One Page at a Time

How many times in your life have you felt on the cusp of greatness? Your whole person vibrating with possibility and potential energy, you seek a path to channel it. But how do you pick the right path? And what’s your motivation for choosing it?

If your goal to ‘work on you’ is only about yourself, why bother? Why let this finite world set the boundaries for any path you take when so many of the lost souls in it are limited by temporary, selfish definitions of success, purpose, and happiness?

All that potential is wasted if you focus on meanings by the minute, the YOLO, do-what-you-want-when-you-want consequences be damned mentality. We’re made for this world and the next, and only living for the moment means you never live that moment.

Manifesting your destiny like some entitled old-world empire wastes that potential energy. It’s limited to your fair-weather feelings and fleeting interests. And, it’s already been done before by everyone else.

Being like everyone else is overrated, not for originality’s sake, but for taking every second as a gift. This world is too big and too small to waste the potential of a single human soul. So what’re you doing to make the most of every moment you’ve got?

This world is too big and too small to waste the potential of a single human soul.

Sometimes, I see the world as one extensive library full of all our stories. The stories we tell ourselves and each other about how things are and were and could be. I imagine past and future moments of people’s lives based on the tropes and traits and things characteristic to their souls.

And most of the time, I get these things right. I trust in my gut, my graces, and my gifts to get it right. The problem is that not all stories are told yet. There are those we’re all living out each minute and day, but they don’t often match the ideas we have.

I think back to the unreliable narrator and how much trust we put in storytellers and authors, and others to tell the truth. But that’s the thing with being unreliable; you can’t expect it to work out the way you planned. I often find myself narrating how my life is, compared to a parallel fiction in my mind. And I’ve finally realized that I can’t tell my own story and star in it as the protagonist.

Sure, I’m living out my story actively, but that doesn’t mean I’m the one to tell it. It’s not that I expect someone else to tell it better than me, but I wouldn’t trust myself to tell my own story more than anyone else.

Instead, I try to live a brand new page every day—all parts of the same story, but with blank space to start over or continue. I trust in the God who made the paper I write my life but and the blood I spill on every page when I genuinely love and live the way He intended.

The French term for a bookworm is buveur d’encre which means drinker of ink. I once equated ink to my lifeblood, and for numerous reasons, find this ever more true. So if I’m an ink drinker, and my blood is ink, and each day is an new page to write, each person being a story or a book stories starts to make a lot more sense.

Think even on the Christian concept of Christ being the incarnation of The Word, or the Living Word. This isn’t an empty metaphor, but the grand author of us all-God.

So drinking in the ink of others lives (not like a vampire, thanks very much) is a bit like participating in the greatest story ever told-that of humanity and our struggle to find our place in this world. We try so hard to define our lives with singular moments and fleeting feeling, but we’re so shortsighted.

I started reading “On the Shortness of Life” by Seneca, a Stoic philosopher. One particular phrase stood out to me,

Learning how to live takes a whole life, and, which may surprise you more, it takes a whole life to learn how to die.

Seneca

And the wisdom of a man who came before Christ and the concept of eternal salvation struck me. This thing we do, trying to live, isn’t about us at all. It’s about each other.

It’s about us being parts of each others’ lives and being the best damned people we can be-not for ourselves, but for those we live alongside. Living only for ourselves isn’t living at all, but mere existing.

Part of my need to live one page at a time is because of the thousand little moments we can so easily overlook. I’ve started visualizing ten moments of each day when I’m in bed. It’s to help prevent ruminating, while also inspiring gratitude for those tiny bits that comprise our every day.

Time for a Plot Twist

Recently, I started dating again for the first time in three years. That may not seem like a big deal, but for someone who dated from age 16 to 23, it’s a big gap. I’m not saying I never caught feelings or had thoughts about men in that time, but I didn’t do anything about them.

For those of you know me at all, not taking initiative seems counterintuitive. And for the most part, you’re right. But when it comes to dating, I figured out that almost every man needs to take that first step on his won.

When a woman leads the way from the beginning, the man always expects her to. This was my experience, at least. And I wanted to date the right way for me, which involved letting men set the pace.

So I have, and when I realized my present community offered limited options and I started to feel “socially claustrophobic” as a friend put it, I was open to change. I’ve been open to change conceptually for some time, but opening my heart is a whole other thing.

…opening my heart is a whole other thing.

In opening myself up to the dating world again, I took a risk. But I did so out of a need to feel things I’d put up on a proverbial shelf in my self. And those same things were collecting dust-that of neglect and forgetting.

Some friends and I all signed up for a dating app together a couple weeks ago now. And in those two weeks, a lot has happened. We’ve all got different paths to take on this crazy journey, because each of us wants and needs different things.

One of my friends is trying, even though she doesn’t want to at all. Another is excited but nervous because she’s afraid of finding something real. Another is “bored” or hesitant to really give things a shot out of some kind of fear of isolation or rejection.

And I’m over here, the one who was like, “Guys, let’s do this dumb crazy thing. It could be funny or awesome or we could all end up happy. We said this was gonna be the year, so let’s actually put ourselves out there.” And now, part of me regrets being so gung ho.

At the same time, I’m ecstatic. I’m truly hopeful for the possibilities of putting myself out there again. Knowing I’m doing things the right way makes me feel closer to normal than I have in a long time.

When life’s events wound you, self-inflicted or not, it’s hard to believe in the small things like butterflies in your stomach and the goodness of a simple conversation. My scars may have healed, but they’ll always be part of my story.

The more pages I turn in this story of mine, the more ink I put between me and my past. It’s not a running away, but an artful forgetting of those things that once deeply wounded me. I used to fear hoping, but for the first time in a long time, I don’t.

Dating is not some magic cure-all, though. God made me an anxious soul, and dating puts a lens on me in a way close friendship doesn’t. It’s exciting sharing myself with new people legitimately interested in me, but it’s also daunting.

I’m not worried about being weird or awkward (I’m the queen of that). It’s letting someone else (esp. a man) set the pace, when so many men have let me down before. But it’s also the faith in God putting the right man in my path for something I’ve been afraid to hope for in some time.

Hoping demands faith. My faith in myself, my God, and humanity has wavered in the past. But now, I finally stand on terra firma, ready to be lead on new adventures each day.

There’s no rush on getting to know someone. There’s joy in this journey, even with its trials and tribulations. The journey makes whatever destination worthwhile. And sometimes, that destination is life-changing, too.

Overcoming my anxieties about vulnerability means surrender. I’m a willful, brash soul so offering this up is not easy. But I’m a firm believer that most easy things in life aren’t worth doing, so I’m going to try my best to learn from this next arc of my story. I’m ready to embrace whatever plot twists God throws at me, no matter how scary they seem.


As always, thanks so much for reading! I hope sharing my stories leaves you with a five-course meal of thought. Follow me on Facebook or sign up for email notices so you don’t miss my next post!

The Art of Forgetting

It’s hard to remember, no matter our stage of life. We often forget things vital to us but create routines and habits to train ourselves to remember. Think of the stereotypical couple: it’s some important anniversary date, and someone’s forgotten.

You likely assumed it was one person or the other in the couple. Most people would think it was the man, but your own experience of being forgotten paints a personal portrait. I find myself forgotten, or at least feeling that way, the older I get.

It’s funny, because of the people I know who love me. Whether they show it or say it, or better still, do both, I know I’m loved. So why do I not feel important to people who love me? I’m left wondering if it’s a question of ego and pride.

After a couple of days’ reflection and introspection, I’d say it’s all about ego. Me feeling neglected or abandoned is a projection of my issues. And if I ever needed a reminder, the last few days’ events have genuinely shown the kindness and generosity of my community.

The Importance of Forgetting (And Being Forgotten)

I think one of the best and worst things we do is forgetting. It depends on why we forget; the why defines the artfulness. I want to start with forgetting myself, first of all.

I like forgetting myself sometimes. I think it’s why I like drinking and why I like to spend time with people who make me forget myself. Sometimes, it’s new people with new stories. Novelty is an excellent way for one to forget one’s self. I need to not remember who I am sometimes. It’s not that I don’t love myself, but getting out of my labyrinthine mind is best for everyone.

There’s too much going on inside my cluttered head for me not to need to forget. Sometimes, it’s my only break from regular internal disorders and anxious disarray.

There’s an art to forgetting because it’s not just about ourselves. It’s about everyone in our lives, too. If we can misplace old sins, hurts, and regrets, we’re seemingly reborn. And there’s something remarkable and priceless about that.

I think we need to misplace our faults and failings on occasion. Permanent forgetting (i.e., amnesia) isn’t an ideal pursuit. If we use forgetting as an escape, it’s a mockery of the art’s form. The art of the thing lies in the space of one breath to the next. It’s an effortless, seamless, organic thing-a thing when forced is no longer artful.

And forgiveness is something we all need and deserve to become our better selves-and to become higher versions of who we already are.

There’s a grace to forgetting, too. Perfect recollection may offer its gifts, but it would also come with many curses. We all naturally tend to forget precise detail. This makes it easier to forgive ourselves and others. And forgiveness is something we all need and deserve to become our better selves-and to become higher versions of who we already are.

But sometimes, the best part of forgetting is remembering. When you recall something long forgotten, you might retrieve some golden nugget of nostalgia. You may recall a first experience or sensation that fills you with warmth and delight.

You might recall hurts, too. Sometimes, this recollection may be entirely unbidden, and you think you’re better off forgetting.

Instead of rejecting unwanted regrets, guilts, and shame-reflect. I don’t mean to use past mistakes as a tool of masochistic machination. Rather, use them for introspection. Many people avoid looking inward. It’s certainly daunting, and if you malinger, it leads to feeling pretty miserable and melancholy.

Conversely, if we choose to work through our hurts as we recall them, they sting less in the future. The scars get smaller and are only stories on the bodies of our lives.

This is the true art of forgetting, not mere avoidance or nostalgic escapism. It’s the give and take of remembering-when we need it and when we want it.


As always, thanks for reading my blog! You’re interest and feedback are always welcome. If you want to say updated on my latest content, sign up for email reminders or follow my Facebook page.

The F-Word

We all have a word that pops into our heads when we see the f-word. When I wrote this over a year ago, I wasn’t thinking of a swear. Although I swear like a sailor, I wasn’t thinking of a curse but of the future.

I also think of being fine, having faith, and fear. People swear they’re fine. They swear by and on their faith. And they swear when they feel fear or frustration. It’s funny what swearing and the f-word have in common.

Etymologically, swear used to mean “take an oath.” Oaths accompany an understanding of the future. Swears exist to protect legacies and loved ones or to fulfill last wishes. So when I swore to myself and God, it was for all these things.

Less informed by fear and more by ignorance, I changed. My perspective on “settling for fine” and the future shifted. Now, I swear on and for greater things. See just how far I’ve come from time in the story I’ve included below.

An Anecdote

One Friday night during my freshman year of college, I was with a gaggle of would-be friends wandering the empty streets of Lubbock.

It was sometime in the fall because it was cold. I remember because of these terrible boots I wore not made for walking. They had these weird foldover pirate flaps at the top with built-in wedge heels. 

Imagine walking in see-your-breath weather with ridiculous things flapping around your legs. Frigid toes and heels rubbed raw by inadequate support. I wasn’t just wandering unsupported on cobblestone streets, but in destinations towards health and happiness.

It was one of my first memorable journeys into apathy, one I soon wouldn’t be free of. I had lots of fun with mental health the following year. And entertaining my apathy seemed like a good idea at the time. I figured not caring was better than hoping and getting hurt.

My big mistake was assuming that daydreams and self-centered wishes were on par with hope. And what I didn’t realize was the way those meaningless moments would all blur together into one greyscale spiral of indifference.

My first avoidance of dealing with fear (the real f-word) was this indulgence. I dubbed this particular day, Fuck It Friday. At the time, it was in the YOLO spirit. I can’t remember if the same night I championed for apathy was one more night spent just trying to feel alive.

Maybe it was the same night we snap-walked arm in arm across the lobby of a residence hall, as the street boys from West Side Story. Or perhaps it was another night of wandering in the frigid cold with “friends” I barely knew. At this point, it’s pointless.

I would say, “The end.” But there’s no one clear ending to this particular story. My journey through numbness, hopelessness, fear, and apathy was only beginning. I came out the other side (eventually) with a swear to live for today and tomorrow.

Now, I know not to place faith in fleeting feelings. I felt like I was embracing some spontaneity and an idea of freedom. But I was wrong. I was the kind of wrong you are when you’re not yourself.

I was the kind of wrong that made it seem like indulging indifference was a good thing. Thank God I’m not afraid of the future anymore. 

By no means am I insinuating that I’m fearless. No. What I am is aware of my fears and flaws in different ways. The future is no longer a gaping maw of uncertainty but a realm of possibility.

The Way of the Future

I used to fear the future. I used to have faith in the future. I pinned all my hopes and dreams on the future. I lamented my ignorance of the future. I pretended to be ready for the future. I made plans based on the future. I wished I could predict the future. 

I dreamed of what fantastic things or people I might encounter in the future. I stared into the weeks, months, and years of the future, instead of tomorrow or even later in the same day. My idea of the future blinded me. I used to curse the future. I treated it as a living, breathing thing, the future.

My eyes were closed to the gift of the present. I was invested in the unpredictable, ever-shifting future. I didn’t put stock in myself or my God, so how could I ever cash in on the moment?

I never pursued loan sharks but cashed in deals with my inner demons. The exchange rate wasn’t too bad, and I had quite a high percentage of interest from,which these demons benefited.

If I granted twenty silvery pieces of faith, patience, or love, I’d receive a small slice of feeling happy or fine.

Of course, I didn’t know what the actual cost would be. Like most young adults, I invested my hope in the wrong thing. I ended up paying emotional and spiritual dues with interest.

When I desired to overcome my fear of the future, I settled with feeling fine. The ‘F’ word used to be the future, and all I believed or felt about it. Now, my new ‘F’ word is ‘fine.’ To which I say, “Fuck that!” Who settles for average when they have all of today before them?

Fine is on par with average or boring. It’s equivalent to settling for less or treating the mundane as ideal. There’s nothing wrong with the ordinary, mind you, but it shouldn’t be a goal. Normalcy isn’t admirable. (At least settling for the same-old safe thing is just an excuse for not trying to grow.)

Most of the time, people don’t associate ordinary with fine. Most of the time, people say they’re fine when they’re anything but. And this kind of willful ignorance or denial of whatever you’re feeling or experiencing is detestable at best.

“Fitting in” is for those uncomfortable with themselves. It might be ideal for a spare few whose lives are challenging and whose definition of “fine” is surviving. Fitting in is for townhomes and cookie tins. Fitting your life into these four small letters is something we should swear at and against.

They feel unworthy. They’re ignorant of the present opportunities in their lives. Or they don’t have sufficient motivation. Any of these reasons aren’t good enough. If your life isn’t where you want it to be because you’re starting over, start small. Baby steps and living day-by-day are a good thing sometimes, especially if it’s all you can do.

I say forget being fine unless your life isn’t already average. If you’ve lived a life full of fear or faithlessness, then you are the exception. Most people settle for less than they can have or deserve. Even those in terrifying exceptions make it through with a faith in something greater than themselves.

For some, all they do is spend their entire lives trying to move from the bottom to “fine.” I think of those with chronic conditions of the body and soul, those whose every day is a battle. These should never be excuses, but reasons to seek out normalcy.

The beauty of average is its subjectivity, much like perfection. Yes, there are objective measurements of ordinary, but people aren’t objects.

Find your “fine” and flip it on its head. Turn your every day into a new starting point. Make extraordinary your average. If you fear swearing to yourself to have faith in a world and a God you just haven’t felt yet, I dare you to.

Don’t let your inner demons determine how you live. Don’t let fear define or limit who you can be for yourself and the world. Even if you’re afraid of failing, don’t forget it takes aiming for success to even fail at all.

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.

Stephen King

Stay tuned for more of my personal thoughts, reflections, and anecdotes. For now, expect them weekly on Wednesdays. Sign up for email reminders below so you don’t miss out.

Lighting a fire under my own fundament (again) or Reignition

I started this blog (the first time round) back in August of 2018. I was coming off a long year and needed an outlet. At the time, I had a lot of stress and pain and general stuff to get out of. Writing helps me do that, and I boldly decided to venture where I never had before.

In place of journaling like I had (which I still maintained daily during this blog’s initial iteration), I felt like voicing my thoughts in a shareable space might benefit some. At the time, I realized my struggles more universal than initially thought. I chose to start this blog to challenge my writing skills and end my self-indulgent wallowing.

See below the original post (with just a few additional comments and ideas added. Most of this has somehow stayed relevant.

I boldly decided to venture where I never had before.

This was something I’d said I’d get to months ago, and now I finally am. There’s been lots of growth in my life, but I had to kind of burn down some things and start over. I realized that there was a lot of spiritual debris I needed to send up in smoke signals so God would know I needed some help. Sure, I could’ve just asked for it, but that would be the easy thing, right?

Metaphorical smoke signals aside, I’d rather talk in code than directly address the issues I had with myself. Looking back, I see the new kindling and the ashes of things I managed to burn. These ashes fueled a minor “phoenix” moment in which I discovered a need to reconnect with myself.

Funnily enough, a lot of this recognition started during Lent with a book called Until Today by Iyanla Vanzant. Each month of this devotional centers on a different spiritual growth aspect; I began in March with awareness. This was all way too perfectly timed to not be divine design (or providential), as I’ve come to realize since then.

At that point, I was no longer aware of several things wrong in my life. A few of these things are:

  • I was doing way too much. Not doing this anymore.
  • I was giving less effort in every aspect of my life (work, school, friendship, dating, family) Definitely stopped doing this. Made more time for God and myself.
  • I was not listening to God’s will. (Still stubbornly fighting Him every chance I get.)
  • I was not making the needed time for God. (Definitely working on this.)
  • I was stuck in a holding pattern and stagnating fast. NOPE. Not anymore.

All of these are things I can see with blinding clarity now. (This still holds true.) But that’s hindsight and heavenly light for ya; they really brighten up existential dark spots.

I won’t be cataloging every spark of growth or speck of my ashy past here today, but I’m sure it will come forth in future posts. Nor will all of my posts be so ‘fiery’ in language. I really wanted to get this out today, so my friends, family, and fellow online human beings get a sense of where I’m taking my life.

Maybe one day, this will be the stuff of some best-selling author. (Still, a dream yet to be made real, but closer than two years ago). We’ve all gotta start from the bottom of the ashy heap before our dreams rise in wispy, spiritual smoke signals.


Stay tuned for more incredible content. If you’d like a notice whenever I post something new, make sure to subscribe via email.