patches.

Well, those of you who follow me on social media know that I entered a new chapter of my life this weekend: I became a mom.

A DOG mom! ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿ’™

Yes, my boyfriend and I had the joy of getting a new German Shepherd/pitbull mix puppy, and we named him Patches (after a stuffed dog my mom had when I was growing up that also had a patch over his eye!). Every time in the past I’d thought about getting a dog, I’d had major hesitations because I knew things would change. I would no longer be dealing with just myself, but with another living and breathing being as well. Which meant dealing with pee and poop, giving it exercise, training it, not leaving it alone for too long, etc.

But there was just something different about this time. Maybe I just felt the attachment after I’d seen Patches’ picture, and I longed to understand what the connection was. Of course, my boyfriend was all for getting him too. โ˜บ๏ธ Whatever it was, it led me to agree to getting him. We’ve already had fun in the past two days ๐Ÿ˜‚ if you think having a puppy poop in your passenger seat is fun. He did it on an old t-shirt though, to which I say, GREAT AIM, PATCHES! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ

a little, 4-legged teacher

I definitely did not go into the weekend thinking that I would begin this new week with a new responsibility. Taking care of plants is one thing; taking care of an animal is COMPLETELY different! I had always been nervous about it just because I live in such a small space, and having a dog would mean having to do different things (keeping plugs/wires off the floor, not dropping specific foods, not being able to diffuse essential oils, keeping the plants away from it so it wouldn’t dig them up, etc.).

But as I spent today away from him because of work, I considered that maybe Patches being in my life was changing up things for me for the better. Keeping things off the floor meant my apartment would be cleaner (not saying that I’m a total pig or anything, but sheesh, catch my apartment in the middle of a work week, and it’s not really pristine ๐Ÿ˜…). I’d be tending to my plants more regularly since I’ll have to be sure they’re out of his reach. Putting him on a schedule means I can’t be super flexible with my own schedule like I used to be i.e. I can’t hit snooze on my alarms or try to sleep in knowing that I have to take him out to pee in the morning so I can get my own day started.

And while I know I’m only in the beginning days of my time with Patches, and things won’t always be fun or easy, I am grateful to have this opportunity to be a mom to him! I feel like he’ll teach me lessons I wouldn’t get to learn if I didn’t have him in my life – some things I’ll share with you all, and some things I’ll keep to myself. I also feel like watching him grow will be such an experience for me. Like from little-bitty puppy to giant dog, and then to see how much he learns in that time? My heart ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Not to mention, my sister has a dog, some of my co-workers have dogs too, so we’ll now have ALL THE DOG DATES! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ

jump in

My decision to have Patches join me in my journey of life truly was me just jumping in without second-guessing everything. Okay, maybe there was some slight thinking about it, but I knew that if I continued to cycle through thoughts of what could go wrong, what may be frustrating, or any other negativity, I’d talk myself out of it.

I also had thoughts about being prepared: was I in the right time in my life to take care of a dog? Would my attention be mostly on it, and not on the other things I wanted to accomplish? Don’t get me wrong, these are all good things to think about; don’t jump into a decision if you KNOW you aren’t financially capable, you don’t have the time, you can’t commit, etc. I know I’m no dog expert, but I’m willing to learn, and that right there should be enough! I know that I won’t make the right decisions all the time, but I’m willing to learn from them, and do things differently when the time comes.

And, most importantly, be sure to PRAY ABOUT IT. If you feel the Holy Spirit telling you it’s not time yet, listen. If you feel Him saying that that choice is not good for you at all, don’t try to come up with excuses on how it is a good choice for you. He will guide you to the things that will be best for you, so TRUST HIM! Because sometimes He’ll lead you into just going for it, and seeing what happens!

*To all the pet parents reading this: What are some things you learned through having a pet? Were you fully prepared for everything that came with it? What are some tips you might have for a new pet parent like me?

*To all my readers: Do you tend to just jump into a new experience, or do you have to list out every single pro and con? What is something you’ve been dwelling on, or something that’s come up in your life several times that you’re tempted to just jump into? What are the thoughts that are causing you to hesitate? Thinking about these things, are you at peace with the decision you’ve made/you’re about to make?

Mishy ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ’™

stepping up.

“Imagine all the people who would have been affected if Esther never stepped up. Okay, now imagine all the people who will be affected if you never do.”

– from @shespeaksministries Instagram, written by @worthyofgrace
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โ€ญโฌ‡๏ธDevo โœ๐Ÿผ @worthyofgrace . Esther a woman who was not born into royalty, but was chosen by God to be queen to save the Jewish people from annihilation. Her story is a lot like ours, once an orphan, but now chosen to do the work of her Heavenly Father. Esther is easy to relate to. When Mordecai (her cousin, but he also adopted her, and raised her), came to Esther one night and said, that Haman has order the death of the Jews – her people. Esther was saddened by this news, and Mordecai encouraged her to speak up for the voice-less. Sometimes, we sin by what we know to do, but yet, we do not do it. Speaking up for truth and justice in the midst of great fear had Esther dreading this assignment. Itโ€™s easy to want to back down, because of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of can God really use me, fear that the whole plan will be utterly chaotic and ruined if you do it, so you back down. Well, despite all her fears, Esther called for a fast, and God responded with great favor for her and the Jews. Is God calling you to do something hard? To speak up, to step into your purpose, to pursue your Heavenly Fatherโ€™s business? Remember Jesus always went about healing people and doing good – ACTS 10:38 (I love that about him)! . You were made for such a time as this! Itโ€™s time to step out you are worth it! You and God got this! #shespeaksfire . Esther 4:14:โ€œIf you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?โ€โ€ โ€ฌ

A post shared by She Speaks Ministries ๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ”ฅ (@shespeaksministries) on

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My coworkers all decided to wear red, white, and blue to work today since tomorrow we’ll be off, and the Fourth of July is this Saturday. If you’re not aware: with the recent events surrounding racial tension, and the increase of racial awareness, most Black people have decided to celebrate Juneteenth instead of July 4th for Independence Day, declaring the Fourth of July a “white holiday.”

So, all week I’d debated on whether or not I should participate because I definitely wasn’t planning on celebrating the fourth, and I didn’t want to symbolize that I was with what I was wearing, but I also knew that, being the only Black woman in my workplace, I’d probably be making people feel uncomfortable, and questioning me as to why I didn’t dress in the said colors. And since I work in a preschool, I didn’t need or want parents complaining to my boss about what I was wearing either.

Because I decided this morning to wear my “I Can’t Breathe” shirt instead.

I had so many thoughts: Would someone say I was trying to be political by wearing it? Would my boss be angry with me? Is wearing this shirt inappropriate for work? But why would it be? Why am I questioning if I can wear this shirt when I’m able to wear almost anything to work and be 100% fine? (I knew the answer to the last question)

I resolved that, if my boss told me to take it off, I’d just take it off and just have a different shirt on, but I would not wear the color combos red, white, and blue to work today. I was honestly sort of nervous…so much so that I texted the co-teacher I’m working with this summer about it to get her thoughts…not her permission. She fully supported my decision, and even said she wouldn’t wear the designated colors too so I wouldn’t be alone.

As I prayed this morning and prepared my heart for the day, the quote above popped into my mind. I’d read it yesterday, and was touched at how powerful it was, and I was grateful that it could resonate with me this morning. (If you don’t know about the story of Esther, definitely check her out in the Bible. Such an amazing woman!) What if I wore the shirt and was able to start conversations with my co-workers about what was happening, not just in our city, but in our country as a whole? Granted, we’ve been back to work for weeks now…I honestly feel like some of them are avoiding the topic of racial tension because they don’t want to say the wrong things or offend me. But I’d rather them say something wrong and I be able to help them understand why than to not talk about it at all. Because the reality is, they work with ME…I, a Black woman, am going to be with them five days a week, and that right there is looking and being with racial tension – what to say, what not to say. To touch my hair or not to. To make comments about certain situations, or to just be silent. I see all of that stuff, and I take notes, and act accordingly.

If I chose to just give in and wear what everyone else was wearing, I felt like I’d just be giving up, and not speaking up. And while I shouldn’t be the only person that my co-workers go to for Black questions, I feel a responsibility as the only Black woman there to be the voice for the Black community that is rarely if not at all represented in that area.

The result?

I went to work, had a co-worker ask what my shirt said, I showed her, and she said, “Oh, okay!” Had a few other co-workers see my shirt and they silently kept it pushing.

Feeling like I had to explain myself (which I shouldn’t have to, but anyways…), I talked to the same co-worker who asked me what my shirt said about why I wasn’t wearing red, white, and blue, and she fully understood, and said she wasn’t offended, and didn’t know why others would be.

When my co-teacher came into work a little later without any red, white, or blue on, my boss asked her why she wasn’t wearing any, yet she didn’t ask me when she fully saw that I wasn’t wearing any either.

Apparently, she also made a comment out loud again about how one of the kids in our class looked cute wearing the patriotic colors, but my co-teacher (not me) wasn’t matching.

It sort of breaks my heart that no one really asked me more about my shirt, or tried to ask my opinion on what was happening, or even ask how I was doing (because since everything started in late May/early June, no one from my job has asked except my co-teacher) but it also doesn’t surprise me. I just wish people wouldn’t be afraid to have racial conversations that could possibly expose things they didn’t know weren’t okay to say, do, believe, etc. And maybe they are having those conversations outside of work, which is great! I’d just like to know that that information is being translated to EVERY area of their lives, NOT JUST to their black friends outside of work, or their black family members.

I will say that I’m extremely grateful for my co-teacher…she stepped up for me today, and I cannot thank her enough! It felt good to have someone stand with me in solidarity today. And even through these first few weeks of work, she’s been pro-active about asking me questions and talking about the racial events that are happening, and I believe it is not a coincidence, but a full-on blessing that we were assigned to be with each other this summer.

Just felt like I had to share that. There is SO much work to be done to undo all the racial injustice our country has held tightly to, and I’m grateful that the protests haven’t died down, and pray that the conversations everywhere don’t die down either. While my gesture of wearing a “I Can’t Breathe” shirt to work may seem small, it opened my eyes to just how deep the fear of being called out about my race is rooted in me. And in no way would I say that I’m ashamed to be Black! But I know that I myself need to shake out of being afraid to be a topic of conversation, or to have conversations with people I’m with on a daily basis, or with my friends or family.

I continue to pray that all my Black brothers and sisters would be able to step up wherever they are: in their friend circles, in their families (whether blood or in-laws), in their workplaces, etc. I pray for strength and courage. I pray for peace. And I pray that the spirit of racism would cower at the Holy Spirit, who favors no person because of their race or background, but lives within WHOEVER believes in Jesus Christ and His death, resurrection, and return.

BLACK BROTHERS AND SISTERS: What are some ways you’ve had to step up for yourself, either recently or in the past, in regards to your race? Where do you find the most support? Where do you find the most tension?

BLACK ALLIES: Have you been inspired by a Black friend, family member, co-worker, significant other, etc. who has stood up in the face of racism, or in just the isolation of being Black in a particular place or circumstance? How did you respond? Did you learn anything that you’ll take with you as the fight for racial equality and justice continues?

Mishy ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ’™

weakness.

Strength. Weakness.

At the end of May, I did a Words with Women event based on these two things, discussing what it means to be “strong” or “weak” as a woman. The conversation was truly amazing…I loved hearing each woman’s perspective and thoughts on these themes. And it’s crazy how God will lead you to some topics, and then bring them back up as time goes on.

Last week, I thought about weakness.

It was my second week being back at work, y’all, and I was TIRED. My feet had been hurting from walking and standing around again after three months of resting them. I’d been getting back to my heavier workouts so almost each night, my body would ache from a previous workout I’d done. Not to mention, since going back to work, I’m now only getting about 5-6 hours of sleep a night because that’s just when I’m able to manage hitting my bed after getting off work, working out, eating, showering, and spending a little time for myself through writing, reading, or playing the game (I recently got a Nintendo Switch with my boyfriend, so that’s been fun to play for the past week-and-a-half!).

But one morning last week, I was just feeling so weak. Like I wasn’t prepared to get through the day because my energy was spent…and it was only Tuesday!

Then I began to think about these verses in the Bible:

“But He said to me, ‘My Grace is sufficient for you, for My Power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“My Grace is sufficient for you…”

The context of these verses is that the writer Paul is discussing the “thorn in his flesh” that he’d prayed God would take away from him several times, but God replied with the verses above. While I’m not sure exactly what Paul’s “thorn in his flesh” was (2 Corinthians 12:7 leans towards a spiritual battle as he refers to a “messenger of Satan”) I know I can definitely relate to having “weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities” of my own, no matter what they may be!

But it is only through weakness that we can truly and fully become stronger, and that strength isn’t our own, but is solely through dependence on the Lord. We can’t sit in the comfortability of always being strong, wise, certain, or successful, and expect to learn, to mature, to grow, to become even stronger than we are now. There has to be a period of weakness. And through both times of strength and weakness, we have to lean into God.

Tula’s strength.

Those who follow me on social media know that Tula, my pink hibiscus plant, has finally bloomed after about a month of being barren. She would have buds form, and then they’d fall off. I was so crushed that she wasn’t blooming, and I even wrote a poem about this phase of her life cycle as a metaphor for the phase I was in with my poetry (which also seemed to be lacking). But after researching and experimenting (i.e., making my own insecticide to spray on her) she opened up a big, beautiful pink flower a couple of weekends ago, and surprisingly, it stayed around for about 2.5 days.

My yellow hibiscus plant (Reyna) has flowers that only last about one full day and start to shrivel and close back up. When I mentioned this difference to my boyfriend, he said that maybe after being dormant for so long and fighting off those pests, she came back stronger. Tula has become yet another metaphor for my life, and maybe even for your life too!

We all go through phases of weakness, and it looks different for each person. The phase could be long or short; it could deal with different aspects of life. It could be something you really have to persist through, or something that takes one moment of getting over. In any case, we must be able to withstand the phase to become stronger. But, how do we do that?

embrace it!

It is good to actively do something about your weakness! The first step should be to go to God for wisdom on which steps to take, and He will graciously show you the things you need to do. It could be setting boundaries, doing more in an area, getting help, admitting weakness to someone close to you, etc. In this, I believe that we truly need to embrace the weakness, and understand that it is not our own power that will carry us through.

A lot of times people will cry out to God only when theyโ€™re at the end of their rope: when theyโ€™ve tried any and everything to improve their situation. When really, as soon as we realize the weakness weโ€™re in, thatโ€™s when we have to understand that it is an opportunity for Godโ€™s strength to shine through us. He may be allowing you to go through something so that your testimony of that time will point back to Him!

So, as you go through your daily life, and as you encounter different times in which you feel weak, remind yourself that it is a time in which you can really see God work in you and through you! Don’t be so quick to beg Him to take it away, but allow Him to teach you through the weakness, and to show you just how powerful He is!

Mishy ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ’›

lessons from Itachi.

“He who forgives and acknowledges himself…that is what it truly means to be strong!”

“If you want to know who you are, you have to look at your real self and acknowledge what you see.”

– Itachi Uchiha, Naruto Shippuden

***Disclaimer: I finished Naruto Shippuden with my boyfriend recently, and I truly fell in love with the whole Naruto franchise. There is so much depth in that show, itโ€™s crazy. While I understand that identity crisis can truly only be healed through understanding our identity in Christ, I just thought it was awesome how these two quotes were brought to my attention, and have helped me do some self-reflection about my own identity. Just had to say that ๐Ÿ˜

I was looking up a specific Itachi Uchiha quote for the pictures I took yesterday in my Akatsuki tank top (because Itachi is my favorite Akatsuki member in Naruto. I went through a lot of emotions regarding him, but he truly is amazing), and I found these other quotes that I resonated with heavily. This past week I had to come to terms with some things I’d already come to terms with previously, but had to think about again. And it honestly made me annoyed and irritated at myself; like I couldn’t get it right the first time, so here I am, having to start over again, or so it felt like.

There were so many things last week that grabbed my attention: the message I heard from God about looking through His eyes, several devotionals I’d read through this week, hard conversations that needed to be had, being by myself and facing things on my own, writing habits down that I needed to break, hearing yesterday’s sermon about my identity in Christ, how I am not to love the world and what it stands for, but to be in the world, and speak the Gospel, the Truth, and now these quotes. Everything that happened last week needed to happen before this new week began, before I went back to work, and back to possibly being busy again (I hope not).

Both of these Itachi’s quotes, I believe, are from when he was fighting with Kabuto, another main character, one of the villains, whose whole story is about finding out exactly who he is. He struggles by trying to take on traits and skills of other characters in the show, and ultimately, does his best to become just like another one of the main villains, Orochimaru by transfusing some of his blood into his body, and doing other experiments. He does all this because he is unsure of what his true identity is.

Itachi’s words were directed at Kabuto’s story, telling him that he needed to acknowledge who he was outside of all his efforts to try to become someone else.

Let’s talk about the first quote…

As I said before, having to face some issues I had already been dealing with again just made me irritated with myself. It made me want to mentally beat myself up, like, Seriously, why have you not moved past this yet? It can be hard to forgive other people, but for me, it really is hard to forgive myself for things I’ve done or said. And I use the excuse sometimes that because it’s me and not another person, I can be more harsh about it, which isn’t right. It’s that perfectionist side really trying to get at me.

It also makes me not want to acknowledge who I am; to be transparent, I’ve been having issues accepting the fact that I’m just not like everyone else. There’s this silent pressure I put myself under to be a certain way, either because I’m a poet or because I’m dating a rapper, or whatever, and it’s been difficult for me to learn to just be who I am because the people who are actively in my life are there because I was authentically myself, and not trying to be like anyone else.

Admittedly, it’s taken some strength to embrace myself as I am. So Itachi’s first words here really hit me when I read them. And I strive to continue to be strong in forgiving myself even when I still stumble into comparing myself or desiring to be something or someone I’m not.

And now, the second quote…

I feel like a lot of people could read this quote and be like, โ€œDUH, Itachi!โ€ But how many of us look at ourselves in the mirror and wish we looked like someone else? How many times do we do something or act a certain way, and wish we could be different? Do we wish we could be more or less of anything…loud, quiet, brave, creative, etc.? Or, how many times do we watch someone else behave a certain way, and long to be similar?

When Itachi says โ€œreal self,โ€ Iโ€™d like to think it means seeing me stripped of all outside opinions…what is left? How do I see myself, not in relation to anyone or anything? Then, can I slowly add on outside factors that are true to form my identity – the things that I personally believe, that stand for who I am, and not things I claimed are a part of me based off of anyone or anything else?

Knowing who we really are is understanding our character traits, personalities, and physical features, and accepting them as they are because thatโ€™s who God made us to be…not because we changed ourselves to fit in someway, somehow. It doesnโ€™t mean we canโ€™t mature or change, but here in this moment, we have to acknowledge ourselves, and be more than okay with the way we are.

And most importantly, we have to know that God acknowledges us as we are. He loves us so much, that He longs for us to come as we are to Him. We don’t have to be all “cleaned up,” we don’t have to have a perfect performance history, we don’t have to have perfect church attendance, He’s just asking us to be vulnerable with Him, and to surrender our identity to Him, because He sees us as we are, and He desires for us to see ourselves the way He sees us – fearfully and wonderfully made.

Who says an anime can’t help you learn something? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you ever felt like Kabuto: searching for your true identity by taking on other people’s characteristics, styles, views/beliefs, routines? Have you ever tried to make yourself physically look like someone else because you didn’t like what you saw in the mirror? How would you define your “real self”? When was the last time you went to God as you are: not trying to ask for things, not trying to appear “better” than you are or feel, but truly calling on Him in vulnerability?

Mishy ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ’›

through His Eyes.

A couple of nights ago as I lied in bed, trying to get to sleep, I began praying for all the things I’d been so focused on last week. All my frustrations, all my concerns…and I’m not sure if I dozed off a little bit, or what, but all I know is, my mind began to think and then sing this song…

Just take a look through my eyes.
There’s a better place somewhere out there.
Just take a look through my eyes.
Everything changes, you’ll be amazed what you find,
When you look through my eyes.

Guys…if you know, you know. That’s a song from the Disney movie Brother Bear. ๐Ÿ˜‚ And while it’s comical that that song popped in my head, and I hadn’t seen that movie since I was probably around ten years old, the words were significant enough for me to shoot my eyes open, and lie in bed to briefly think about them.

Not only that, but I prayed, asking God to help me remember the next morning that this song was in my mind the night before. And it brought me peace. Because I wasn’t think about the song and how it related to the movie, I was thinking about how it related to my life.

Here we are smack dab in the middle of the week, probably still reflecting on the events of last week, and even the events of the last few months – coronavirus pandemic and the racial pandemic our country has been in, but has now resurfaced due to recent murders of black people. And it’s easy to look at things through so many perspectives, and then react to those perspectives in anger, hurt, sadness, etc. Not to mention that lately, it’s been personally easy for me to see myself in a perspective that isn’t uplifting, and then I sometimes react in the ways I named above.

This is just a reminder to see ourselves and our lives through God’s perspective, through His eyes. How would He want us to perceive the things happening in our world? How would He want us to react to it all? What would He want us to say when we have opportunities to speak up? What would He not want us to say when we have opportunities to speak?

Asking all these questions is like the deeper version of “WWJD?” (“What would Jesus do?”), and as a Christian in this broken world, I have to ask myself these things before I respond to anything that’s happening around me because I’m not just representing myself, I’m representing Christ as well. That doesn’t mean I won’t make mistakes, because I’ve definitely had some wrong reactions or said some wrong things due to just viewing things in a selfish way, but it doesn’t mean I should just give up and not work on it at all.

So, I just encourage my fellow Christian brothers and sisters to look at the world and to look at your life through His eyes, and act accordingly. What do you see, and how can you respond in a way that closely resembles how Christ would?

Also, don’t be surprised if God speaks to you through something like a Disney song. It may sound strange, but sometimes it takes something as simple, and what might seem somewhat silly, to grab our attention, and to have us hear His voice.

Mishy ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ’›

intentions.

It’s June 1st, which means for me, a new color for the month (even though I’m a little behind on the #BrownSkinGirlProject, it doesn’t hurt to have a few more brown girls on my feed, especially in the times we’re in right now).

Today wasn’t just a change of color for my social media though; it was a change of color in my spirit. With everything going on in the world, we all still each have our own personal battles we deal with, and honestly, mine have been pretty heavy and consistent. You may think, What? You don’t seem like it… but it’s true. I may not portray on social media my internal struggles, but I still have them.

And as I cleaned my entire apartment (I’m talking…from bathroom to bedroom, the bed sheets and kitchen towels, the counters and inside the fridge…DEEP CLEANING), my spirit just kept bringing up this word and phrase: “intentions”, “set your intentions.”

Now, of course, we all have goals and plans, and of course, many of those goals and plans went straight out the window from March to even now. We’re entering the second half of 2020, and there are a lot of unknowns still. A lot of heartbreak. A lot of changes and movements happening. And underneath this all is an overarching theme of healing…we’re all still trying to heal from things, whether it’s COVID-19 related, racism related, or something else personal going on in your life.

I looked up the definition of “intention,” and Oxford Languages via Google not only gave the “aim” or “plan” definition, it also provided this one:

“the healing process of a wound”

How ironic is that? Or maybe it’s not ironic at all; the Holy Spirit set that word on my heart for a reason or two. And I aim to write down every intention I have for this last half of the year, and to pray on each one and work towards those things coming into fruition, and healing after so much negativity, pain, and hurt.

I refuse to settle in this place I’ve been in.

Last month as I was mentally preparing for June, I was thinking about what words were brought to mind when the color yellow is seen. Of course, we think of the obvious ones: bright, joyful, exciting, inspiring, bold, confident. And now, the word I have for yellow is intention. The beautiful thing about this is that this isn’t just another project or set of posts for my feed, but it’s something personal I’m setting my mind to doing; I’m actively choosing to engage in this healing process of the wounds I’ve been digging my fingers in for way too long.

As my sis Cydney would say, I was manifesting my own downfall. And today, it’s time for that to end in ALL AREAS of my life.

Today, I cleaned my room. I prayed for God to clean my spirit. I cleaned my mind. I am abounding in my intentions.

What are some intentions that you have set for the last half of 2020? How are you healing with everything going on in our world? What steps can you take in your healing process?

Mishy ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ’›

couple > me.

I don’t want this post to come off as me complaining, and just in case…

*DISCLAIMER: I am truly grateful for the wonderful, loving responses from everyone who’s supported my boyfriend’s latest music video for “Flower Child”! In no way am I saying that I don’t appreciate the sweet feedback from those who love it! Thank you again! ๐Ÿ’™

Okay, now I’m just going to go ahead and write this…

I’ve noticed that my social media/my brand will get more feedback / attention when I post pictures or videos of me and my boyfriend, but when it comes to just me, or a project I’m doing, or a video or blog I’ve posted…the support is sometimes lacking. I won’t say there isn’t any support, because I’d be lying. But why is it that some people JUMP at the chance to support my relationship before what I do individually? It’s so interesting to me.

It’s as if I and the things that I do are only “valuable” to others when I’m seen with my significant other. And I know that’s not true to those who are genuine supporters of me, but all of a sudden, people start coming out of the woodwork when my boyfriend shows up on my page. While I appreciate the support our relationship gets, I’m curious to know what you all think about this.

Do we idolize the human relationship so much that we’ve forgotten the value of the individual, and what they do by themselves? Are we all so stuck on the infatuation of what a relationship can give us (whether we’re in one or just watching one from a distance), that if we see a person who’s single, we can’t just see them as single and satisfied, we have to see them as “single and searching”, “single and talking to someone, sort of”, or “single, but they got ‘hoes,’ probably”?

Again, I don’t say this to complain, and to all those who just love love, that’s great! You do you! I’m just wondering what other people’s thoughts are on this. Because, of course, you can’t be on social media these days without seeing AT LEAST ONE couple photo, be it someone you personally know, someone you used to know, or a celebrity couple.

When we see a relationship posted, what are the things we think? What are the things that we value in seeing that couple? What are the things we hope for and wish for when we’re in relationships of our own?

Does seeing how other people on social media treat their significant others affect how we would want to be treated in our own relationships, or can we distance ourselves and our own lives from those things, and live the way we want to, in agreement with our partners? How are we judging other people in their relationships when things are posted on social media, or even when things aren’t posted?

And how do all these things affect how we view the individual person? Because you know it does, especially if you know one out of the two people in a relationship. You may think, “Hmm, I know (insert guy’s name here) really well, so that means his girlfriend must be (insert assumption here).” You may not say it out loud, but you might have thought this, maybe even subconsciously. You have expectations for how the individuals are based on seeing them as a couple.

Just me rambling on some thoughts I had! I would love to hear some feedback on what you all have to say. I’m not here to start arguments, though, so, if that’s your goal, please don’t comment. But if you want to show me a different perspective, then by all means, please do! I’d love to have a conversation with you about it.

Or, maybe this post is just for you to think, to get some of your own thoughts out, and that’s great too! I know just writing this blog has helped me re-evaluate how I view myself, and other individuals who are in relationships as well!

Mishy ๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸคŽ

halfway there – bsgp. (+ a special announcement!)

I actually write this, and I’m over halfway done with the Brown Skin Girl Project. But let’s dive in to how I’m feeling / what’s been happening while this project has been going on, shall we?

it’s official…

I’m officially quarantined. Not just “oh, we suggest that you quarantine, stay 6 feet apart, etc.” no, I’m legit, “cannot go anywhere, not even the grocery store, you need someone else to do that for you,” quarantined. Due to a circumstance that happened last week while I was at work, it’s possible that I could be carrying COVID-19, and develop symptoms. Even though I took the test earlier this week, and it came back negative. 14 days, y’all…I’m now on day 6, and it’s been, meh. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

And during this time, I’ve also had some other health things going on that are causing me and my little anxious heart to want to cry out in fear, if I’m being honest. I’m grateful that I’ve got all this time to work on my creativity, to finish up the Brown Skin Girl Project, but it’s hard to create when I’ve got a lot of things going on in other areas, and I’m really trying not to panic about it all.

But, “God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear,” and while I know this, and I’m reciting it to myself to keep me calm, all the while, I’m still battling the worry. Pray for me, please, if you think of me!

as for the project itself:

Y’all, the project has been doing so great, in my opinion! I’m really glad that I was able to take my time on this, and learn and create so many awesome resources, and give these women an opportunity to talk about themselves in all sorts of aspects!

The finale of the project is a Words with Women event that I plan on doing virtually so that there doesn’t have to be any 6-feet apart, only 10 people can show up madness. Because I want ALL THE WOMEN to participate in this with me! It will definitely be different since it’ll be done virtually, but I’m still excited to see who will show up, and the many different perspectives that will contribute to the conversation!

So, without further ado, I present the official Words with Women flyer!

If you’re a woman reading this, and you’re interested in participating, please email me at the email on the flyer, and you’ll get a Zoom link for the event meeting! I’m really excited to have this event again, even considering the circumstances, and I hope you all are excited as well!

Mishy ๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸคŽ

quarter of the way – bsgp.

So, many of you who follow me know that I’ve been working on The Brown Skin Girl Project since May began, leaving me really no time to blog until today, honestly. I had my very last interview for the project today, so all that’s left is to edit the videos, create the rest of the content and post!

I decided today to write a little bit about how the process has been up until now, and then check in again once the halfway mark, 3/4 mark, and the end is here…

first quarter.

Ahh the beginning…it seems so long ago!

Honestly, I was hella nervous during these first several interviews, mostly because I hadn’t done this in such a long time. I had already planned on switching shirts for every interview, even if they were scheduled on the same day, but with the way I was sweating through each one, it was necessary to change ๐Ÿ˜…

The last time I tried doing an interview project was four years ago when I still lived on Tybee, and I had created a Tybee Island Profiles page to go around and interview different locals from the island about who they were and what they did. That is honestly how my writing project #JustStartWriting began (another story for another time. Another project for another time too).

And it’s crazy because I didn’t really make the connection between this project and the Tybee Island project from years ago until recently. In some way, I guess those journalism classes I took in high school/college still stick with me!

I got excited when it came time to edit the videos because I hadn’t edited long videos in a while since my last #MotivationalMishyMonday season (also another project I need to work on. Be patient with me lol). And when I started the actual editing process…

Y’all, I won’t lie…I was slightly shocked at the amount of work that this project required. I knew I was going to have to put effort in, but I mean, I started staying up until 2am editing videos and making sure the content to post was accurate. I felt like I was back in college: slightly procrastinating, but getting the job done.

The releasing of a project is always exciting; the first post received so much feedback and support, I was honestly thrilled! Since then, things seemed to have slightly died down. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate anyone who’s been actively liking, sharing, commenting on everything that’s been posted so far! This isn’t about me and my platform, I just hope each of these ladies is getting not only exposure, but also support in what they’re doing and working towards!

I’m grateful for a couple of things:

  1. I’m grateful that, before all this quarantine-ing started, I went to SimplyMac at Hamilton Place Mall, and dropped the money I’d been saving on a MacBook Air. Because if I didn’t have this laptop, I probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to do this project. My old laptop was so outdated and slow, there would be no chance really of getting this project done as smoothly as it’s been going (even if I do stay up until 2am!)
  2. I’m really grateful for technology to be this advanced to do things such as this project. Zoom has been the best tool for this! I’ve been able to get to know these women better than just following them on Instagram, and seeing little snippets of their lives. I actually got to hear from their own mouths what drives them, what they long to do now and into the future, and random facts about them as well!
  3. I’m grateful for a project to work on at all during this time. Even though I will be returning to work soon, it’s nice to be able to do something this big and creative before I need to be back in a consistent schedule. It’s nice to feel what it will be like when I leave the 9-5 behind and create for a living!

As I write this, I’m almost halfway done with with the Brown Skin Girl Project, but I’ll save my halfway point thoughts for the next post I make about this!

What’s an idea you’ve been working on that’s turned into a project, a podcast, a website, etc.? How did it feel to work on something creatively and consistently? What are some things you’re thankful for that have allowed you to do your project?

Mishy ๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸคŽ

P.S. Please make sure you head to my Instagram (@mishywrites) and check out the Brown Skin Girl Project! All interviews are on my IGTV channel, and pictures and favorite quotes of the women featured are on my actual page!

reality.

Well, y’all, it’s official. A set date has been made for when I’ll be returning to work, and it all seems so surreal. Part of me wonders how I’ll be once I do return; will I go back to the same habit of being constantly busy? I really hope not; seeing the hours I’m going to work though, I’m nervous that it’ll just be going back to same old, same old for me.

But I still have about three weeks left of social distancing, so I’m going to take advantage of it as much as possible!

Even though going back to work seems like going “back to reality,” I know for a fact it won’t be the same. Already, we’re having to change so many ways in which we need to do things; I’m afraid the place that I worked at before will never return to be the way it was even months after we return.

Don’t get me wrong, it will be sweet to reunite with my coworkers, and to see what new children I’ll get to have this summer. But a part of me does wish I could have had just one more week with the kids I had for this past school year. Even if I was rippin’ and runnin’ this semester (well, most of the school year), I still enjoyed my kids. I enjoyed teaching with my co-teachers, and getting to talk with them, not only about school things, but also about our lives.

And I could say that the routine was bearable, but maybe now I can have a better handle on how I do things from here on out when it comes to the time I do have outside of work.

Another part of me feels sort of selfish because I know that while I’ve had practically ten weeks off, there have been so many people who have continued to work, either on the front lines as essential workers, or from home. For some, it has picked up their workload even more so, and I do want to say how grateful I am for those who have been continuing to work through this whole pandemic time.

I can only continue to pray that even before I go back to work, things will get better. Life will return to when we can all be in large groups together without face masks, and without the concern that we may be endangering each other. And I can also pray that, when it is time for me to return to work, that I won’t return to the same habits that I had, but will be more present, more aware of how I’m feeling, more willing to sacrifice a routine or schedule to do things I feel led to do instead of doing things I “have” to do outside of work, and more grateful for the way things are, because things change quicker than we can blink our eyes.

What are some things you’ve learned that you can take with you once a routine away from social distancing starts for you? How can you be sure that you’ll stick to those things moving forward?

Mishy ๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸคŽ