i knew (going in) it wouldnt be easy

i still have three points to cover.  i still have two hundro pages to read.  hm, but.. my mind and heart’s friendly, endless (friendless?) game of ping-pong won’t let me concentrate.

neither player wants to let go of their paddles.  there’s only one way to put a stop to this madness.  vent.  forgive me in advance for the ambiguity.  i learned an extra-jumbo-size amount of lessons since 9.2.2015.

… unloading …

eeks, where do i begin.  i am not in this alone.  if i die tonight i’m with God.  if i stay alive tonight God’s with me.  what’s there to stay cooped up about then?

 

you know what actually?
my heart dropped the paddle.

game’s over.

Rumble, jumbled garbled ramblings

What’s absolute in this life besides Jesus?

Divorces sever marriage vows. Cancer can be conquered. Guarantees don’t fill voids, and friendships, on the contrary to popular belief, end.

Unfortunate yet true, nothing in this world lasts forever. That’s probably why people reject the notion of eternal life. How could there be? It’s a challenge trying to cling onto monogamy for adults – to believe that there’s a God out there who loves and care about me?! Wha?!

There is an unnumerable amount (approximately 1.2 trillion), thoughts ricocheting off the walls of my brain right now. Call it m-indigestion. Mind-full. Mindy, pronounced windy. I want to scream inside a pillow but that’ll wake up my parents and possibly neighbors. I want to go outside and take a walk but it’s 2 degrees and snowing.

Help me, Jesus.

 

 

It gets better?

When I was in middle school, the high schoolers stressed over college applications.

When I made it to high school, the older ones trembled out of exhilaration with concerns about the real world.

When I enrolled at VCU, the young professionals lamented over bills and made questionable purchases.

And now that I am 27, in the big leagues, in bed on a Sunday evening, I’m perplexed by it all. I’m trying to figure out if I mistakenly took their word for it.

If I could go back to 2000, I would ask Jordan on a date (and get rejected). I regret chickening out.

Hey, do you believe that a single flap of a butterfly’s wings could change the ocean’s current? It both frightens and inspires me to know that a moment in history – a spoken word or action taken – could change the course of another individual’s life.

Be careful of what you tell someone.

Make sure you think before you speak.

… that leads me to think that everything I’ve gone through, what I’m undergoing now, may have been the result of the nuanced, delicate flaps of people’s tongues and gestures.

I know that won’t make sense to others; too many men and women have advised me over the years. Who I am now is obviously a culmination of encouragement, discouragement, and narratives. Pair those with my personal experiences.

Well, the point is this: to try and not make sense of it. My future stays constantly uncertain. I get it. My destination is a censored bleep on a show more unpredictable than Jerry Springer. Roger that. Why bother to guess what happens next?

Regardless if it gets better or not — honestly — I don’t care. If that’s what I’m working hard for, fine, so be it.

I’m praying He sends me someone who truly understands this principle, one who loves and accepts me for me, has confidence in my insufficiencies, and believes truly that God is the end-all, be-all, in the long haul.  this, my friends, is what’s been on my heart as of late.

Proposing to someone with motives to benefit yourself is not only ill-advised, but detrimental to your spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical condition.

Especially if that person says, “Yes,” off impulse.

Remember Where You Started?

Don’t get too hooked on serving tables.

Aside from the social skills you’ll acquire, there’s not much more the restaurant industry can teach you. I’m not joking.

The quick cash, the networking, the free take-home meals: great?

Yea, no. The long hours, goodbye-weekend-nights, the late cuts, the baby’s aftertrash, the frustrating variance of tips, the unrewarding feeling of rolling silver, the two-table sections and a bar top, the neglectful host, the triple-sat-sorry-I-had-to combo, and the list goes on.

Since 2006 through 2015, I have served at 16 restaurants. You don’t believe me? Check my W2s.

Woo Lae Oak. Glory Days Bar and Grill. Silver Diner Tyson’s. Fireside Grill. Silver Diner Innsbrook. Bonchon. Cafe Chocolate. Willow Oaks Country Club. Seasons 52 Wine Bar and Grill. Korshi. Lemaire at the Jefferson Hotel. Sakura. Ichiban. Sushi King. Hayashi. The Boathouse.

Every restaurant, TBH, holds a warm place in my heart. I got fired from Fireside Grill because I told my manager I couldn’t work on Church Sundays. Bonchon had me painting their steroid-injected yet delicious wings in the back of the house for only a week and cut me off the rope … Not long after I obtained Johnny Vy’s (NFL Photographer) and Justin Hathaway’s (then NESN.com’s Digital Media) contact information through some of the chefs in the back of the house. The chefs were brothers of the mean owner-sister. Silver Diner Innsbrook was a tough steak but hey, I only got the job because Dhiraj and Nirmal (my former managers at the Silver Diner at Tyson’s), were running the show in RVA.

So yes, God provides every penny we need to survive. I’m going through some financial struggles right now, and perhaps you, reader, are too.  But hey, I write this with wishes to encourage you:  Jesus will steadfastly hook you, and me, up with exactly (down to the penny), we need. He knows our concerns and cares about us. Seriously. I think, what He needs from us is our hearts, as vulnerable as we are, to trust Him with allllllll of it.

For now, stay diligent with what He’s entrusted you with. It’s kind of like asking your boss for a raise. When He knows you’re ready to handle the more responsibilities, He will promote you and yep, that raise comes, too.

If you’re a student, grind hard and get out of college. I’ve learned to not fall in love with the result, but to fall in love with the process moving towards that result you want to achieve.

I assure you again and again: God got you.

You’re far too kind IIIIII

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God

Philippians 4:6

So uh, there’s no other way to word this. When I think of how much you’ve helped, I bawl my eyes out.  Your companionship means a lot to me.

We met at Cafe Chocolate, I served your table — you were with a bunch of Marylanders. That night I was feeling free-spirited. I introduced myself. One thing led to another, and the conversation that tipped the cup over to become the stream we’re canoeing on until this day was on the topic of poetry (others call it rap).

And rap and God was a combination potent enough to ignite a friendship that I hope will last until we’re pushing each other’s wheelchairs. After we exchanged numbers, we collaborated, goofed off, recorded, goofed off some more. All the red wine-induced freestyles in your car and deeeeeeep talks on your front porch steps.

One takes for a reason.

When I needed direction, you were there. Your mom also lent a hand, her guidance, coupled with your support, is the sole reason I got this far.

Early Summer 2014

After getting through the first wave of interviews for GWU’s grad program, the staff deemed that rejecting me was for the best. A last-minute decision due to my lack of classroom experience altered the course of history.

Pause for dramatic effect.

Dr. O referred me to Dr. H and she told me I could gain my “classroom experience” during the summer months at a middle school program in Herndon. I went in to get my badges and yes, due to a misdemeanor charge — reckless speeding ticket — I was ineligible to work in Fairfax County for a year. I could either (A) work at a restaurant for a year in Fairfax County or (B) move to Richmond.

Richmond, from July through October, was an insane ride. Emotionally, mentally, physically, stretched all boundaries. I had contacted everyone to build my network. VCU shooting guard Jordan Burgess’s mother, a principal in Chesterfield, fed me valuable insight. Mr. Earl Mason. Dr. Colleen Thoma. Jill. Jamaal. Becky. Justin. Dr. Kim Hanneman. Corey. Etc.

I applied to Henrico County Public Schools. There was a part-time instructional assistant position available, so I submitted all of me. I applied to Faison School For Autism. I’ve applied to 290 jobs after graduating in 2013, two more cover letters was a laughing matter at this point.

I took the job at Godwin High School. I love the students. I worked in the Exceptional Education department and since November, I have been in love being in this field. All because you suggested that I should become a Special Education teacher. I feel as if I’m at home when I clock in. I deployed all the undying patience, and compassion for others I had stored within to good use on a daily basis. The opportunity to perpetually exercise my all-natural personality, what a blessing.

Yesterday, Faison School For Autism called me and extended the full-time position. I took it.

Your words that one night meant a lot to me. Goes to show how, with an open-mind, all things are possible if you have faith in Him.

I live by His grace and am grateful … to have such congenial friends. You’re one of them.

Where is my journal

You might never read this post.

That’s fine. You asked if I logged journal entries daily. I don’t. I used to.

I write every four days, give or take, something’s bound to happen every Thursday or by Monday.

I asked a friend if her current boyfriend beat around the bush before confessing his true feelings or if he told her right away. She said he conducted the latter and it worked like a charm–they’ve been together longer than you’ve been allowed to purchase cigarettes.

Ah heck, you won’t ever read this post, who am I kidding.

Poetry Portray

It never matters to me what you have on, you can bet that
I love all of your outfits whether you’re in the tank top, sweat pants
Or a button-down, heels with the matching Mets hat,
You’re a Lost Angel, heaven sent you to Cali, ready, set, laugh
(if you want),
by any chance did you catch that?

Change isn’t bad

With my back against the ropes, my adversary delivers his blows and lands a few solid jabs to my lower stomach and chest.  I look down and there it is, a pair of shears with blades sharp enough to slice the rope and escape. I take my gloves off, grab them and cut my limitations, exiting the confines that I put myself in.

Chai 2.

I arrive at the Kona International Airport. Jason Smedley is waiting in his van for me and two beautiful Norwegian sisters, Camila and Michaela. Smedley chauffeurs us to the campus.

My roommates are from Texas, New Zealand, Switzerland and Canada. Great group of guys.

After two weeks of classes, a few of my classmates plan a trip to explore downtown Kona on Saturday night. There is a shaved ice cream parlor that everyone should try once and a sandy spot by a hill to get some volleyball games in. We play a few matches against each other before walking to the nearby convenience store for some drinks.

My indecisiveness makes me the last to purchase, a Coke. When I walk out, that’s when she is standing there. A woman, in a grey tank top, hooded sweater tied around her waist right above her khaki shorts. I begin to walk down the steps but heel after noticing that this stranger is glaring at me. My wimpish tolerance for awkward moments forces me to turn around and head back inside the store.

Immediately I hide, duck between the Ramen and candy aisle. She spots me. I say hello.

“Hi,” she breathes.
“May I help you?” I ask calmly, smiling.
“I want food,” she orders.
“I am on a strict budget,” I say truthfully, “you may have this drink.”

I hand her the Coke, she takes a sip, gives it back and I drink out of the same straw with no hesitation. (Clearly I am not a germaphobe) and this shows her that I am the last person on Earth to judge her.

“Alright well take care,” I whisper, and make a beeline for the door. She sticks like a shadow and follows me out like a trail of M&Ms falling out of my busted Chuck Taylors.

“Who’s that? What happened?” my curious classmates ask.
“I don’t know, I gave her some of my Coke though,” I say with a nervous chuckle.
“She’s still there, man.”

I’ll take care of this. “Never leave beef unsettled” was my M.O.

“Can you give me a ride?” she utters quietly.
“I flew from Virginia, sorry I’m just a student here.” I keep myself honest.
“I need you right now,” the stranger threatens.

OK before I go on, I am a stickler for suspense. I considered myself the male version of Sarah Michelle Gellar in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

“Wait a second, I’ll be right back,” I tell her. My classmates are wondering what is going on, why I even bother to loiter around.
“Guys I’ll talk to her for a few minutes, could you accompany me and pray for our conversation?”
“Sure, we’ll have an eye out and keep our distance,” they go.

I approach her again this time and say, “Let’s take a walk, I love walks.”

I do love walks.

To be continued…