1480969527417I grew up in a family that was and is very much rooted in Christianity and the church. My father was recently “installed” as the pastor of the church I grew up in. My mother is now a first lady and missionary. One of my grandmothers is a church mother, the other is an evangelist. My uncle is a Pastor and my aunt is a first lady as well…you get the point because the list goes on. As a kid, I was active in Sunday school, the youth choir, the junior usher board, and the youth ministry programs and activities, but as I got older, none of it felt authentic to me. It was as if I was programmed to practice Christianity because that’s what my parents practiced and their parents and so on, but I never felt like I belonged there. I felt fake. I felt like I was going through the motions.

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When I got to college, my first couple of years, Christianity and church were the last things on my mind. I was in a new environment completely free from my parents who didn’t wake me up every Sunday morning to get dressed for a long day in church. I felt free. I felt liberated from it all. Somewhere along the way, I tuned into all the background noise telling me I needed to be in church, and I needed to read my bible and I needed to pray and there I was feeling guilty because I wasn’t doing any of those things. So once again, I found myself in church, and attending campus small groups during the week trying to fake it until I made it. I pledged a Christian sorority and found myself with more questions than answers trying to reach a standard I really didn’t care too much about in the first place. I got tired and burnt out from trying to keep up. So I stopped.  (more…)

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It’s been a while…I’ve been on a mini hiatus trying to make sense of a lot of things in my life. I’ve been dealing with body image issues, going through a career change, and just an entire shift in my daily lifestyle. I’ve become more dormant, I’ve been less active and I’m enjoying the experiences that new love brings, but I must admit there’s still a tug of war taking place, there’s still pulling teeth in some areas.

I’m a girl from the hood who saw the value of education as my only option out and I had big city, media maven dreams that I’ve been chasing since, but lately I’ve found myself tired. I’ve found myself drained by it all, but my love of writing is still forever present. I started thinking about these dreams that I’ve been chasing and how I wish to see them executed in my life. Writing has been the most therapeutic for me over the years, but when it’s all said and done, I want to write books. That’s it. I love blogging and sharing stories with you all and inspiring people, but my big city media maven “dreams” have come to an end. My heart is desiring other things.

Writing is a staple in my life. It’s a huge part of who I am and no matter where I might venture, it always comes down to two things: writing and education. So as I’ve been chasing the big city, media maven dreams, education which has always been my purpose, has been chasing me and I’ve been running, but recently I’ve stopped. I’ve grown tired of running. I’ve been playing tug of war with the fast paced lifestyle that working in media brings. The being all over the place, the meeting and socializing with young people like myself over drinks and music, the 45 min. train rides to New York City and the nightlife that doesn’t sleep.

Two weeks ago, I studied through long nights, I sat through a 3.5 hour exam as the first steps towards that purpose. I had to take the Praxis II exam for English Language Arts: Content and Analysis. I searched apartments in a new city (Baltimore) and I’ve been having mixed feelings about it all. I’ve put aside my nomadic behavior, I’ve had to shed that single girl cocoon I’ve lived in for the past two years and I’m finally establishing some roots somewhere. There are those days where I’m all smiles because I’m trusting this new direction that life is taking me in and then there are the days full of worry while trying to hold on to the things I’m not ready to let go of yet (the never ending nightlife scene, partying and drinking excessively with friends, being near the Big Apple).

Today in church, I asked God for help. I asked him to give me clarity and to stop me from worrying so much. I asked him to help me trust this process, this unexpected shift, this “step back.” I asked him to really help me evaluate all the options that lay before me rationally. I asked him to help me stop picking pieces from other people’s life that I wished I had and using it to compare with my own.

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So, what do you do when the dream you’ve been chasing isn’t the purpose that’s chasing you? Do you accept that you have to stop running eventually? Do you ignore it and continue to dodge it? Do you trust God’s promise of prosperity and his plan for you?

I closed my eyes. Closed my eyes from the world. I tuned out of the glitz and glam of Instagram. I closed my eyes to the people that I admired that I let turn into obsession. I closed my ears and turned off the thoughts of the things that I thought people would say. I listened. For the first time in my life, I put aside my own thoughts. I thought about tunnel vision and how for most of my life I had zoned in on one thing failing to see the entire picture. When I did that, I felt less pressure, I felt less confused and less worry. I began to think clearly and I’ve made my decision to stop running from the purpose that’s been chasing me.

I also realized something important, the dream that I’ve been chasing has strengthened my writing on so many levels. The chasing as built up my endurance. It’s prepared me to run in my purpose. I am a writer…who teaches writing…helps others fall in love with writing…and creates opportunities for others through writing.

So as I cruise through these Baltimore streets and learn new neighborhoods and adapt to a new lifestyle, I am excited by the possibilities.

 

Don’t you just love when you open up a box of Yogi tea and the pleasant aromas just come springing out? Opening up a packet of tea has the same equivalent of cracking open a fortune cookie and reading the fortune or reading the cap of a Snapple bottle. You can always guarantee that you’ll read a quote that is inspiring and uplifting.IMG_3894

Yesterday, I had to be reminded of my blessings. These days those reminders are coming more often than I would like, but I found myself briefly slipping into a state of depression and I thank God for the friends and family that I do have because they immediately reach down and yanked me out. One of my best friends sent me a message from Joel Osteen that read “If you’re not content in the process then you’ll never be satisfied.” 

My boyfriend preached a mini sermon to me and literally counted out every single blessing transpiring in my life. He had to lay it all out on the table for me to see. Everything that I want, it’s on its way. I just need to learn patience. I expressed to him that probably since graduating from college in 2012, there has never just been an extremely long period of peace in my life. I’ll get settled into something only for a single event to just shake it all up.

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But before all of that came my Yogi Tea bag message that read: “Happiness comes from contentment.” I thought how do I find this happiness…how do I find the contentment when I’m uncomfortable? It’s like Martin said, “Love’s in your face.” It is literally in my face every time I open up my eyes to let me know I’m alive another day. It’s in my face every time my boyfriend texts me or FaceTime me to see how my day is going. It’s in my face every time my friends texts me because I know there are people who genuinely care. It’s in my face with every annoying and frustrating work email that I answer and deadline that I meet because someone believes in my writing that much to give me a chance.

I’m already a tea addict and I have a cabinet stocked full of Yogi Tea and I’m pretty sure I’ll be drinking it much more often because I’d like my life to be big ball of inspiration like a box of Yogi Tea.