Happy and you know it? Clap your hands

I am always interested to learn what makes people happy.  I feel like in order to enjoy life people should do what makes them happy, would you disagree?

So tell me, what makes you happy? How do you know you are happy? How would you define happiness?

For me, writing makes me happy.  I find writing to be extremely therapeutic when I am going through something tough.  I like to write my feelings and thoughts down because I believe that once you put your feelings down on paper (whether it’s in the form of a diary entry, poem, or song) you would not only have a better concept of how to deal with them but you’ll be able to get them off your mind.  I’m sorry was that confusing? Whoops.  Okay, let me try again, you go through a rough patch and you don’t write it down to get it out of your system, it builds and you’ll most likely implode whereas if you jot everything down, it doesn’t need to stay on your mind anymore.

I know I’m happy when I feel like I’ve grown in any area of my life.  Whether It’s making an improvement in my writing, turning a new page with my kids, learning how to better communicate with my husband, or making a new friend, the feeling of growth is how I would best describe my happiness.  As long as I am growing and gaining new experiences, I know that I am happy.

As long as what you do doesn’t feel like a burden or a job that you don’t want, I think it means you’re happy, right? If you could wake up every morning and look forward to doing what you do everyday it would be safe to believe that you are happy, correct?

Now, with that said, if you aren’t happy, what are some of the ways you can become happy? What advice would you give someone who is stuck on their road towards the pursuit of happiness?

I would love to hear your thoughts! I might be able to make use of any advice anyone may have.

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Finding my way to you

They say that your past does not have to define your future and for the longest Tracy didn’t believe that.  She’d been homeless since she was a teenager, often turning to prostitution to survive. She didn’t always feel good about herself and she sometimes found herself wishing that she wouldn’t have to live that life anymore–or life period. She’d decided that she needed a change but didn’t know where to start, that was, until she saw an advertisement on a passing bus.  She knew just the right place to start and for the first time she felt like life was starting to look up.

****

Jordan had always tried to do the right thing but somehow his efforts always went unnoticed and instead of being rewarded, he was always punished. The way he made his money wasn’t all that great but the world refused to look beyond his current occupation and see past his skin tone; he was always just another stupid black man in America. Tsk, what was life? Granted, it wasn’t the best thing in the world to be a drug dealer and he just happened to be good at it and never got caught, but it was all about the principal for him.  His father was disabled without any medical insurance, his mother passed away from heart failure the month following his High School graduation and he had to take care of his four little siblings who relied on him for a meal on the table every night and clothes on their backs.  He was basically the man of the house now and needed do what he did in order to keep his family afloat.  But what would happen when it was no longer enough?

He liked to take a walk on the nearby beach to clear his head.  There was something about the crashing of the waves that soothed him.  He hopped on the bus and once he got to the beach an advertisement on that bus caught his attention as it prepared to drive off.  It read “Have you ever felt like you needed a change? Ever felt like you wanted more from life? It’s never too late to get a start.  Enrollment for the Fall semester at Future University starts today!”

He pulled his phone out and Googled Future University and found the address.  Tomorrow, bright and early he was going to make a trip there to see what it was all about.

****

Tracy woke up the next morning feeling refreshed.  Today was going to be the first day of the rest of her life and she was actually looking forward to it.  She put on the best outfit she could find that didn’t look too inappropriate–to her at least.  She was on her way to being a college girl, with her GED under her belt,  there was absolutely nothing stopping her from getting a college degree.

She got out of her taxi and took in her surroundings.  The university was absolutely breath-taking, though she didn’t like the side-eyed looks she was getting from the students who walked by her.  She asked for directions on how to get to the office of registration and after getting eyes rolled at her and having people ignore her, she finally found her way.

Soon as she walked into the office, she felt something in the air, maybe it was a fresh breath of air, maybe it was a new lease on life but she definitely felt it.

****

When Jordan saw her walk through the doors of the registration office, he felt as if his heart was trying to escape his chest.  The woman with the too-tight red tank top and too tight black jeans looked as if she’d had a rough life and was working with the cards she had been dealt, but nothing turned him on more than a woman who was looking for a way to better herself, just like him.  He knew he had to make the first move if he ever wanted to get to know her because from the looks of it she didn’t even notice him.  He made his way over to her, tapped her on the shoulder and said with a smile, “Hello, my name is Jordan, future pharmacist–legal one at least”

****

Tracy looked up into the strangers eyes and couldn’t help bursting out laughing.  He looked like a dope boy but there was something different about him.  She offered her hand and replied “Tracy, future nurse”

six years later when both graduated with their Masters degrees in their respectable areas of interest, on the way to obtaining their PhD’s they’d been happily married for two years and they didn’t plan on giving up any time soon.  They loved each other even through all of their flaws and past mistakes; they supported each other through all of the blood, sweat and tears that the pressure of College brought on.  She wasn’t going to let her past define her future and he was finally going to be rewarded for doing the right thing instead of being punished, life was finally looking up for both of them.

“You know,” Jordan said one night over dinner, “I think it’s amazing how big of a maze life is. We have both turned corners and hit wall after wall but somehow we found our way through and found each other and now nothing is going to be able to stop us from breaking down any wall that might pop up. We’re invincible, babe”

Tracy reached over and placed her hand on his.  Bringing his hand to her lips she kissed it smiled at her husband, she knew he was right. “I love you, Jordan”

 

via Daily Prompt: Maze

Maze

Can You Believe that?

Almost everyone around me associates themselves with a religion.  I, however, do not.  I don’t consider myself in any way, shape or form, religious.  I think that the best way to describe my belief system would be that I am a spiritual person.  But don’t get me wrong, I am very aware of the different religions out there and I try my best to learn about them; I may even take a little of what I learn and align it with what I believe.  In other words there’s a little bit in each religion I’ve learned about that I hold with me.

I feel that my choice not to be affiliated with one religion gives me the ability to be religiously free.  I don’t think there is a right or wrong religion, I don’t think that there is any belief that is wrong.  I actually respect the differences in people’s beliefs.  I try to understand why they believe what they do rather than try to tell them that they are wrong.

I remember when I was in College I had an art class–but we didn’t draw anything and that upset me! I was tricked because no one told me it was an art history class (bore, bore, snoozefest, cue in the snoring).  I remember specifically learning about the Greeks and Romans and all of this stuff about the way they lived and how they captured their lifestyles in their art.  I remember little things about why their sculptures were the way that they were and so on and so forth.  I remember one day the topic of religion came up and my professor talked about Jesus on the cross.  My sign language interpreter made just about every face in the book and kept shaking her head and adding “that’s wrong” or “that’s not true” whenever my professor would explain a “textbook fact” about Jesus.

There was one comment that she made that has stuck with me through all of these years because I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t care about what’s wrong, I just care about what the professor is saying because that is what’s going to be on the test and I need to pass this class.”

When my professor mentioned the shape of the cross and how Jesus was positioned on it, she said it was a plus-sign shape and Jesus’ arms were stretched out on his sides. my interpreter who was a Jehovah’s Witness said to me in sign language, “that’s not true, that’s the stupid Catholic belief.  In the real bible–my bible–it states that the cross was in fact not a ‘plus sign type-shape’ but it was actually a ‘x shape’ with another piece going straight down in the middle.  His hands weren’t stretched out across the cross either, his hands were actually tied up above his head because think about it, if you hang someone up on a ‘plus sign shaped’ cross with their hands stretched out, gravity would cause their body to fall and possibly detach from their arms and the cross would fall forward, whereas if it was positioned the way it shows in my bible, Jesus would have had more support. Plus, it makes more sense that way”

I remember looking at her feeling a growing pang of annoyance.  I couldn’t immediately determine if I was more annoyed by the fact that she was telling me this, or if I was more annoyed by the fact that since she started telling me this my professor possibly switched topics three or four times, or if I was annoyed with the fact that she seriously called another person’s belief stupid.  It’s a belief system as far as I am concerned, none of it is proven facts.

The bible has been repeatedly altered throughout the years to match the evolving times so what right does anyone have to say what is wrong or right?

I believe in the power of love, freedom and respect.

My grandparents are Jehovah’s witnesses, I have an uncle who is a converted Muslim (If thats the proper termonology), I have aunts who are Catholic, a whole family of Christians whether they are devout or not, I have friends who are Atheist, I know people who are Protestant, I know people who practice Hinduism, and with that being said me, not being affiliated with any religion makes it easier for me to absorb everyone’s belief.

It also makes it easier for me to see people for who they are beyond their choice of religion, or their choice of lifestyle like being Gay, for an example. (Let me just say, I don’t like using the term “homosexual” I feel it’s just as offensive as the word “Faggot” which I don’t use either; I prefer to use terms like Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender etc.)

If you’re human and you happen to be Gay–as long as you are not going around killing people or harming other people in any way–I love and respect you (that goes for anyone, whether you’re gay or not). Why is it a problem that you love someone who happens to be the same gender as you? As long as you found love, and you are happy nothing else matters.  I don’t feel like being Gay is a “sin” I don’t believe that being Gay is even wrong; I honestly see nothing wrong with being Gay. I hear the saying “people should be fruitful and multiply” but some people don’t want children (even ” straight” couples) and children are expensive as hell…I know this from experience.  I’ve heard the saying “God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.” Man, listen, God made, Adam, Eve, Steve, Shaquana, Taquan, Richie, Raul, Maria, Su yung and all of them, if you believe that God made all of us, right?

A belief system is a belief system, and I want to share with you my belief system.  In addition to believing in love, freedom and respect, I also believe there’s a reason why everything happens and people die (before they get old).  This might be a little confusing but I will try my best to make as much sense as possible.

Okay, so, everyone has a different walk of life, everyone goes through different things and everyone turns out to be who they are.  Why? Because every walk of life teaches people different things that could either help them grow or give them knowledge that they could pass on and potentially plant a seed in another person who would then have the power to change the world.  We all go through different things in order to polish us and groom us so that we could be functioning human beings–life to me is all about learning.  We all turn out to be the way we are so that other people could learn from us and experience some inner growth.  We need other human beings to survive, is what I believe.

I believe that if you wronged someone in any way–and if you are religious it’s always a good thing to ask for forgiveness from your God–but even if you are not, it’s also a good thing to face the person or people you’ve wronged and ask them for forgiveness as well.  Give people and yourself a peace of mind to be able to grow and move through life as smoothly as possible without carrying the weight of being angry or resentful.

Is this confusing? I hope you at least get the gist of what I’m trying to say because my belief behind death might be a little more confusing.

When people are faced with a tough situation they tend to pray on it to their God.  I pray to any loved one of mine that passed away.  In most cases I pray to my Uncle Tony.  I ask him to look over me and I ask him for clarity.  I ask him to give me signs that I am walking the path I’m meant to walk and he always comes through for me.  It gives me comfort because I actually know my uncle, I know what his voice sounds like, I know his personality.  I know what faces he might make if I ask for something ridiculous like if he could find a way to make it so that when I wake up in the morning, a million dollars would be sitting on my nightstand.  I know his laugh so when I think of something funny I can hear it.  I know him personally.

Which brings me to my reasoning as to why he and many other people passed and still pass away “before their time”. I believe that each death has its purpose.

I was too young to understand what–if anything–was going on in my family around the time that Tony passed away but I do remember feeling like my family became closer after his death.  I remember feeling like everyone was checking in on everyone often and everyone was helping everyone out more often. So, I think that the reason he had to pass away was to wake my family up and to make them aware that even though on the outside we may look healthy, we might be fighting internal battles (diseases or otherwise) and we need someone to reach out to us and help us because we may not always be too forthcoming when we need help.  I think it’s safe to assume that my family also learned to appreciate the gift of life and became more driven to achieve their goals being that Tony was in his late 30’s when he passed away. He was very young.

I’m currently twenty-six years old and will be turning twenty-seven at the end of the year and I want to do so much with my life, I have so many ideas but I don’t know where to start. I started this Blog with hopes of figuring that out.  I have to admit that I feel a little impatient because I am not where I want to be, but I do believe that when it’s my time to put all of my ideas in motion, I will do so with a bang with the help of Uncle Tony and other humans in my life or who I will eventually cross paths with.

The Moment They’ve Been Waiting For.

The parents-to-be, Lena and Parker were coming up on their 20th hour in labor. Just a few weeks ago they’d thrown a gender reveal party and found out they were going to be welcoming a princess to the world. They were anxious to meet their new baby girl, they were curious to see who she looked more like, who she would come to be more like and what she’d become in the future.

Through the sweat and pressure from the contractions Lena grew more impatient as the minutes ticked by.  Parker on the other hand hated seeing his wife in so much pain and wished he could take it all away from her.

That was, until she let out a long pained moan.  He didn’t think he could deal with the pain but he was going to be supportive of his wife and make her feel as comfortable as he possibly could.  leaning over he said in her ear “We’re doing good, honey.  We’re almost there.  The doctor said–”

“We?” she cut him off “are you getting ready to push a child out of your body?!”

“uh…no…” he was scared now…

“Are you the one who–” a contraction ripped through body cutting her off mid-sentence, she let out another painful moan “I can’t take this anymore!”

“Honey, I think you should have gotten that numbing thing the midwife told you about”

His wife glared at him.  If looks could kill he would have died twice–or maybe three times.

The doctor came into the room to check and see if Lena was ready to push, he determined she was and then…

Finally their princess had entered the world, on May 11th 2017…

except their princess had a penis…

Parker was thrilled that he would have a little boy to follow him around the house, a son he could play sports with on the weekends, a son who would carry his name and continue the Riley family legacy!

Lena on the other hand was beyond shocked.  “I could have sworn when your sister revealed the gender to us she said it was a girl…”

Shrugging his shoulders, proud smile played across his lips, he said, “I guess she made a mistake, honey”

“But his room is PINK! What are we supposed to do with all of that PINK stuff?”

 

via Daily Prompt: Pink

Pink

One Step At a Time

Janet sat at her desk and took a deep breath and let it out slowly.  Her fingers hovered over her keyboard as she prepared to write her first novel.  She had all of the characters outlined, she had the story line written out, she had the plot, she had the setting, so why was it so hard for her to put everything together?

Ever since she was a little girl, she’d known she had a knack for story telling and she knew she wanted to share that talent with the rest of the world.  She vowed to one day write a book then another and another.  She wanted to be a famous author.  She even toyed around with the idea of trying her hand at play writing and possibly even producing a movie.  The possibilities were endless!

So, why was it so hard for her to take a step forward?

Was it fear of the prospect of failing that was holding her back? Was it the void she yearned to fill now that her husband had left her? Or was it a sign that she needed to give up and find a new dream?

She sighed and dropped her hands on her lap. They say that the worst of times brings out the best work in people.  She could be wrong but she definitely considered her current situation to be…the worst.  Her husband left her and her kids chose to live with him rather than her, she had a crappy job and a not-so-great studio apartment in the most run down part of town.  How much worst can it get?

Frustrated she picked up her phone and flipped through her social media app,  she came across a live news report of yet another unarmed black man being gunned down senselessly by the police but when she heard the victim’s name and recognized the area where the shooting took place, she felt a heaviness in her gut; she felt rage.  Just then her phone rang, it was her uncle tearfully telling her what she already knew, her cousin was no longer with them.

Her cousin, Leon was more like a brother to her than a cousin and was actually the only person in her life who encouraged her to pursue her dream.  Any time she’d call him he’ll answer the phone saying, “how many pages did you write today?” he’d scold her if she said none, he’d praise her if she said one.  And now he was gone and she was now officially all alone.

With no idea what came over her, in an almost zombie-robotic mode she went back to that blank screen and her fingers started tapping frantically away at the keys.  It was as if the story was just flowing from her soul.

By the end of the day she’d written, edited and revised four full chapters.  Sitting back she looked heavenward and envisioned a telephone conversation with Leon.

“How many pages have you written today, cuz’?”

“Over a hundred” she’d respond

“Awwwwwwwww’right now! One step at a time! Don’t forget about me when you get to Hollywood!”

“You’ll be right there, with me, though!”

And he would, every step of the way.

step
Courtesy of Pexels.com

 

Pursue

via Daily Prompt: Pursue

Whoopsie Daisy

 

It was that moment when Maci vowed to never touch her sisters clothing ever again.  She’d been warned time and time again not to “borrow” anything from her sister’s closet.  But when Maci saw that Leslie had made a new must-have-gotta-wear-it top (because you know, Leslie has skills like that) Maci just couldn’t contain herself.  Soon as Leslie left the house for classes at the university, Maci grabbed the shirt and off to school she went.

She flaunted her new shirt that gave a little peek of her naval and loved the attention she received from the guys…especially Bryson Lewis–THE hottest guy in Samsung High–and possibly the entire world.  That was until Kelly Bronson–the schools most annoying girl, announced that there was a little piece of thread sticking out of the bottom of the shirt.

She grabbed at it.

And with little effort the shirt came completely undone.

And there Maci stood in the middle of the hallway lacy red bra exposed for everyone to see–everyone including the hot Bryson Lewis.

As she awkwardly covered herself, just before running for cover she glared at Kelly and wondered if she could plead temporary insanity if she could just get her hands on her.

She ran like a mad lady out the school doors and to her car and to her astonishment she found Leslie leaned up against her car door with a knowing smirk and her phone to her ear. “Thanks, Kelly. I owe you” she said into the phone and to her little sister she said, “I told you not to touch my stuff but you wouldn’t listen.  The stitches in that shirt were only temporary stitches…It’s part of a costume for the play I’m in, ya know, for an easy rip-away?. Whoopsie Daisy, did I forget to tell you that?”

via Daily Prompt: Temporary

Temporary

Bitter

 

She realized that if she kept her anger and resentment bottled up inside of her, she would never find true happiness.  She looked into the eyes of her newborn daughter and promised that she would be nothing like her parents but she knew that in order to make good on that promise she was going to have to forgive her parents.  Forgive them for abandoning her; forgive them for taking advantage of her and putting her in situations no child should ever be in.

She looked at the address that a private investigator had given her.  She’d been looking for her parents ever since she aged out of the system and now at age 30, she’d finally been able to locate them.

Strapping her daughter in her car seat, her husband drove to the location as she sat in silence, milling through her thoughts, trying to figure out what she wanted to say.  She finally gave up and decided that she would just speak from her heart.  Once at the gate her husband gave her hand a gentle squeeze, gazing up into his eyes she took a deep breath and pushed it open.

An eerie feeling crept over her, as did nervousness. It would be the first time seeing her parents in over 20 years.

They sat side by side.  They didn’t say a word to her but she was sure they could see her.

“I forgive you. I realized a little while ago that I needed to forgive you, not for you but for me; for my family…my daughter.  They deserve to have all of me, the real me, who I am inside” tears streamed down her face, she took a deep breath and continued, “what you did to me was not right at all, it broke my spirit, it broke me and it took me years to find and gather all of my pieces again and in finding my pieces I realized there was still one piece missing–the piece where you two should have been.  I hated life because of you, I wanted to die but then I met this wonderful man right here and he showed me that my past didn’t have to define my future and you know what? He was right.  I’m not going to let my past keep me down any longer.  I refuse to be bitter all because you two were monsters, my family doesn’t deserve that, I don’t deserve that.  So this will be the last time you see me but I just wanted you to know that you are forgiven, I have no space in my heart to hate you anymore.  Goodbye”

She turned around, walked away and never looked back.  She walked out of the cemetery feeling empowered, there was a lightness that washed over her, she felt anew.  She had a new outlook on life.  She’d finally filled that void, she was finally wholesomely happy and she couldn’t wait to pour all of that happiness into her daughter.

When faced with the decision to choose between happiness and bitterness she felt she made the right choice.  Before getting back into their car, she kissed her husband deeply and thanked him for being there for her.

Bitter

via Daily Prompt: Bitter