Letter to Self

Ultimately, I feel like this was something the man upstairs gifted to me, so that I can spread hope to you all as well.

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Frustrated and disappointed, I sit looking at the screen. The word is relatively small but the impact on my spirit is huge. Rejected. My first official “comeback” article –written for this low paying, bottom of the barrel content mill –has been denied by the editor. What started out at the beginning of the year as a renewed sense of hope and excitement that my writing career would take off, has quickly withered into a heap of self-pity and doubt. And that wasn’t all. The newspaper editor that I’d offered my services to, last week, never replied. And I’m constantly thinking about the low wages I’d written for before, and combined , all these things are very discouraging.

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I want to give up again. Maybe get a second job, something “normal”like… working evenings in a grocery store–Come to think of it, Meijer, had been calling me to schedule an interview. But a large part of me won’t let me quit writing, for I can’t keep letting go of my dreams because they seem too hard. So it’s 1 a.m., by now. Terrance is asleep, and I’m at the dining room table shifting through tons of old journals and other writing: looking for clips to put in my portfolio.  Then I stumble upon it; the perfect word that God could have sent me in my moment of discouragement. It is a letter I wrote at the very beginning of last year (2016), siting in the same spot at my dining room table on January 1st. As I read the letter my spirit was renewed. And ultimately, I feel like this was something the man upstairs gifted to me, so that I can spread hope to you all as well. The words of my letter apply to anyone who needs a little bit of a boost in their spirit. Here is what it says:

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Dear Cheryl,

You are an awesome human being. You are very intelligent and you have a lot going for yourself. If you are going to make progress towards your goals and dreams, then there are a few things that you are going to have to do this year. One thing you must do is allow yourself to be imperfect; stop giving up on things, people, experiences, and dreams just because there is a chance that the outcome of pursuing them may not be “perfect.” Give yourself room to accept things that you say, do, and feel as good enough. Sometimes “good enough” is better than “perfect” because it shows effort, resilience and determination.

Secondly, this year you need to learn to love yourself. Accept your flaws and know that no matter how unlovable you think you are, there are always people out there that are willing to love you just as you are–love yourself unconditionally. You deserve love because that was God’s intention for mankind: for man to be kind to one another.

Thirdly, lose weight. And not just physical weight, but all that yucky mental stuff that keeps you bottled up and isolated from the world. Study the reasons why you choose to hold on to things. Solve the problems and give everything else over to God. Do all you can to become physically and mentally healthy. Exercise frequently, take warm long bathes, fix yourself up and take pride in your appearance, as well as who you are as a person.

Develop friendships, relationships and personal bonds with others. Love others. And don’t be afraid to show affection. Don’t be afraid to get close to people. Trust God that he will shelter you from all who have ill intentions towards you. Relax.

Most of all, live and live life abundantly; to the point that you have joy in living, and it’s so much that that joy overflows into the lives of all those you touch. Eat well. Work well. Think well. Love well. But most of all…live well.

Love,

Self

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The purpose of this blog is to come from a place of love, strength, discovery and vulnerability. Please join me as I share my journey.

 

MLK on a Sacred Saturday

We were all different shades, shapes and sizes, yet we were the same in love, acceptance, and support.

Over the past few weeks, you all have been able to view some of my inner most thoughts; and even learn some of the not so pleasant things about me as well (see Airing Out the Laundry). However, there are still some things that y’all don’t know about your girl. One of which is that I am a self-proclaimed extreme introvert. And I’m sure you’ve all seen my kind before. Perhaps by observing that very quiet co-worker who never goes to office parties, or even that family member, Little Johnny, who spends all day in his room, and must literally be bribed to show his face when guest come over? Yes, both would describe me perfectly. I like to be alone. Settled in my own space, far away from meddling people. Not that I don’t like people. The thought of hanging out with tons of friends and crowds of happy stranglers is exciting…yet, utterly terrifying at the same time. I often persist in an internal battle: aspiring to be a socialite princess, while simultaneously indulging my groundhog tendencies of stowing away, in my own little dwellings, resisting all communication with other life forms. But, to sustain somewhat of a productive life style, I accept that I must be around people, at least on most days.

pexels-photo-24105And so, I reserve my seclusion time for the weekends. In this sacred time, when I’m not working and Terrance is away (visiting with his beloved cousins), I retreat.  I bury myself in my room with a heavy blanket and a ton of books: happily drifting off into a world where I am the only one there. I look forward to Saturdays like this. So, naturally, when someone invites me to go out somewhere, I secretly interpret it as a direct threat against my happy time. Nine times out of ten, I say “no” or find clever methods to cowardly weasel my way out of going. The other ten percent of the time I force myself to just go– mainly out of guilt, but also to avoid being labeled as anti-social. Surprisingly, I often really do enjoy it when I go out on weekends. Time after time, I am reminded that communing with others is not so bad. The hard part is persuading myself to go in the first place. One of my many new year’s resolutions included making a real effort to get out more, and rid myself of my introverted ways. This is the reason I decided to go to an MLK event; which just so happened to have occurred on one of my sacred seclusion Saturdays.

I got a text from a friend Friday morning, inviting me to this event. I opened the message, and shortly afterwards began to take slow labored breathes, feeling signs of an acute panic attack coming on. “Hey Cheryl, I wanted to be sure you saw the MLK event…It would be great to see you”. No. No. No! I thought: going through my normal –or not so normal—routine of mental anguish. I can’t go… I want to go… I should go, but I want to stay home… I haven’t gone out in a while, oh my god, but why this weekend… I am not going! … And before I could change my mind again, I grab my phone and message back, “see you tomorrow.” So it was settled, I was going.

fb_img_1484421955707The Historic Roosevelt Center in Elkhart, Indiana, is an awesome pillar of the community. And Saturday, its facilities was used to house The Peoples History of Elkhart’s event: Reviving Dr. King’s Call for a Poor People’s Campaign. I must admit that, though I was interested in the topic, I wasn’t stoked about being in a crowd of people. I was a tad anxious up until I got inside of the auditorium. Then my entire mood changed. The experience brought me alive and I left feeling the way that I often do: wondering why I don’t get out more often in the first place. There was singing, there were awards and speeches, and most important, there was discussion about Martin Luther King, his legacy and how his life’s mission of gaining equality, peace and justice for all still stands today. I enjoyed the presentations, the conversations, and the comradery amongst the attendees: who all shared a common goal– to learn, understand and apply the knowledge gained from one another. We were all different shades, shapes and sizes, yet we were the same in love, acceptance, and support.

There, I was in my element. That extroverted socialite that I often dream about came out and took over. I talked, I laughed, and I met some amazing new people. I also in the process rekindled a need and desire to involve myself in more civic activism.

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Saturday, was a great day for me. So, from here forth, whenever I’m invited out to do something besides just lay in bed, I’ll think back on this lovely occasion, and then quickly reply, “yes, I would love to go!”

The purpose of this blog is to come from a place of love, strength, discovery and vulnerability. Please join me as I share my journey.

 

 

The Beginning of Something Great

Happy New Year! I’m excited for my small family (Terrance and I), and everyone else who is experiencing the refreshing calm that comes along with the bringing in of the new year. Tingly and ecstatic, this part of the holiday season always gets me going, thinking of all the changes I’m planning to implement, ranging from new living room décor to a new weekly schedule that includes intense workout sessions.

So, why does it feel so official to start fresh on January 1? Well, because… it just does. I strongly believe that something magical happens when the clock strikes 11:59 pm on New Year’s Eve. It’s like life as we know it has been reset, and many of us are refreshed and ready to take on new challenges in a more determined way. So, to all of those who say, “oh, it’s just another day, all you ‘resolutionists’ are crazy,” I say, bah humbug! You know nothing!

As you can tell, I’m freaking excited, because this is going to be the best year ever. This will be the year were this here single mom goes from being the underdog to head honcho. Life will not chew me up and spit me out like it has done over the last few years, I’m sure of it. Why? Because I am determined to make changes. Terrance is growing up, and he needs to see his mom being successful; he needs to see me fly.

“I’m elated for this year, and not just because the year has changed, but because I’m changing and it feels amazing.”     — singlemomflying

So, what are my plans? Since curious minds want to know, allow me to elaborate. My goals for the year consist of three main things: I want to lose weight, I want to write and earn additional income from it, and I would love to improve my financial circumstances.

Since before the beginning of time—well, technically 1988 —I’ve been fat. Why have I been battling the bulge for so long? I’ll leave that discussion for another blog post; just know, that I can stand to lose a few pounds. This year, I have decided, is the perfect time to finally get this weight off.

Secondly, it just so happens that I’m a writer— a damned good writer says my more confident alter ego, Charmaine. But I haven’t written much because the not so confident, Cheryl, believes that I suck at it. However, in 2017, I plan to pick up a pen, put it to paper, and make marvelous things happen. This is the year that I write regardless of how I feel. This is the year that my child will witness his mother bring in cash by using, dare I say, her God-given talent of putting words together to create art.

Lastly, my finances are something I can honestly say that I’m not proud of. In the words of Dave Ramsey, “I have done stupid with a lot of zeros on the end of it.”. Of the three goals, this one is the most important and the most challenging. As I strive to leave a legacy for my little boy, more and more I begin to understand the need to give him a running start in life. Being financially stable is crucial to survival as well as success in this world. And so, I must put on my big girl pants, make a solid budget, and attack this horrible cloud of debt with a vengeance. You’d better watch out Experian, Transunion, and Equifax, because I’m making some major comebacks this year. Debt, you’re goin’ down!

Finally, I’d like to say that everything within me wanted to start this blog— years ago. However, for so long, a small amount of self-doubt would convince me that I shouldn’t try. So, to all the readers who stop by, please understand that posting this is huge for me. This is not just some typical New Year’s resolution mumble-jumbo casually thrown down on paper; on the contrary, it’s an insight into my plans to change my and my son’s life. I’m elated for this year, and not just because the year has changed, but because I’m changing and it feels amazing.

The purpose of this blog is to come from a place of love, strength, discovery and vulnerability. Please join me as I share my journey.