What I Wish I knew

I wish I knew more writers before embarking on this journey to authorship.

I wish someone would have told me the hard stuff.

Like…being a full time writer can be lonely. That spending 40 hours a week in complete solitude with you, yourself, and your thoughts is challenging for even the most extreme of introverts. That letting your thoughts run wild is scary, because you have always been told not to. That it’s so important to allow your mind to wander, for it is only then will you discover what is really inside of you. That writing is a journey into the depths of self, and self is sometimes unpleasant to observe.

I wish someone would have told me to get out the house more. To mingle. To take time to look away and do mindless activities. That using your gift so much can be draining, so extracurricular activities are a must. That your friends won’t understand what you’re going through. That people will keep asking what your life plan is as if writing is just a hobby and you need to get a “real” job. That even the people closest to you just won’t get it all the time. That your vision is not a shared experience….the only person that can see it is you. So, being your own cheerleader is a must.

Most importantly I wish they would have told me to stop caring. Immediately. Stop caring about opinions and criticism. Stop caring about the reader when you’re writing (they only matter afterwards). Stop waiting for people to celebrate milestones, because they really don’t understand your struggles. Stop caring about the outside noise. Stop caring about things that don’t matter.

I wish someone would have told me that I am the most important person in my own journey.

I wish someone would have told me to love self furiously even when I can’t stand to look at myself.

I wish I was taught earlier what it means to live an unapologetic life.

But that’s okay, because I learned. My first five months as an artist was damn hard. It was one of the most challenging moments of my life, but I am so much stronger now. I am so much wiser. I am a better version of myself, and I’m ready to continue ahead.

One step at a time. One lesson at a time.

If you are thinking of pursuing artistry full time, well…this is me telling you what was never told to me.

Moments

What I have learned is that my story is not going to mimic anyone else’s. There may be similarities, but ultimately my journey is unique. I cannot measure where I am by comparing my state of being to anyone around me. I cannot judge based on the opportunities others capitalize on or the methods in which they pursue their dreams. Our timelines will not be identical.

This is a common lesson always being taught, but I didn’t really understand until faced with the temptation to compare. I have a friend who already has a beautiful brand she works on during the day and funds by working at a restaurant at night. I have another friend who looks for every opportunity to perform in front of a crowd in order to build their audience. They are both gloriously pursuing their passions, and I applaud them. However, I don’t do either of these things. Is there something wrong with me? Am I lazy? Am I sluggish? Why don’t I even have a desire to explore either of these methods?

Because that is not what God is calling me to do in this moment.

I have to be honest with myself and where I am. I have to focus on placing one foot in front of the other. I have to turn my ears to intentionally hear what God has to say. Where He wants me to go. What He wants me to do. I am a poet, and I thought that meant I had to start performing at every open mic. But if I am honest with myself, I do not want to do that. Not because I am afraid of being on a stage (although it can be anxiety inducing I can push past that when necessary). I simply want to present my work through another medium and I am still learning how exactly to go about it.

What is my point in this post? Because I am beginning to ramble. Basically to remind myself not to compare myself. Or to not let the opinions of others dictate how I measure myself. Or even better….not to measure myself at all. I must only focus on being a good steward of every single moment granted to me. I must make a commitment to myself to live fully and completely in each moment. To hear the opinions of others and allow their words to flow gracefully in one ear and out the other. To fill myself with affirmations and not depend on the compliments of others. To just keep swimming. No matter what…I must only keep swimming. And take life as it comes.

Good Morning

Depression is my cross to bear. It is a process of God showing me how to walk in my freedom. It is an ocean with high tides and low, and everyday is a chance for God to show me how to balance the two.

Going through the shadows of life sometimes makes it hard to have hope in a new day. For so long, I had no motivation or inspiration to get out of bed in the morning. So, I asked God to give me a relationship. He did. It stressed me out and failed miserably. When it was over, I found it even harder to rise for a new day. So, I asked God to give me friends and activities to do. He did. They disappointed me with their wavering loyalty. One minute they wanted to crowd my space. The next minute they disappeared. Multiple friends. Not just one. Then those friendships faded to black, and I was left with the ones I started with in the first place. The activities? Well, they didn’t work for my benefit either. Even the bible study group I was a part of left me feeling isolated in my own thoughts. Once again, the sun peaking through my window only made me dread what was to come next. The monotony of it all. So, I asked God for my purpose. He gave me my artistry. Helped me discover the gifts hiding behind what the world tried to tell me I was. It was beautiful! It was hard at first, but I fell back into the practice of writing before I knew it. I’m still here. Writing. I still love it. It still gives me such a sense of joy to release emotions I don’t always have the courage to say. It’s amazing.

…But I still found my body turning to lead as I tried to rise each day. Writing, did not make me want to jump out of bed in the morning. It did not fill the hole I thought it would. It was great, but my soul was still thirsty. Still dehydrated. So, what was left?

God.

God allowed me time to discover that He is the only one that will give me the type of joy my heart desperately longed for. That in the dark corridors of my emotions, He is the light. That joy only comes in the morning, if it’s Him I’m counting on. The rest of the world? Well, it stops short. There are so many beautiful things in this life, but beauty is a fading flower. And I need something a little more permanent when I’m constantly fighting off the black fog in my mind. The only thing that has been unwavering throughout 23 years of life has been God. So, I wake for Him. To hear His voice. To see His face. To sit in His presence just a little longer.

Now, I can rise. Now, I can fight. Now, I actually want to get out of bed in the morning.

I pray you will also discover what makes you want to pull the covers back and start a new day with new hopes. Because that’s what life’s about. One new day after another. One new opportunity. One new chance. One new hope. Life is a series of starting again. So, seek and find what gives you the new energy to start again.

Rise and shine! 🙂

Phoenix Rising

 

Welcome BackIt almost feels like I’m starting over. Like I gave up. Like I should not be proud of this new blog.

But I am.

I am the author of Abstinenceandthecity.com

While my first blog did not become an internet sensation, I had slowly grown a consistent following. I had the support from all my friends and loved ones. Everyone always asked me about the blog, and wanted to know when I would be posting next. They all beamed with pride as they told others what I had written in a recent post. However, after a while I began to dread that topic of conversation, because I was running out of things to write about. I hit an inspirational rough patch and the new posts slowed and eventually stopped all together. I had nothing new to really talk about regarding the subject matter. I am still practicing abstinence and allowing God to lead my dating life, but it’s just not my focus right now.

If I am honest, my desires out of life have shifted, and writing about a dating life I, quite frankly, don’t have at the moment seems like beating a dead horse. I started to write posts that mimicked one another, and the process became unproductive for me. The tree that God planted in my life years ago has sadly stopped producing fruit. So, I must let it die, but not without honoring what it has done. I write in celebration of the doors it opened for myself and the people around me. God definitely used that blog to inspire both writer and reader, and I am so grateful to have taken a part in that process.

But it’s time for something new.

Have you heard about the myth of the phoenix? When on it’s deathbed, it lays an egg so that when it passes away, another is born. Thus the legacy continues. I love the lessons of this mythical bird, because it is what God has been trying to teach me for so long. Everything has it’s season…which means every plant will eventually die. But that’s not something to mourn too long, because out of death, new life is birthed and given a chance to thrive. My first blog had an amazing harvest season, and it gave birth to the writer inside of me. The person I always was but hid in fear of criticism. I didn’t go to a performing arts school, I didn’t major in writing in college, and I certainly do not know all there is to know about grammar (which is probably obvious to some of you), but I have something that cannot be taught in school. Stick with me on this journey, and you will understand soon enough.