The image above is the first thing that came to mind when I heard the news of Dr. Angelou’s passing. It’s vivid for me because it was the first time I’d ever heard of her and it wasn’t by choice. Not only because of the major news coverage of Clinton’s inauguration, we also had to do a dreaded homework assignment on the poem.
“The poem’s so long!” we whined to our teacher. “What is she talking about?” Besides having to do a writing assignment about On the Pulse of Morning (also known as the Inaugural Poem). I had to get used to the fact that it wasn’t going anywhere. She wasn’t going anywhere either. I had to familiarize myself with this woman and her work anyway. It was like her words followed and faced me at significant stages in my life. Phenomenal Woman spoke to me so vividly at a time when I needed to be lifted up and feel good about myself. When I wanted to express myself properly to my significant other on a special occasion, cards usingher words were always in sync with what was in my heart.
I just wanted to share a quick homage to a woman who’s words resonated with so many people, including myself. She will be missed.
Recently I came to the realization that going above and beyond can have a serious backlash. A couple of years ago, the staffing in our office were cut short severely; mainly because of retirements. So I decided to step up to the plate and really prove myself as a worker and even a leader. Mind you I was already a productive worker and management was aware. I just wanted to take it to the next level. I went all out, attending meetings, staying late, volunteering to take projects no one else wanted to touch and so forth. Before I knew it, I became the go-to person of the office. Whatever management needed at the drop of a dime, they knew who to go to. I never failed to disappoint. As time went by this new go-to role grew. The work increased – everything increased….except for the pay. Naturally I started wondering when something would happen to compensate me for the hard work I was putting in. I eventually started asking questions and got round about answers. There was of course talk of budget constraints and hands being tied to do anything for me. After a while the lines started to get old. I had to face it – I had been hustled, bamboozled, played, you name it.
I was pissed.
But then I had to really analyze myself and the situation. Why did I work so hard? Why did I put in all those hours (no overtime pay by the way)? Why did I really volunteer for the projects? Well of course I was looking into advancing my career, so I took on more work to prove myself to management. You see, the “plan” was that they would recognize what I was doing, speak up for me and then I would get promoted. Yeah, it didn’t work out that way at all. So I was left completely exhausted, hardly motivated and extremely disappointed. Why couldn’t anyone look out for me? I wondered if all my hard work had gone in vain.
Fortunately, new opportunities have opened up for me that include advance for me and my career (Yay!). So I am moving forward on good terms with lessons learned. The next time I go above and beyond, it will be for the right reasons because I am a mission-oriented person and I have to show that before any skill or project is displayed.
Questions still remain thought. I wonder why things played out the way they did. Is it because I had selfish purposes? Or was it just not meant to be?
I know I’ve already posted for today, but I came across the Daily Prompt after the fact and just couldn’t resist. 🙂
I love lists, I use them for just about everything, all the time. So when I saw the Daily Prompt’s assignment to make a list of something it made me dig a little deeper. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to develop my personal voice in the world of blogging. So, here it goes!
1. How to show affection.
2. Relationships aren’t only defined by who does favors for you.
3. Hold your own.
4. Emergency funds!
5. It’s not “unchristian” to speak your mind.
6. God is a person, not some wizard or genie in a bottle.
7. Secrets can kill.
8. Cherish good people and their friendship.
9. Let shit go – it’s not that serious.
10. Be real – open your heart and let emotions flow. It’s not a weakness to do so.
I was doing my usual channel flipping the other day and came across one of Oprah’s programs (I can’t remember the title). They were talking about “the here and now” and it basically sent my mind racing. It triggered various thoughts as the the words resonated with me.
I thought “hmmm, I think I get it…”
A lot of the times we worry about what’s going to happen, what we can do about it and how everything is going to play out. Because of worry and fear, we make a lot of bad decisions to gain insight into the unknown. Bad intentions also develop because of this type of fear. A person may work themselves nearly half to death just for the sake of having a safe cushion financially. This is fine but when do they actually take the time to enjoy the fruits of their labor? It’s pretty pointless to keep such a mindset if you never have peace of mind. How about if you’re trying to lose weight? You’re focusing so much on your target weight that you get frustrated in the process and just give up after a while.
The reality is, we can only control what we are doing today. Sure, it’s great to set goals and aspirations, but those are vastly different from trying to form and control the future. From my experience, we can only take one step at a time. Get rid of each bad habit and develop good ones….one day at a time.
Do what can be done TODAY.
This is where the self-discipline war comes into play and a lot of folks fail or just give up. The fact of the matter is you won’t be able to skate your way to anything good no matter how much you pray, how good of sweet talk you may be or how magnificent you are at plotting and scheming. Again, I’m speaking from experience. At some point you need to nurture the drive by strapping on your boots and getting to work. No one can help you with that. Its about what you can do in this moment. Over time, it just may set you up for tomorrow and things will be taken care of.
So what are you going to do? Are you going to stay comfortable in your habits, which include worrying about the future, or are you going to tackle it a day at a time?
As a writer, there are a few things more important than having an opinion. Think about it; those articles or books that grab the most attention and make the most waves are often the result of an author who has a clear opinion of their own. Even if it means going against the mainstream population, they’re ready to express what they think.
In a way, it’s often disturbing how those who’s opinion differ from the masses are often attacked or berated for having a different view from everyone else.
Calm down people. It’s just an opinion.
Express Yourself Truthfully
It’s a waste of time to put effort into writing material that agrees with what everyone else thinks. Where’s the originality and insight? If everyone liked the same thing, life would be pretty pointless. So standing out from everyone else shouldn’t make one dislike what others think. Their perspective is just different and they’re not afraid to express it. Just because the view is different does not make someone a “hater”. When this term is used, it’s often to say that the person is just jealous and carries a different view out of spite. For example, it’s seen all the time in social media when someone has a different opinion about a favorite entertainment artist or passionate topic. Even if your work doesn’t gain a lot of attention, at least be true to yourself with the intention to express your thoughts in accordance with your views and experiences.
The Other Side
As a writer, it is also important to be open-minded to others and their own views. Not everyone will agree with what you write or say. How will you handle the naysayer? What about the nasty comments that may come your way? Something for both you and I to think about in our journey as writers.
Please keep in mind that the moral is to ignite everyone’s emotions and be offensive, it is just wise to stay honest within yourself and the views you choose to express. Whatever the topic or issue may be, having an opinion is not about being hateful.
There’s nothing more annoying than people who just talk about doing something all the time but never get around to doing it. Either they can’t (or won’t) make up their mind or they just want to blow steam…or maybe they just like hearing themselves talk.
Do something already!
On a personal note, I’m currently going through career changes for the better. For almost two years I’ve been dissatisfied with my work situation for different reasons. Simply put, I was not happy and was exploring what options were out there for me. I would vent to friends and co-workers about it, but they would just dismiss it as me whining or complaining. Nonetheless, I took the steps I needed to take to change things. Now that those changes are taking place, I’m moving on in my career and they’re floored and frankly, I don’t understand why. I wasn’t just running my mouth when I expressed what I wanted; I was also working on it. I guess they didn’t connect the two. They got the message now!
My whole point is, if you have a vision action needs to be taken at some point. When I decided to start writing/blogging, it came after a fair amount of debating and thinking. I stalled for a little bit but I eventually jumped on my laptop and got to work. It’s actually been a relief for me now that I’ve finally started writing again.
Have you been debating or struggling to initiate something that you’ve been meaning to work on? Please don’t let the time continue to pass. The moment you start being about it, there will be relief and you will feel good about yourself.
At some point, every blogger, editor, author and novelist should ask themselves this question. For those who are more advanced in the writing realm, their work may speak for itself. But for those starting out (such as me) it might be helpful to see how your writing can be defined. The world of writers has grown immensely over the past few years. Thanks to the avenue of blogging, many aspiring writers have used it as a platform to express their ideas, passions and talents. According to WordPress.com, thousands upon thousands of new sites are created each day its site alone, not to mention the millions of posts that are produced worldwide. Oh and that 44.5 million posts by WordPress users to be exact. It’s safe to assume not everyone posting is being original. They probably figured it would be easier to copy someone’s way of writing to get more traffic or just post for the sake of blogging. So where (or how) do you stand out? What type of voice are you using? Some writers write from an advice perspective, whether it’s on life issues or on writing itself. Some use blogging as a journal of themselves and have established pretty decent audiences. At the end of the day they have a unique voice that causes them to stand out. It’s great to visit other blogs and become familiar with people’s way of writing; it definitely helps you for your own building purposes. But going through the changes, making new decision and knowing your own train of thought is what forms your craft and unique style. I’m learning it’s not an overnight journey, but I am well on my way.