Something Like a Spring Garden

FeaturedSomething Like a Spring Garden

Small moments mean the world to me because I know what it’s like when those moments don’t happen. I ask you to help me build something or to teach me your perspective because those are moments we didn’t get before.

As I’m growing, I have learned to look at you as a man, not just my dad. That shift in perspective helps me see you. Not your mistakes or shortcomings, just you. It allows me to extend patience and speak freely.

You’re my dad, but I choose for you to be my homie.

This is my healing. This is me forgiving. This is us growing.

Every project completed and every honest conversation is a step forward.

I’m in therapy learning skills that allow me to navigate the blocks engrained in me since conception, but it’s out here with you that the heavy lifting happens. I never say it aloud-I get that whole “taking shit for granted” vibe from you, but I’m learning-but I appreciate the times you show up. I’m grateful for you and look forward to seeing you grow because you’re never too old to do your best.

Ay Da! Thanks for doing yard work and asking to take a picture with me on Easter, that’s major.

July 19

July 19

In the light of all that is wonderful and perfect in impartial imperfection of a world so unforgiving,
I thank God for the beauty of you.

Sitting on a brick paver
watching trucks in Daytona,
Mama looked over at me and spoke straight to my heart,

“If only Grip was here. I wonder what he would think of this”

In that moment, my brain understood the confusion of the heavy feeling in my heart.

The physical pain that filled my chest
Every time someone in a Ford
Smashed the gas and left
Thick black clouds of diesel exhaust.

At my desk at work
Hyped up on coffee
I’m typing so fast that my thoughts are delayed
Compared to the letters dancing on the screen
until my fingers stop moving after I type the date.

7/18/2017.

Tomorrow’s your day.

7/19 will never be the same.

It always brings a twinge of pain,
Followed by smiles,
Butterflies &
Overall good vibes that I can feel
But can’t explain.

So as  I sit here,
The tears have come and
I blinked them away quickly
Because I feel the pressure of your love wrapping around me.

All that you were shines on me,
Even in the storms.

All that you are, whispers in the winds and
Flows over me like a smooth breeze coming off the lake.

All that you would be is carried in me
With every accomplishment
(big or small)
That God gives me strength to achieve.

Every day you shine through the clouds on me
Every day I rub my side
Where your name is on my skin.

7/19 and every day,
Grip, I love you always.

Quiet Moment

Quiet Moment

Whether you give up on all your goals or pursue them with everything you have, the world around you keeps going. It seems like everyone is doing everything everywhere. It seems like everywhere I turn someone is getting married, having children, or reaching their career goals. It’s so easy to get lost in what everyone else is doing because it looks so…nice. In March, I fell off track. I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted from exercise, writing or anything else so I dropped everything. I just completely stopped.

After a mediocre work day, I was scrolling through Instagram when my friend’s post came up. The photo and caption are both so simple, but they hit so hard. Though his post focused more on perseverance and growth, it made me consider the importance of being quiet. I’m a talker. I hate small talk because I’m awkward, but I love to talk. Regardless of whether it’s about stars, food, or cracks in the concrete, I love to talk. When I’m having a hard time with certain things I prefer to talk through them regardless of whether I’m talking to someone else or seeking expert advice from myself, I talk. The day I saw that photo I received a rejection email from a job I’d recently interviewed for. I wanted to cry and talk but I was at work so I opted out of the convo and crying session. Instead, I blinked a billion times and turned up my “Dreamville” playlist until I couldn’t hear myself think about the sting of another rejection. In that moment with J. Cole’s Friday Night Lights mixtape intro playing in my ears, I was quiet. Aside from the few words coming through my earbuds, my mind was completely quiet for about thirty seconds. It was like I’d pressed a reset button and was allowing myself to process more than just that moment.

That thirty seconds and this photo made me realize how powerful silence can be. It helped me bring my focus back to what truly matters to me and not what looks good on other people. The fact is, I needed to be honest with myself. What was I doing to make me see the results of my exercise? (Side note: I was overeating during meals and rewarding myself with snack cakes/candy bars when I’d complete a mediocre workout so there’s that…) Why was I being so critical of everything I wrote, instead of enjoying the therapeutic feeling of clearing my mind of things that I couldn’t talk about? What made me ready for the job that I wanted so bad? Did I even truly want the job or did I just want the job because of how it would look? If it wasn’t for silence, I would probably still be pouting over the fact that things aren’t going the way that I expected them to go.

I’m finally out of that slump! The first step was honesty; the second step was action. Don’t make the action more difficult than it has to be by telling yourself that you can’t do it or focusing on your previous failures. When it came time for me to act, I allowed all types of negative thoughts to keep me from doing what I knew I needed to do for months! Ultimately, I learned that I had to take a moment to be quiet every once in a while. In my quiet moment, I brag to myself about my accomplishments, forgive myself for the mistakes that I’ve made that I can’t seem to let go of, write down two things that I’m grateful for, and take a final moment to breathe because the best is yet to come.

“Real, sustainable change doesn’t happen in a moment. It’s a process.”

-John C. Maxwell,  Today Matters

It’s Just You

It’s Just You

Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Snapchat.
We log onto social media and see other people’s lives. We follow celebrities and people we don’t know and get caught up in what their lives look like. Society tells us how we should dress or live so unconsciously, we live lives of comparison. “I want that body”, “I need to make that much money so that I can buy that car”, “I need my significant other to look like that, say those things, buy me these things to show me love”, etc. Let’s take a second to think about it, though.

Before you post on Facebook, you think (you should, anyway). You carefully curate that 140 character tweet. You slap a filter on that Instagram photo or you crop it and make sure the caption is perfect! And the snaps! Oh, the snaps MUST BE LIT! You’re painting a picture and dammit, it better be a masterpiece!

Meanwhile, life’s not perfect. The imperfection of life is what makes it a masterpiece.
Though I’ve always been too lazy to try and emulate the lives of others  I did compare myself to people that I don’t even know. Recently, I realized something SO important!

I turned my focus to ME. I decided to be the best me possible for myself and those around me. I do everything with a purpose. I practice yoga because it challenges me physically which then challenges me mentally. I stay positive (realistic, but positive) because I believe that the energy you release is the energy that you will receive. I’m eating better because I hate being addicted to food and junk. I slip and eat snack cakes and fried foods, but I’m working on consistently eating well. I place an emphasis on learning everything I can about myself because I don’t believe that I can be the best me if I don’t know who I am. All that.

I’m surrounded by supportive, honest individuals but we all encounter plenty of people who won’t believe in us. Here’s what I’ve found:

It’s just you.

When you come into this world, it’s just you. Of course, you’re birthed by your mother and for that she should forever be loved, but it’s just you. When you leave this world, it’s just you. That being said, why get caught up in what people say? Those people who put you down probably can’t fathom what you’re trying to accomplish. They can’t imagine going against society or stepping away from generational and cultural norms. It takes a different type of person to TRULY be different, to truly be themselves. Be you, just you. You’re more than enough. You’re amazing and your path to being the greatest version of you will lead you straight to happiness. That’s what’s important. Not likes, followers, and shares, but you and your happiness. Be you.