The bigger picture…

I had a conversation recently that had my mind working overtime…the usual.

I think at this point my brain is conditioned to try to get to the bottom of something or at least try to understand the motive behind a person’s actions. The problem with that is that I use my motives and thoughts as a blue print.

Certain moves or behaviors don’t add up or make sense to you because you wouldn’t do whatever it is given that circumstance. However, everyone is different. Your experiences, thoughts and feelings motivate your actions and behavior, just like the next person’s experiences, thoughts and feelings motivate their behavior.

You might think “well there’s certain codes and certain things we just don’t do.” Even that is subjective.

Bringing it back to my conversation, I was reminded of the bigger picture. It’s not my job to try to formulate a reason as to why someone did anything. All I can do is act accordingly.

The questions you should ask yourself are: “Does this really matter in the big scheme of things?” “How does this effect me?” And “What am I going to do about it.”

I’m by no mean saying don’t have feelings towards situations. Shit…I have a lot of feelings towards a lot of situations. The point is that once you’ve identified how you feel about something, try to identify the solution.

We spend so much time thinking about a situation. If you’re like me, it only makes you more riled up. While you’re sitting there quietly in anger or hurt or whatever feeling, life continues to go on. So…think about you. “What do I need to do in order for me to move on from this?” And “What’s my end goal?” Later on you may find that anything else that doesn’t answer those questions may just be irrelevant. More about the what and less about the why.

The misfortune of being humble?

I’ve always been the type of person that believes that your work and what you do speaks for itself. I still kinda believe that. I also think that at times, the loudest person in the room is doing the least so being loud is to overcompensate for everything else. 🤷🏿‍♂️

If I have it, why do I need to brag about it? If I’m really “doing it” why do I need to shout it from the mountain top??

Y’all agreeing so far right?

Here’s an answer : Because society rewards that. If you have a lot of money but you don’t have 8 cars and 4 mansions, do you really have money?? Yes…yes you do. We judge success based on what we see. If I don’t see it, you don’t have it type of thing. Which a lot of times is completely false.

Sometimes we place more value on making sure other people “see” us than enjoying the fruits of our labor.

On the flip side: if I don’t talk about my accomplishments and accolades then how will people know that it was me? How will I get my credit?

In most of what I do…I’m a team player. If I do something, I don’t necessarily need to say “I did that!” Why? Because I know I did and you know I did too butttt the lines get blurry when others start taking credit for your work or not crediting the fact that you’re bomb.

I’m humble but a little s/o every now and then doesn’t hurt. I’m human 🤷🏽‍♀️. Give me credit for the things I do…I work hard, even if you didn’t see every step of my move.

Growing up and even still now I’m not a person who likes to talk about what I’m going to do…I’d rather do it and then show you the results. Example…people were asking me “when are you going to taking your licensing exam?” I didn’t want to tell anyone when I was going to take the exam, I just wanted to take it and pass…results. Then I shared it with everyone because got dammit I worked hard for that lol.

The more I think about this, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s about balance. Be humble but get your credit too.

Just reflecting…

We live in a society where who you know is more important than what you know. It’s not enough to just be talented. You have to be talented, social, someone who networks, go to events etc. I’m not saying anything is wrong with those things…just here me out

At some points in my life and still sometimes today I was/am selective with my art. There was a time when the only people who saw my poetry was my best friend and the person I was with at the time. Both would tell me the same thing “You should share your work more” among other things.

For me all the social aspects that come with being a creative is still challenging at times. I never wrote for other people or to get a reaction out of people. I always wrote because it’s something I like to do and it’s an outlet for me.

Okay…so I shared my work with more people and I would get positive feedback and people telling me they feel my words. I don’t know about anyone else but that’s a great accomplishment for me.

So then my views on writing and sharing my work changed…just a little bit. I shifted to the if I share my work and one person can relate or my work can make one person feel like they aren’t the only one in whatever situation then I feel good.

I still feel that way. My goal for writing has never been to become a famous writer…I even contemplated releasing work under a fake name lol.

Now I’m at a place where I feel like…I don’t want to waste my talent. I love to write. Different things have held me back from being consistent with writing : first and foremost I’m a procrastinator… to my detriment at times, secondly my writing is personal…that provides a certain sense of vulnerability that makes me uncomfortable.

“Growth comes from feeling uncomfortable” I get it.

A part of me worries about reactions,questions etc. “Do I want people to know this about me?”

The thing with social media is that it kinda forces you to care about how people react to things. You post something and judge how people are feeling it based on how many likes/views. What happens when your likes/views don’t add up with your talent?

I know a couple of people who are very talented in their respective areas and it’s not widespread because they don’t go viral or have thousands of followers. That’s the hard part of it…I guess. In a way we have to depend on others to get to where we want to be or to have our work shared. Problem with that is people aren’t really trying to do all of that.

Someone will read this very post, like it a lot and won’t comment,like, subscribe or share it. I’m not shaming anyone because I’ve definitely done the same. The question is why? It cost nothing to support on the most basic level. So I think moving forward…I’ll start doing that more. Sharing things that I like and that I think others will like/take something from.

Awareness

I’ve always turned to writing in the darkest times. Pain…write. Anger…write. Despair…write. So I’m laying here at 6:56 am (I have no idea why I’m up) wondering why I haven’t written in so long. I’m not in a dark place…in case you were wondering. My point being, I’ve always used writing as a coping mechanism and as a way to express myself. Am I not expressing myself? Am I not coping? 🤷🏽‍♀️

Writing…at times is like second nature to me. An idea comes to mind, I start to type and now here we are. Then there are times when writer’s block is a bitch.

If you haven’t been able to tell by now (read all my other post 😬), I’m not your unicorn and rainbows type of gal. I’m not a Debby downer either though… Somewhere in between I can’t believe this is happening and what’s my plan B in case shit goes left.

It’s very hard for me to settle in or accept things as they are sometimes. My mind is forever in overdrive and trying to talk myself out of just being.

May is mental health awareness month…I’ve known this but clearly it took me the whole month to decide on if I wanted to talk about it or not. Somewhere between I want to talk about it because I wish someone spoke to me about it and it’s none of anyone’s business (lol).

But I’m obviously leaning towards the first one because with everything that I write I hope someone can relate or that It could help someone.

So let me tell you about my best friend…anxiety. Definitely one of those relationships that are forced on you and now you’re stuck lol. First let me say this… I don’t “suffer” from anything…”I’ve dealt with” or “I am dealing with”…power in words.

Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back I’ve dealt with anxiety for a long time. I was also very shy and I’m still somewhat very reserved. Anxiety will have you second guess things that you know to be true. Anxiety is living in the “what if” realm. It’s very hard to relax when you’re anxious…think about it. Then think about feeling ongoing anxiety. Some people only experience anxiety with significant events. Imagine being anxious about the “smallest” thing and having people tell you it’s “no big deal”, “you think too much” or my favorite one “so what” lol. Guess what? It is a big deal because I think too much and so what is a very rare answer my brain provides me with. Anxiety is probably why I’m up right now though I have no idea why I’m anxious. I have been and still sometimes avoid certain situations to avoid the anxiety that I know I’m going to feel. Overtime I’ve learned that you can’t really avoid feeling anxious, you just have to figure out how you’re going to minimize it in a situation. Control. My anxiety stems from the unknown and not being able to control certain things. When you can “control” your environment, anxiety has less “control” over you. The problem is…it’s not very often that you can control your environment completely. 🤔.

Depression…the word in itself sounds depressing. A little while ago we would never be speaking about depression. I know I wouldn’t be. Mainly because I didn’t know that what I was experiencing was depression. I’ve always thought of those times as “I’m going through some shit but it’ll pass” and it usually did but sometimes to get through it…boy

Another thing about depression is how it’s “advertised”. It’s advertised in the most generic way and yeah some people might experience it they way you see it in those nice commercials but I’d guess that most do not. That’s also why it’s hard for some people to know if or when someone else is dealing with depression.

I was depressed and functioning. I completed my “responsibilities”. I didn’t sleep all day and trust me there were many days that I would have given anything to do just that. I took care of myself physically. I still couldn’t shake it though. There were periods of time where I had no appetite, I was always tired and even though I was going to work and school, I had no desire or will to do either. Now, there’s a difference between “i don’t feel like going to work today” and “I don’t want to go to work, I need to go to work, I cannot get out of bed”. I think a main component of depression is having the “desire” or “will” to do something.

The day I admitted to myself that what I was going through was depression, I could not get out of bed. Not mentally and not emotionally…which translated to not physically. How do you explain to someone who may not have experienced what you’re experienced how you’re feeling? Or that you can’t get out of bed even though physically nothing is wrong? I didn’t know the answer then…so I didn’t explain. I showed up where I was supposed to be but I wasn’t feeling like myself. I was going through the motions. Besides some immediate ppl most people probably never knew I was depressed. I think it was a little of both…I was good at playing the game and people don’t understand or know what depression really looks like.

A lot of why mental health isn’t addressed is because of stigma. Also because mental health is not a “thing” in a lot of cultures. Having those kind of feelings to them means you need to pray or seek a higher power etc. Then there are some people who can’t fathom why you would even have feelings of depression when you have certain things…sigh. Possessions don’t always equate to lasting happiness and a lot of the time the people who have the most are still unhappy.

I say all of this to say someone dealing with mental health doesn’t have one look. People come in all different shapes and sizes. How we experience things vary. Be more mindful of the people around you. You never know what someone is dealing with.

Anxiety

I wrote this awhile ago and forgot about it 🤦🏽‍♀️. I think we all experience some kind of anxiety and/or self-doubt when we are trying to better ourselves and/or step out of our comfort zone…

I was going to speak up today

But you caught my tongue

Had me tongue tied, palms sweaty and knees weak

My voice is shallow and in my mind is a whirlpool of unlikely events that I pray never scratches the surface

I was going to hit the share button on my latest venture

I felt my muscles tighten up and my mind went into overdrive

99 thoughts of failure on the wall

I stand still as signs wiz pass

Slow down, speed limit strictly enforced

You’re moving too fast

Deer crossing sign

They stare, they won’t understand you

Yield

To what society thinks, what they people want to see

Finally…merge

Or get left

Life is too short

Not enough time for regret

I’d rather do what I enjoy & hope you enjoy it to

Rather not drown in self doubt or worry about the clout

Rather perfect my craft

I did the math

Self confidence plus talent or skill

Minus the nay sayers

Equals gratification

Availabilty

images

We often measure availability as a good trait and positive construct. We praise the kind of person who is “always there when I need them”, or “will drop everything and run”. Don’t get me wrong, those are admirable traits…to and for the right people.

On the flip side of things always being available is a gift and a curse. Being available means I’m a good friend, I got your back, I’m here for you etc etc. It also is the vehicle that drives people down the road of complacency. “I don’t have XYZ? It’s fine because I know my Ride or Die got it.” “Shit, I fucked up?…no worries, my go to is going to clean this up”.

That teaches certain people that they don’t have to work things out on their own or come up with a solution to their problem. EYE (I) am not the solution to your problems. Now I can absolutely be that support, that encouragement, that shoulder to lean on but don’t take advantage of that.

Know the difference between when you’re being available to someone and being someone’s safety net. There are some things in life (some might even argue, most things in life) that you have to handle on your own. You cannot slack on your responsibilities or be lax on them because you know if shit hits the fan you have people you can count on. It’s selfish. 1: You’re neglecting to think about what your ride or die or go to person has going on in their own life. Life is REAL. A lot of times we get wrapped up in our own shit and forget that other people always experience shit. 2. You put an unnecessary weight/guilt on your go to people by putting them in uncomfortable situations. I don’t want to have to have uncomfortable conversations about why I can’t help you this time.

A “no” or “I can’t” should be a simple answer right? Even so that seems to be hard for us when it comes to people that we care about. I want everyone around me to be good and in a good space but you should also want that for me.

Know that when you bring people into your issues all the time you’re taking away from them dealing with their personal issues.

Don’t read this and think I’m telling you not to be a good friend, partner, daughter, son, wife or husband. I’m just saying that sometimes it’s perfectly okay to say no. If I always help you through the same issue, or handle the same issue for you, you now become dependent and choose not to find a solution of your own.