Three:Thirty Thursdays | Episode Twenty Seven – It’s That Time Again

It’s 3:30pm. On a Thursday. ‘Nuff said. (Just casually dismiss my 1 year hiatus, thankyouplease). LOL. As you may or may not know, the April A to Z Challenge will officially kick off this Friday, April 1, 2016, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.Β  It’s time to get our topics and pre-posting schedules in order, time to put those keys to work, and spill our guts for the blogger world to see.

Β For this year’s A to Z challenge, I’ve decided to write about my journey towards living a more grateful life. Too often, it’s easy to forget about what we have and focus on what we think might be missing… I can admit that I would do it more times than not. I went to happy hour with a friend that I hadn’t seen in months back in January, and after washing ourselves in nostalgia and airing out a few issues, we got to talking about life and all its bullcrap. Now if you know me, you know that pessimism, awkwardness, and I have tea parties on a daily basis.

I remember saying to her, “I’m awkward. I know I’m awkward. That’s why I’m not a people person–because they make me feel even more awkward than I already do. People that allow me to be awkward in my own space without making me feel any more awkward are awesome, like you. You’re awesome.” LOL πŸ™‚

And it’s true, I am awkward. Usually, when I say that to people, they look at me strange for a second or two, think about it, and then something clicks. The “Ah-ha!” moment appears. They suddenly get it, and I appreciate their friendship even more. Because I can be awkward. And it’s okay.

But for this friend of mine, it wasn’t okay. “Bullshit,” she said. “I call bullshit. There’s not an awkward bone in your body.” I laughed. Of course I’m not that awkward on the outside, I’d feel even more awkward about how I felt on the inside because of everyone’s awkward reaction to my awkwardness. What can I say?

We went back and forth for a little while, and after listening to me, she stopped and smiled. “I know what you need,” she said. She told me a story about a woman she had met while sitting at a bar. She was in her early 20s with tattoos everywhere. She started telling my friend about her life, how she used to be an addict, how she cleaned up and started over and is working hard to be better. My friend was shocked. She never would have guessed that this young woman’s past would be so dark. The person sitting before her seemed so polar opposite.

“What changed?” she asked. The girl looked at her and simply said, “Gratitude.”

Now, if you know me, I know what you’re thinking: Self help book? You? I’m more of the vampire, fairy, dungeons and dragons, Game of Thrones, alien type when it comes to my lit selection. But I decided, what the hayyyy! I had a Dubai trip coming up in a few weeks, and that life-changing trip could taste pretty yummy with a life-changing journey, recipe provided by Janice Kaplan in The Gratitude Diaries. So immediately after our conversation, I clicked onto my Kindle app and downloaded this bad boy. My expectations were very low, but I’ve been surprised so far. This A to Z Challenge, I’ll fill you guys in on what’s been happening in the past year, my own gratitude diary, our epic Dubai trip, and all the other adventures I’ve found myself on while on this path towards living a more grateful life. See you tomorrow! πŸ˜‰

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Word Porn Wednesday – Kintsukuroi

Happy Wednesday folks! For those of you who know me, you are well aware that I was probably Japanese in a past life. I love everything about Japanese culture — from the language, to the food, and most importantly, anime. Don’t be surprised if you see me posted up in a cherry blossom kimono one of these days.

Today’s word is pretty much my life and journey right now. From my late teen years until now, I have seen many successes and equal, if not many more, failures on the road to figuring out who I am and who I want to become. This applies to all aspects of my life (school, work, relationships, opportunities, etc), and though things can be tough to deal with at times, the successful days make it all worthwhile. It can be difficult at times to look back on failures and see the value in them.

The most important thing is that you don’t stop looking. Don’t allow yourself to settle like a stagnant, shallow puddle and wallow in self-pity. Examine your failure until you can find what didn’t work, or where you went wrong so that you can adjust your tactics accordingly the next time. Use the mud from that puddle of self-pity to put yourself back together. The fire of your passion will act as the furnace to harden that mud in the cracks. As you continue to press forward, you will be able to see the glowing of the struggles that you used to seal up all of your cracks, and in time, it will become a beautiful, unexpected masterpiece.

Sure, my life hasn’t gone exactly as planned, but I’m learning to look for and appreciate the golden stripes in my rocky life. They are worth so much more than the obstacles. Those very obstacles are what makes those golden moments worth it. I’ve been given and accepted three huge roles that can help me along my journey. The task is daunting, but I’m optimistic. My gold-stained bowl is empty waiting to be filled with knowledge as I continue to learn and grow in order to achieve my goals. I hope today’s word porn inspires you to see the value in all things we go through in life, and to only use obstacles as stepping stones to get to where you want to go. Don’t forgot to stop and smell the roses. πŸ™‚

Three:Thirty Thursdays | Episode Twenty Six – Zion y Lennox

We did it!!!!!!! We’ve made it to the very end of the April A to Z Blogger Challenge. Feels good to be able to say that I have completed my second blog challenge in my blogging journey. I wanted to just stop and say a special thank you to each one of you that stopped by to read my posts this month. Thanks for like likes and the love.. especially to those who wanted to get interactive and leave comments and such. Y’all are the real MVPs!

Thank you to the hosts and co-hosts of this year’s challenge for putting this all together so that we could have a easy and fun way to connect with bloggers around the world. It has been such a pleasure sharing bits and pieces of my musical library with you all. Hopefully I was able to introduce you to an artist that you’ve never heard of, but now are utterly obsessed with and can’t stop thinking about

Or maybe I was just able to reunite you with an old school fling from back in your younger years. Whatever the case might be, I hope you enjoyed this year’s theme and I hope that you decide to stick around. πŸ™‚ For the letter ‘Z’, Zion y Lennox have agreed to take us out with one of my old favorites. Enjoy!!

Y – Yellowcard

It’s the second to last day of the A to Z blog challenge and I’m proud of myself. For the past few months, I’ve been blogging on and off– definitely not as consistent as when I first started. Life has been hectic, but it has been great getting back into writing daily. I definitely have a love-hate relationship with writing. Lol.

I think that pretty much sums it up.

The songs by Yellowcard have been a part of my playlist for over a decade now, and it would only be right to share this group with y’all. They were one of my top five favorites when I was going through my rock stage. The song “Only One” reminds me of my relationship with writing. We may fall apart sometimes, and I may not write for weeks… but when it’s all said and done, I still end up with pen and paper in hand. I still wind up tapping away at the keyboard, jotting down a few poetic lines, writing a partial hook for a song. Nothing can stop true love. Lol. Happy hump day!

X – Xscape

Today is Tuesday, and we’re getting down to the final posts for the April A to Z blog challenge. I’m pretty proud of myself for being able to complete this challenge in a pretty timely manner. Of course, we hit a few set backs on the way, but here we are at the letter X.

There aren’t may groups/artists that start with X, but Xscape is definitely a classic group. I miss when R&B was like this. So much soul, so much more than a catchy pop beat. Maybe I’m old fashioned, who knows, but I hope you enjoy today’s selection as much as I do!