〰A Non-Linear Life〰

I’ve been in this weird period of my life where I’ve been reflecting on everything. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. It’s exhausting. But I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. I’m just getting older, my kids are growing up, and when I look around me, my eyes turn into leaky faucets. Because regardless of the moments of chaos in my life, I know I’m beyond lucky.

Not only do I have two great kids (who sometimes get on my last nerve), but I have two parents who love me, a brother and a sister who think I rock the world, and an amazing partner that I get to tackle life with. A life that has been full of twists and turns.

And yet, there are people who think life is a linear line. You’re born, you live, you die. Start at point A, end at point B.

But life isn’t a linear line.

It’s full of ups, downs, and curves.

And there are times when you stop and wonder if you will ever get ahead.

It can be frustrating, maddening, and a host of other negative emotions to where you want nothing more than to throw yourself down and have a good tantrum. But listen, I’ll let you in on a little secret—we all have those moments.

Moments of despair.

Moments of defeat.

Moments of failure.

But when shit gets hard, it is the people who you surround yourself with that will be there to lean on. Choose the people who choose you. If there’s someone in your circle who isn’t present, cut the tie and let them go. Don’t fight for someone who isn’t willing to fight for you. You deserve more than that.

What I have learned during the course of my life is that there are constants holding me up during the darkest of storms. My best friend. My other half. My ride or die. My life partner. He is one of those constants. Whenever the wind goes out of my sails, he blows the wind right back into them. There have been so many moments I wanted to give up. Call it quits. But my husband was beside me, encouraging me. He believed in my dreams, no matter how crazy or impossible they seemed.

Never once did I rise from the ashes of defeat on my own. I had help. Which maybe that sounds crazy, but it’s true. The positive reinforcement I received from my circle, that’s what saved me. I came back swinging because I had people I loved who were cheering me on. They were my inspiration. They were my fuel. And I love them all the more for it.

If you don’t have that in your life, I hope you find it. Life is too short to be surrounded by negativity. It’s okay to choose you, to choose your own happiness, and to find a circle that brings light into your life. Because life isn’t a linear line, it’s a non-linear line. So find the people that will ride that rollercoaster with you.

I promise, it’ll be worth it.

~ Ms. Write Life~

 

💍 Family by Marriage, Sisters by Choice ❤️

Family isn’t defined by blood. It’s defined by the people in a person’s life that care about them. That are invested in them. That wish for their happiness. That cheer them on. That cheer them up. It’s the people that are there when the storms blow in and the waters are rough. We became family through marriage, but we are sisters by choice.

Throughout the years, I’ve seen your struggles, your heartache, your darkest moments. I’ve seen you define your self-worth by a man that never deserved you. Anyone can find a leech to stick to their right ass cheek. But you deserve more than that. Expect rainbows, sunshine, laughter, love, and acceptance. That’s the least you deserve. And if a man doesn’t give it to you, don’t just walk away… run.

Giving everything you have – your heart, your home, your joy – to someone who didn’t appreciate it is in the past.  Leave it in the past.

You are strong. You are beautiful. You are funny. You are a hard worker. You are a great mom. You deserve the best. 

Believe it.

No man or person should treat you as an option. As someone to call when he or she needs or wants something. As someone to run to when he or she chooses to.

That’s not love. That’s not friendship. 

Love and friendship should be reciprocal. It isn’t always one person picking up a phone to call the other. It isn’t always one person making an effort while the other stands idly by. If it isn’t reciprocal, if there isn’t any effort made by the other person, you don’t need it.

We are family by marriage, but we became sisters by choice. Ride or die. Someone to call that won’t talk you out of a bad idea, but will promise to bail you out of jail. Someone who will stand by with the camera ready to roll as a woman rudely blocks an entire aisle in Wal-Mart. Someone who will dive into a pool, chest flop, and come up smiling, just to see you do it. 

Life’s meant to be filled with laughter. To be enjoyed. To be treasured.

I wish that for you.

Always. 💕

Tiff

Glam On

Growing up, I had a rockin’ Grams who had a bright, beautiful soul that radiated kindness. She was unabashedly who she was, and she accepted people for who they were. There are so many instances that I remember her going into a store, seeing an employee who was having a bad day, and she made it her mission to cheer them up. Her bright blue eyes twinkled, she smiled, and her cheerful British accent floated throughout the store. She could call someone a dickhead and make it sound nice. She was an unconventional grandma, but she was absolute perfection.

 It wasn’t abnormal for her to tease a family member and call them a ‘bloody bastard’, which would be appalling by some community standards, but it incited laughter and love. She was the one person that we could all go to, leave our souls bared, and she would love us regardless of how many poor decisions we made. That’s love in its purest form. 

As human beings, we put so many restrictions on others around us – how they should act, what they should say, what they shouldn’t say, how they should look, how they shouldn’t look – and it’s absolutely exhausting. I’m at the point in my life where I’m stripping away the layers of who everyone else thinks I should be or need to be. I’m going to do me. Be me. Accept it… or leave it. 

 I live in a small community, and yes, there are a few people with small minds. But… there’s a whole lotta good people, and sometimes, it is easy to let those few small minds cast stones that stick with us for longer than they should. I personally believe that if someone is gay, transgender, or… whatever they are, they should be treated the same as everyone else. They are not pariahs or outcasts. If a young girl isn’t married, and she has a kid, it isn’t the end of the world, and she doesn’t need criticism and judgement. She needs encouragement and love. If there’s a mixed kid, they don’t need to be ostracized or made to feel like they are less simply due to their skin tone. Their mom and dad are free to love each other – regardless of what race they are. When you see a kid’s surname, do not write them off, and label them based on the actions of other people in their family. See past all the bias. Just live and love. It’s that simple. 

I also don’t believe women should cater to men simply because they feel obligated to. We are no longer staying at home and solely taking care of our families. We are in the workforce, and bringing home the bacon, so why should we have to cook and serve a man? It’s just not in me, y’all. My gram’s blood runs thick in my veins, and I just can’t do it. My marriage is a partnership, and I have a sexy @$$ husband who isn’t afraid to wash clothes or load the dishwasher. You want to get laid by your wife? Keep the roses, and wash the mother*ckn dishes, bruh. 

#micdrop

I’m choosing to live my life according to my own rules. My grams was unconventional, but she was freakin’ awesome, and she’s glammin’ her angel wings. Now, I have one of the last voicemails she left me embedded in a sign on my wall. I can listen to it by simply scanning the QR code. How freakin’ cool is that?

To those feeling suffocated… stop being oppressed by people who will never be part of your life, anyway. Be you. Do you. You’re beautiful. You’re enough. If you’ve experienced feeling judged or have been treated inferior, feel free to drop into the comment section. I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences.

And, if you need some awesome jewelry to go with your bad@$$ self, check out Unique Twist Jewelry here:

https://uniquetwistjewelry.com

~Tiff~

Homeschooling Gremlins

The gremlins have been at home for a week as of Friday morning. I haven’t pulled my hair out … yet. I have another three weeks with them – two weeks that will consist of them doing schoolwork. The youngest is proactive and knocks out his work first thing in the morning. The eldest gremlin, well, he gets on my last nerve. He is the procrastinator. He wants to wait until the very last second, then rush to get it all done. Me? I cannot live my life like that. I like to be ahead of the game. I like to have room to breathe. I am a planner. I have learned over the past week that homeschooling gremlins can be maddening.

There were times in my life where the thought about being a teacher crossed my mind. Then I would think of the parents I would have to deal with and that was the end of that rambling idea. I think quite a few parents give teachers hell, but at what point do we look at our own home to see if the source of the problem isn’t the teacher, but us? There have been times when I had conversations with teachers about my eldest gremlin as he made his way through the school year. There was a point in time where he was goofing off all the time in class. I didn’t blame the teacher, y’all. Here’s what I did:

  1. I found an old school desk.
  2. Bought workbooks for his grade level – math, science, reading, etc.
  3. Placed the desk at the end of the hallway, facing the wall.

When he get home, he soon learned that his spring break was consisting of schoolwork. I used this moment to teach him a life lesson. Wasting someone’s time and not respecting it when they are trying to make you better isn’t kosher. Needless to say, he stopped goofing off in class. He knew that if he wasted his teacher’s time, mom was going to eat away at his free time with more schoolwork to make up for it.

It is easy to focus on blaming everyone else, but I think it is good practice to look at all the factors, including ourselves. I know I am far from perfect, and I know my gremlins are far from perfect. We’re human, and we’re constantly learning and evolving. That’s life.

After the youngest gremlin finished his schoolwork last week, I was duped into playing a video game with him. In the course of a few minutes, I believe I was killed a hundred times. Every time I would see the enemy, I would have to look down at all of the buttons on the remote. My brain was like sludge as I tried to remember what my eleven-year-old said each one did. I would end up hitting the button to jump instead of shoot. Then … I died. I even tried to use the youngest gremlin’s guy as a shield. The jerks would come from behind, and … I still died. After only killing a handful of the enemy in thirty minutes, I plopped the remote down, ruffled my gremlin’s hair, turned and walked out with my head held high. I figured I’d stop while I was ahead. I killed a few. I thought I had done well.

Later that night, my youngest gremlin came into the living room chuckling. Merriment sparkled in his dark eyes as he said to my husband, “Mom’s really awful. She died all the time. You really suck at playing the game, mom.”

I really wanted to stick my tongue out at him, but I could see my husband’s slow smile cracking across his face out of my peripheral.

“That bad, huh?” asked my husband, smiling so hard his cheeks had to be hurting. In my mind, I flipped him off, but instead … I just sat there, ignoring them.

“Yep.”

Y’all, I really need some estrogen in this house. Lord, save me from these gremlins.

~Tiff~ #momofgremlins

Raising Gremlins

Right now, school is out due to the flu running rampant, so the gremlins are at home. I opened my teenager’s door to make sure he was doing his schoolwork for the day, and y’all, I almost died. Breath knocked out of me, fell to the ground and grabbed my chest, kind of died. The smell of sweat mixed with something akin to crushed corn chips and other gross odors didn’t just slap me in the face, it gut-punched me. My hand shook a little as I managed to grab the handle and shut the door.

Seriously, what is wrong with boys? I mean, I’m appreciative of the fact my teenager bathes daily, but the smell coming out of his room is straight up gag worthy. He doesn’t smell bad, so what’s up with his room? It has probably seeped into the paint and flooring. Might have to condemn it. IDK. Whatever. I’ll be mean and let my husband pop his head in there later when he gets home from work because I’m sweet like that. Happy Valentine’s Day, baby. Bwah ha ha.

I then staggered my way to the bathroom to wash my face and my singed nose hairs, and I turned on the light to find this:

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Seriously, y’all, why can’t boys hit the laundry basket? They spend their entire lives learning to aim their ‘toys’ at the hole in the toilet bowl and successfully discharge urine into it, but they can’t manage to get a t-shirt into a massive rectangle? C’mon, man. C’mon.

To add salt to the open, putrid wound … I went to move the shower curtain, and I picked up one of their shampoo bottles off the rim of the tub and guess what … it’s empty. I grab another one … it’s empty. I almost lost my shit as I jerked them up and tossed them into the bathroom trashcan that’s literally two feet away from it.

I washed and dried my face, did a cycle of the Navage to rinse the stench out of my nose and moved on. As I entered the living room, still mumbling to myself about how lucky I was to be the mother of gremlins, when I stubbed my pinky toe on a shoe. I turned on the light and there’s a trail of shoes to the shoe rack by the front door. You see this?

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It’s a shoe rack. Do you notice all of the girly shoes that are placed on the so-called shoe rack? Those are mine. The only female in this household.

So, dearest future significant others of these gremlins, please know that their momma tried, and is continuing to try, to turn them into a mogwai (Gizmo).

~Tiff~

He Said, She Said – Say What?!

I’m currently trekking through outlining my next novel, and if you’re like me, you spend time in-between that studying the written word. I read various types of books – fiction, non-fiction, young adult, middle-grade, romance – I’m not prejudiced. I recently picked up one of my son’s favorite books – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I know, I know – I hear ya. How could I have not read the books by J.K. Rowling? It’s blasphemy. Yada, yada. Got it. Anyways, I noticed the dialogue tags and stopped reading for a minute, then began scanning the page.

J. K. Rowling’s dialogue tags are structured with said Harry versus Harry said, so I started wondering which way was the correct way. The answer is neither way is wrong. Janice Hardy wrote one article that made the most sense to me. Here’s a link to it that you can check out for yourself:

http://blog.janicehardy.com/2009/06/he-said-she-said.html

After reading the blog article, I sat back in my seat and reevaluated how I use dialogue tags. I’m going to test both dialogue tags as I write to see which one sounds better. Here’s a piece of the article that made sense to me:

‘When in doubt, try both and listen to how each one sounds:

“I should leave you two for the zombies,” Jane said, pointing the Sig Sauer at them.

“I should leave you two for the zombies,” said Jane, pointing the Sig Sauer at them.

To me, “said Jane,” works better here, because the punch is in the gun, not the text, so putting Jane closest to the gun emphasizes that.’

~Written by Janice Hardy~

*Boom* Epiphany of the day. I love to read, and sometimes, during a story, I see things I’ve never paid much attention to before, and I learn something new. You’re never too old to learn.

If you want to read another novel with this kind of dialogue tag, Renegade by Marissa Meyer structures her dialogue tags in the same way. You can also check out a few classics by C.S. Lewis.

~Tiff~

Dearest Self-Doubt

There’s a voice that whispers through my mind at times telling me my dreams are silly. That I’ll never make it. It makes me wonder if other people watch me chasing my dream and think the same thing. How long has she been writing? She hasn’t made it yet. Why does she keep writing? It will never happen. It’s a voice that sounds eerily like my own, and I try to block it out. It’s easy to listen to the voice of self-doubt.

So, dearest self-doubt, maybe there are some people out there that watch us dreamers and think we’ll never make it. Sometimes success isn’t obtained in a short amount of time. It takes work, consistency, learning and growing, and the determination to keep at it regardless of what others think. Most singers, famous authors, athletes, actors/actresses, etc. faced adversity at some point when they were chasing their dream, but they didn’t give up. I hear you, dearest self-doubt, but I’m not listening. You will kill more dreams than any living, breathing person. Instead, I’m taking a deep breath and pressing on.

You can whisper through my mind, trying to taint my thoughts, but I’m stronger than you. I have stories to tell, so I’m going to write them down and churn them out because there’s a stronger voice inside me telling me I can do it. There will be moments where I fail and that’s ok. I will learn from it, and I will keep going. Dreams are meant to be chased. Dreams are meant to be fought for.

I choose to write regardless of the negative tentacles you weave through my mind because I won’t let you win. I won’t be defeated. This is my life, and I’m ready to conquer it.

Tiff

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