It has been a while since I’ve written an entry, and I have missed writing. This month, I have been extremely busy and overwhelmed! The school/work balance is no joke. As they say, the struggle is real. Or as I say, the struggle is really real!

In my mind, I have quit school and work several times. I have told myself, “I’m just going to stop” or “I can’t do this.” I have asked myself, “Why am I doing this?” At the same time, I hear “You can do this,” and “Remember that you’re heading towards the letters-MSW/LICSW.”ย  I hear so much encouragement from God, family, friends and colleagues that I cannot stop. It is not in me to quit. One of my best and worst traits is that I have high expectations for myself. I am stubborn and determined to do well at tasks. Although it is important to complete your best work, it is also important to rest.

So..this is my challenge:

1. Be patient with myself . I am still a newbie at work and school, and I need to allow myself to continue to learn. I am not Superwoman, and I am going to make mistakes.

2. I must acknowledge that I am truly busy. I am taking three grad classes and working 40 hours a week. I have been told that grad school is a beast on its own, and then I added working full-time onto it.

3. I need to applaud my accomplishments. Ex. I have gotten A’s on all of my papers so far! Woohooo!!!

4. I need to be honest with family and friends. I truly love y’all, but if you do not hear or see me for a while, I am not purposely ignoring you. I am merely juggling everything and feeling crazy busy. At some point, I will spend time with you. Call/text me in 3 years…I’m just kidding. I will make time for you, but please be patient with me!

5. I must remember that I have been through challenging life moments before, and that God will carry me through this one. Ex. God pushed me through the illness and death of my sister so He’s got me now.

6. WELLNESS…I hear this word at work and school. I have to practice self-care. It is okay to have fun or just breathe for a minute.

Essentially, I need to praise God more, be patient with myself, and be honest with others. I am grateful that I have God, music, family, friends, and colleagues as supports. When I am stressed out of my mind and driving to work or school, I have random conversations with God. Music, especially worship music, cheers me up. And family, friends, and colleagues listen to my venting sessions.

#survivegradschool #Igotthis #Ilikehashtags

By the way, please listen to this song by one of my favorite Christian rappers, Andy Mineo. Like I said, music cheers me up. Sometimes, you just need to hear something hype after a long or stressful day.

Towards ME

Tonight, in my Human Behavior in the Social Environment class, we discussed our perceptions of ourselves, and the perceptions that others have of us. Usually, these two perceptions differ from each other. You can view yourself as quiet and introspective while someone else views you as shy and anti-social. Your positive self-image can be easily dismantled by another person’s first impression. Sometimes, you end up succumbing to the labels that others place on you. I have always been the “shy” one, the girl that doesn’t talk. I know that there is a side of me that others do not see. There’s a “me” that I do not even know about. My identity is in Christ, and He knows me.

A few years ago, I wrote a poem called “Towards ME.” As you read, please think about the following questions: How do you perceive yourself, and how do others perceive you? Which of these perceptions is the truth?ย  I would love if folks shared their answers to these questions.

Blessings, y’all!

Towards ME

The real ME
Is there
I just haven’t found her yet
I’m learning…
To be patient
With the process
That things don’t happen as quickly as you want them to
As time progresses
Healing comes
To be honest
With myself
And those around me
To reveal
My inadequacies
And to not hide behind this mistaken Christian “perfection”
God is the only perfect One
And sometimes I expect too much out of myself
While God simply tells me to “calm down”
While my dad wisely says that “you have to crawl before you walk”
To admit
That “I’m not alright”
As the song says “I’m not alright. I’m broken inside, broken inside.”
But to equally know that I will be okay
I’m not sure which is harder
Pretending that you’re alright or expressing the fact that you’re not
To realize
That God helps me in the darkness
His light shines through the mess
To hear
His voice
When distraction threatens discernment
To know
That He’s holding me
During the tears
During the aching despair
To ask
For help
Because independence clogs my vocal cords
Feeling misunderstood turns me upside down
To open
My heart to love
To let
Love in
It wants to thrive in this fragile heart
To grasp
Love in my worn hands
Because there are people who genuinely love me
But negativity tells me that they shouldn’t
To say
When I really want to
It’s as though my life is not my own
Since I allow others to rule it
Don’t want to be in the back seat anymore
I want to take the wheel
To find
Frankly, I don’t even think I know who I am
Beyond the classic statement “You are God’s child”
Who am I?
I’ve been “shy,” “quiet,” and “overly sensitive” for so long
That these behaviors have become a crutch
In new and uncomfortable situations
Somewhere, I know
The real ME hides
It’s lurking
Ready to burst through the shell
It’s a matter of waiting for its arrival