The Way Things Go

blog post

Taken by @withklovee from The WKND 

wow. wow. wow.

I finally decided to get past some of my fear and post something. Here is a small update.

I am in my senior year of college…woohooo! Along with starting a 9 month leadership program at my church. My hope is that the next 9-months will be life changing. I’ll write more about my experience soon. I am taking three writing intensive course this semester, it’s only the third week of the semester and I feel defeated already. Two of these courses are research based; Experimental Psychology and Intersectionality & Identities. Feeling more educated than ever these days.

Last time I wrote something, it was personal and real. More real than I am comfortable with. I don’t like talking about my mental stuff because it’s a lot to deal with and I feel like people try to downplay my experience, so these past few months I have just not shared anything because of fear. I am genuinely fearful of sharing how i’m doing with people because I just don’t want to feel judged or crazy for my feelings. I also don’t like to seem that I haven’t gotten my -ish together because I go through these crazy cycles that are tiresome for me and I get tired of sharing the same thing because I feel like i’m not progressing. As i’m reading this over, I realize i’m going a little more in to detail than my liking, so to cut this short. I am learning to put more effort into taking care of my mental health. Reaching out and not retreating. Letting go of bad habits and prioritizing the things that will help and not hinder me.

The main reason why I am here, writing to y’all is to share something I had to do for my art class. Last week we watched this film called, “The Way Things Go” by two Swiss artists. The art film involved a long causal chain assembled of everyday objects. There is a small clip of it below. Before we started watching this 30 minute silent art film, my professor instructed us to write 5 bullet points on this question: What does this movie say about life, the world, and me?  When the movie started, I didn’t think I was going to be able to write anything, but much to my surprise I had many things to say. Just so you know, the bolded title refers to the scene in the film.

Here is a small clip of the The Way Things Go. You’ll see the “tether ball” like object that I was referring to. 

What does this movie say about life, the world, and me?

Tether ball like thing

Life doesn’t stop, it keeps going even when you may want it to stop and give you a break. It continues and while it continues, you get older and the hope for myself, is that while life continues to go on even when I get overwhelmed and want it to stop, is that I accept my life for what it is and what it could be if I keep the hope in myself.

Pan with two small candles burning

In order for anyone to be there best self, they have to take care of themselves. Also people have to put themselves first. It’s important not to bottle everything up. Within the film, the pan started to fill up with this foamy liquid and it eventually immersed the candles in it and the fire from the candles got bigger and spread. I totally understand not sharing stuff so you can process things and whatnot, but there is a point where you can allow thing to build up to the point where you “explode” and start lashing out even when you do don’t mean to. This is a lesson, I am working on constantly. I know it’s healthy to get things off your chest, but it’s a struggle for me personally. When I think about it, the world could be somewhat of a decent place, if people could express their emotions in a healthy way.

Orange table with cup swaying across

There was an orange table with a white cup swaying from side to side. I didn’t realize it, but as it was swaying from side to side, it got closer to its destination.. A lot of people have dreams of something and they pursue them, but sometimes people get discouraged because life isn’t linear and doesn’t go as planned. I’m going to be 22 in less than two months and this scene reminded me that things take time. It also reminded me to continue pursuing and to dream a little bigger because I am capable of achieving greatness. Just keep going and trust the process.

Two Tires

Two tires, two different pathways. The first tire had a bumpy course, but it still got to its destination. The second tire had a smooth path and rolled easily to the other side. For me, this represents that life isn’t gonna be “glitz & glam” as I like to say all the time. Life is bumpy, messy, and it doesn’t wait for anyone. Although, there are bumpy times, there are “smooth” days, where you feel like you have it together, invincible, and you are quietly reminded that, you, in fact can do this thing we call life. Another reminder I got was to not compare my journey to someones else’s. It may appear that they are rolling through life smoothly, but you just never know what people are actually going through. That’s also a small reminder to be kind to people in general.

Fire

Throughout this film was lots of fire. Fire used to ignite things, fire used to distinguish things, fire to make something explode, fire used to make something expand. For me, this represents fuel for life. Everyone has to find the thing that fuels them, the thing that keeps them going because if you don’t, i think you won’t get to burn as bright as you can. And I think that looks different for everyone. For myself, I know that there are things that will happen in life that will put the fire out, but the hope I have for myself is that I won’t let the fire stay out.

Doing this assignment provided some relief for me. It allowed me to step back and reflect, which I haven’t done in awhile. Life is a helluva a thing. It has been an overwhelming, but beautiful journey so far.
If you’ve made it this far, what did you get from this small clip, if anything?

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B E C O M I N G

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Most days I feel like I’m too much.

Too hard to tame

Too wild to love

I know that this isn’t true, but the feelings are real. I’ve always tried to find peace within myself. I’ve always wanted to try harder and run faster. I’ve always tried to push myself farther than what the world around me expected me to go. But, I am constantly letting my depression get the best of me. There are nights I stare out my window for hours just wondering if life will ever be different. If I’ll ever stop having “episodes”. If my life will change for the good. I’ve always been a perfectionist and not being in control of the one thing that is tearing down my entire being is heart wrenching.

I had an experience a few weeks ago that brought me to the crisis center at a psychiatry building. It’s engraved in my memory because of the emotions attached to it. My anxiety was through the roof that day. People were staring because I couldn’t stop fidgeting or biting my nails. I could barely breathe so I had to go outside as I was waiting to be seen. As I went through this experience, I realized how important people are and how loved I am. I’m thankful for the community at my school that doesn’t treat me just as a student, but as a family member. I’m thankful for friends that listened to my drunken cries at 4 in the morning. I’m thankful for friends who drop what they’re doing to make sure I got the help I needed. These special people are the ones that make life worth living in dark times.

Life is messy. The more I come face to face with my depression, the more I realize that I have to put myself first and be honest with those around me. I’ve also realized that asking for help is tremendously hard, but so needed. There are days when I don’t truly understand why my brain can’t produce enough serotonin so it can be normal. There are days when I feel like I’m on top of the world. There are days when my depression snatches the goodness life gives me and brings me to the fetal position in my bed wishing I didn’t exist because the feelings are overwhelming. I’m learning to not let these feelings consume my entire beings, but my heart is something that can’t take much without feelings defeated.

This journey is hard and I wish it was a smooth pathway, but life was never intended to be just that. I’m just going through a really hard transition and I’m trying to figure out why I continually do the things that hinder my growth and how that hurts those who are for me. I know that I’ll get better and I’ll flourish into the person I’m supposed to be, but until than, here’s to becoming.

 

Hold On

IMG_0764 2.JPGIt’s one of those nights where I try to go to sleep, but there’s so much racing through my mind. I feel like I always come back to this place, where my heart needs rest. I’ve been feeling pretty low. The type of low where I havent been to one of my classes for the past month because my depression is at its peak. There are moments within each day where I feel like things are better. When I feel like I can do this, but  there is suffering in this life. There is pain and I feel all of it. I push it away because my heart can’t handle what this world spits out. I’ve always been one to just suck it up and seem happy, but I just can’t do it anymore. Life is such shit right now and I feel like I’m the only one who notices. While that may not be true because everyone has their own shit that their going through, but dammit it sucks to feel alone in this life. It sucks it sucks it sucks to not feel wanted. Have you ever felt so complicated to love, like you’re just a complex person and there are too many puzzle pieces to figure out so you just say “fuck it” and move on to something easier? Well, hey that’s me! I hope to God this post doesn’t bring in a bunch of “I love you Ray” texts because I am complex. I don’t understand myself. I do know that I am fragile and I’m just trying to figure out how to get through the semester without totally losing my shit. I don’t want to seem like the crazy depressed girl in college who has to be watched all the times. What I want is to be free within myself. To be free in society. It feels like it’ll take a lifetime some nights, some nights it doesn’t feel worth it. On those nights, you drink to remind yourself that you’re alive and you have feelings and this shit we call life is so real and has so many parts to it., but somehow we manage to get through it. Am I making sense ??? I don’t even know. But this is my heart in all of its messiness. I got this tattoo in Long Beach, as a reminder to just hold on when moments like this arise. Jesus, I am holding on for dear life.

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-Ray

 

there is a God.

IMG_3711.JPGIt’s been almost 3 years. Since I’ve posted something on here. I’ve occasionally stopped by to check the stats of my blog, but not too much has changed. I’m in my third year of college right now and it has been tough. I did community college first and than transferred. As I look back, i’m very happy I chose this route because it has saved me a ton of money, but also helped me mature in ways, I probably wouldn’t of had the opportunity too, if I chose to go to college in Virginia.

I read a blog a few days ago, and it sparked the writer in me that I have seem to let go for sometime now. There’s something about creating and putting it out into the world to see. It’s empowering in some ways. When I read this blog, it touched my heart. She talked about struggling during the really hard time in life and it resonated with me. It’s almost 2017, and i’m starting to reflect about the last 10 months of my life this year. I must say, it has been really shitty and hard. Some say the good out weight the bad, but in my case, it’s the complete opposite.

This year has been the year of trying to ‘adult” and I never thought the transition was going to be this hard. Props to the real adults out there because I have no idea how you people do it.

I’m not going to go in to too much detail into why this has been one of the hardest years of my life, but i’ll share bits and pieces.This year, my mom had a stroke . This year, one of my family members found out they have Stage 3 bone cancer. This year, one of my nanas’ bestfriend (also her cousin), passed away. This year, i’ve gotten my heartbroken twice. This year, I lost most of my friends. Let’s get really real. The biggest hurt of this year has been turning away from Jesus. When things got really dark, mid year, I hid. I felt life beginning to spin out of control, so I coped in a way that pushed me away from God. This year, I lost myself.

I’m not writing all of this for sympathy. I writing this as a reminder to myself and for those who are struggling in silence, to remember that life is hard, really hard at times, but still there is light even when things are so dark. To hold onto Jesus even tighter, during these times. I’m one to not let everyone in on my heart these days, but I found it to lead to darkness. I found that doing life alone doesnt last too long when you realize how chaotic it can be. Doing life alone only detroys more than it creates.  I know there is something powerful when you connect around those who set their eyes on The Cross. In reality, we are never ever alone, even when the enemy or life itself tells you otherwise.

I’m not sure where to end this, but there is a God who loves each and everyone of us. A God who gives us so much grace and hope to carry on through these times. Out of ashes, I will rise, and something so bright will come out of this brokenness.

With love,

Ray

Dear God,

I’m not the perfect daughter I try to aim to be. Im emotionally a wreck, but you love me anyway. I fail you so many times, but you love me regardless. You see me, you know me, and love me. I cant even explain how great your love is for me, because I can hardly even understand it. Only grace, can mend and make me whole. Only grace can restore my soul. Lord, let me be used by you, and may I draw myself nearer to You.

Lets Be Real

Don’t Worry, I’m here to Stay

Hi. It’s been awhile. I haven’t abandoned this place, I promise you I won’t either. Life has just been happening, and I don’t have any control over that. Senior Year has been kicking my butt. I’m finally done with the application process, now I’m waiting to hear back from about 15 schools. I’ve gotten accepted into SF State, and Sweet Briar College; an all women private on the East Coast. I’ve been trying to ace all my classes, but that hasn’t been happening. I put a lot of stress on myself to be perfect in every way, and it always leaves me feeling horrible about myself, and being mean to myself. School has been alright, I’m ALWAYS late to my first period which is AP Calculus. Also, the idea of prom has been stressing me out because some of my classmates want to have it at school, and I think it’s the MOST DUMBEST IDEA EVER. I could see if our school was super nice, but it’s not, so it bothers me because I’ve never been to prom, and I will not allow my classmates to ruin a night that is supposed to be memorable. Overall, my senior has been really stressful. I haven’t got to the point where things are actually fun. That’s school for ya though.

What’s Been Going On?

These past three months have been a little difficult for me. One of my family members passed away before Christmas, and it sort of caught me off guard. It was a Monday when I found out, and I just remember waking up thinking that I would actually have a good Monday, but that wasn’t the case. My nana told me that my cousin passed away earlier that morning. I was sort of close to my cousin. He was my favorite older cousin. He was the sweetest man ever, and wanted nothing but the best for people, and most of all he just wanted to see youth excel in life. By the end of the week we had plane tickets, and would be heading down to Dallas to celebrate his life. Whenever it comes to funerals, I become apathetic; even if its family members, but this funeral I was wrecked. It wasn’t fair, and nothing is explainable. God cant, and won’t come down to earth, sit on my bed, and tell me why he felt like it was time to take my cousin, and leave us feeling the way we did. I was upset with God. I’m upset with God because my cousin won’t be a husband to an amazing woman anymore. I’m upset with God because he won’t be present at any of his children’s weddings or graduations. I can’t do anything about it, that is what makes me most upset.

These past three months have also been challenging because I’m learning to be more vulnerable. I have a fear of being vulnerable, and being fully open to certain people. I’ve been in counseling since ninth grade, and I’ve made tremendous progress, but now I’m dealing with the walls that need a bulldozer to be broken down with. It’s hard. It really is. Counseling has always been a really hard thing for me. One moment I want to quit because it’s too much pain, and one moment I want to stay because I feel good after going, but I guess this is all a part of the healing process. We all have issues. As much as I want to be perfect, I’m not, and you aren’t either. And that is okay. Whenever it comes to emotions, I keep them in until I explode or I take them out on myself. I’m getting better at opening up though. I’m learning not to lie when people ask me “how are you doing”, and I respond with “I’m fine or I’m good”. I think I always respond that way because I think that people don’t care because most of them don’t, and because it like the “norm” to say you’re fine when you aren’t. It’s all a work in progress.

I’ve also being dealing with love and self-worth. I noticed that I chase after the people who I WANT to love me, and not so much after the ones that already love me. So when I want a certain person to love me because maybe I feel connected to them or I see how they are with another person, and I want to be loved like the other person, and I try to get to know them, they don’t love me to my expectation I feel like I don’t have worth because they don’t love me like I want them to love me. But, I’m in the progress of learning that my worth shouldn’t be found in someone loving me. And I’m still figuring out where my worth should be found in.

I’ve been dealing with this identity problem. I know who I am. I know what I want and value in life. But, since going to the high school that I attend I’ve constantly hear “You’re not the typical black person”. And it drives me nuts that most students in my school live into their stereotypes.  Although I’ve gotten used to it, I still somehow take it to heart. I’ve always tried my best to live outside of my stereotypes because I don’t want to be seen as the “typical black person”. That’s not who I am.  I am not who society wants me to be, and I will not be that person. It’s just really hard, and it’s just a lot of added pressure to try to break that stereotype for myself, but I’m doing it.

My relationship with God is forever stepping forward and falling back. It’s hard to want God so much, but feel like you aren’t good enough or you’re stuck in the same spot. I honestly haven’t made time to sit with God, and just talk to him. When I’m spiritually low, I go a little insane so these past weeks have been a little crazy for me. I don’t want to feel bad for not having enough time or always being too tired to read my bible. It’s just a rollercoaster right now.

 

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:6

 

With Love,

Raynetta

Small Things

It almost 1.30am, and im laying in bed working on a paper that is due in a few hours, but in the midst of all of this, i’m listening to worship music which calms my wandering soul. Ive been so stressed out these past couple of weeks. I havent spent time with God in awhile, and it drives me crazy. As I was listening to this music, I felt this reminder of who I was in him, and how He understands, and that I dont have to be perfect. I forgret most of the time that I can go to him with my problems, and they arent meant for me to handle them. Above all things; choose God. Whatever your mind might try to tell me;  I choose Him beyond the questions, the wondering. He has me. 

With love, 

Raynetta

Content; I Will Become.


I hope everyone had a yummy, and thankful Thanksgiving. I enjoyed being with my family, and especially around my nieces and my nephew.

I’m not sure how to start this off in the “right way”, but lately I’ve been feeling empty, and wanting a spark in my relationship with God. I’m a person who knows what to do when it comes to certain things, but I don’t actually do it. I’ve been noticing that I spend more time on social networks, and shopping than I do with God, and that is horrible. If I want more of God, than many things must decrease.

One of my favorite things to do is read other peoples blog and learn stuff from them, and a last week I came across Lara Casey’s blog. I was going through all her post, reading them, learning more about her cute little daughter Grace, and all these wonderful things about who she is, and what her passions are. I was inspired. It was around 1 am, and I was supposed to be asleep, knowing that I had school to attend in a few hours. I stumbled across her post; Contentment Challenge, and as I read through the post, I knew that this was something I needed to do.

The Contentment Challenge: December, January, and February

The Contentment Challenge is a three month period of not shopping for anything new, besides food and other necessities. It’s saying goodbye to Target for three months, and learning that less is more. Just the thought of not being able to shop at Target gives me anxiety. I am weak, and I need God. I want more of him. During these three months I’ll be reading the word, and two other books that will help me through this time. For me, I’ll be disabling my PayPal account, removing credit cards off of the online stores I shop at, and removing social network apps off of my phone. During this time, I pray that I will learn to give more graciously, and learn more about who God is.

I want God to make me feel new, and whole again, not Target. I want to be content with having less. I want to have more time praying, or worshipping God than spending my time on Tumblr or Amazon. I want to be weak, so my strength can strong in Him.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
(2 Cor 12:9)

  • The Guidelines (modified from Lara’s just slightly):
  • Prepare your heart, organize your closet, and make any necessary purchases that you might need during these months or plan for them. (This is not a last minute shopping spree! This is one final trip to the store for items you will need, and the opportunity for you to say your goodbyes to Target.)  Unless, its school related.
  • I am fasting from buying new clothes, household items, accessories and general stuff.   There’s a lot in that category and for me, it’s mostly the occasional trip to Target that gets me in trouble.
  • I’m also focusing on giving during this time.  Whether something physical, a prayer or encouragement.  Just something that is given to someone else.
  • I’ll be reading the following: SevenOne Thousand Gifts
    and the Bible : )  
  • Gifts are okay!   Remember the heart of this.  It’s not about rules.  If someone gives you a new dress or piece of decor during that time, receive it graciously.  If you need to buy someone else a gift, by all means, do so.  The point is to learn more of ourselves and the Lord.
  • Necessities are okay!  If you lose your glasses, buy a new pair. Just don’t start justifying new purchases for items that you already have. (“I really NEED this bathing suit, even though there are 8 in my closet already.”)
  • Actively pursue something good that helps to replace your tendency to buy stuff as a source of comfort.  Something that points you back to what matters most.  For me, it may be prayer, playing piano, reciting scripture out loud, doing yoga, painting, getting work done or taking a deep breath and thinking about Heaven, where we will have no stuff anyway.

I’m excited to grow more in God, and learn more of him and myself. I’m excited to learn that less is more. I’m excited to learn a deeper gratitude in this. I know that I will be tempted along the way. I know that I am not perfect, and I may mess up along the way but I’m also learning to allow grace instead of perfection.

With love,

Raynetta


Passionate, I am

Lately, things haven’t been going to swell. I think it because I’m really stressed out with college applications. I’ve been really frustrated and overwhelmed. I’ve been taking some of my frustrations out on some people that are near and dear to my heart. And they don’t deserve that. I’m sorry.

I’ve been all over the place these days, and its tiring. I hate feeling like this all the time.  All of my stress comes from school, and every day is a bad day; well to my standards. I haven’t been focusing properly, I’ve been a little behind on certain classes, and I’m FOREVER NOT UNDERSTANDING CALCULUS. It’s so pointless to me right now. I think it will somewhat help me in the long run.

Senior year is killer right now. I’m trying my best not to slip into my old mean perfectionist ways where I shut everybody out, and go a little insane. I don’t want that. I’m working hard, but it doesn’t seem like it’s enough.

Enough about school.

Most people know I’m obsessed with getting married, weddings, and having children. Some say I’m crazy that I think about my wedding at least every day, or how I have my kids names picked out. They might say I’m crazy when I talk about how much I love my kids, and how I love my husband. People think that’s all I think about. It’s not. I’m so passionate about having a husband because I want a husband that will love God more than me. I want our marriage to be ahăbâ love. I want to spend my life with someone I know who shares the same passions with me, as I with him. I want to be selfless. Not saying that I can’t right now, but in a marriage type of way.

Ahăbâ is a Hebrew word, and here is used to indicate that “ahava” is as strong as death. This type of ahava love is unshakeable and unchanging; it flows straight from the heart of God Himself.

In marriage, ahava love cannot be broken by anything other than death. It is a type of love that goes beyond circumstance. It remains constant and steady in the valleys and mountains of life. Come fire or flood, sickness or health, poverty or wealth, suffering or prosperity, ahava love is changeless. Ahava love knows the sin and failing and brokenness of the other, and says, ‘I’ve seen the ugly parts of you, but I’m staying.’

I’m passionate about having and adopting kids because I want to give my kids what I didn’t receive. I want to protect them. I want to smother them with my love. I want to have a household full of love and Jesus. I want them to know they can always come to me and their father with anything. I want them to respect themselves. I want them to know that God is their heavenly father, and at times earthly parents may fail us but that is why we have a heavenly father. There are so many things I want my children to know. I just can’t put it all to words write now. It’s overwhelming. This is what I want in life. It’s not the only thing, but it definitely a desire of my heart.  

There’s this strong presence of knowing that God has something sooo great in store for me when I become older and learn more about who he is, and continually go deeper in him.

HE has me.

 

*those are my wedding flowers; Ranunculus* 

He and I

I think knowing God is faithful or trustworthy is soooo different from experiencing God’s faithfulness or to physically put your trust in him. I feel as if I have a difficult relationship with him. As much as I try to get close to him, I fall down. My heart longs for Him. I want more of God. Which has always been my hearts cry. But, I get stuck a lot. I don’t think being Christ-Like was supposed to come easy, it’s supposed to be challenging… isn’t it? Living in a world that the total opposite of what God is and what he’s about. Yea, it’s difficult to be surrounded with many things that throw my eyes off of Him.

What makes me frustrated about our relationship is that, I know He knows that I want more of Him. I want guidance. I want to know what’s next. So I sit and wait for God to make a move, knowing that I should be the one moving first. I see God doing a lot of great things in people’s lives around me. I’m happy what he’s doing for them, but “Hello God, have you forgot about me?” I feel like he passes me by. Like I’m standing here in front of him, and he moves to the person beside me or something. (That’s how I picture it in my head). I know God has called me higher, he has given me a big heart to love, a heart that wants to be just like His. I know he has called me a leader among this generation, a girl that is so hopeful, that has a light that shines, that can’t be taken away. I know all of these things, people have said these thing to me. People have also said that, “God, has so much in store for you”, “I see God just working in your life”. I just want guidance, so I can get to the place I know he wants me to be.

I just need to seek him diligently

He is enough, am I?