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.

C is for Contradiction, #AtoZChallenge

Sometimes I feel like my personality traits are in constant conflict. I don’t like when I’m the center of attention and yet I yearn to be seen and sought out. I don’t like being in charge of other people because I don’t want to deal with discipline or delegation, and yet I love telling people what to do. Only if they ask me to, of course. When people are asked to describe themselves I feel like most of the time it’s not too hard a task to accomplish. “I’m really outgoing and I love the outdoors!” “I’m a shy introvert and I love playing video games.” Can you categorize yourself easily?

I think I’m an introvert, but I’m always happy when I’m socializing. I love the outdoors, but I also love to stay inside, play video games, or read and write. I think being successful in my career is really important, but so is maintaining all my close personal relationships. I hate driving and yet I love driving. I hate doing the dishes and yet I love doing the dishes. I am a walking contradiction.

How do you answer the question: Who are you?

I am Serena Joy Sinclair. I am a music teacher. I love to read, write, and cook. I have brown hair and eyes.

Do you notice the pattern? I can only tell you things that I do, things that are concrete.

But who am I really?

I am patient, but also easily frustrated. I am kind, but also judgmental. I am smart, but fooled easily. I am ambitious, but quickly lose motivation. I am all of the things and none of them. I am a contradiction to my own existence.

Who are you?

 

 

 

Thanks for joining me on the A to Z Challenge! I’m loving people’s comments with their own views on each topic. Very insightful and inspiring! Please, feel free to answer the questions I ask in my posts, I AM seeking your opinion!

Also, here’s last year’s challenge: C is for California

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)