Why Trust Is Hard and That’s Okay

“It is more important to go slow and gain the lessons you need along the journey then to rush the process and arrive at your destination empty.”

– Germany Kent

the-journal-garden-vera-bitterer-682529-unsplash (1).jpgThings don’t always go as planned, we all know that by now.

Maybe sometimes that itus down, makes us doubt ourselves, or even stop moving altogether.

Because it’s hard to trust the process when you don’t know what’s coming next.

And that’s okay.

A lot of our lives are fully scripted; I know the beginning of my path was: get through grade school, make sure grades are enough for a good college, then get through college and make sure grades are enough for whatever comes next whether it’s more school, a job, or something completely different.

There were a whole lot of decisions made and plans mapped out to get me to where I am right now.

So why doesn’t it look like that I thought it was supposed to?

Do any of our plans?

I think we move too fast, trying too hard to get to where we think we need to be only to replace that goal with a new one, a little farther away. We never slow down to reconsider our directions, to let ourselves fail and adapt, or to readjust for whatever burdens come our way.

Just because it seems like everything is supposed to be planned out doesn’t mean that things we don’t plan for aren’t going to come crashing into our lives, straight down the middle of that timeline you’ve got set.

That’s when we need to trust the process.

When things change and so do we.

When new lessons come our way we we have to remember to learn them.

When the journey starts to look a little too long and our bodies are tired…

Even when it’s hard. Trust process.

If you trust it and things turn out well, you’re better for it.

If you don’t trust it and things don’t turn out so okay, you let the pieces fall where they may and rearrange them until you find your way back.

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Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash

No matter what you do, these lessons and paths and failures and hopes, they will change you if you take the time to notice them. It doesn’t mean you have to always be okay with whatever is going on, but I think all of us could use a little faith sometimes.

Like Germany Kent said, it would be a shame to turn up to the end of your journey empty. Let the lessons and the change fill you up and rearrange who you are with the life you hold as you make your way through that journey.

Trust yourself. Even when it’s hard.

Happy Friday and I hope to see you all on Tuesday.

 

Are You Good Enough?

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Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

There’s this T-shirt I keep seeing everywhere, classic black Tee with a few simple words on the front and a rose in the middle: “Good Enough.” Maybe it’s just because I’m twenty years old and it’s that awkward time when everyone’s doing something different, but I’ve been wondering about that phrase.

How do you define what “good enough” looks like?

That T-shirt comes from former Vine sensation turned YouTuber Nathan Zed and he wanted to make a shirt that people could put on as a reminder: whatever they’re doing and whoever they are in that moment, if it feels good, then it’s good enough.

He has this quote in his You’re Not Good Enough video, saying “I just hate feeling like the most unqualified person in the room.”

I don’t think anyone likes that feeling. But when someone wants to get good at something, they’re going to have to learn the ropes and let themselves feel unqualified at first. If I wanted to be better at piano, I would need to learn how to read sheet music, play easy songs and slowly raise the bar.

samuel-zeller-358865-unsplashBecause that’s the thing— in this case I set the bar. 

It doesn’t always feel like that.

Take college for example; people can judge you off the school you get into, whether or not you leave home, the major you apply for, and what you want to do for the rest ofyour life. If you’re liberal arts at an engineering school, you’re not good enough. If you stay home for school and go to a CC (and save copious amounts of money among other benefits), you’re not good enough.

I want to know who makes these rules, but I guess the answer is that technically, we do. We should change them.

I’m at the age where some people are getting married or starting families while others are working or going to college and travelling the world. Everyone is at a different place and it’s hard to say that what you’re doing feels like enough when everyone else seems like they’re doing more.

On social media people post things like “just got back from Cancun!” or “made the Dean’s List again lol.” You see all the good things or accomplishments because of course people danielle-macinnes-222441-unsplashare going to publicize things when they’re going well, not even for other recognition, but just to acknowledge themselves. There’s nothing wrong with that.

There is something wrong with us believing that because someone is smiling or things look like they’re going well, everything is as fantastic as it looks and we just don’t have what it takes to get there.

Now for those of you who are doing great, know you’re doing great, and feel secure in that, fantastic! Good for you, keep doing your thing.

For those of you who aren’t or don’t quite feel that way, remember that it’s okay because I know I struggle with feeling like I’m doing enough or being enough both for myself and the people I love. This is a reminder to start from where you are and do what you can to get yourself to where you want to be.

I know it sounds like I’m preaching self-love here… Because I am. Before you please anyone else, you have to figure out what you want for yourself and make that happen. No one else can. Once you’re happy with that, be okay with it and wherever you end up next.

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Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

You are good enough only if you can accept where you’re at and do what it takes to get to where you want to be. So here’s to a weekend that just might be good enough for you, good luck and happy Friday everyone.

PS. If you’re looking into those shirts I talked about, check them out here because I think the concept is a pretty wholesome one.

Marionette— A Poem

New poem for you today, this one is a little different but it’s a good time for trying out new styles. Feel free to let me know what you think about it.


Marionette

This world,

it handles me like

a play toy;

A tug this way,

a thought that way, 

suddenly

it makes me do

whatever it wants.

And all I can manage

is to nod, then move,

let it control me like

a marionette.

All of the strings tie

back to my heart

pulsing with every beat–

as even more hold close

to my body– pulling 

on me so tightly–

yet, I have not a say,

not a care,

not a want.

Not a breath my own.

Because

not a single one

of those

damn strings 

seem

to belong

to me.

7 Ways You Hold Yourself Back Without Knowing It

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Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Sometimes you get in the way of your own capabilities. We all do.

Self-doubt hold us back from succeeding, even living a good life, and sometimes our doubt can sabotage the journey. Whether it’s being afraid of heights and never flying at all or holding low expectations as to never be disappointed, we are all human and we have flaws. Holding ourselves back is oftentimes one of them.

But here is what you need to remember: you may be fully capable of getting to exactly where you want to be, even if it’s in a different way than you originally thought. Yet more often than not, you’re too busy standing in your own way to get there.

Let me tell you the seven ways this might be happening, and more importantly, seven ways to get yourself back on track.


1. Can’t or Won’t

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash 

Have you ever had those people in your life who ask you whether you can’t do something or you just don’t want to? A lot of holding yourself back comes from doubting your own potential— it’s not that you are incapable of doing something, but it could be that there may be a chance of failure, of something not turning out the way you want it to. The question isn’t whether or not you can do it, it’s whether or not you are willing to try.

2. You vs. Them

Comparisons are where the insecurity begins. I know it sounds cheesy, but this is all you need to know here: live your life for you in the only way you can. Don’t let anyone else write your story.

3. To Be Enough

In the same vein as comparison, there is no real definition for being “good enough.” Find your own way to define what kind of person you want to be. Then make it happen.

4. Big Hopes, Little Action

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Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

As with anything, you have to put in the energy to get the results you’re looking for. If I want to write a book, I have to put in the hours to both write it and edit the content until I believe it’s finished. Just like getting into college, finding a new job, or even making friends, they all start with you and how much you’re willing to put in. No matter how much you hope for something big, the dreams and ideas you hold, the effort has to match those hopes. Or you will never reach them.

5. Gotta Risk it to Get the Biscuit

If you’ve ever seen the movie Fired Up, you’ve heard that phrase. Nothing comes without a little risk; this could be money, time, sanity, security, or sometimes even friends. Gotta risk it to get the biscuit. Find out what’s worth it.

6. Trust Your Talent

It helps to have people back you up and I know that support can be everything. That includes supporting yourself. If you know you’ve got something to offer the world, do whatever it takes to put yourself out there and prove it.

7. Work Hard, Play Hard

Theres this phrase that goes “if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” It’s not true. Your work is work, whether you love it or not. Your time, energy, and work goes into what you do. So work hard, give it everything you’ve got, and let the effort you pour into it be worth something. And while you do, to avoid burnout in the least, find a balance— don’t forget to play hard too.


Any other ways you tend to get in your own way? Feel free to add to the list in the comments below!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone, see you Tuesday for a new Poetry Place.

Nobody Puts Baby In A… Box?

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Photo by Leone Venter on Unsplash

Okay, I have to be honest with you about something… I’ve never actually watched Dirty Dancing all the way through. I mean, who doesn’t know the famous line regarding babies and corners whether or not they’ve seen the movie? It’s a classic.

But what I can tell you I have done, through and through, is something I think we all do without even noticing it.

I’ve put myself in a box, plenty of them actually.

And I’m not just talking giant refrigerator boxes borrowed to make forts out of, I’m talking the hypothetical box we oftentimes put ourselves in that may turn out to be boundaries holding us in rather than opportunities to branch out.

Think about it, as children we are asked what we want to be when we get older— I think I said a veterinarian because I loved animals, typical I know.

Next it was a doctor, a professional reader, even a designer at some point. These are the things I held onto, that I shaped myself around and into even when the definition didn’t quite fit.

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Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash

Welcome to Box #1.

How about, the one that we’ve all seen before whether we want to answer it or not, from job applications to standardized testing. For some people it can be an identity crisis because, what if more than one applies and you’re only allowed to pick one? There it is anyway, the question we all see coming: What’s your race or ethnicity?

Box #2.

And of course, that universal question on personality tests, you know the one that asks you what kind of person you are before only offering two options. That stereotypical difference between those sitting in the back of the bleachers and those leaning far over the front of them: Are you introverted or extroverted?

Box #3.

From the things we love and the passions we hold to the people we chose to be and the paths we pursue, they’re definitions, ideas to fit into. These boxes help people to figure out who they are, but they can also hold us back.

Let’s go to that second box for a minute, humor me. Do you remember the amount of times I’ve told you I’m an introvert, that I’m quiet and generally pretty reserved? It wasn’t a lie, I am and if you asked my friends they would probably agree. But only sometimes.

Give me an option to go out to a party or kick it back with a few good friends, and I’ll probably choose the latter. But throw me in a group where nobody knows each other, and you might catch a little extra sass and comedy from yours truly.

This isn’t because I have a big personality, though I might, but because it can be nice to vibe off the energy from people around me. I’m not saying I’m very funny and in reality a complete extrovert, but in some situations, I can find myself somewhere in the middle of that box.

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

So why do I hold onto the label of being an introvert so tightly?

Because it makes me feel like I belong to something.

It’s the same way for some people who believe themselves to be more analytical than creative— maybe they were told in grade school that their mind is so strongly geared towards logic that they decided to follow that belief.

Even if creativity was always itching up their arms in the meantime.

In figuring out who we are or what defines us, we can get so attached to the identity we think we already know that we forget to let ourselves back out of that box every once in a while.

Just because you are a talker at heart, it doesn’t hurt to listen.

Or if you are good with computers and have never picked up an instrument in your life, there’s no reason not to try your hand at music if you want to.

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Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

There are these middle ground, gray areas, that allow people to be more than one thing or the other. If you feel so inclined in one direction, then go for it. Follow it to your heart’s content.

But if you ever feel a pull coming from your other side, don’t let the person you’ve always been or thought you should be turn those boxes into a cage around your personality.

Nobody should put you in a box you don’t want to be in. Not even you.

It Takes Two– A Pride Month Themed Book Review

alisa-anton-632369-unsplashI promised you a Bookworms post today didn’t I?

So here I am, with two YA books for you that each touch on LGBT topics and a bigger picture of love or adjusting to who we are that tie them both together.

As two very different novels, I chose these because one was about something I know almost nothing of and the other was something that I think could be relatable for anyone, whether or not you identify with the community.

They’re about growing up and living live as we are, after all, I think that’s something we’ve all gone through. So without further ado, here we go.


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe–  Benjamin Alire Sáenz

diego-duarte-cereceda-714994-unsplash.jpgThis book is full of tender moments that still surprise me to be pulled into through the pages. Aristotle watches his life move around him, his parents changing while his own perspectives do, as he figures out who they are alongside himself.

We watch him grow up as the story plays out and his story is wonderfully written.

One line stuck with me that I believe sums up the novel quite well, something I think many people have thought before:

“When do we start feeling like the world belongs to us?

I used to wonder this myself, now questioning whether or not it ever will. Dante and Aristotle both explore this as their friendship changes throughout the chapters. Even more than a book about sexuality or growing up, it’s a story about love and adapting to change. Each relationship is no longer what it began as, exploring what it means to be a parent or a friend and what that looks like from the outside. redd-angelo-11901-unsplash

Aristotle’s character goes through a lot, from the anger and the loss he feels to the disconnection and anticipation within his own life. Add these feelings in with the violence he experiences toward the LGBT community, the kind that many people forget truly happens, and we realize just how hard it can be to sometimes accept who we are. Especially when other people don’t.

That is the journey of this book.

Through intensely real characters, a strongly interwoven Latino culture, and the mind of a boy who’s just trying to understand it all along the way, it’s about love just as much as it’s about trying to hold the world in your hands when it never quite seems to fit right.

It’s about trying to discover the secrets of the universe.

The Symptoms of Being Human– Jeff Garvin

scott-webb-270034-unsplash.jpgFirst of all, there’s a Bratz doll that comes up in this book and when I read those pages, I could feel that same doll in my 7 year old hands. Talk about nostalgia. This book is the epitome of high school drama surrounded by the confusion of growing up feeling misunderstood. You’ve got classic lunch scenes, the misfits, the popular people so clearly in the wrong, and teachers that never see anything.

Maybe it’s a cliche— maybe it’s also true.

What struck me about this book is how closely Riley’s struggles could relate to thousands of young people while at the same time, be so specific to one experience that it goes both ways. Because part of me understands exactly what the character was going through, a lot of it happens to all of us in some shape or form. The bullying, the distance from people we love, the adolescent angst, the list goes on.

The other part of me was thrown into a world where gender fluidity is more real than it ever has been. I personally have never experienced it nor do I have any close friends that openly identify with it, so if anything this book was an inside look into a life that I’ve never had. And I can empathize with Riley’s struggles.erol-ahmed-255854-unsplash

Because growing up, things get pretty confusing pretty quickly. We all get that. Especially in high school, everything is always changing. But through Riley, Solo, and several other characters, their personalities were there along with a whole lot of information about something most people don’t understand.

What this book lacked was a solid foundation for a plot. If you want a good story with a solid plot that isn’t too predictable, this might not be what you’re looking for. But if you’re looking for a little more understanding of gender fluidity and the possibilities of what that can mean, this is a good place to start. As long as you don’t stop here.

For we’ve all got a whole lot to learn in today’s world. Thanks to the internet, now we can.

Also, if anyone has read this, did you hear catch Folsom Prison reference in chapter 6? Classic, all we need is a Johnny Cash mention and my little hometown is on the map.


So thanks for sticking around for these two books and if you check them out, let me know what you think! I’ll see you all on Friday.

5 Things YOU Need to Know About Pride Month

“Pride has to resonate from within;shine out to everyone around you.It has mean something to you and only you first before you announce it to the world.”– Solange Nicole

As the third week of June and my first week of summer, it looks like quarter systems let out just in time for the myriad of Pride festivals throughout the United States. So before we hit the full festivities of the weekend, here are a few things you should know about Pride.

One

tyler-nix-525388-unsplash.jpgYou do not need to identify as part of the LGBT+ community to participate, but you need to respect those who are a part of it.

If you take a glance through history just like my blog post from last year does (you can brush up here if you want), these festivals are a whole lot more than just celebrating who this community is— they’re a protest, an appreciation, and a chance for people to feel like they belong somewhere in a society that has so often told them they don’t.

Whether or not you are part of this community, just like with Black History Month or Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, allies are just as important as the people who identify with the culture. So be an Ally.

Two

Appreciation is NOT appropriation.

Even with the amount of access to the internet that we have these days, sometimes the education gets lost in translation. To be clear, appreciating the culture of Pride or any other appreciation month does not mean appropriating it.

As someone who does not personally identify with something, it is not okay to “try it on” like a Native American headdress, straight women kissing one another for attention, or blackface. Appreciate. Don’t Appropriate. Plain and Simple.

Three

kyle-sterk-419086-unsplash.jpgEvery person needs at least one place to be unapologetic about who they are.

For some people, that place is Pride. The one weekend– one month– to be open and honest and comfortable with everything that makes up these complicated and confusing identities we hold. Yes, some people do not understand the need to have a month or a celebration like this one. Maybe because they never needed a safe space for pieces of who they are.

Over the years I have come to truly understand the need to be unapologetic with who you are in at least one part of your life— it can be family or friends or school or whatever you consider your home. No matter what, there needs to be at least one place. I think everyone should be able to respect that.

Four

There is more to Pride than rainbow outfits and a stereotype around gay people.

As I mentioned earlier, there are a whole lot of identities and cultural histories surrounding this month; all of them are equally important to Pride. There is more to the acronym than the L and the G, every single one of them should be respected. Whether you agree with this or not, it is not a time or place to be spreading hateful opinions. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

In addition, remember the protests and fights and trauma that have gone into festivals like this one over the decades. Remember the hate crimes that still happen on a daily basis that a lot of people do not feel the need to notice. All minority groups go through a lot to get to where they are today. The LGBT+ community is no exception.

Five

levi-saunders-133027-unsplash.jpgIt is not over yet.

Just because we celebrate our own cultures or how far we’ve all come within our own identities or cultural histories, that doesn’t mean we have finished the fight. There is still discrimination and racism and camps to “pray away the gay” and children being locked in warehouses. As far as it seems this society has come from hurting people for who they are or the circumstances they are born into, there’s a lot more to fight for. Keep fighting.

So celebrate, appreciate, enjoy, and don’t appropriate. Because this is a month for unapologetic expression and unbounded love. This is a month for the self-respect that comes from understanding who you are. June is a month for a community to come together and fight for their rights.

This is a month for Pride.

cory-woodward-485315-unsplashI hope everyone stays safe this weekend, and for all those participating in the festivities, Happy Pride. Love is love after all.

Be on the lookout for a new Pride themed Bookworms post next week. Otherwise, Happy Friday everyone, hope to see you on Tuesday.