It has been a while since my last post and I wanted to update you in regard to the life binder and speak with you about all the other things that have transpired in the interim. Creating the vision board and the life binder has kept me focused every day for the past five months. The life binder is a conscious effort to pay attention to the things that matter most to me. Because of it, I have paid off two of my debts, completed another children’s book, and started an e-book. I have also stayed on target with my grad classes and only have three more to go. The vision board is a constant reminder to stay focused on the things that I want out of life this year and ultimately for my future. So, all in all I would say that the life binder has been a blessing. For the next few months, I want to focus on sending my completed works to publishers, complete my first e-book, and revamp my blog and unify the theme. Also, I have read a lot of books in the past five months and want to share my reviews on these books.
Well, this was a short post and just an update on the life binder and current projects. I am trying to stay motivated and dodge writer’s block but, will be back soon to share what I have learned so far in 2016.
It has been a while since I have posted to this blog and it is because sometimes life gets in the way. Mine became all-consuming and I started to drift off into a place where I felt detached from myself. I was just a robot doing what needed to be done and existing but not living. The more time away from writing, the more I became detached. Words are my life! My goal is to get it back and focus on what matters “MOST”, hence, the title Re-Visioning.
I have my students revise their drafts because sometimes it lacks focus, purpose, or careless mistakes have been made. Some drafts are beautifully written but can be taken to the next level. That is how I explain it when they ask why they have to revise.
Life can be revised. Sometimes we get into a pattern where we lose focus, purpose and make careless mistakes. Sometimes we are at the top of our game but just need to switch gears and try something new.
I am at that point. I am re-visioning my life and doing what works for me and mine (my household). My goal of getting published this year did not occur because I drifted and got caught up in existing. Do not let this happen to you and if it does, know that you can switch gears. A new year is coming but more importantly a new day. It doesn’t matter how far down the wrong path you have traveled, as long as you stop and turn around. We can constantly recreate the life that we want for ourselves. We can constantly revise our plans when thrown a curve ball. We can re-vision our purpose. It is never too late. What I will not do is look back another 10 years from now and ask “Why didn’t I even try?”
Today I just want to vent a little. For the past several years I have been trying to do big things and open doors for myself to new opportunities. I have gone to trainings, received degrees, taken on more responsibility, let others know what I want and everything else positive that would set me up for success. The issue is that every door that has been closed has stayed closed. I have received so many rejection emails (none in regards to my writing) that it would make the average person give up. But, now it is year six and still no bite. I am getting antsy because bills are piling up, I have children to take care of, and the income is not meeting the demand. I am working multiple jobs where I am so tired that I just cannot bring myself to write.
Well, no longer! What I have been doing is following an agenda that is not aligned with my passion and purpose. As a single parent, I am thinking about affording college, daycare, rent, utilities, groceries, car, etc. The epiphany has come to me many times before but has rung more clear today than it ever has. Follow my passion. Follow my purpose. And at least if I still continue to struggle, I will be a lot happier knowing that I tried and did something I loved.
I am by no means a quitter. But, I am wearing myself thin. I rarely have time with my children trying to make enough to support them and I am still coming up short. I am writer and motivator. I want to help other single parents and write for a living. I want to help society as a whole by those means. Whether or not it becomes lucrative is of no concern to me. I want to live with no regrets.
I regret the amount of time that I have already lost away from my children. I regret running myself into the ground and not focusing on my health and multiple sclerosis trying to take on extra assignments that aren’t recognized nor appreciated. It is time to live for me and my family.
I hear a lot of my friends questioning their purpose and current situations. I hear a lot of regret. I guess the question we end up asking ourselves or should ask ourselves is “what legacy do I want to leave behind?”
Then, go for it!
Our brains are so smart
But sometimes not smart enough
To stop the verbal vomit
That ran across our minds
And escaped over our tongues
Bitter to taste
And the air becomes thick with them
Pollution of the elusive kind
Because it may not just be our words
That made a break from the back of our throats
But others’ words have become stagnant in the air
And silence is longed for
But no amount of it
Can take back, repair, mend what was broken by our words
Silence cherished, after the fact
And the lava still boils
In the souls of the receiver
And the words which erupted
From the volcano of our mouths
Spill out into the already intense atmospheric pressure
And all any of us would like to do
Is retrieve them, eat them.
* I originally wrote this on 9-24-2014
It is late night and my mind cannot stop wandering. This tends to happen all day long and especially at night. As a writer, I find the beauty in words from all around me and then my mind gets to wandering. There are so many ideas that I want to come to fruition. I realize that I have to take it one project at a time. I have taken a short break from my novel to write children’s books; so far I have written two. I am really nervous to write my query letters and submit, but it is 2015 and I know that this is “My Year”.
This year, my focus is on my health and in order to keep my MS under control, I need to take care of myself and zero in on peace and happiness. Stress had taken control of me for the past decade and it cannot happen any longer. I notice that I feel so much better when I write, especially for this blog, when I complete a poem, and when I share what I have written. My writing has been a long journey and I will hold onto hope because it is the anchor for my soul.
These words that are in my head are constantly floating around and they make me someone else. I am a different person with each poem or novel/script idea and if I don’t write it down, then I lose that person. My goal is to get to a place where what I do for a living is write down those floating words. And those floating words will support me and my kids and transform the world around me.
So, these were just some things on my mind and if I could offer any advice, it would be to use your gifts. That’s what they are, gifts, and if we don’t use them there could be a time when we lose them.
I guess I’m at the age where myself and my peers are wondering what our purpose is on this earth. We are leaving long-term relationships, re-assessing finances and the way in which we spend money, switching careers, more conscious of our health and planning for the future of our children. Some of this may sound like it’s out-of-order but, it seems to be the same spot that everyone I know is in and we are all in the same age range mid 30’s- 40 years old. Speaking for myself I am even more focused on owning my own home and planning for the future. I keep contemplating leaving the classroom and just going for my dreams of being both a novelist and songwriter. It’s scary and I often consider going into real estate because it will allow me some flexibility but the market is so volatile.
Again, scary territory. What about getting up and moving back to my hometown of NY? That’s even an option on the table. I know that there is a huge change coming for me because I can feel it but in the meantime I find myself struggling with feelings of anxiety. What am I anxious over? Mostly, things that are not within my control. And speaking with my peers, I am not alone.
So, I never harp on a problem for too long. I usually go into solution mode and the solution I recently came up with was journaling more consistently (handwritten). It makes me feel good to get out my true feelings and just release. I usually look back over these entries when I am in a different state of mind and learn even more about myself. If you are feeling overwhelmed by life and your path, please consider journaling and those of you who do not like writing or typing can use voice memos on your cell phone or laptops. Let some of it go. It becomes too much to hold on to and creates a daunting outlook.
We are all here to do great things and in order to do those things we must keep ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally renewed.
I will tell you the whole,
It will spill from me
Like lava from a volcano
It may consume all the
Inhabitants in its immediate path
But from the burnt ground
And discarded souls
You will hear the truth
See it in the soil
But rich, fruitful and renewed
If you dare me…
I will wait for you to pick
Up the ashes of my truths
And carefully handle them
Until they are cool against your heart
I will wait until your eyes
And mind connect the dots
While your conscience makes
A decision that your subconscious could not
If you dare me…
I’ll let my truth linger
For a moment in your village
I’ll let you rebuild your home
Decorate it new again, fresh again
But, if for any reason
You let the ashes from the lava of my truth
Completely be blown away and taken up by the tide
I will never be transparent
For you again.
I wrote this today in response to a prompt through #TeachersWrite. This happened to me a couple of years back but it was one of those pivotal moments in life that you never forget. One that changes you and your journey forever…
It seemed like I used to know you but that must have been a long time ago. Things have changed with me now and it almost seems as if I have lost my way. But, it was you who sauntered into the room and decided that I was worth your time and that my dreams should no longer be deferred. You looked me in the eyes and I asked me was I happy. I couldn’t understand that you didn’t notice my smile and my laughter. But, you saw past it and asked me who I was. I went into a long detailed speech about how I am an educator, wannabe writer, mother, youngest sibling in my family but, not until I retreated back into my own solitude did I realize that wasn’t the question you were asking me at all.
How could this stranger notice what so many I have surrounded myself with did not? How could this stranger ask me the one question that I have tried to avoid for quite some time? Or maybe I had been waiting for someone to finally call attention to my pain. It is funny how those who seem to want to be nonexistent, really want to exist and those who smile really want to cry. For all of the charades that are put on, I think mine was an Oscar winner.
That stranger forced me to really look at myself, where I had been, where I was presently, and where I hoped to go. It forced me to determine who I was and how that was in sharp contrast to who I wanted to be. I took control that night after the tears and the stages of denial passed. My days became truly brighter and more purposeful. I am on a journey and have not yet reached my destination but, I am loving the route there. I accept my challenges and do not rule them as my terminal fate. And it is all thanks to the stranger with eyes that could see beyond what was in front of her.
Thank you and blessings,
I thought that I would share a poem that wrote in 2009. This is my first time sharing anything like this on the internet if it wasn’t for a competition. So here goes! (photo not mine)
It’s a funny thing
How your reality of
My reality is not
The reality of
Your good humor
And passive aggressive conversation
Sets my imagination
And then my
To higher heights
Than when first conceived
Birth of a stronger substance
Than the putty
That your doubt
Tried to create
Am not sure
Why your eyes
Hold lies and low expectations
When there has always been
A strong me,
A fierce competition
A determined sista
So, I’m an educator and I am proud of this but there is something tugging at me. It keeps nudging me and whispering how I will be known for education activism and my writing. I will be a renowned author and I keep hearing it in my head. Every time I look at the classifieds for a part time job to bring in extra income to pay the bills, I hear it. As I go from my day job, to my night job, to come home and help the kids and then attend online class, I hear it. And recently it started upping the ante. It is know stating very matter-of-factly that I should not take another part time job and more time away from the kids or pursue yet another masters degree, just write. The rest will work itself out. It’s almost supernatural like I am following this voice and not my common sense that screams bills, bills, bills. Yet I am happy to know the answer to my over-decade-old question ” who am I and what will I do?” I will write and people will read. Some will love what I have to say and some will not. I will hone my craft as time goes by and I will spend time with my kids and be happy and at peace. I am loving this newfound epiphany. Just write! And that is exactly what I will do. If there is something that you have been obsessing over or that has been haunting you, confront it. Maybe there are dozens of incomplete projects ( I know this situation personally). Take one out and complete it. Then go to the next. Live the life that you want NOW and stop waiting for a more ‘opportune time’. The time is NOW!