To Be Kind.

Today, I officially started “the grind” towards the goals I have with my spoken word / poetry. I’ve had so many ideas floating around in my mind, and I’m finally taking steps towards them coming to fruition, all the while still learning how to take steps in taking care of myself in the process. Nothing is able to be done if I don’t take care of myself, and respect myself in the ways I need to.

Along with this first day of “the grind,” I started with a challenge. And now, I’m determined to have a challenge to accomplish with all the goals I have to accomplish as well.

Today’s challenge: Say something kind to someone you find it hard to be kind to.

I find myself silently, or even verbally judging those with whom I find it hard to click with. Maybe we don’t vibe well, or maybe that person, in my eyes, is too proud or rude, the list goes on. But, a tweet / IG story by Reyna Biddy I think spurred me onto this challenge…

“don’t be too quick to call somebody weird because they’re different from you.”

After reading this, I thought to myself, How many times have I called someone “weird” because they were different than me? What is that person going through? Why am I so adamant about being myself despite other people’s opinions, when that person could be being themselves, and I’m judging them for it?

So, I decided to challenge myself (and anyone else who follows me on social media) to say something kind to someone I didn’t necessarily like, or maybe someone I deemed different than myself. I thought it would be easy, honestly; not that I find it hard to be kind to a lot of people, but I thought that I would have had someone specific in mind.

But truthfully, I’m sitting at Starbucks, and I haven’t accomplished this challenge yet. And it’s dinner time. And I thought I would’ve run into someone that I didn’t necessarily click with, and be able to give them a kind word, but I’ve run into people, and there isn’t necessarily anyone I would say that I find it hard to be kind to.

I mean, maybe; it’s not like I’m looking for people to hate haha! But I think this challenge of kindness has made me think about the genuineness of my kindness.

Because, there’s this little thing called “southern hospitality” – you know, where you’re kind to someone to their face, because it’s the polite thing to do, but later when you’re with your friends or family, you talk about them in a different way than you would have when they were standing in front of you. And while I have been kind to many people today, and they aren’t any people I find it hard to be kind to…was I being sincere?

Did I really care that they lived in a certain area, or that they were working on “x, y, z”? Was I asking the typical “how are you?” questions because I actually cared, or because I just wanted to avoid the awkwardness of talking to someone I hadn’t seen in a long time? Was I so stuck in the “southern hospitality” mindset, or just the being polite in general mindset, that I couldn’t tell if I was being genuinely kind or not?

I would like to think that I was being sincere with my kindness; that I wasn’t just being nice for the minute or two I was talking with someone. But I don’t know…a challenge like that just makes you think about the day-to-day things, people, and situations you encounter.

With that in mind, I do still encourage everyone to be kind, and be sincere about it; don’t just say something to check it off a list, or to accomplish a goal. Truly be kind because you don’t know what people are going through, and a kind, encouraging word can go a long way for someone, whether you like them or not.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“no. 91217”

My hand is outstretched, and my heart hopes you take it.
Sometimes when you do, I feel like I’m standing in a room with a crowd full of people
Completely naked,
And so many things are being thrown at me.
So many questions, comments, complaints, concerns and
I just wanted to share something with you – a lesson
I recently learned in my life.
Our hands held tightly together, I didn’t realize
The commitment
I’d signed up for.
I wasn’t aware that I’d be stripped down to the core of my being,
That piece after piece of me would be taken
With nothing left for myself, it seems.

Yet, this is what I long to do.
I long for you to feel the deep understanding of someone
You have never met. Someone you never knew.
And in this moment, we connect.
But you’ve attempted to trace it back to me
And I’m unsettled…
I don’t want to regret the choice I made
To open myself up.

I only want you to take what I’ve given and
See for yourself how it applies to the
Situations, people, places
In your life.
Don’t look back at me and try to analyze it all.
Please.

I kind of want a piece of me back.
More than one, if that’s okay.
It’s not that I don’t want you to know who I am.
I’d love to get to know you too.
But there’s a line that needs to be drawn, I think,
And whether that’s up to me, or you,
I’m not sure.

Because this is who I am. So do I need to change?
Rearrange the way I give my hand out
So as not to hand out every single part of me?
Maybe space is what I need,
But my goal is to draw you near,
And I fear that if I go too far away
My hand won’t reach you wherever you
Stand, sit, lie, or stay.

But there’s got to be some sort of distance between us.
Yes, there must be.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

Changes…in Speech

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading my Bible, and as I was reading through a few chapters of Proverbs, several verses focused on speech, language, the lips, the mouth, and the tongue…(all verses are taken from the English Standard Version)

From Proverbs 15…

“The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.” –  verse 2 

“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” – verse 4

“The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.” – verse 7

From Proverbs 16…

“Righteous lips are the delight of a king and he loves him who speaks what is right.” – verse 13

“The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.” – verse 23

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” – verse 24 

From Proverbs 17…

“Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.” – verse 27

From Proverbs 18…

“The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” – verse 4

And honestly, these references got me thinking about convictions I’d been thinking about for a while about the way I speak – the words I use, why I use them, what exactly is considered “perverse speech,” what is acceptable/unacceptable to say, what is slander?

I feel like I’ve heard before that in the Bible when it talks about “perverse speech,” it means mostly saying the Lord’s name in vain. Don’t quote me on that though…I’m not exactly sure.

As for slander, well, that’s talking about other people – gossiping, bringing people down. I can’t say that I never do those things, because I’d be lying.

Another thing I will be honest about: as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been using more cuss words when I speak, mostly among my peers, and a lot more so when I’m alone muttering under my breath, or when I’m frustrated about something. Instead of skipping the cuss words in songs, I sing them out boldly. And this all began about a year ago after so many songs that described the way I was feeling were released, and they all had cuss words in them. I justified singing them because using the profanity just made it seem more powerful; it validated how passionate my emotions were.

It also doesn’t help that all my friends were / are using cuss words too. There was a point in which one of my friends and I decided to stop cussing, and I was happy I wasn’t the only one who wanted to strive to speak better. But lately, I’ve slipped back into it.

Some of you may be thinking…

Mishy…You’re An Adult…

Yeah, I know that, and society says that once you hit a certain age (which is even younger than twenty-one honestly…more like sixteen these days…maybe younger), using certain words is acceptable. At least in American culture. Many cuss words used in America are normal, every day words in other countries. Maybe even in different parts of America they’re used differently. Anyways we won’t get into that.

But cussing is just the way most young people talk; it’s the way this generation speaks to each other. Using those words just places emphasis on everything.

Something I’ve realized is that people from my generation and younger exaggerate a lot. We place emphasis on things that are truly so basic. We are all “hella extra” and proud (I admit, I am an extra person in some ways…). So we think it’s okay to use language that expresses all of these things.

But words like damnshit, the f-word that had such harsh meanings years before now basically mean nothing these days it seems. Or they’re words that replace verysooops, etc. We’ve neutralized them into just being filler words to add dramatic effect, sometimes to equally dramatic situations, but sometimes not so much.

Using words like this shouldn’t be a defining characteristic of what makes you an adult, or cool or whatever else people thinks it makes them. I’ve heard twelve-year-olds use these words, and have had to stop and wonder where in the world they heard that from. But truly, they are everywhere, being used by mostly everyone.

I know you’re probably thinking I’m dissecting this way too much; why do I care so much about the words I use? Why can’t I just stop cussing, move on, and not blog about it? Well, for one, it’s content soooo…

Another thing is that words are so powerful. So powerful. I mean, people get their feelings hurt every day, how? Words. Decisions are made using words. Words play a huge role in life. And as a now preschool teacher, I definitely need to watch what I say so as not to influence the little ones I teach in terrible speech (oo, you read that rhyme in there?).

But it’s not just because I teach two-year-olds. Words are such a big deal to me personally. They’re what I want my career to be based off of. They’re a part of my major dream as a writer and spoken word artist. I have a whole site based on a mantra that “Your words matter,” yet I’m slinging words around in my every day speech as if I truly don’t believe that. As if the words I use don’t have some affect or display of the knowledge and wisdom within my mind. As if they don’t have the power to heal, to influence, to give delight to someone because I am speaking what is right.

Never have I ever felt the need to use cuss words or anything like that in my writing, be it blogging or spoken word. I feel like as a writer and speaker, valuing the integrity of my words is a major part of who I am and what I do. Am I saying that other writers who choose to use words like the ones I’ve mentioned do not stand for the value of words? No, of course not. As writers themselves, they choose how and what words can be used to express their feelings and thoughts about their perspective of the world. I’m not here to judge other writers and the words they use, I’m here to evaluate myself, and how I feel about the words I am using.

And I strive to be a person that people look at, and don’t have to question whether or not it’s okay for their child or their loved one who is more sensitive to the use of words, to read or hear what I have to say. Again, I’m not saying everyone is wrong for using cuss words. However, I am saying that maybe it is wrong for me to use them.

So, I am now in the process of changing my speech; of being more aware of what I say, and how I say it. I want whatever I say and write to be pleasing to God, and I just feel like not using certain words is my personal way of doing that. That, plus also lessening the gossiping; I’ve written a blog post previously about not talking negatively about people. I have a specific event every Monday (#MotivationalMishyMondays) on Instagram live that aims to encourage and build people up. What would it be like if those same people who came to that live heard me talking smack about someone while I was at work, or out with a friend? It’s so difficult to not gossip because it’s so easy to do, and everyone does it. Everyone. It’s still a challenge for me to lessen it, and stop altogether, but I want to strive to do so.

I’m going to end with the main Bible verse I use when I think about my writing and my speaking…

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14 (ESV)

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

Changes…in Places.

Today…was an adventure.

I don’t think you guys know this, but soon, the lease I have with my current apartment will be ending, so I need a new place to live. I’m trying to live with one of my best friends from college, who is already looking for places so she can move in as soon as possible. So today, she said she found a place that looked perfect – she said it looked like something she’d always envisioned living in with a really good friend. After seeing the pictures and hearing the price, I was excited to check it out.

After work, we hopped in her car, and drove towards the house. But while we were in traffic, my friend got a text from the house-viewing contact, saying that the property was sold. I can’t even express the frustration my friend had; she’s been hopping from house to house for a minute, and is just looking for some stability. But right after the text about the property being sold, the contact texted her again, saying there was another place available, and he sent us the address. So, we began making our way there, even though it was in an area we didn’t want to rent in. More and more, my friend and I were getting frustrated at this guy for stringing us along, telling us to go from this place to that.

We finally started driving a good fifteen to twenty minutes out, ready to see any house at that point, and hoping we’d meet this guy who’d been telling us to go from one place to another. But when we finally reached our destination, no one was there. The house looked pretty nice from the outside, and there was a note posted on the front door.

My friend walked up to the door to read the sign, and try to put in the combination (0000) into the door lock. But of course, the combination didn’t work. So, my friend decides to call the property company number that’s on the sign, and we find out that the number she’s been texting is not at all associated with that management company.

And while my friend was on the phone, a Lyft van drives up and parks right behind our car, and I honestly start to panic a little after no one exits it for a few minutes.

Despite the disappointment of being scammed on a house, we were able to setup a viewing of an apartment tomorrow, and that at least made me feel more at ease about today’s crazy misadventure.

But maybe it wasn’t a misadventure at all. Who knows, maybe the apartment we got a viewing for tomorrow will be the one, and maybe it won’t.

As we drove back towards home to the sound of MAX’s “Lights Down Low,” we passed by all the different landmarks of our journey of life in Chattanooga so far – the pink building with green === that Caylin used to live in. The Camphouse, a coffee house we would frequent regularly in the winter time to work on our music and writing. The public library, where I would got every Saturday morning to edit videos for the vlog I was never able to really shape. Good ole City Cafe, one of the best places open 24-hours a day that provides good, greasy food, and giant delicious cakes. And finally, the Convention Center, where we graduated from college almost two years ago.

“Cause, baby, we’re just reckless kids
Trying to find an island in the flood.”

Even though that line in the song is meant in a different way, it fit perfectly with the current situation – just two girls trying to find some sort of stability within a crazy time of life. Things are changing – the summer season is starting to set. Our job is beginning its own transition. Our living situation is unforeseeable. Seeing all of those landmarks caused me to feel such a major nostalgia, and I wondered where our next landmark would be.

Our small detour today was inconvenient, for sure. And even though I can be more positive because I still have a solid place to live for one more month, I do have faith that God is going to provide something. I don’t know what it is, where it is, or what it looks like. But I know it’s going to be exactly what we need.

#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

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 🦋✨