From Undergrad to Grad Life

social misfit

Friends. What are THOSE? Social gatherings. What are THOSE?

According to Google search results,

  • social means related to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure.
  • misfit means something that does not fit or fits badly.

These past couple of weeks I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that I may have been operating under a social misfit mindset. Allow me to explain.

Home. School. Church. This was my life growing up – eventually work became a part of this cycle as I got older. Anytime one of us children would say “my friend…”, my wonderful Haitian parents would say, “Nan ki bagay friend, m’te ye ave-w?” [TRANSLATION: Of what friend stuff was I with you?] In other words, there are no such things as friends. So you can imagine the backlash we would get if we asked to go out with one of those friends or to go to their birthday parties. Eventually, the invitations just stopped coming. We were even told to be careful with kids at our church. We weren’t allowed to talk on the phone unless it was about school work.

That was the foundation of my social life. It became more difficult to be socially normal.I managed to stick with a group of friends in high school because we all pretty much had the same background growing up with Haitian parents. We understood each other and were able to make life a bit less humdrum. Fast forward a bit to college. I was so used to not really going anywhere that I didn’t do much. I joined a fraternity the spring of  my “freshman” year (I was about to be a junior according to my credits) and that wasn’t the most pleasant experience being that I’m socially awkward. I was a part of other organizations as well as a band at one point, but I didn’t really begin to enjoy college life until my last semester. I know. It’s actually really sad, but that was my reality. I found something that I loved doing right and then I had to leave.

I have now been in a period of transition for about 6 months now, and I have finally realized my lack of social interaction. However, my greatest realization as far as this is concerned is how much this has hindered me and will prevent my future success if I don’t do anything about it. The thought of that is intimidating at the least.

I do a crappy job of keeping up with people, and it can be extremely uncomfortable for me to talk to people outside of my comfort zone.

Nonetheless, I have made a decision to be the victor instead of the victim. I have chosen to do whatever I can to overcome this obstacle of social intimidation. Heck, I’m 21 now. Time is ticking. The other thing is: God didn’t create us to be lonely. We were created to be in fellowship with others just as He wants to be in fellowship with us. We don’t exist simply to roam the earth. So, instead of dwelling on the negatives, I’m going to dwell on the positives as those negatives change into positives.

I do genuinely love people and am naturally nurturing. I have the need to express myself and the need to help people. I also love to be in the company of those I love.

All in all, I wrote this to encourage myself and others who face the same difficulty, but I also wrote this to be vulnerable and open about my journey.

#TransparencyBringsAboutIntimacy

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Go ahead, give it your BEST shot…

I am FIRED UP right now.

Why? What’s going on?

The devil is on a mission. [Tell you something you don’t know, right?]

I have been in a period of transition as mentioned in my previous post. So lately I have been really pressed about getting a job. I’ve been fighting feelings of frustration and confusion; feelings of incompetence and shame. Just fear.

Frustrated because of my confusion; confused because I know that it isn’t God’s Will for man to not work, and He has a job for me already. (He told my mom this before I graduated and spoke to me right before Easter) Feelings of incompetence because [being that I’m still a month shy of legal age] I feel I lack experience for someone who has a Bachelor’s degree. My tenure in undergrad consisted of just extracurricular activities and classes. I completed my program 3 semesters before time, so because I planned to work full-time on my music after graduation [with no intentions of attending grad school or really working for that matter] I didn’t really think about internships. Sometimes I think that maybe I should have used the remainder of my 3 semesters interning and traveling to gain new experiences. Nonetheless, I am where I am and God knew my path before I took a step. Naturally, shame attempts to rear its ugly head.

According to 2 Timothy  1:7, God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and a sound mind. This means that frustration, confusion, feelings of incompetence, and shame are NOT of God. So, I have to fight them off because that’s just the enemy trying to discourage me.

Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but  against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

In the words of Mali Music:

I’m on an airplane
And the destination of this flight is to the other side
Guess I have to go there
Guess I have to come here yeah
I know where I’m from but now
I’m headed where I’m going right

But there are powers, in the air, you can’t see them
And they have rockets and machine guns
And they’re firing on my plane

But I say fire, fire oh
Ready, aim, fire, you can’t shoot me down, no
Fffff fire! Fire
Ready, aim, fire, you can’t stop me now, no

THEY ARE FIRING ON MY PLANE. Literally. It’s ridiculous. I recently got into my 6th car accident amongst other shots taken at not only me, but my family alike. Yes, 6… that is not a typo. I’ve never been at fault, so there’s that.

I’ve written all of this to say, FIRE devil, FIRE. Give it your best shot. I know that God is FOR me and greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. I’m going to remain focused on God. I refuse to stay stuck on the enemy’s stupidity. What is for me will be for me. There is absolutely no maneuver of any evil forces and spirits that can overcome me.

BTW, I have an opportunity on the table for me to begin working… God is working all things for my good and I will trust Him.

where is she

If you would have asked me, “Where do you think you’ll be after graduation?”, I would have told you that I would be in Atlanta, working on a project (music).

It’s funny how God works, you know.

Here I am 4 months after graduation:
Not in Atlanta.
Not working on a ‘project’.

[My life] took a detour. Nothing permanent. Just for a while. No biggie!
The place I said that I would never return – but to visit – is the place I am now.

Home.
South Florida…
…with my mother.

That sounds awful. I know, but you couldn’t understand why I felt this way unless you knew some history. Unfortunately, today’s lesson isn’t in history. (I’ll save that for another post.) Long story short: mom and I didn’t have the best relationship. I wasn’t interested in sharing my thoughts, or what was going on with me to her. So, every time she called, I couldn’t wait to CLICK. End Call. (This was everyday btw; sometimes multiple times a day) My mom is such a sweet person, though. Anyway,

my first month back was T E R R I B L E.
My mother and I have conflicting views on clothes, makeup, jewelry, music, and so it goes. Anytime she saw me with pants on or lips painted, with earrings in or listening to Andy Mineo, she had a PROBLEM. She wouldn’t hold her tongue about how she didn’t raise me this way, etc, etc.

I went from freedom to captivity. I know that’s a bit dramatic, but that’s how I really felt. I was frustrated and depressed. It hit me even harder after the break was over and my dear friend had to return to Tallahassee, leaving me to face my reality without any distractions. I was alone in a familiar, yet unfamiliar place.

Before I graduated I told myself that I would take some time to just focus on my relationship with God and nothing else. So, I was at the point where there was literally nothing in the way of me accomplishing that. No extracurricular activities. No friends to hang out with. No class. Literally nothing. No excuses…

January 14, 2016 was the beginning of this journey to knowing God. I started with the book of Ephesians. I read and digested the passages via writing in a dedicated notebook. I made an effort to do this daily. That, my friend, is when I realized how much God loved me and I longed to love him in return. It wasn’t easy. I realized that I had a surrender issue which is ironic being that my favorite hymn as a child was ‘I Surrender All’. Nonetheless, God has been doing some major surgery. Hurts and pain that I buried deep inside, he brought to surface. Things that I thought I was over.

He needed me isolated and vulnerable. He wanted my undivided attention. He longed to heal my deep, emotional wounds, to shower me with his unfailing love.

But I had a choice.

I could spend time developing as an artist and working on a project, strategically planning its release.

OR

I could put my plans on hold and give all of that time to God for a while.

I chose the latter.

Words cannot express what an amazing journey it has been thus far. My life can’t ever be the same. Am I where I thought I would be? No, I’m in an even better place. I am a graduate student at the University of Miami and I’m still writing [music], but I’m also in a relationship with El Shaddai and I couldn’t be more satisfied. I have days when I am uncertain of what’s next for me or what I should be doing, but I trust Him who created me. He uniquely designed me and has a plan already set out.