to do it to challenge myself. I just feel like I want to make sure what I’m writing to you all is understandable, and reflects my thoughts and opinions as best as it can.

And when I’m trying to write a blog every day, I feel like it isn’t my best sometimes; I feel like I’m just throwing some words out there for you all so I can say, “Yes, I blogged today! Another day in a row that I’ve done this!” I don’t want this to become a checklist thing, or a thing that I dread doing; I want to do it so that my writing and communication is growing and being challenged.

#JustStartWriting

Truly, the whole blogging every day thing was based on #JustStartWriting, which is now it’s own thing – it has its own website, and still has the same meaning and motto, it’s just now out there for more writers to be a part of. It’s no longer a solo thing of mine that I do.

However, this is where my thoughts on actually just posting whenever I have “good content” stop. Because when I look back on the year I’ve had with my writing, #JustStartWriting really shaped my writing – it got me actually writing instead of just wishing I was writing. It challenged me to really think about my day, and pay attention to what was happening in my life so that later, I could write about it. Just because #JSW is now it’s own separate thing, it doesn’t give me permission to drop the way I personally write.

Why am I going to have a separate site based in just starting to write to get past the fear, the laziness, the whatever else to write if I’m not willing to do that myself? Granted, I could “just start write” in my journal, or you know, on this book I’ve been wanting to write.

But I think blogging is just in my blood; like I feel so weird skipping out on writing here (except Sundays, that’s a given). I honestly think it’s because of gotten busy and lazy. Busier with trying to keep up with the new sites I’ve got, and also trying to work on and release spoken word poems I’ve been writing. More lazy in the fact that there are times in which I could blog, and I just don’t feel the draw, or I don’t feel like I have something good enough to write about. Also lazy in the fact that I haven’t been paying that much attention to my surroundings as much as I used to. I feel like my days run like clockwork, and I don’t take the time to really take in what’s happening. Therefore, my writing is lacking.

 

All this to say – I’m still going to try my best to blog every day. I won’t succeed all the time, obviously, but I still want this to be a priority of mine. I want it to still be an important part of my writing journey. And if I’m encouraging other writers out there to just start writing – to not let the fear of their writing not being good enough, the laziness of only dreaming of writing and being great at it, or the other worries or excuses that conjure up in their mind keep them from writing – then I need to keep on writing as best as I can.

So, no changes in the vision. Changes in the execution of the vision, however, are in the process of being made. Stay tuned – I’m going to try to do this better than I have been.

#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

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

 

Healing from Heartbreak

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." – Psalm 147:3 (ESV)


This verse stood out to me this morning during my devotions because recently there have been several people who have told me about them hurting, or feeling heartbroken. The situations aren't all romantically related; admit it, when you see or hear the words "heartbreak" or "broken-hearted," the first thing you think about is a romantic relationship. And there's nothing wrong with that at all!

But I think as I read this verse, I thought about the different types of heartbreak, or the different things that can cause our hearts to break – the death of someone close to you, the loss of a great opportunity or of even an item that meant something to you, rejection from a team or group, the list can go on.

Not only are there different reasons for heartbreak, but there are also different ways in which we cope with heartbreak. We cry, we vent to our friends and family, we try to do other things to distract us from our heartbreak, we even shut down completely, unable to handle the hurt we feel.

I can think back to a time when I felt some deep heartbreak. It felt like there was a weight, not just in my chest, but on my back as well. It's amazing to me how much emotions can affect our physical selves. But what was my initial reaction to the heartbreak? What/who did I turn to to try to ease the pain, stop the hurt?

Honestly, I try to deal with the heartbreak that I have alone sometimes. It's not that I'm ashamed for people to know that I'm hurting, I think it's because as a Christian I sometimes feel silly feeling such a heavy weight on my heart over something so trivial compared to other bigger issues in the world. How can I be crying over being rejected by someone when there is someone out there right now without a roof over their head? I don't want to compare sadness or hurts, but I think that's what I end up doing, and I end up believing that my hurt isn't valid or "big enough" to be a heartbreaking thing.

Then, if I feel like I've handled my hurt as best as I can on my own, I turn to my family, my close friends, sometimes to music that will uplift me out of the mess I find myself in. And all of these things are great things to reach out to when dealing with heartbreak. However, I sometimes find that the hole created by heartbreak still isn't

The verse above though is so encouraging. Growing up in a Christian household, I remember my parents telling me to go to God with my problems, and I believed that I could, but I also had some doubt that He even cared about the smaller things in my life, like if I got rejected by someone, or if I lost something, or if I didn't get the job I wanted.

I mean, since then, God has been faithful in so many ways in my life, but I feel like this verse was a great reminder for me; when the things of this world cannot comfort me, cannot soothe my aching soul, I can go before the One Who knows me best, and he can heal my broken heart, and mend my wounds. I know to some that may sound supernatural and religious, but I can't express the peace I've felt simply by bringing my hurts to my Heavenly Father, as silly as they may seem to me, and how much I've seen Him care about them.

This verse is an encouragement piece. A confirmation. An assurance that there is a solution to a broken heart, even if it doesn't seem like there is while I'm dealing with it.

And I hope you find some encouragement in that as well!

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“Today I Affirm…” with Alex Elle, Day 4 – Despite the Failure

"Today I Affirm…"

"my failures will not stop me from enjoying the journey." – Alex Elle

Words: "Enjoy," "Journey," "Failure"

The morning mantra for this is as follows: "I am allowed to fail. I am allowed to succeed. My worth is not contingent on my ability to avoid shortcomings. I am worthy through my good times and my bad. I will enjoy my journey fully, truly, and without apology." – Alex Elle

This is honestly perfect for today because from the moment I woke up this morning, I encountered a few small failures.

The first one? Forgetting to take my contacts out before going to bed last night. So I woke up wondering why my vision was slightly blurry, and why I couldn't really open my eyes fully. That would be why.

The second one? I got to work and, after thirty minutes of being there, realized I should have been there an hour ago. Oops. It was my first week with this new schedule change, and I'd completely forgotten. And I felt terrible because I'd let my co-teacher deal with seven one-year-olds for a solid hour or so all by herself. Oh boy.

And the last one? I was expecting to record a new spoken word poem tonight with a friend, and when I went to text him to make sure he was still coming, I realized I never answered his text from earlier this week about pushing back our time. So, who knows if that's even happening anymore tonight.

On top of those three failures, I haven't gone to the gym nearly as often as I normally do, and my eating habits have been total crap all week. If you were to ask me what I think my main source of food has been this week, I may answer chocolate. Whether or not that's true, I can't tell you. I just know that a whole ton of it has been consumed, more so than in the past few weeks. And I don't feel good about it.

You're probably reading all of that and thinking, Mishy, what. Okay, so what you did all those things, it's whatever.

But I don't take failures well because, as some of you already know from reading past posts of mine, I'm a perfectionist. Ever since I was a child, and realized the difference between a success and a failure, I vowed to myself that I'd be the one making all successes, and taking no "L's" ("losses" for those who don't know the slang), and it wasn't a good time for me or those around me when I failed. As I've grown older, I've done way better at accepting failures, but I still have my moments. Like today's three little failures didn't really affect me much; I did mentally kick myself a little though.

One of the failures I still take really hard though is when I repeat a mistake. Have you ever done that? Have you done something, failed, then tried again later in a different way, but then it still resulted in the same failure? I'm not talking about if you're trying to achieve a good goal and you try different ways to get there, and you fail in different ways. That's a part of learning and growing; it's a part of the process, the journey.

I'm talking about making a mistake, thinking you learned from that mistake, and vowing to yourself that you'll never make it again, and then getting yourself back in the same situation only through a different route. Even though you avoided the way in which the failure happened the first time, you somehow find yourself back at the same failure, only through a different outlet. Does that happen to anyone else? Is what I'm saying even making sense?

Anyways, even if I'm not making sense, I will say that I think failures are crucial to the journey. Elle says that "Just because we fail once, twice, or a few times, that doesn't mean we lose sight of the chances to start anew," and it's so true. I sometimes feel like when I fail, I've missed the opportunity for anything good to come out of that attempt, when really, I can still attempt again, and I can fail or maybe I'll succeed. It doesn't hurt to try; I can't be afraid to fail, or I'll never reach new heights in the things I want to accomplish.

And it's hard to sometimes push past the failures I've made. Am I the only one who sometimes sits there, and suddenly thinks of a time when I failed miserably at something, and I physically cringe because it hurts for me to think about it? I don't do this quite as often, but it still happens every once in a while. But again – without the failures, I would have never learned anything, and my journey would have never brought me to where I am today.

I also believe the Lord uses our failures to draw us closer to Him. If we never failed, we wouldn't have to rely so heavily on Him for direction, peace, wisdom. We are only human; imperfect beings in need of a perfect Savior. And failures are a major part of that journey! That doesn't mean we should want to fail; it just means we can expect to, and be okay with it, and be okay with learning something from it.

So, as I sit here, embracing my failures of the day, I am committed to enjoying the time I had today to live my life, and to take some major steps towards this journey of mine. Despite my failures, there were some successes: I was able to bring in a couple of more people into the #JustStartWriting family today. I got to run my errands after getting off of work at two o'clock. And even though I don't get to record my spoken word piece tonight, that means I get more time to practice saying it, and making it what I want it to be and sound like so I can perfect it when the time is right. And I get more time to do other things tonight!

Still so much to be grateful for despite the failures of the day. It's all just a part of life, and I thank God for it all.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“Today I Affirm…” with Alex Elle: Day 3 – Joy Beyond Circumstances

Today I Affirm…

"my circumstances can shape my joy – both good and bad. It's all about how I look at things. Through it all, I am blessed beyond measure." – Alex Elle

Words: "Beyond," "Circumstance," "Joy"

Ooo, this is a particularly good topic to write about, especially this week. Since Monday, this week has been sort of "bleh." I normally try to stay in a positive mood despite what's going on around me, and it's not that anything extremely negative has happened to cause me to be in a sort of funk, but I've just been feeling a little down this week. Work has been a little harder; we're in the last summer session before the school year starts, so we've added numbers to classes, and teachers are trying to prepare for the transition into the school year. Meanwhile, I need to prepare for the transition from a floater to a teacher, something I'm a little intimidated about.

There are other smaller things in my life I'm unhappy with, but seeing those things in comparison to the big picture of where my life is right now, I question why there isn't more joy in my heart right now. Because despite the hard week, God has been opening doors I didn't think would ever open. He's proven Himself faithful in little things time and time again, and I have to remind myself that, even though my circumstances aren't where I want them to be right now, I don't have to sulk about it, or just accept that things are crappy. My hope and joy are found in the Lord, and He knows and sympathizes with where I am.

Some questions Alex Elle asked about this subject are…

How are you preparing for joy?

When I think of "preparing for joy," I think of the moments in which I am sitting alone in my room or in my car, about to face something or someone, or even about to work on the things I love, and I have to tell myself that, no matter what happens – good or bad – I have to remember to be joyful in the moment. Easier said than done, but that's what I have to do.

I don't think there are other steps I take in order to prepare for joy, but I feel like there needs to be more. Simply telling myself that doesn't mean I'll actually have joy when things don't go as I planned for them to. When I used to live on Tybee, I had all of these Bible verses and encouraging quotes on my wall, and I think picking one of those and physically having it with me as I go throughout my day to look at could help me to choose joy more often than not. That's also why memorizing Scripture is important too.

What is stopping you from going above and beyond?

Fear and worry are two things that come to mind. They always go hand-in-hand; I'm afraid something won't happen the way I want it to, so I end up worrying myself over it instead of taking action if it needs to be done.

Dwelling on my circumstances is another thing that stops me from embracing joy. I want to be able to use my negative situations to confirm that I can be a certain way, or get out of doing things I should be doing.

In what ways can you learn from your circumstance(s)?

Instead of seeing the negative aspects of a negative situation, I can focus on the positive things that are coming out of where I am. Sure, I may be tired from my job, but hey, I have a job, and some people struggle every day to find one. And my job is truly one of the best I've had because of who I work with and what we do.

In other ways, if I'm able to trace back a lesson through a past circumstance, I can take that and remind myself that there are always new things to be learned from all situations, and I can try to see how I can learn and grow within the current circumstance I'm in.

Wanting to have joy beyond circumstances is an easy idea to say and to want to execute, but actually having to do it takes a lot of effort. And I thank God that He is with me every step of the way to help me slow down or pause, and look at my situations with a positive and big-picture perspective. And I'm also thankful that, when I cannot find any way to have hope or joy, He is there willing to strengthen me, wanting me to rest in His joy.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨