〰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

💥Crashing & Burning🔥 Hello, Thirties

If you’re in your twenties, enjoy your youthful looks and resilient body, because one day, that shit’s gonna be gone, and no matter how much you fight to get it back, your metabolism, AKA Beth, is gonna straight up laugh in your face and add a flab of fat underneath your neck and give you a whole new perspective on the word ‘jowl’. To add icing to that ham-hock neck of yours, if you try to run like you used to, your once-upon-a-time resilient muscles, AKA Jane, is gonna make you think you have it in you, then she’s gonna shred your muscles like it’s pulled pork, and you’ll be out of commission for weeks… if not months.

Getting older is painful. Beth and Jane don’t cooperate like they used to. If you even look at a cupcake Beth slows down, pops five pounds on your right ass cheek, and wipes the sweat off her forehead like she performed some great mission that saved mankind. Jane isn’t much better. If you lift your leg in an attempt to use a stepstool, Jane freaks the f*ck out, and yanks on your hamstring. You land with a resounding thud on your derriere as you scream like a toddler clinging to a toy they can’t have. 

Shit gets real when you creep toward your forties. 

Your medicine cabinet, the one you barely used, gets crammed with medicines and ointments you’d never heard of before. The Pepto commercials you laughed at… that pink shit’s now your right hand girl. Tums turns into a nightly event. Bengay becomes a new, smelly friend you use like deodorant. 

The funny thing is… if you’re reading this and you’re in your twenties… you think it’ll never happen to you. 

You run five miles a day. 

You eat healthy.

You drink water.

You’re invincible. 

Bwah ha ha ha…saddle up, cowgirl. 

I used to be you. Then Beth and Jane showed up and showed out. Now, I’m hitting up a swimming pool to avoid Jane rupturing my muscles. I’m eating Built Bars and tracking my food on an app as I try to out maneuver Beth’s fat-adding wand that she swishes around like it’s magic fairy dust.

Your thirties are the years you began crashing and burning. You realize how frail you truly are. You’ll have dumb nights where you think you can drink like you did in your early twenties, then Ronda shows up and smacks the shit out of you, giving you a hangover like you’d never had before. Your stomach’s on fire and churns twenty-four hours later, your head pounds, your freakin’ eyeballs hurt. 

So, I’m going to enjoy the last few years of my thirties with Beth, Jane, and Ronda as I try to mentally prepare myself for what’s to come in my forties. 

If you’re in your twenties, live it up, y’all.

~Ms. Write Life~

Follow me on:

Twitter – @mswritelife05

TikTok – @mswritelife05

Instagram – @mswritelife05

Holy Sh*tballs

Yesterday, writers were submitting pitches on Twitter with the hopes that an agent / agency liked their tweet. It aligns a writer’s manuscript with an interested agent versus having to research hundreds of agents to see which ones would like your story. I was up early… too early, and I scheduled my pitches to hit at certain times throughout the day. Then, I started my normal workday.

Mid-morning, I took a break, stalked the Twitter feed, and I had a like on my pitch. I clicked on it, expecting to find someone other than an agent / agency had liked it.

It. Was. An. Agency. 

Almost hyperventilated. I took a few deep breaths… then I stalked them. Creepy, right? IDGAF. I legit read every word written on their site. As I determined they were an actual, reputable agency, I sat back, glanced over at my dog, and my heart stopped. His mouth’s open and closing, no sound’s escaping, and there’s terror in his dark eyes as he stares at me. He’s choking.

I jumped up, dropped my laptop, picked him up. I’m looking into his mouth, I don’t see anything, but he can’t breathe. A million thoughts fly through my mind. How do I help him? What do I need to do?

 I turn him upside down, pull him back up, look into his mouth, and swipe my finger from one side to the next to see if I can feel anything and dislodge it. Nada, and… he still can’t breathe. I compress his abdomen. Nothing’s working. 

Seconds feel like minutes.

My dog’s going to die in my arms. Looking at me for help. To save him. And… I’m flaking. I place him on the ground between my legs, pound between his shoulder blades. Mascara’s straight runnin’ down my face, blending in with my snot. I didn’t care. Nothing else mattered. Nothing but him.

Then, I hear him gasp. His chest expands as he takes a breath, and I motherf*ckn ball like a baby. I pull him to me, hugging him. Afraid to let go. We sat there on the floor. More than a human and a dog. We’re a family. And I almost lost him.

Today, I saved a member of my family. That’s all that matters.

The rest of the afternoon belonged to him – car rides & snuggles with Papa. Life is good.

~Tiff~

Shattered Dreams

There’s a voice within each of us that feeds us negative thoughts. Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe I’ll never meet my goals. Maybe I’ll never turn my dreams into reality.The same sentences whisper over and over, turning optimism into dust as pessimism takes control.

It’s not the voices and opinions of others that shake you. That weighs you down. Those are not the ones that make you pause. Instead, it is the one that sounds eerily like your own that takes a hammer to your dreams, and it can be immobilizing at times. Fear of never doing enough… never being enough… of failing…

Whenever you finish something that contains a portion of your heart and soul, there’s a fear of rejection. You want to hug it to you, keep it hidden for fear of what others will think. It takes courage to push it out into the world, hoping that this time, it will be enough.

Chasing dreams takes work. It takes perseverance. There will be doors that will never open simply because it wasn’t time for them to open. You must put in the work, effort and leave your heart lying on the table. You need to use every moment of defeat as a springboard to hit it even harder the next time. Learn from your mistakes and find strength in those hard life lessons. Eat defeat and make that shit taste like cake. Chocolate cake. Strawberry cake. Whatever tickles your fancy.

Many dreams are shattered simply due to people listening to their own negative voices. Put that b*tch where she belongs.

Lock her up.

Gag her.

Extinguish her.

You are enough. I am enough. Dreams are meant to be chased, so tie up your shoelaces, and run after them. The only person stopping you is…you.

Tiff

The Dying Town’s Future

Within a few months’ time, everything has changed. Several businesses were forced to close their doors as COVID-19 infiltrated not only the cities but the rural communities as well. There will most likely be some businesses that never open their doors back up in the big cities of Louisville, Kentucky or Washington D.C., but I wonder how many will keep their doors closed in Green County, Kentucky.

Over the last year or so, there have been a few new businesses come in – Green River Live, The Caterpillar Crossing, Rock Bottom Wholesale – but there have been several that closed as well, including IGA. One business opens, another closes – that seems to be the pattern. There are fields of rubble that were once factories … most of them closed their doors and headed overseas for cheaper labor. Most people drive by the fields and probably don’t pay much attention to them because it’s just part of the scenery they have come accustomed to. To me, it’s a cemetery of lost hope. A field of lost dreams. A place where people lost their livelihoods.

There’s some people who are afraid of growth in these communities, because they are afraid of what it will bring. In some ways, I can understand that. Some see increased crime rates, drugs, alcohol and all of the flaws a city might have. Right now, when I look at these communities, I love the people and sense of fellowship, but I hate knowing that my children will have to move away in order to find a decent job and gain some experience. We’re so used to working in factories and being paid so little with crappy benefits that we forget there’s a world out there with jobs that don’t require us to sacrifice our health and well-being for a little bit of money. There are jobs where we don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe some people will think it’s just fed from greed, but I disagree. We have one life to live, so why are we choosing to be prisoners tied with constraints of minimum wage jobs with benefits that are a joke? Life is short. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. We just need to decide to break the bonds that are holding us back.

As the economy is allowed to open back up, I will shop the small businesses in Green County as well as the surrounding counties because I know they will need all of my support along with the support of our communities. The owners of these businesses have poured their lifesavings into opening their doors. They pour a ton of time, effort and energy into them with the hope they will succeed. Every time a new business opens, I hold that hope in my heart for them as well. You see, they were brave enough to chase their dreams and believed in our community enough to start a business. We can take our hard-earned money and spend it in bigger chain stores and restaurants as we pass by the places in our own community, but we are failing the small towns we love.

Maybe you read this and think you can’t make a difference … you’re just one person … one family. Maybe so … but, in order to keep breathing life into our town, it takes each of us doing our part … including you. Individually we are small, but together we are big enough to make a difference in the lives of the small businesses who need us. Maybe the thought has flitted through your mind that it’s not going to help you out, so why bother? That might be true, but I’m not thinking about the right now … this very second … I’m thinking about the future. The future of these towns for your children, my children … our grandchildren. Think bigger than I or me. We don’t get up and go to work every single day for ourselves. We do it for the people we love. You can make a difference. You just have to choose to.

~Tiff~

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Straight Up Sucka

Y’all want to know something about me that I’m just kind of accepting about myself? I’m a straight up sucka when it comes to furry little creatures and kids selling random junk. I. Can’t. Say. No. It’s a serious problem that I’m unable to correct. You’d think my husband would help curb it. He doesn’t it. He just looks at me and smiles because he knows what’s coming.

My entire life I’ve been a dog person. They’re my spirit animal. They’re the blackberry jelly to my biscuit. They bring me happiness, and I enjoy having them around. Maybe part of it is because I get to be the leader of a pack. Makes me feel a like badass for a few seconds, then it sinks in that I have Shih Tzus and my badass meter drops down to zero. They’re happy balls of fur. If someone came into my house, they would be attacked by tongues…that’s about it. Fierce little creatures, right? So, when a kitten showed up on my deck one day, I stared at it in a stupor. What is this thing? Why is it here?

I immediately went to social media and posted a picture of the critter. Lost a kitten? Want a kitten? Come get ‘er. Right. Now. And…zero response. I live in an area where houses are not stacked one on top of the other. I live in cow country. Fields and cows with a house here and there. That’s pretty much it. I told my youngest gremlin not to touch the kitten, not to look at the kitten, do not talk to the kitten – ignore it and it will go away. Great advice, right? Well, guess what? That shit did not work. She stayed, and my heart wept a little as I heard her poor, pitiful meows. I caved. Completely, utterly freakin’ caved. I fed her. I gave her water. That pretty much sealed the deal.

A few weeks passed by, and we bought her a house. Then treats, toys, a scratching post, other senseless things. Catch a glimpse of the intruder here:

Yeah, she got me. She’s now been vaccinated, and I just had her spayed this week. I’ve never been a cat person, but this kitten pushed her way into my life, and I bowed to her wishes. The thoughts of her never finding a home or being euthanized ran rampant in my mind, and I ended up taking on the responsibility of caring for another animal. Maybe that’s why I have dogs that try to follow me home after going for a run? It’s like they have a sucka meter ingrained in them that points directly at me.

I am a straight up sucka, y’all. When there are kids standing outside of a store selling awful popcorn, I shove my money at them and tell them to keep the popcorn for themselves. They receive so many noes from people that I can’t be another. They’re putting themselves out there, and I think we should encourage them. Lift them up. So on and so forth. You get the picture.

So, I now have a cat and less money. See – furry little creatures & kids = Tiff’s weaknesses.

~Tiff, AKA Straight Up Sucka ~

Write On

Listen, y’all, have been in a little bit of a funk over the last few weeks. The cold – it slices right through me, and I just want to burrow under a blanket while ignoring the outside world. Don’t get me wrong. I like people. Ok, ok … stop laughing. I’ll change the sentence. I like most people. With that being said, I’m just not one of those folks that adores winter and dreams in snowflakes. Spring and summer are my jelly. Yeah, equivalent to blackberry jelly. If you haven’t had decent blackberry jelly, I’ll send a prayer your way. You haven’t lived until that sweet deliciousness has hit your tongue. Just sayin’.

Even though I’m wrapping myself in a million soft, fuzzy blankets with hideous designs and staying mostly inside, I am still managing to click away on the keyboard. I’m still sending queries out for my latest novel. It’s not a fast process. It’s a slow, methodical process. Being in a corporate environment where everything is moving at lightning speed, I can imagine what literary agents face every time they open their inbox, and personally, I don’t envy them. It has to be tough because every rejection they send out is dashing someone’s dream and quite possibly ruining their day.

As a writer, I try not to let the querying process get to me. For the literary agents, a rejection isn’t sent out to hurt someone. It’s just a business and they can’t accept every query they receive. Use those rejections as a motivator to learn more and become even better. Life is a journey, y’all. We need to continue to learn from our mistakes and grow as human beings.

I have also officially started outlining my next novel, so I probably won’t be sleeping as well until I have it completely hammered out. Once it’s in my head, it takes over. So, I plan on being done with the outline over the next month, then finish my first draft by June. For me, it helps to have a goal. Once I start writing, I keep a running record of what my wordcount is each day. I try to range between 1,200 and 1,500 per day, but I don’t beat myself up if one day is shorter or if I miss a day because I know there will be days where my brain is like a brand new machine and I’m churning out more than my goal.

If you’re feeling deflated as a rejection enters your inbox, don’t let it get you down. Chin up, ladies and gents, and write on. Greatness rises from rejections.

~Tiff~

Believer

I spent Sunday evening at a venue listening to the bands of the Unstoppable God Tour. As I listened to each band discuss some of their trials and tribulations as they pursued their dreams, it was like God was speaking to me through them. We see athletes, musicians, actors, actresses, etc. when their dreams turned into their reality, but we never really stop to look at the path they had to take to get there. Most of them were rejected at some point, faced their own set of obstacles, and wanted to give up, but they didn’t.

There are times when I get inside my head. We all do. One of the key moments of the night for me was when Rhett Walker was talking about his new song, ‘Believer’. He was telling us that it was a prayer he says to himself when he looks in the mirror every morning because when you have some space in your head, the enemy creeps in with the negative thoughts. That’s something I just learned over these past few months. That voice that sounds like your own telling you that you’ll never be good enough, that people are mocking you, that you’ll never realize your dream… that’s the enemy trying to bring you down.

Almost every single day, I write because I feel led to write. Stories saved me as a child as I moved from one new school to the next. I was transported to different worlds, and I didn’t feel so alone. It sucked being a shy kid of a military parent.

Essentially, I started writing because I wanted to take the stories rolling around in my mind, playing in my dreams, and put them on paper to where maybe, just maybe, I can give to some child what was given to me as a child. There are children who are starving, who are dealing with an abusive parent, or maybe dealing with some other life issue that no child should have to face.

The voices will always be there, trying to bring us down, but there’s a bigger voice and a greater power to turn to. Turn to God. And no matter what …. keep believing.

You can follow the bands of the Unstoppable God Tour on Twitter: Rhett Walker – @rhettwalker, Verses – @Verses_band, Justin Warren – @justinteseniar and Sanctus Real – @SanctusReal.

~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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