“Inspired by ‘The Souls of Free Folk’ by Josiah Golson” – A Poem

With today being the last day of February i.e. Black History Month, and also #WakandaWednesday (took this from Lupita Nyong’o on Instagram 🙏🏽), I have decided to release the written version of a poem I wrote at the beginning of February that was inspired by my dear friend Josiah Golson’s book The Souls of Free Folk. His masterpiece pushed me to really think about my own story of my melanin — how growing up with a white stepfather and Asian mother affected my views on being black, and how it honestly made me less aware of the black culture and some of the struggles within it. I sought to be a part of my black culture, but didn’t feel like I could because I was raised differently, and had never experienced things that my fellow black friends, brothers, and sisters had experienced. Add this with some questions from high school classmates and friends, and I became highly insecure in my biological blackness, and lack of living out stereotypical black culture.

I am grateful that the parents who raised me, and even my parents who lived away from me never made me feel like I was incapable of anything just because of my skin tone. They acknowledged our biological differences, but never made me feel less than; I was always assured that I was beautiful, intelligent, and capable. And being told these things growing up – especially by a white, male father figure – I feel like it caused me to have a mindset that didn’t see me as inferior to white people most of the time.

But now that I am older, I long to be more aware of the fight for equality that people of color are still fighting for. Not only do I want to be more aware, but I want to learn and understand how I can do my part and use my voice and love on the black community as well as other cultures and races.

And so, here are the thoughts that came to mind on February 3rd, after attending Josiah’s book release…

“Inspired by The Souls of Free Folk by Josiah Golson”

I returned to my home with a spark turned ablaze —

A spark that had always longed to be ignited by more than just the

Guilt and shame of inexperience,

Lack of understanding and some


Not to mention some lost identity…

The years I’d wasted thinking I was exempt from such

Hostility simply because of the color of

My family’s skin.

As I grew older and these issues took the spotlight with pressing matters,

My attempts to care and want to have an opinion also grew.

But what could I offer, what could I do

As an interracial girl raised amongst

Mostly white culture

Who’d honestly forgotten and

Somewhat abandoned that piece of her…

At least mentally I did.

But physically, it was there and it still is.

And I feel a responsibility a

Duty to my ancestors, to my family

To speak up, to support

All my black brothers and sisters.

I’ve stayed silent for too long,

Afraid of others’ thoughts on my story my

Lack of struggle,

When really, the life I’ve lived is one that all black people are fighting for:

One in which there is no question of if I’m capable of achieving something

Just because I’m black.

No fear of what other people can do to me

Because I’m black

No caution in any interactions just to stay alive no

Depression from not being chosen

Because the competition was white.

I’m not saying I’ve had the perfect life all black people long to live but

My story is one of massive privilege that not many of my brothers and sisters can say they’ve had.

And it aches my heart and soul to see that

The life I’ve lived isn’t the norm for all.

And with this flame, I long to speak life and love and care to

My black brothers and sisters —

To firmly stand beside them as they continue to fight for equality,

To proudly be aware of my own black heritage to

Embrace it with all that I am.

To remind each and every one of them that,

Yes, luvvies,

Your lives do matter, and

You are kings and queens, you

Are capable of accomplishing anything and becoming anyone you want to be because

Your dreams aren’t defined by

The color of your skin, no.

Yes, claim your heritage proudly, and

Remember those other things

Come from within.

#MishyWrites 🦋

“Remember Surrender”

Tread carefully, dear luvvy.

It may seem brave to jump off cliffs and

Into dark waters in which you believe you can

Save something or someone or

Even yourself

From pain, suffering, being alone,

Doubt, and all the like,

But you could endanger yourself unnecessarily or

Hinder a lesson from being learned

Instead of actually being a help.

Yes, it is thoughtful, and kind to care but

Sometimes all someone or something needs is your prayers because

You are not capable of saving. No.

Remember, you surrendered a long time ago so

Step back, and take a breath.

And just let God handle the rest.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“Who am I?”

Who am I to say, “They won’t come to You”?

I sit here as if I am wise enough,

Thirsty enough,

Good enough to know that

I need saving.

Yet I have rebelled time and time again

Against You, as if I wasn’t saved at all.

How can I harden my heart towards them,

And claim that I am trying to speak Your Name?

I am no different than them; we are the same – all sinners in need of a grace

So vast and triumphant that it takes everything within our beings

To praise something so sacrificial,

Something so beautiful.

I am not the judge of your salvation or mine,

Or his or hers or theirs,

I am simply a broken vessel whom the Lord has graciously allowed to be used.

And being used isn’t easy; it isn’t popular, it isn’t fun all the time.

It’s a huge privilege, and a heavy task.

It’s a great commission, and an intimidating call.

It’s a wonderful thing to realize you’ve been asked to speak the Truth into the hearts of those who know the Lord, and those who have no clue at all.

~ written sometime in July 2017

#MishyWrites #12DaysofPoetry

take your time

I am in no way, shape, or form, perfect.

And even though I know this fact, I had never felt it so much until yesterday when I felt like so much of my life was completely out of my control. I felt like the weights of different things in my life that I’d been carrying had finally all come crashing down on me, and I felt powerless to do anything. I felt stupid for making decisions that brought me to this point, and I wondered why in the world things started to crumble right when I felt like things started to actually work out for the better.

A call from my dad reminded me of my imperfections, and how in these times, I am to lean on Christ even more so. Again, I knew this; the answer seemed so simple, yet while I was standing there, emotions running high, thoughts wildly going back and forth in my mind, it was hard to see which path was the correct one.

And I am sitting here writing this to say that it’s okay to lose it a little. If we never lost it, we would never realize just how much we need the stability of Jesus to remind us that He’s got us; that He has everything we need, and all we need to do is go to Him.

Honestly, I am also sitting here and thinking of all the things I could freak out about: today is November first and, hello, the #JustStartWriting website hasn’t been updated yet. Things did / didn’t happen this week that I weren’t expecting. I’ve got ideas I want to set in motion, but I haven’t even found set times to really execute them. I honestly expected to have my life all together after my week of no social media, but this week is proving that that isn’t so.

And you know what? IT’S OKAY.

This doesn’t mean I should brush off any responsibilities I may have (the #JustStartWriting website should update by tomorrow!), but it does mean that I don’t have to be so harsh with myself if I can’t get everything done when I want it done. I am only human. God is teaching me right now to just breathe, to take my time during the process of things, to be okay when things don’t get done when I expected them to be. And to also go to Him, and ask for help in accomplishing the things I would like to get done. It doesn’t mean they’ll get done quicker; shoot, they may actually take longer than I really wanted. But God’s timing is always perfect, and this is a fact I know, but only now am I truly understanding.

I am really just striving to still be faithful with every day the Lord’s blessed me with. We are never guaranteed another twenty-four hours of life, so whatever we are given, we must make it count, not to bring glory to ourselves, but glory to God.

So, rest in the arms of the Lord. Handle your business, but don’t be upset if it all doesn’t get done in the time you wanted it to be done.

Take your time today, luvvies.

#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.


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 🦋✨

The Divine Zero.

It was the summer of 2015, the summer right before my senior year of college.

This time was initially stressful for me because I felt the pressure of having to get a job, but also the pressure of realizing that this would be my last summer to have “play time.” The summer after my senior year of college, I’d have to have a job, not just to occupy time, but to sustain myself. There would be no more summer breaks after this one. So, I had to make it count.

I was blessed to be able to spend the entire summer with my dad and stepmom, Honey, out in California. And along with the very relaxing days, we did a whole lot of stuff. One of those things being painting at my aunt’s little pottery shop, where we could pick an item like a plate, mug, etc. and paint it. She would then put it in the kiln, and it would come out all glossy looking.

Well, during this time, my favorite alternative, punk rock band, Pierce the Veil released their first single since their last album Collide with the Sky, which was released in 2012. It was titled, “The Divine Zero.”

As soon as I found out they’d released it, I listened to it on YouTube, and right after I listened to it three times or more, I bought it on iTunes. It became one of my go-to songs that summer. So it was that I would decide to paint a mug totally dedicated to “The Divine Zero.”

Part of me thinks there was maybe some sort of contest within Pierce the Veil’s street team that asked or some artwork to promote their new single, but I can’t remember. I do remember working on it though, and being excited to post it on my Instagram, and onto the street team page.

I definitely tried not to let perfectionism get the best of me as I tried to paint the waves (which was definitely one of the hardest parts aside from trying to have a steady hand to paint the lyrics on there), but overall, I had fun doing it. And, of course, I listened to “The Divine Zero” a million times as I painted it to continue the flow of inspiration. By the end of the single’s first week of being released, I would have the lyrics memorized.

As I painted, I remember thinking of the times I’d previously been in my aunt’s paint shop, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get what I was envisioning in my head onto my piece of pottery. I would be on the verge of tears if I couldn’t get it right, disappointed that I couldn’t execute perfectly what my mind wanted to create.

But I remember feeling growth that summer. I was growing out of my perfectionism, embracing the unique way that I could create. And I feel like the increase in maturation that summer (in more ways than just creatively) has truly influenced who I am today as I continue to create with my words, and generally live my life as an adult.

I look at this mug now and I love it for what it is. I put a lot of work into creating it, and I wouldn’t want it to look any other way. I even put my favorite Jaime (pronounced “hi-may”) quote on the bottom! 🙂


#JustStartWriting #ObjectsTellTales

💙 Mishy 🦋

A Deal’s a Deal.

I never shop at the PINK store…unless I’m buying my favorite perfume. Or unless I was with one of my co-workers Jess, who adamantly insisted we stop in. This was one of those times.

As we walked into the store with its trendy music and underwear and work out selections, one of the clerks made us aware of the deal of the day – but $30 worth of merchandise, and you get a free mug. As soon as I heard “free mug,” I knew that I was going to be spending $30 that day. And my friend would make sure that I would too.

Not only did I find my signature scent – PINK’s “Sweet and Flirty” scent – but they were having a deal on the fragrances: buy 3 for $30.

“Look! You can get the free mug if you get three fragrances!” Jess exclaimed.

After much deliberation, sniffing, and spraying, I finally chose three fragrances. My signature scent, one called “Sunkissed” that reminded me of the smell of the beach, and another titled “Cool and Bright.” I was so excited as I walked to the counter, and the woman rung up my purchases.

“So, what color mugs does she get to choose from?” Jess asked the woman.

The woman replied, “Oh, actually, she doesn’t get the free mug. It only applies to purchases that are $30 before tax.”

Jess and I looked at each other confusedly. But…the fragrance deal was 3 for $30, right? I think both of us knew the woman was wrong, but we didn’t feel like arguing the case. The woman, who could see we were a little suspicious and disappointed, tried to make the mug seem less appealing…

“I mean, it’s okay. The mug isn’t even dishwasher safe, you have to hand wash it, and honestly, that’s sort of a deal breaker for me.”

After hearing her say that, Jess agreed, and I smiled, but thought, I hand wash everything anyway, so that doesn’t make me want the mug any less.

I walked out of that PINK store without a mug, with disappointment and a little buyer’s remorse in my heart.

We went to a jewelry store where Jess would pick out her anniversary wedding rings, and we’d eventually meet up with her husband. In some frustration, Jess explained to her husband what happened with the mug, and he said that he’d be willing to go into the PINK store and inquire about it. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but he and Jess both insisted, and off he went, my PINK shopping bag with my three fragrances in hand. Jess and I went to Great American Cookie for a couple of “double doosies” while we waited for him.

My heart sunk a little when I saw him exiting the store without a mug in his hand. But then he asked, “What color mug would you like?”

I squealed (yes, I really did), and immediately answered, “SILVER PLEASE!” And he walked back into the store, and came back out with a silver mug in a box in my PINK shopping bag, along with my fragrances.


Thank you, Uncle Bo and Aunt Jess.

#JustStartWriting #ObjectsTellTales

💙 Mishy 🦋