So…I wrote a Book.

When I was a child and asked what I wanted to be, I chose the most popular at the time. I wanted to be a nurse, a teacher, a doctor, a lawyer. Then when I got older I wanted a glamourous job, a flight attendant (at least it was marketed as glamourous), super model (though I barely reached past five feet), an actress (though I never joined drama club), a singer (though I did not develop on my natural singing voice). Then I wanted something related to the subject I loved, I wanted to do journalism, travel the world and write about these places. Then I went to university and wanted to be whatever could pay for my student loans.

So, I ended being a teacher and have been doing this ever since. Along the way I have been inspired to write for different reasons and seasons. I write when I am happy, sad and mad. When I think I have something to say and when I know I have nothing to say but want to get out what is in me before it explodes from me. Writing has been something I have always done. Being the only child in a household of adults, great grand parents to be exact, I really did not have much option. I use to read four books in one day, write in my diary every day and read every box, bag, tube or bottle with words on it. Writing has always been my friend.

So when life throws something at me I have to write it down but in my own way. I had to tell my stories as I saw fit and poetry was the most beautiful way I could.

So I wrote and published a poetry book with poems that I have been writing for over ten years. Over the years I had promised myself I would write a book, but it was not gonna be a poetry book. It was gonna be novels like the one Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote or Toni Morrison or Edwidge Danticat or Jamaica Kincaid. However, all I ended up writing were my poetries. I would read them to myself and be amazed that I wrote them. But that was all.

Then people saw them and told me I should publish them and I was mystified as to what they saw that gave them the idea that I could write anything great enough to be published. Then, much later, I realized that I was only finding excuses not to try. Excuses based on my own insecurities.

So this year I finally found the courage – with the support of some great people and dear friends – to learn more and grow, to put myself and my work out there and leave it there. I have a long way to go but this book is the step I needed to get out of my head.

Apologia

Apologia

If I had concentrated
taken the blame more, humbled myself more
maybe, just maybe if I had waited
in my life there would not be so much gore.
I can only sit and ponder
as each soul passes by my humble abode
quite slyly they look with wonder
born of a horror when one kisses a toad.

But I cannot remain here consumed by this monster
I must take the reigns eke out a future
break free from this guilt
grab my tools so I can rebuild
fashion something new
from the ashes of my dreams.

Health Over Wealth.

Health is the greatest gift,

Contentment the greatest wealth,

Faithfulness the best relationship

Budda

I use to believe that success was measured in how much you had and how much you were able to do in a short mount of time. However, lately I have been taking my head out of the stand and I noticed something. Better yet I realized something, you don’t always have to be first out of the blocks first or fastest to win the race. I use to think, because I was taught this, that all you had to do was make it early, then success for a lifetime was guaranteed. Also, with my heads in the clouds, I thought that all you had to do, was do the “right thing”, be a “good person” and things were guaranteed to work in your favor. Now for me this mindset has led to many disappointing dead ends. I had to learn the hard way that life does not take place in a vacuum.

Bad things happen to everyone, and no one can ever be perfect.

There was one idea of success that I was told about when I was younger and only one that mattered. It was the success based on working hard, not ruffling any feathers and being a team player. Now maybe nothing is wrong with each item on its own, however, for me, what happened was that I interpreted it in such a way that it affected me badly, not only physically but mentally as well. So I spent my 20’s trying to fit into where I thought I should be and now it feels as if I first have to unlearn all the things I told myself I needed to learn even if it killed me, literally. I need find out what works for me, in a world that can and will happily leave me to be me.

Being mindful of what you do is more important than, running with it. When things happen that you never expected, stop and think what you want to do with this sudden twist. I made mistakes in how I handled sudden changes, impending changes or sudden windfalls, and I have many regrets; regret, it is a bitter, brittle pill to swallow. It doesn’t matter what it is, before you react, especially to something unexpected, good or bad, stop and take the time to think things through. Pray about it and take the time to check in with yourself before you react. Once you have come to a decision don’t change your mind or you could waste time trying to do damage control.

It was always important to be the best at everything. So I tried to be perfect. Perfect daughter, niece, friend and worker. However, this is impossible. Also, perfection takes too much work and second guessing your choices, until it makes the thinker crazy and lonely with bad choices. Plus, I don’t think anyone was measuring my level of perfection.

When you try to be perfect, people always expect you to be a certain way and when you can’t maintain it but try to, the only one to suffer is the person working around the clock to keep that perfect phantom perfect alive.

So, I have decided to stop.

To stop and take a break, and procrastinate from procrastinating from being real.

Being real is much harder than faking it. When you are real you have to be honest. I now confess that many times I did stuff, not so important stuff because I wanted to be on the “right side”. I said a lot of stuff, really unimportant stuff because I wanted to, “be good”.

So It’s health over wealth. No more trying to be the success that I think I should be, but, the one I can be. The world I occupy is too small for me, so out the door I shall go and see what peace lies behind it.

Wish me luck…

Bird Standing on Shore Line during Golden Hour

Sad Tales.

There are sad tales that do not need retelling.

We get so caught up in the wonder of them, that we do not know that we have become trapped by them. Many persons may find comfort in these sad tales, even though they hurt because at one time, all we had were those experiences and the hope of better days. We realize that some of those sad tales mean more, when we no longer live them and looking back we can see things about them that were so real. We felt things that were so real. Sometimes, because we yearn for real things we relive those sad tales and sometimes they bring us comfort.

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They become nostalgic mementos, like pressed flowers between pages that we have an urge to take out and look at from time to time. However, sometimes we get carried away with remembering and forget that we have to keep on living. We forget that those tales are a part of the fabric of our lives that we do not need to keep tucked tightly under our hearts. The tale of all our injuries and an account of every slight ever committed, can do us more harm than the real act, if we choose to stay in it.

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You see, it is often those stories of near death experiences, or of almost losing it all that inspire us to grow and reach further than we ever had, or thought we could. But, there also comes a time when we must reach for new tales, of happiness and laughter, of solitude and peace. There is always room not just for the sad tales, but also for those that burn a fire within us, that can never be extinguished.

Plant

Wherever You Are Led.

We can’t give the best of what we don’t know or are aware of. Doing your best is easy if you know how to go about it. The idea that our intention matters has some merit but if the execution leads to more complications, not so much. You want to do the right think but often times it’s hard to know what is the right thing to do. It becomes so complicated when you are being told ten different ways to go about getting something done or even about the person you have to engage with. I have tried to do what is right in several instances and have often failed. One of the main problems is that I never settle on an approach that has worked for me, but am quick to try something else because I want to find the “best way”. I didn’t take the time to recognize the knowledge I had gained for my own personal use, but instead kept chasing a formula that had been created by someone else. One that worked for them.

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It’s important to always be expanding. So, it’s important to never get defeated by the mistakes we make when we don’t know better. Instead, we need to gain knowledge and develop the art of using the knowledge we gain to inform our decision. There may be times when we know what to do, but doing what we have to do may seem like a lot of work. However, if we want to experience change we have to get up and work towards that change. So, just like many people I need to move outside of my comfort space and shake things up. Often times it is in this way that we stumble upon people and things that expand our world and experiences.

It’s funny and not so funny when you’re blind to what’s in front of you, because you lack the knowledge to see. Many people look beyond the potential of what they already have because they see the finish product of someone else’s potential. We don’t realize that just like many we look to, we have the same potential and even the same opportunities but we do not make use of it. We don’t need someone else’s strength to be strong and someone else’s journey to begin our own. Think of it this way, someone may give a negative review of somewhere terrible that they have been and your experience is the complete opposite. Maybe we need to reconsider whether our trash is actually trash or our treasure.

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It’s hard to know when to shift our perspective and look somewhere else. You may be too stubborn, like me, to know when to give up and move on. I always thought this was a good thing until I got older, and started making my own decisions. I can be stubborn to the point of cutting off my nose to spite my face. When things get too painful, not hard, painful, I try and try and try. When things start failing I say, “well this must be a burden I must carry”. But, when we do things that bear no fruit in a reasonable time or seem to be driving us to the brink of madness or death, maybe we need to pull back and do a u-turn and move on. Yes it’s important to dig deeper but not in quick sand! When we find ourselves in that predicament it’s better to grab the branch you see or one that’s being offered and get out, fast.

It’s important to be confident in wherever you’re being lead, but make sure you’re being led by the right source. I saw this recently and it resonated:

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Only Time…

Often times we speak and think of time in negative terms. We often bemoan the fact that time is running out or the fact that it feels as if there is not enough time in the day, to do what we want to get done.

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Time reveals all truth – This is a reality that many people fear, based on what they have done in the past. However, if we find ourselves operating under an alternate reality, then it will only be to our benefit when we finally have to face the truth of either who we are and what we have done; or, the truth of who people in our circle truly are. However, this does not have to be something to fear. Having the truth revealed in time may seem horrific in hindsight, but in actuality can liberate someone from the fear of exposure that they carried around like a heavy load.

It has been said that it is better to fail in truth than to succeed by immersing ourselves in lies. Only time can help us to truly understand this truth.

Time heals all wounds – The sense of disappointment we experience can only be treated with time. Sometimes when we are disappointed we do not see the blessing of being in that position until later when we realize that we have been spared from a dire fate.While this adage does not work for every situation, the very least that can happening is that there is a dulling of any disappoint or pain as time advances

Only time will tell what the future holds, only time will give the peace that we seek.

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The Reason I Know.

I cared for you in the wilderness, In the land of burning heat.

Hosea 13:5

Well if we are counting, it’s now 13 days into the new year and it has been interesting.

If you thought that you could leave 2019 behind just with the snap of a finger, or the click of two glasses, you and many others (me too) were wrong!

So when you work hard to get things in order, the devil works hard to confuse you. So, I have been experiencing a weird time these pass 13 days.

However, I know that things will get better.

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Change is not easy, and with change there is a period when you feel the pressure of everything and everyone that wants you to stay the same.

So, you have to be strong to wait out the storm when it’s just passing over. And if you think about it, you may realize that you have passed this way before and were too quick to give up and head back to the familiar. This time though you know you have learned the lesson a little better and you now know what you did not know.

You now know that it is worth it to wait a little under a shelter until the storm passes, instead of running into the middle of it to be swept along with everything else. You also now know the dangers of starting out too late, when darkness suddenly engulfs you and you lose your way. You now know that if you get lost, you may end up wondering in the wilderness for another 40 years. You see, you now know, how hard it is in the valley and how scared you can get; when it seems like the wolves are at the mouth of your cave ready to devour you.

The reason I know, is because I have been through so much more than I knew I could go through, and still be alive. You know what I know and so, we know that this moment of uncertainty is the beginning of all the greatness that God has in store for us.

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