what I learned from Zuko and a throwback song by The Rocket Summer. – Day 23

It’s the day before Thanksgiving break.

It’s also one day closer to being done with this social media break! I’m proud of myself for stepping aside for so long to get things in order. I don’t want to continue to drown myself in things of the world that don’t matter, or in things that I think would further my purpose, when in reality, they just distract me from it.

This morning, as I was driving to work, I was thinking about the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. Last night, I watched the final episodes (for the second time) with my boyfriend, and I thought about the character Zuko, and his constant struggle he had within himself between his desire to be the “honorable” prince of the Fire Nation, and to be the change and good outside of what the typical Fire Nation morals were. In the end, he found his way, but it took so much struggling, and a lot of separation (a couple of banishments) for him to admit that he could not be like the rest of the Fire Nation. It wasn’t in him; it wasn’t his destiny.

And I thought about myself and how, if I’m being honest, for a while now I’ve had the same internal struggle Zuko had. I know that overall, I’m a different creative. While there are some similarities in interests, I don’t do exactly what others do when it comes to the details of my craft. And while I am grateful for the love and support I have gotten, I feel like I’ve downplayed myself for so long that others have started doing the same. And it hurts because I know what kind and how much work I put into all the things I do, and to see someone only see one dimension of me, or to not think of me as one of the “big dogs” of writing or poetry or whatever causes me to feel like being my authentic self in that space isn’t good enough.

Why do I think this? Because there are people on social media every day who don’t seem to be doing nearly as much, yet, because they look a certain way or have more money or more time to do things, people are more attracted to them, and seem to respect them more. So, my flesh and my spirit struggled with each other; my flesh wanting me to try to be and look like everyone else, and blend in with others to gain that perspective from other people, and my spirit knowing that I wasn’t created to imitate the world, but to separate myself while being in it, and to gain spiritual insight and approval of the Lord.

A song I listened to this morning, one that I’ve listened to for YEARS, wrapped up this whole thought process of mine in a pretty big bow. Maybe it was the Holy Spirit who led me to listen to The Rocket Summer’s Do You Feel album this morning. And the last song I listened to before heading into work was “A Song is Not a Business Plan.”

Now, I’d always listened to this song back in middle and high school, and I got the gist of what Bryce Avary, the musician who makes up The Rocket Summer, was talking about. But never have words hit me so hard, and related to what I was thinking in that exact moment. It truly touched the core of why I decided to take this social media break because honestly, the refocus I needed was because I was too busy looking at and watching other people, and desiring to be like them in order to move forward in my purpose. If felt like I had to be and look like the stereotypical public figure in order for people to take me more seriously.

But therein lies the problem already: I was so focused on people focusing on ME and the work I was doing, and not on the true Purpose behind my work and my words. That same internal battle Zuko went through was what I was going through as well, and I was so sick of going against everything I knew was right, that I had to step back from one of the main sources that was causing this problem for me.

With this last week of my hiatus being here, I know that I’m going to be using social media more actively from now on. Meaning, it won’t just be something I go to when I’m waiting in line for something, while I’m on my break at work, or when I’m with my friends and there’s a lull in the conversation. I want to be intentional about my time on social media, and how it’s being used. If I’m just on Instagram watching people’s stories like their mini reality TV shows instead of studying how people have done things, and coordinating my social media to fit my purpose, then I’m wasting my time. If I’m more intentional about my time on social media, then I’ll be more intentional about the rest of the time I have as well.

This break has cleared up so much for me. I know I sometimes talk about how social media obviously isn’t real life, and how people get so caught up in it that they lose who they truly are to fit into a persona that isn’t truly achievable, but it’s always easier to say these things than to truly live it out. I was drowning in the stereotypical social media hype, and was struggling differentiating between Mishy Writes me and my true self.

And lately, I’ve been telling myself the truth more and more when it comes to social media. How sometimes, the people who have the biggest following don’t have the biggest respect from that following. How they’re expected to do WAY MORE than is truly necessary for one human being to do in order to appease the masses of people who follow them. How some of them have mental health issues that they want to deal with in private, but they are constantly judged that they can’t find the space for it. Being recognized isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and I’m learning that it’s really nice to be in the cut. To do what you love, but not have the entire world really watching you, and wondering what you’re doing at every minute of every day.

I’m going to put the lyrics of “A Song is Not a Business Plan” below, and I want you to think of things in your life that hinder you or distract you from your true self and your true purpose. It can be social media, or maybe it’s a friend group you’re in. Maybe it’s your job, or a tradition that you always hold to that holds you back instead of pushing you forward. Whatever it is, I want you to pinpoint it, and figure out a way to change your habits in order for you to get back on track. Because the world needs YOU, not someone who’s just like everyone else just so they can be recognized. I remind myself, So what if I’m not a world-renown poet or motivational speaker? So what if I don’t have a major following like some of these public figures do? So long as I’m focused on the Lord, He will keep me on the right path of my purpose.

Hey stop, do you hear an echo?
I do but does anyone know
It’s the same old thing we heard an hour ago,
Different band, the same radio.
We broke down on the side of the road,
East coast, we had to cancel the shows.
I’m trying as hard as I can.
But I’d rather write a song than a business plan.
Because this is me, saying words I actually mean,
I won’t compromise this thing just to make it.

I want to, that’s a given, but
I can’t imagine the same way as you,
Oh you, no I’ll never do the things they do just to make it.

Singing soul, you say you got it in you,
Something to say, well, I don’t hear it in any one of your tunes,
The words you heard you reused,
You got a hook but it’s no book, got no soul just a look.
And this is me, saying words I actually mean,
I won’t compromise this thing just to make it.

I want to, that’s a given, but
I can’t imagine the same way as you,
Oh you, no I’ll never do the things they do just to make it.

Do you even know what you’re even saying,
Or are you just saying it because someone else said it.
Do you even know what you’re even saying,
Or are you just saying it because someone else said it.
Do you even know what you’re even saying,
Or are you just saying it because someone else said it.
Do you even know what you’re even saying,
Or are you just saying it because somebody else.

I want to that’s a given, but
I can’t imagine the same way as you,
Oh you, no I’ll never do the things they do just to make it.
I want to that’s a given, but
I can’t imagine the same way as you,
Oh you, no I’ll never do the things they do just to make it.

“A Song is Not a Business Plan”, The Rocket Summer

Mishy ๐Ÿฆ‹