Y is for Your, #AtoZChallenge

Your name ignites a whispering hope.

Moonlight white bathes the scene-

Perfection in the nighttime glow.

A setting; mysterious, but serene.

 

Something right turned out wrong.

A decoration not for display,

But instead for target practice.

True violence masked as play.

 

Morning disaster unobserved-

The realization cold.

Lessons sometimes cannot be learned.

The truth gets hard to hold.

 

Electric flames lead the way,

Paving a road in humming light.

Which way we go I cannot say,

But we’ll end in the depths of night.

 

A voice heard on high

Signals those who are below.

More audible than a sigh

With words coming slow.

 

There is one weapon above the rest:

The power of thought and a persuasive tongue.

Most would overlook it as the best,

But there’s a reason we start off young.

 

My destination remains unknown

While everyone else knows where to go.

And it seems I’m always on my own,

But I find it’s better not to know.

 

 

K is for Kindness, #AtoZChallenge

Kindness is definitely not a flaw. It’s just hard to think of words that start with K. Of course there have been times when I’ve been told I’m “too nice” like that’s a bad thing. Which begs the question: Is being too nice a bad thing?

When can kindness get you in trouble?

My theme should have been “I ask readers a bunch of questions about basic personality traits people typically don’t think twice about.”

One of the biggest times this dilemma has crossed my mind has been in teaching. Many times I am told I’m too nice as a teacher and this leads to classroom management being difficult. Objectively I can see this happening, but then I also see how my students react to me. I think it’s important for children to be able to trust adults and know they are cared for. That is probably my main goal over teaching music, although I think that is super important too. When I get “firm” or “strict” I know I am being “fair”, but I don’t like the way it makes me feel. I just can’t seem to always find a balance. I don’t want to change my personality of always being kind and helpful, but sometimes I’m forced to in the classroom so things run smoothly.

I think this is my biggest doubt of whether I am a good teacher.

I love my job, but I also think it is one of the hardest jobs someone can choose. I need to find the balance between being kind and not being too passive.

Until then, I will lead with kindness. I will always try to be understanding and compassionate. I will keep an open-mind to accept people from all different walks of life. I will risk the struggles and criticism that come with being “too nice” until I find that balance. If life has taught me anything, it’s that I’m much better at dealing with my own pain than handling knowing I’ve hurt somebody else.

 

 

H is for Hope, #AtoZChallenge

Is hope a flaw? An unfortunate quirk of human nature? Or is hope a positive quality to have? I tend to think of it as both.

I think the benefits of hope are somewhat obvious. It can provide motivation, fuel ambition, and make you look forward to the future. The seemingly endless amount of hope I have is one of the reasons I can be so driven to do things that I may not even have business doing.

For example, next year I will be starting grad school and I have taken on two majors: Creative Writing and African Music and Dance. I already submitted my final thesis proposal, a collection of books on Ghanaian culture and music, which will require copious amounts of time dedicated to research and writing. This doesn’t even include the actual coursework I need to do for both programs. On top of this, I still plan to keep my current jobs, although one is seasonal and the others I will be forced to cut down my hours. How am I thinking this is at all possible??? Because I am endlessly hopeful. I believe in myself when it comes to things like being busy and hard work. In the midst of it I may get discouraged, but I always seem to finish what I start. This is the positive power of hope.

I think the downside of hope may be a little less apparent. For example, hoping someone will change so you stay in that relationship, be it friendship or otherwise, and end up getting used and hurt. Or hoping that THIS time will be different, for whatever the circumstance, even if logic and reasoning tells you otherwise.

There have definitely been times where my hope has gotten me in trouble or been the reason for heartache, but it still remains one of my biggest motivators in life. I’ll gladly risk having moments of pain to remain always hoping for good to prevail.

D is for Doubt, #AtoZChallenge

I started to think of my posts ahead of time so I wouldn’t fall behind in this challenge or my work, but after the past three days my perspective is already changing. Before yesterday, this post was going to be about how I’m always second-guessing myself, not really knowing if what I’m doing with my life is what I should be doing. Or if the things I’m saying, or the way I present myself is the correct way to be doing things. Don’t get me wrong, those are still true statements, but now my outlook has changed.

I get very stuck in my head. You (my readers) have gotten me unstuck. (Billy Pilgrim, anyone?) Yes, I doubt myself, yes, I contradict myself, yes, I carry my baggage and can’t seem to figure out just how much alone time to give myself. BUT, turns out, so do most of you! And I honestly couldn’t see that before. I just thought there was something wrong with me.

I’m not going to change my theme now, but I might reconsider calling them flaws. I think I may just think of them as unfortunate quirks in human nature. I am beyond thrilled at the people who have connected with me and shared their insights. I’m getting fed life lessons a handful of words at a time and I couldn’t be happier.

So let’s connect!

I often doubt if I’ve chosen the correct career path. Would I have been better off/happier choosing something else? Is it too late to change my path? Would I even want to change? I also doubt my abilities. Am I really a good teacher? Am I really a good musician? Am I actually good at writing? Other people have no problem assuring me and some days it’s not hard to believe. Other days….well I’m sure you know!

What do YOU doubt in your own life?

I’d also be curious to know if there’s anything you’ve never doubted. Please share your life experiences!

 

 

 

As always, thank you for reading my A to Z! Check out last year’s posts if you missed my traveling adventures: D is for Dominican Republic

B is for Baggage, #AtoZChallenge

Is baggage something you acquire and continually grow your collection of? Or do you eventually drop it off somewhere when you’re tired of carrying it around?

I ask because I’m tired of carrying my baggage around, but I can’t seem to find a place where I can safely drop it off.

I’ve been cheated on. I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve had my trust shattered. I’ve been disappointed, betrayed, deceived…

Of course I’ve done my share of heart breaking. I’m not inculpable.

All of these experiences have contributed to my baggage collection. Each peek through a browser history, each password decoded, each explicit message I was never meant to read, have gradually weighed me down.

Should I take blame for looking when there was always something to find?

There was one time when I got home and my ex had bought a new phone. His first smart phone, in fact. This was frustrating to begin with because he did not have the money to afford a smart phone, but then he locked it with a password and refused to tell me what it was. I think I took that as a challenge.

So when he wasn’t home, I just looked through the browser history on the computer and lo and behold, ALL the dating websites. Including a site supposedly for rich men to date hot women…. This was especially hilarious since he could barely afford to pay rent and utilities (although maybe that’s because he kept buying frivolous things like sunglasses and smart phones). And by hilarious I meant I felt like I was going to vomit and my body started shaking uncontrollably.

I picked up paranoia and I picked up ways to ease (or confirm) my fears. I learned to replace honest communication with sleuthing.

I’m getting better at talking myself out of searching for things I don’t want to find, but I still feel that urge sometimes. Maybe Mimi in La Vie Boheme said it best, “I’m looking for baggage that goes with mine.”

How about you, dear reader? Have you been able to let your baggage rest? Or are you continually reminded of what you cannot leave behind?

 

 

 

Thanks for checking out my 2017 A to Z! Here’s last years: B is for Bennington, VT

 

#AtoZChallenge, A is for Alone

Last year this challenge got me into the blogging world and I had intended to do it again this year, although I did not expect to be so busy! I’m going to try my best to complete it anyway! I’ve been going back and forth between theme ideas, and I think I’ve settled on one. In college, I had to write an essay that focused on my flaws. I titled it “Self Paradox”. I think at the time I really thought I was being honest, but now I read it and see where I was defending my actions even through the exposure. For this challenge, I would like to dig deeper and find something through each letter of the alphabet to address and challenge. Not to make myself feel bad or seek sympathy, but to grow through self-analysis and hopefully identify some flaws I can work on fixing.

I like being alone. I also hate being lonely. It is certainly a contradiction when I get invited to do something, decline, and then sit at home and feel like I’m being left out. I wouldn’t quite say I’m anti-social, because when I’m in social settings I do fine. I just find it really hard to get motivation to leave the house, especially for situations that are unfamiliar.

I used to get this feeling of loneliness all the time. It didn’t feel the same as just being sad. It felt more like some sort of void that came from within and gnawed at my soul like a creeping chill. I could feel it fester in the pit of my stomach and I hated and embraced it all at the same time. It was the feeling I could sink into and I thought it made me write honestly and freely. Thus, the pattern began where I would decline invitations to go out and then wish I was out with everybody else.

I still like being alone. I still decline a lot of invitations to hang out. I don’t get that same feeling of loneliness as much anymore. I think part of it is being busy, part of it is being in a stable relationship, and part of it is just growing up. I’d like to say I’m getting better at going out more often and I’ve taken responsibility for the fact that I know it makes me feel bad, but the truth is I haven’t.

Maybe by time this challenge is over I can say otherwise.

 

Here’s last year’s post if you’re interested! A is for Africa (and Accra)