Year In Review: Fourth Quarter – I lived

 

I lived!

That was the one thing I had as a goal for this year and I accomplished it. I lived!

Consider this post my victory chant since I can’t necessarily do what I would have wanted to do – to get on every rooftop and scream it out as loud as I possibly can. I lived!…

in spite of the situations that threatened my will to; more so this year than ever in the history of my 24 years.

That to me – minus the few goals I accomplished and wrote about in the previous quarters – makes this year a success.

It’s true when I say that it’s been a very polarizing year in that there was too much to rejoice about yet at the same time too much that was painful. It left me confused as to how to navigate that “joy in the midst of pain”/”pain in the midst of joy” phenomenon. And for that reason, I didn’t celebrate as much as I needed to, and couldn’t grieve as much as I needed to. That’s the paradox of living.

Well, it’s almost over now. Here’s to many more years ahead and I’ll see you all next year.

Year in Review – Third Quarter

Don’t ask me how long I’ve been putting this off. There’s always much to say, but I often find myself promising not to say much these days…

Can you believe that we’re already done with more than half of the year, and after this month, only have 3 more months before it ends?

Well, here’s a summary of the year on this end so far:

During the first quarter, as I wrote in the year in review post for the first quarter of this year, I grappled with the idea of patience – learning to do while waiting for dreams to be realized.

The second quarter taught me to live (my mission for the new year) even when life gets overwhelming and becomes, in the words of C.S Lewis, too deep for words.

What this quarter has taught me is that you don’t have to be ready to begin, and there are numerous (or few) things that always need to be started which you might never be ready for.

Below is a quote I shared in July that quite describes this quarter well:

I’m no longer quite sure what the question is, but I do know that the answer is Yes.” – Leonard Bernstein

Quite a lot happened during this quarter actually. I did more of things that mattered to me, oftentimes much to my own surprise.

As I mentioned in the last post, a big dream of mine has been to have my name on the cover of a book, and during this quarter, I realized that dream. Like most things I did, I don’t think I was fully prepared for it, but it needed to be done.

As of September 5th, I can now call myself a published author. The collection of poems – thread, this wordweaver must!, which I announced on the post before this (link here: https://ofdreamsanddeeds.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/announcement-book-publicationtitle-reveal/), is now available everywhere books are sold. Really! You can get yourself a copy on

thread this wordweaver must on amazon

For the next six months, $1 of each copy sold will be donated to The Community Cloth. My goal, really, is to be able to at the end of six months donate $100 to The Community Cloth (that means 100 copies will have to be sold between now and February). Impossible? I think not.

I’ll be honest with you. For the past few months, I’ve been focused on metrics and stats…for every single thing! Those things in and of themselves are not bad, but it becomes critical when the utmost attention is placed on them, especially in using them to determine significance, worth, or impact. And that I’ve been guilty of! I have nothing bad to say about these tools we use to connect with each other, but I’ll be taking a break for the whole month (as soon as this week is over) from my social media accounts…and of course, school and other aspects of life require my attention.

Below are the highlights (because who wants to hear about the lows, right?) of this quarter:

In July, I worked along with PAIR – Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees (an organization I volunteered for as a mentor in 2012) to put together a Career Day event for the kids.

PAIR Career Day Event 2014

Above is a picture via Nelson, who along with his wife and a few others of my friends from different disciplines – law, accounting, medicine, teaching, entrepreneurship, engineering, business, nonprofit – joined me to share insights with the kids about our fields, mine being School Psychology. Nelson and his wife, Jessica run a company called Goodspero which you can find out more information about here: http://goodspero.wordpress.com/about/

Also in July, I shared a video response to an article that was posted on BuzzFeed, originally titled “15 women say why they don’t need Feminism”. You can find the response – a poem in 15 parts below:

And then just before the month ended, I took home $50 as a prize for winning first place in a poetry slam competition.

As August rolled in, I announced the news about my book, and the month was marked by updates about the progress – meeting with designers, sharing test covers, etc. I also started my second year of grad. school in August

On September 12, I turned 24. Unlike when I turned 23, I’m still not sure how to feel about 24 to be honest. With September, in addition to realizing my dream of becoming an author, I had 2 events that allowed me to share my poetry.

There’s me in the picture above, taken by my friend, Valerie (reading from my book of poems) during an event this month at The Nook Cafe. And I finished the month by performing as the closing act at this year’s Houston Fringe Festival.

As as aside, if you wish to receive updates about what I’m doing next as it pertains to poetry, you can subscribe here: http://bit.ly/AFalomoSubscribe

Of course there are lows I choose to not talk about but as the next and final quarter of the year arrives, in addition to focusing more on detachment, I want to keep learning enoughness, to whelm myself in my adequacy, because if I’m honest, I’ve been failing royally at it, especially during this quarter.

In line with that, I’ll leave you with these lines from one of the poems in the book, titled Beauty II

…once it starts/it never stops,/this endless cycle/of trying to be better than,/of trying, to be more than/enough…

Till next time, go ahead and bask in your enoughness and I hope to share with you all soon 🙂

Year in Review – First Quarter

Since the last post of 2013 – my year in review, it’s been silent here at “of Dreams and Deeds”, and for good reason. It’s been a deliberate decision to deviate from just talking or in this case, writing about dreams, but rather to commit myself more to action (or deeds) as the name of the blog implies.

I liked the format the last post took, and decided to do something like it  for the year 2014; first to minimize the amount of posts on the blog and to be intentional about the few posts I do write.

And of course, there’s continued traffic on the posts I’ve written since the creation of the blog in 2012, and I still want attention on those – both from myself and those who visit the blog – as opposed to churning out new content for the sake of it.

Hence, upon dividing the year into quarters, there’ll be a post at the end of each quarter – a quarterly year in review of some sorts, if you may.

As far as the quarterly posts go, this means that you’ll be hearing from me (as you are now) in March, June, September and December. There will be the occasional one or two posts in between, before the quarterly posts arrive but other than those, that will be about it regarding posting on the blog for this year.

So with that said,

January started with making preparations for a poetry event centered on the soliloquies I’d written, in poetry format, on love which I intended to do in February – since it was Valentines season. I’d dreamed in times past about having such an event…except that I didn’t take a single step towards making sure it happened, but it had to be different this year – and it was!

And in February, it happened (not exactly what I dreamed) but it was exactly what I needed! And better yet, in line with what I hoped for this year to be, it was achieved through partnership; with help from the people around me.

As I wrote in the year in review post for 2013,

[The] word which I hope will drive all my action for the new year is PARTNERSHIP.

In the vlog I made when I turned 23, I mentioned a project I started working on then (which I called “23′)  that has now morphed into something that I originally did not intend or imagine it to be.

The 23 sections I discussed, which I hadn’t even finished at the time of my 23rd birthday last year, have now become the basis for 23 individual poetry events with the aim of prompting conversations about each section as it pertains to the journey we all are taking towards becoming the person we’d like to be for the rest of our lives. 2 events out of the 23 have already been completed, one last month along with the Valentines’ event and another just few days ago. More information about the project is here at www.23thejourney.com, and also you can follow (the journey) via Twitter.

The words below, from the music I’ll be posting for this quarter (Passenger’s “Life’s For The Living”), echoed in my head much more than I wanted it to – and served as a constant reminder of the singular goal I set out for myself this year; which is to “LIVE, by embracing ALL that life has to offer.”

Life’s for the living so live it
Or you’re better off dead…

Our lives are in seasons, and in this season, one thing I’m learning more than anything else is patience. To say the least, it’s sometimes frustrating! There are things I still want to accomplish, there are things I believe I *need to do/attain, but I am still subject to timing…which often brings about reasons for disappointment and discouragement.

This is, as I believe, due in part to the shift I’m making from merely dreaming my days away while hoping my dreams magically come to pass to getting off my butt to do what I can. Needless to say, there is still tension in balancing the dreamy self and the self that wants to see those dreams come to pass fast…by doing.

Of course, patience doesn’t mean just waiting idly…but there are times when you’ll have to do some waiting and that I’m still not good at. Over the past few months, there’s been a certain eagerness and anticipation for the next thing/things ahead, making it difficult to be present with what is, as of now – a component of patience. I hope I can take this into account as the new quarter starts tomorrow.

And since the win that gave birth to the words below happened in this quarter, I leave you with these words from Lupita Nyong’o:

your dreams are valid

With that as a conclusion, I hope to see you all in the next quarter 🙂