“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
No, I’m not dead. I’m very much still here, actually.
I’m still dancing, and that’s not going too bad for me.
I’m still studying health science in my spare time for fun, still exercising and dieting, and still dating the same wonderful woman I have been for what will be coming up to two years now. If I count all those things, I should be feeling blessed. I should be feeling like I’m more than content, but happy, and not needing of assistance from people.
But in all reality, I’m actually struggling.
What’s up? I’ve been noticing some things have been changing lately.
Am I right? Things seem to be heading in a different direction for you—slowly, sure, but they are. You feel happier, even if it’s a tad. There are some positives that you’re taking away in your day-to-day activities. You’re finding more excuses to smile every once and a while. Heck, sometimes nothing extraordinary happens and you just look up to the sky and say, “Thanks, Jesus.” That’s great.
I want you to know I’ve been noticing, and I couldn’t be more proud of you. Really, I know, sometimes we don’t say that enough in our lives—that we’re legitimately proud of someone. Let alone that someone being you. But I am. We all are.
You’ve remained trusting. You’ve never given up on the goals that were laid out before you. You’ve soldiered on even when things were darkest and most bleak. When people said negative crap about you, you dared to say, “I love you, too”. Not only that, but you’ve grown more humble; you’ve gotten on your knees more, opened up more, cried out more, and been wholly content when everything was not-so-optimal. That takes a lot of heart, and a lot of faith.
Even with all the scars, they’re healing, and you’re finding ways to smile. That’s so admirable in its’ own right, because quite frankly the rest of us struggle with that.
God’s given you these blessings; these happy moments; these small blueberry slices of life. Because you’re not getting too haughty and you’re well aware of where and why they come. And that’s why we’re so proud. And I’m so proud. Because you’re truly letting transformation happen—growing and learning as the process exercises itself.
So keep on keeping on! Stay low to the ground to get as high as the sky. You’ve got a lot, a lot more work to do.
I’m proud of you for where you’ve been and where you’re going.
We all are.
This morning, after my normal routine of scripture reading, studying and journaling, I decided to peer into the world of Facebook. These days Facebook is less like an addiction to me and more like a casual “whatever” type thing to do—I used to be absolutely gripped by it, and found myself constantly checking my social media. These days though, not so much—I’ve taken a couple fasts from social media for extended periods of time, and it’s really helped me keep my focus on more important and work-worthy matters. Maybe I’ll write about it sometime.
Anyway, the very first thing I see in a pretty picture, shoved right in my face: “Hey Michael, it’s the first day of spring!”
Is it really, now?
Another day begins afresh;
The sun’s bright rays beating down my neck
The snow settles; melts into the earth
All the while my mind starts racing to conclusions first
Am I liked? Am I hated? Why do I feel isolated?
Where’s the love from last week? Why do aspirations feel bleak?
If I do this–will it work out fine? Can it get done, finished by my exact timeline?
When I try to succeed will I ever finish first? Am I relegated to forever second place or worse?
That time I said that thing, did it hurt their heart? Was it a stab wound from my sword or an old scab picked apart?
Am I too pushy, too prideful, too living in vain? Too close to the sun, Icarus falling to the sea in shame?
Am I learning my lessons, taking the narrowest road with a smile?
Or am I too complacent to the world trying to take the widest mile?
Have I loved enough to others? Given compassion to every soul?
Am I following the trap of “comfy”, and missing the point of the whole?
Is it me reaching out or really me retreating in?
Am I neglecting opportunities and being selfish from within?
So many questions spring up
But I can’t get a single, solid answer.
I guess too much time on my hands
Sometimes is my mind’s own cancer.
Written by: Michael “Bboy Roach1” Roach
In just about every junior and senior high school across America, kids have the great opportunity to get into a musical program of some sort. Maybe you were a singer and had awesome vocals, so you jumped into choir to be the next “American Idol”. Or maybe you heard some sick beats or a beautiful movie soundtrack and wanted to be the musician yourself, so you joined the band. Hopefully if you’re still in school right now as your read this, you’re doing one of these programs yourself! If so, congratulations!
Whichever program you were (or are) in, you have to admit: music in our lives is a total given. You were raised with music, even if you don’t remember. Your mom sang you lullabies as a baby to drift you to sleep. You probably drummed and hit stuff as a young child to get attention, or naturally played with one of those adorable musical-xylophone toys. And if you’re like me, one of the first songs you learned is the national anthem in elementary school.
Music is a fantastic thing; forever woven into our lives even if we don’t care to admit it.
Turns out it also teaches us some important things about life, too.
Today is March 8th, and as some of you might recall, today is International Women’s Day! Happy International Women’s Day to all the strong ladies out there!
To set the record straight, today isn’t just a made up holiday. International Women’s Day is an important day to recognize the many achievements of women throughout the world in a variety of realms—from the political, to the social. This day is very much about women demanding equality in varying arenas of life historically; but this day also marks a day where women and men can come together in unity and celebration for women. From the powerful activism of Rosa Parks, to the love and hard work of the mother that raised you; today is about the importance of women in the world.
A brief history
According to The Telegraph, the roots of International Women’s Day can be traced all the way back to 1908, when 15,000 women participated in a march through NYC to demand a slew of important issues be recognized, like voting rights and equal pay. Fast forward two years to 1910, and after Clara Zetkin, a woman representing the Social Democratic Party in Germany, proposed the idea; and a counsel of more than 100 women from 17 different countries agreed to it—IWD was made a legitimate day. The year 1913 is when the day was moved to March 8th, the day we celebrate it currently.
Men: we can join the women in our lives, too
As I alluded to earlier, today represents a day where women’s importance and role in society are rightfully recognized—real talk though, respectable men out there, we should be recognizing the importance of women in our lives every day. Because of that, guys, we should be putting our hearts out there today, too. If you have a mom, you should thank her and give her due respect for dealing with you (I did). If you have a significant other, girlfriend or spouse, you should tell her you love her and appreciate her role in your relationship. Go to your grandma today, give her a hug, and tell her she’s amazing (and also that her cookies are the bomb).
Understand that even as men, we need women in our lives. They are the people that help give us a future; the same people who endure endless amounts of ridiculous pain to bring us into the world. They are the forces in our lives that show us support and love, and work just as hard to be there for us as we do for them. On a less serious note, they tolerate our BS and egos when really we should be humbled—and sometimes they are awesome enough to do that for us, too.
Women are the teachers that pour into us to make us more intelligent; women are the nurses and medical professionals who help us when our bodies fail us. Women are the managers and bosses at our jobs that keep a level head and help us out, even when we probably suck and don’t deserve it sometimes. They’re beautiful artists, dope B-girls, powerful journalists, and even members of our government.
Don’t be afraid, no matter where you are, or who you are—to stand up for the rights of the women that surround you. Make it known that you think women are just as important as men in today’s society, whether you are a woman or a man. Join women not just today, but every day, in mutual understanding that their rights are worth standing up for, and that their role in our world is not only seen, but valued.
On a day that is designed for the recognition and rights of women, do just that—recognize their rights and their achievements.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Written by: Michael “Bboy Roach1” Roach
 International Women’s Day 2017: What is it, how did it start and why is it so important? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/international-womens-day-2017-did-start-important/