Do you decompress?

 

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Sometimes I have to make myself decompress, and do things I actually like to do. I spend so much time focusing on other things I need to, that I forget to take a breather and have fun. It’s hard being a person who’s always on the go. Wither its school, work, or for personal reasons my brain is always running; I sometimes imagine it like a fan, spinning 24/7.

It’s funny, because when I do need to decompress I usually do it through my social media apps. When I do take my me time, my Instagram and Snapchat are always the first applications that I log off of.  My Facebook and GroupMe I can use because they don’t distract me as much. I find that I spend more time on my phone at night, probably because during the day I’m working and even if I could go on social media the connection is never good.

The more of these hiatus’ I do, the easier it gets for me. I don’t like that in today’s society everyone is glued to there phone in one way shape or form. I miss the days when people just talked to each other, now if someone doesn’t like a picture or comments, it’s like the world is ending or you and that person aren’t ‘friends.’ Why does what I write or post have to define my relationships with people, ya know? But anyway, that was just a quick mini rant. In retrospect, I decompress from social media because it’s so easy to access. I’m taking this year to write more,  read more, and do more for myself.

It’s okay to not always be connected. I am learning still and reminding myself everyday that I don’t always have to stay in the know. I need to take time for me and do things that I enjoy. This year I wanted to utilize my blog more and become better at blogging. Writing in general is something I wanted to improve on, for my blog, my prayer journal, my regular journal, any poems or short stories I write. Anything that I enjoy doing I’m going to do. It’s my time to decompress and take a breath. Spend sometime alone and focus on me and what I like.

You should try it sometime, you might find you like just taking a step back. It’s become my new thing to do.

Push; First Thoughts Fiction.

 

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So I’ve decided to come up with this concept called “First Thoughts Fiction” where I discuss a particular book I’ve recently finished. These particular blog post will consist of any pros/cons I felt the book had and simply what I thought about the book as a whole. Today’s post will be about Push by Sapphire.

For those who don’t know, Push by Sapphire was written in 1996. This story is about a girl named Precious from Harlem, who’s illiterate and has to fend for herself in a time where she feels like no one is on her side. Being raped by her father and abused by her mother she finds solace in the comfort of her teacher who helps Precious see things in a different light. Most of you at this point maybe remembering the movie Precious, which debuted in 2009this movie was based off of that book.

I loved the book and the movie, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t trying to incorporate movie scenes into the book while reading. To be honest, the grammatical errors in the book (placed purposely to show Precious’ illiteracy) made my brain hurt. I understood the reasoning behind it, but if I remember correctly Precious, played by Gabourey Sidibe, did way better in the movie with her literacy verses in the book. I would have to stop reading every once in a while to let my brain cool off, it was hard trying to properly form the words she was writing into proper English. It was a constant battle every time I turned the page, and hoping with each chapter I read her grammar would improve, but it didn’t.

The hard images Sapphire wrote about of Precious being raped, and the abuse she endured from her mother were raw and real. While reading I felt the pain Precious felt, I felt sorrow and sadness too. Being able to create those images in someones brain is a skill, and seeing it on film was just as important.

All the actors and actresses of Precious I think were phenomenal. I had to look up what actress played Precious’ teacher, because I couldn’t place the face; it was Paula Patton. I don’t remember her at all in the film, (maybe I should re-watch it) and it’s sad because her character in the book played a vital role in Precious’ growth. It’s funny, I remember only Gabourey Sidibe, Mariah Carey & Mo’Nique. It could just be because the three most important actresses ended up being the three most important people in the book. I can’t even remember who the actresses were that played Precious friends in the film. From the book I think the social worker (Mrs. Weiss played by Mariah Carey) and Precious’ mom (played by Mo’Nique) were so uncut in the book that it made sense for these actresses to portray uncut emotions. Who remembers the scene where Mo’Nique was yelling and screaming at Precious from the top of the steps and threw the tv? Or how Mariah Carey didn’t even look recognizable? These are the things I remembered in the film, and in the book they were just that raw and intense. There were definitely things I remembered in the movie about these characters and the roles they had in Precious’ life, but in the book they were portrayed differently.

All in all, the book is a great read, and if you haven’t already pick up a copy. When a book has a movie attached to it, I try to read the book first so I can look for things I’ve already read about in the film. Push is a book I’ll never forget and always recommend because of the realness and raw talent that it took Sapphire to create. Someone somewhere felt like Precious at one point or another, and hopefully reading this book will only teach them to never give up and follow their dreams, no matter what. Spoiler Alert, that’s something Precious grew to love about herself. She may not have had the best home life, but she had a support system from women and friends she formed relationships with; what she learned from them she never forgot. She always pushed through.

Set a goal, accomplish it, & start all over again.

Hey everyone! It’s 2018 so the new year, new me facades have started and while some are irked by it, I think it’s important. It’s important because no one should want to be the same person they were last year, there should always be room for growth. Growth is so important in your everyday life, in who you are as a person,  and in what you want to accomplish. How can you want to change or become a new you if you’re still doing the same old thing…that doesn’t make much sense now does it?

Now,  I didn’t write this blog to down play, or have anyone in their feelings. This post is to keep you encouraged about the goals you’ve set for yourself this year. For me, I  had several goals (some small and big) to accomplish throughout the year. It’s sad that I consider myself a decent writer, someone who loves to play with words, etc. and I barely use my blogging site. So it’s kind of ironic I’m writing this now. Well that stops today, this year. I need to be more consistent in my blogging. How hypocritical would I be encouraging others but I can’t give myself the same advice (that’s a topic for another day).

Right now, while these first seven days started off great, they quickly became unsteady simply because I’m sick, and with the snow we’ve had I haven’t wanted to do anything, but don’t take that as an excuse. I feel like with all of that happening I’ve written more in the past seven days than I have in a while; and it feels AMAZING! My goals this year were simple, write more on any and all platforms (blogging, journal, prayer journal, poetry & short stories), exercise more, eat healthier, and maybe, just maybe go to a spoken word and recite one of my pieces. I haven’t quite conquered that beast yet, but I will, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m not giving up. My biggest goal, something I’ve been working on is in motion now, so be on the look out, but not accomplishing that sooner has pushed me further to get it done this year. I can’t lack confidence in myself anymore, I can’t tell myself I’ll get to it later because in all honesty I know later will never come.

It’s simple. Set your goals and stick to them. Write it down, have someone hold you accountable, including yourself. Just stay on top of what you set out to accomplish. I don’t know about you, but when I set goals and I don’t accomplish them I become my worst critic, and I beat myself up (and not just for these long or short term goals I have set), but also for any redundant task I may have throughout the day. Everyone wants to be a go-getter, but no one wants to put the work in! Everyone wants to be so inspirational but no one wants to inspire. How is that possible? You want to save for an apartment, but you’re spending all your money, you want to be healthier but you’re still eating junk food and not changing your diet. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, it’s impossible.

If you have goals set, get them accomplished. It’s 2018, and every day or every year you’re not getting things done you’re hindering yourself. Don’t let another year go by and you don’t set out to do what you planned because you’ll only have yourself to blame. Take the time, write them out, give yourself a time frame, something, but the longer you sit on your dreams the less they’ll come true. If you want this year to be your best yet, if you want this year to be the year you ‘live your best life’ let it start with the goals you’ve set. Accomplish them, and then reset again at the drawing board!

It’s 2018, there’s no more room for error. There’s no more time to play games. Set your goals and hit the mark, and if you fail that’s okay too, but not doing anything only keeps you stuck. Growth starts with you, so get to it so you can inspire whomever and be a better you.

I am not my skin.

It’s 2017 ladies and gentleman! Oh yeah! In 2017 people set goals and plan on accomplishing things they want as the new year begins. Like most resolutions people want to lose weight, save more, etc. This year I just have one goal, one mission to accomplish, and this year it’s going to stop! I’m going to try my very hardest and those who are like me will understand (and the more you read the more you’ll understand what I mean by that last statement). So just keep reading. 🙂

My resolution is slightly different and its actually not even a resolution..lol. It’s actually just one simple request. What I’m about to say most women will agree with me, so please pay attention. In 2017 my soul mission is to NOT HEAR, anyone, males mainly but females too address me by my skin color; or reference it in any context.Unless you’re telling me I have clear skin or something lol. If we’re friends or not, if I’ve known you for 5 minutes or my whole 25 years on this earth, can we just not? Thanks, I would so appreciate it! I just find it extremely annoying.

I don’t want to hear, “It’s because you’re light skin you don’t text back or not fast enough, you’re light skin so you automatically attract the opposite sex, hey red-bone/light bright, are your eyes real?, are you’re latina?, you’re so yellow, you’re so pretty because you’re light skin, you don’t need make up because you’re light skin, you think you’re better than everyone because your light skin, you have permanent RBF(resting b**** face). I can literally write forever about everything I supposedly have, can do, or am because of my skin color.

I just wish it would stop. Stop with the stigmas. I know most are joking when they reference my skin tone. It’s not that the jokes not funny anymore, well actually, its not lol but the bigger issue for me is, why does my skin color have to define these things? I don’t address any male or female by their skin color, shape, or stereotypical stereotype. I just don’t think its needed. The way I want 2017 to be and not everyone may agree with me is, can we just ditch the stereotypes. Let’s win together. Let’s not have silly stereotypes of ANY skin color. Let’s just be great without acknowledging skin tone, it’s irrelevant. I am not my skin, and anyone reading this shouldn’t be defined or stereotyped by there skin tone either.

 

I hope everyone has a prosperous 2017!

You can’t control everything.

Hey Everyone! I know it’s been a while, I hope everyone has been doing well. Lately I’ve been feeling stressed and uncertain about things in my life. And usually I write, talk things out with family/friends, etc. or I’ll do a little bit of everything (my normal de-stressers). I realize now that stressing over things I may not have complete control over isn’t healthy. So all I can do is take things a day at a time and know that things will fall into place when the time is right. I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason, and that things are meant to be for a reason. Worrying and or stressing won’t help the current situation, it will ultimately make it worse in my opinion because you’ll be focusing all this energy on something that you have no control over. Continue to go about your normal day, and try not to think about things you can’t control. It’s funny I guess, because if we had control over everything in our lives we wouldn’t feel like how we do sometimes, the uneasiness, uncomfortable, or stressed feeling. So don’t worry! Things will work out when the time is right!

 

Happy Memorial Day! 🙂

My biggest fear and my greatest accomplishment.

One of my biggest fears is having someone come to me for advice and not being able to give them the advice they need. Or rather, giving them advice but always doubting myself that I could have said more to help them in some way. While people may come to me for advice (with a plethora of topics) some I am not familiar with. Others, I give my opinion on what I would do if I was in that particular situation (making sure I don’t sound bias or I am choosing one side or the other). I always wonder if I am doing enough. I honestly never feel I am until I get validation from them, and I know that may sound bad, but it’s the truth. I think part of me wants to feel like I’ve given them the advice they needed and the confirmation only makes me feel good inside, knowing that they wouldn’t have come to me if they didn’t trust or value my opinion. For me, giving advice means I need to trust myself. I need to remind myself of what I just said, lol, that if someone wasn’t trusting my opinion they wouldn’t have came to me for advice. Articulating as much as I can, because I know that this person is looking for me to help solve their issue, in some way shape or form. I only hope that the advice I have given, and will continue to give will help someone. As crazy as it sounds, while my biggest fear is not saying enough to help someone, there isn’t anything greater than giving advice or even sharing my experiences in a particular situation and that person says I’ve helped them. Knowing that something I’ve said or an experience I’ve shared has helped someone in anyway is a great accomplishment.

To DJ, Thank You for listening and allowing me to share what I’ve been through, and hopefully it’s helped you. You inspired me to write this piece and you’ve taught me that I need to trust myself, and not feel as if I can’t help people. Sometimes the smallest things make a big difference, so I appreciate the conversation we had because without it I wouldn’t have grown more today.

Communication is Key.

Hello everyone, I know it has been a while. For anyone reading, I am sorry for the delay and I hope this blog today helps, or you at least enjoy the read =). In the past couple of days, (within a week I’d say) I’ve either miscommunicated with a family member or friend; or have not been communicated too with a particular person and the situation at hand. This week has taught me to just simply communicate better with everyone, (through text, face to face) whatever. Although, sometimes texting alone can become misconstrued, I would say tread lightly, (before you get angry/feel some type of way) or simply ask the person whom you’re texting what they mean if it seems like they’re making a statement you don’t understand (something I am learning to do too).

I also feel as though communication can go hand in hand with how someone says things. I still need to work on how I say things, and honestly sometimes I feel like its how the particular person took what I said out of context, so that’s their fault for getting to emotional. (I know it’s not the right reaction to have, but I do), so don’t fault me, I’m working on it =). While I know that initial reaction is wrong, it only takes myself a split second to realize it’s not always about how I feel I need  to take into consideration the other persons feelings. No, I am not perfect, but, I can safely guess some people may have that initial reaction and never feel like they need to apologize or think they’re wrong (but that’s a whole different blog for a different day). I’m not saying I need to tip-toe around a conversation or for whomever reading this needs too, but taking into consideration how someone may feel/how they will react to what you say, can save a whole lot of unnecessary arguments and unneeded emotions.

Lastly, I would suggest whether it is through texting or a face to face conversation don’t be quick to jump to the defensive side/ or get angry. Something I definitely am working on! It is hard, but I think sometimes when people feel I am becoming defensive, they do not understand I am just simply trying to have a conversation, like a mature adult..who wants to argue all the time anyway? I sure don’t. Take the time to simply communicate. Don’t over-talk, cut-off, or assume. Let your side be heard, and the other parties. Hopefully there would be some agreement, if not you could simply disagree, and be glad the air has been cleared, and the conversation doesn’t need to be brought up again.

Communicating is big, because if someone doesn’t know you have an issue with them, or a particular situation at hand they wont know something is bothering you. Talk it out when you’re ready, and hopefully the other party will understand. But keeping things in, or not fully explaining can open up a whole different can of worms that doesn’t need to be.

Hi, I am Ms. Freels.

Today I finally was able to substitute teach. Nervous and excited I awoke at 5:15 AM to check my account, so I wouldn’t have to hear the automated man call, go through the generic questions, and then lastly have me either accept or deny the spot that was available. For the first hour nothing was available and I was starting to get nervous, because I was hesitant to shut my eyes and miss my opportunity. Finally at 6:45 AM something was finally available, so I clicked on accept and started to get ready for my day. I was supposed to report to the schools main office, sign in, and get to my class to sub from 8:10-3:330, for Ms.Haldimans Kindergarten class. The kids were so sweet and although they were a little hesitant about seeing my face they all warmed up to me. Greeting all of the lovely kids with, ‘Hi I am Ms. Freels’ I am here to help Ms. Newberry today, and of course with a smile on my face. Kudos to Ms. Newberry for making my first day a great one. I was comfortable with the kids and never felt over whelmed. Although I was assisting today I can definitely see myself taking over any future classroom on my own. Today was as great day, and I am glad it went so well. My most favorite moment was probably when one of the little girls drew me a picture and gave it to me before she left. I will be back! It may not be this particular school, but subbing was a great experience.

See you soon Kiddos!

God Is Good.

God is good. I have always been a believer of God and I just wanted to share how truly blessed I have been; and not going down a list of how he has blessed me, but to let anyone reading this know that God heals, helps, and protects all. You may or may not believe in God, you may not pray, but understand he is around, in all forms. My life is not perfect and nothing is easy, but just my belief in God has helped me through plenty. In these first few weeks of 2015, I have been blessed so much, more than I even know, and I am happy. I feel lighter. I feel like my stress level is down. I just know that God is always around, and while I may not always understand why he does what he does, I know that he works in mysterious ways. No matter how you may feel, no matter how hard you may feel like your life is, know too that someones life is harder, but also know that God will never disappoint. He will bless you everyday. He wants what is best for you. I promise he won’t disappoint.

Do What You Love.

When I was younger I use to always write little short stories or poems and my mother, being the proud mother she is would always put them on our refrigerator. Writing was something that always came natural to me, I guess you could say it is my first true love, as cliche as it sounds. Writing down my thoughts were always easier than verbally speaking on things I was not strong enough to say, and even sometimes now I write things down when my voice is sometimes weaker. But, as I have grown and matured my writing has too, along with my voice, and I am no longer afraid to voice my opinion. I write poems mainly based on experiences I have, or sometimes I step outside the box and write about things that others can relate too. Being a writer, I have grown to understand that criticism is good, and sometimes I forget that. My biggest fears are someone reading something I have written and not liking it, giving me negative feed-back, or not being able to relate too it. And as far as my first point of someone not liking it I know that, that too is okay, because it is just one persons opinion. As long as someone, just one person, can relate to anything I write I feel like I have conquered the world! It makes me feel good knowing that something I have written has helped, or changed someones day/life/mood.

Going back to my point of knowing that all criticism is good really hit me hard my senior year of undergrad in my Capstone class. For any alumnus of NJCU you would know that “Professor James” was probably the toughest professor but he was only tough because he wanted the best work from you. He was always reasonable and told you what you needed to hear, not what you wanted, but man… I wanted to really hurt him this particular day. For this Capstone class we each had to pick a particular topic and write about it(the type of papers we were writing were called Long form), along with two sidebars( two pieces that added to your bigger story but were two separate topics that connected still to the bigger picture). After showing Professor James my paper although not entirely finished I was super proud of my accomplishments, and was ready for his praises but he proceeded to give me feedback, AND IT WAS NOT what I wanted to hear. Mhm! When I tell you I was so angry at him and he knew it too. I know what he told me would only help my paper in the long run but I was so crushed by what he said I couldn’t even edit my paper for at least twenty minutes. Everything I wrote after I hated, and I was really struggling because every week we were supposed to have a different, more completed draft. All semester the only thing we did was work on our Long Form/Side Bar Stories. I wanted to scream I was so angry. All of my classmates were laughing at me because they never saw me upset before, and because he tore me a new one I wanted to rip everyone’s head off in the process. Afterwards of course, I calmed down and my professor did give me more feedback, this I appreciated too, but it made me feel proud all over again to be an English major and subsequently follow my dreams.

He told me, “Jordan, I know I was rough on you tonight, but in all honesty your writing has improved over the years being my student. It really has.” I will never forget what he told me because that helped me grow as well.

It is my dream to write children’s books, and with all the poems I have written and the few short stories I have done I feel like I am getting closer to my dream. Writing is something that calms me, and although sometimes I do not write as much as I need too, when I do write I fall in love with it all over again. I write sometimes until my fingers start to hurt, and I know when that happens I have nothing else to say. All my thoughts are on paper, or in this case, a screen.

I say all of this to say, do what you love! If it makes you happy do it!