Now that I am in a new decade of my twenties, I have put a lot of thought into my values and what is important to me. I am no longer a teen but am still young and have a lot to learn about life. But something that has been on my mind lately is how to be in relationship, the “right” way.  No I am not in a relationship, nor am I close to being in one. In fact, there hasn’t been anyone in particular that I had strong feelings for. But I have time.

Lately, I have been noticing more people close to my age entering in new relationships and engagements. My response is: good for them. But it hit me how I will eventually will want to get married one day and share my life with someone. I have an idea of what I want, like most people would. Many people in my life keep telling me in order to know what I want, I need to go on different dates to figure out what I like and don’t like. But I hate that idea.

I was talking to a friend recently and they related to me about being awkward around someone who is attractive. I am super awkward, especially around cute guys. I am embarrassing. Anyways, my friend and I were talking about how hard it was to even talk to someone who seems nice and then one of our friends walked by and got into the conversation. They were telling us about their amazing relationship and I asked “how did you even meet someone so cool?” My friend said: it was a God thing. That hit me.

I never considered asking God about dating or anything like that since I was in high school. In fact, I have not been asking God for guidance for a lot of things going on in my life. Ever since I started college, I started to believe I had to be independent and had to figure everything out on my own without anyone’s help. That can be exhausting. In fact, I am exhausted right now. The Bible always talks about rest and casting your anxieties onto Him. Maybe I need to start acting on that. It can be tiring putting the weight of the world on your shoulders, especially when there is no reason to be carrying all of that baggage.

God created everything, so why not ask the Creator for guidance when going through life?

In all honesty, I always believed I was not good enough to be in a serious relationship or to be married to a Godly man. But those are lies I have been believing about myself. I just wanted to be like the world and to maybe meet someone on campus and go on several dates before we become serious. My friend made me realize I desire for something more. I don’t want to date just to date. I want to be with someone who has the same passions for God and desires for more out of life than to live like everyone else.

This is not one of these cheesy blog posts about how God has a plan for your love life or that He will bring you someone, because I have not yet experienced that or know what the future holds for you. The whole point is God will lead you- in any circumstance. And He wants to. We just have to listen rather than only talking.


Spend 8 hours in Walmart Challenge


I love shopping at Walmart! I also enjoy watching the hilarious videos of these two guys who build forts in Walmart in secret. I am an adventurous person and I am always up for something unique to do. So while watching these funny Youtube Videos, I am thinking of having my own challenge to spend 8 hours from 8pm to 8am in ny local 24 hour Walmart. What do you guys think of this idea? Do you think I could make it? Do you have any advice for things to do during those 8 hours, or ideas of how to avoid attention from the workers so I will not get caught? Let me know what you think. If I do go through with it, I will do it during one of my Spring Break days next week and will try to convince my friends to do it to make it more interesting. This story will definitely be posted in my blog!

Counting your blessings

I am tired of being tired all of the time. I catch myself complaining all of the time about everything. It is easy to complain about life. This leads me to always having a bad attitude and that makes going to school and work much less enjoyable. That’s what makes it harder to keep going and staying motivated to do my work. It has hit me this week that I have not enjoyed what I have been doing for awhile. The idea of doing work has been portrayed of being negative and draining. I forgot about my blessings. So I am going to write about the good things going on for me.

  1. I have an amazing family who cares and supports me through my decisions.
  2. I have made some life-long friends who hold me accountable but in love.
  3. I get paid to write! I get paid to do what I love!
  4. I have a stable job in retail and have became close with some great co-workers.
  5. I have an awesome used car that has taught me how to look for things when something seems off.
  6. I am taking classes I love and teach me how to become a better journalist.
  7. I am involved with school and see how I am making an impact on people.

God has been blessing me and I never really pay attention to it. I think we all do that. We look at the bad things in life and forget that there are good things going on for us. If we did not have problems, we wouldn’t really be living nor would we become stronger.

If you are reading this, I don’t know what is going on in your life. All I can encourage is to embrace the hardships because you will become stronger in the process. Also write out the things you are thankful for. Focus on the big picture, God will get you there if you listen.


I Hate Mornings


This intoxicating sound screams at me every morning to kick myself out of bed.

If you are like me and do not enjoy mornings, then you can understand why I battle with the alarm clock every morning. I am a night owl and going to the gym and doing homework late at night has always been part of my routine. I also stay up late video chatting with one of my best friends. And that is what I did last night; I went to the gym, did homework and talked to Lizbeth. I went to bed approximately at midnight and set my alarm for 6 a.m.

I did not hear that alarm go off.

I woke up with my dog licking my face and realized it was 7:30 a.m. That is the time I am suppose to leave for school in Ybor from Plant City. SO… I quickly threw on some clothes, not paying attention if it looks alright, and grabbed my make up bag and book bag to get into my car.

My class starts at 9:30 a.m. but it takes me forever drive on 60 to get to the campus. If you were wondering why I don’t take I-4 it is because I have a huge fear of it from when my tire blew out while driving 70 mph.

Anyways, back to my morning. I went to Starbucks to get my coffee fix and ran out of there as soon as the barista handed me my drink. While driving and drinking my coffee, I spilled coffee all over me and had these noticeably huge stains covering my shirt.


Once I reached the parking garage, I started putting my make up on and enjoy the 30 minutes I had to gather myself together. I decided to take my hair out of my bun to make myself more presentable. BUT my hair turned into a huge AFRO!!!! I looked horrible. I ended up putting my hair back into the bun and gave up on my hair.


After getting out my car, I had to walk two blocks to get to my building, Because I went to the gym last night and pushed my body to the limits, I felt the soreness as I was fast walking to the school. It was not a pleasant feeling.


We all have off mornings. I do not know a single person who wakes up every morning signing to their furry animal friends and their makeup and hair is already on point. Even though we have off mornings does not mean we should allow them to stop us from having a good day.

In me elementary school in Canton, GA the principal would always tell us on the morning announcements, “Make it a good day or not, the choice is yours.”

We do have that choice. And how we think or perceive things is something we can control during those hectic external circumstances.

Where do you stand today?


Where did the time go?

When I explain to people about the numerous things I am involved with I am always asked, “do you have time for fun?” or “how do you manage it all?”

I am a planner; always have been. My weekly planner is organized with a to-do list and due dates spread out through the weeks. I keep track of what I need done each day and where I need to go. Without this planner I would have no clue of what I need to do each day, especially since my days are never the same causing me to never have a daily routine.

Let me give you an idea of what my typical weeks look like:

Monday: Classes from 9:30-Noon, plan for my leadership class I teach on Thursdays, work on both online classes

Tuesday: Either work 8 hours at my retail job or do more homework or work for the local magazine

Wednesday: 9:30-Noon classes again, homework, or work for the magazine

Thursday: Prepare and then teach my leadership class from 1-4pm, take my usual nap and watch Netflix until my 7pm class

Friday-Sunday: work 24 to 30 hours at the retail store or do homework or work for the magazine, also go to church of course because I need Jesus

My week is somewhat consistent. In between I go to events or schedule interviews and have to defeat writers block when putting stories together. I am also involved with the mass-media club with my college.

This seems a lot, but through the process I enjoy my schedule. I get to spend time with my best friends while taking the classes I love. My friends and I have a weekly tradition of going to Krazy Kup on Wednesday afternoons to do “homework” together when in reality we just hang out and talk about life. And I am happy with the way my life is.

Sometimes it is hard though. When I browse through social media I see people my age that are buying new cars,  getting better paying jobs, entering into serious relationships and going out every weekend on exciting adventures. My adventures are usually going to WalMart with my friends pushing me around in cart.

It can be easy to get jealous of what other people are doing. But I always go back to this parable Jesus told the people. It is about a master who gives three of his servants different talents. I am going to stop right there. There is more to the story but I believe many overlook this significant part. The master gave each servant a different number of talents, trusting them to invest and create and abundance. Talents correlated to money, but they can also correlate to what we are give now.

God has gifted each person differently and has a unique calling on every person’s life, if we choose to be obedient. I know God has called me to pursue journalism for unknown reasons, but you would never see me becoming a nurse because I cannot look at my own paper cuts. And I am okay with that.

Its tempting to lust after what other people have and believe it or not it can be vise versa. Rather than focusing on others, we need to focus on the path that lies in front of us, not someone else’s.

Who else is going to walk in your shoes other than yourself?

As cliché as this sounds, life is short and there is never enough time in the day to accomplish everything. So why try to do everything?

I decided this would be the year of clarity for me. Take time and ponder “am I wasting my time with my busy schedule?” and “how will this benefit the kingdom of God?” It is okay to say “no.” Just learn what you need to say “yes” to. Also, if you are in college like me, keep this in mind: if you aren’t enjoying the process to earn your degree, is this something you need to keep pursuing?

God created passion. We all have different passions. Once we discover what it is, there will be little dread in the work we have to do. Why be in despair?





Why I drink Coffee…

I never understood morning people. Waking up anytime before 9am is complete madness to me. But being a full time student and having a full time job along with other extra things I do, I must embrace the discomfort of mornings. Coffee has always been part of my daily routine. The moment I am out of bed, I walk to the coffee pot. Drinking that first sip of heaven awakens my soul to prepare for the mysterious journey of  what lies ahead. That can sound a bit dramatic, however it is incredibly accurate. Not everyone may agree with my love for coffee.

I have heard it all. Caffeine will stunt your growth (which I had nothing to lose in the first place). Coffee will dehydrate you. Caffeine increases anxiety. Coffee over all is a drug. I think the jokes are funny when people call me an addict. I like to exaggerate by saying coffee owns me or its the reason I can work in retail. Even though there is truth in every joke, coffee does have a deeper meaning to me.

I have been drinking coffee religiously since I was 15 years old. I moved down to Florida to live with my dad and stepmom at that time to start my sophomore year. My dad encouraged me to start drinking one cup of coffee every morning so I can be fully alert for school that started at 7:30 am. However coffee has been part of my life before I started drinking it.

My dad and I always had a close relationship. I have numerous memories of us spending time together by watching funny movies and t.v. shows, going fishing, and goofing off at malls. My more fondest moments with him are when he and I would go to local coffee shops together. We both brought our laptops- he did work, I played Webkinz. I was too young to drink coffee so my dad would get me a hot chocolate. I remember the workers there would give me extra cups of whipped cream. Coffee has always been part of our relationship and it still is. We still meet early in the mornings at Starbucks to drink coffee and talk about life.

Coffee brings me comfort. Smelling the fresh aroma or drinking that first sip brings me back to cherished memories of my childhood. It reminds me that life can be simple and even the smallest things can make up for the difficult moments we endure. Without the hardships in life, there would be no such thing as the phrase “it is the little things in life.” Good things that happen would not be as enjoyable. In fact there would be no meaning to the small things in life.

So call me crazy, but coffee brings me happiness. It represents the bond I have with my father and sweetness of my childhood. No matter what people will say, it will continue to be part of my life. Along with a cup of water to match every cup of coffee.


How broke is a broke college student?

Everyone has heard the phrase “broke college student.” We can make all the jokes we want (I for sure do) but there is so much truth to it. Unlike the typical college student, I still live at home with parents who provide. I still pay bills and what not, but I would not consider myself struggling financially. At least not now. Most college students do struggle financially because all of our money goes towards the expenses of living away from home and the insane amounts of college debt. Along with the stress of finances, there is also the stress of trying to figure out what in the world we need to do with the direction of our lives.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to go on this amazing conference with some awesome girls. The conference emphasized on being a strong leader in school, work etc. Not only was this a good learning experience, I gained a lot from the moments of bonding with my fellow leadership instructors.

My good friend Lizbeth and I shared a room together for those three days. We always do the craziest things whenever we are together. Being broke and trying to save our dinner money for the conference, we did not want to spend a whole three dollars on one water bottle offered in the vending machine. While we were looking at the vending machine, we found an ice machine and one idea led to another and we somehow ended up in our hotel bathroom with a buck of ice melting it with a hair dryer. 23223271_1478299072247297_792180709_o23224674_1478298728913998_1935027310_oWe saved money and created a memory that will never be forgotten.

Sometimes life gets too serious and you need to be silly to relieve the tension. Even though three dollars was not much, we got get our creative juices flowing.

I love being in college even though being broke can be hard. But college brings a community of struggling young adults who are getting stressed out with responsibility. Even though we may not know what will happen after college, we have the memories, experiences and long lasting friendships that will outlast the temporary stress.


A Banana Perspective


Almost every American has been to a Wal-Mart at least once in their life. This supermarket is convenient due to its 24/7 hours, low prices, and its acceptance of food stamps. As a broke college student who works odd retail hours, I spend a lot of time in the local Wal-Mart for groceries and other resources for the everyday life. I have found myself going there just for fun when there is nothing open or I do not feel like driving too far. My friends and I joke about how you can either eat or go to Walmart to have fun in our small town. Occasionally when I have free time with my friends, we go to Wal-Mart just look around and buy some cute, cheap jewelry or lots of junk food. We decided to take our odd hobby to the extreme.


A few weeks ago there was a movie night going on at my college. My friend was leading the event to promote their club. They wanted a good turn out so thought they needed someone to walk around the school to market the movie night. The best way to grab people’s attention was to have someone dress up in the banana costume while walking around the campus. She was looking for a volunteer, and naturally I said I would do it. After walking around the school for 15 minutes, I noticed the students payed more attention to me or put me on their snapchats. Overall I got good feedback and people showed up the movie night. But what does this have to do with Wal-Mart?


After helping my friend out, some of us wanted to go to Wal-Mart to get some candy and other junk like we usually do. I went too but decided to keep the banana suit on while in Wal-Mart. I wondered if I would get a more positive reaction from the shoppers as I did with college students. Once we got to the store, I hopped into a shopping cart and my friends took turns pushing me around. The moment we entered the store, no one seemed to notice. We went straight to the toy section and while my friends were messing with stuff I just sat in the cart casually like this is something I do with all of my free time. People walked by, different ages, and they looked at me and just carried on with what they were doing. We walked through the food isles too and got the same reaction. The only people who said anything were kids. They seemed more entertained by me than the adults did. The most awkward part was seeing one of my co-workers; so I just ducked in the cart hoping they would not see me. And they did not, as far as I know.


As we were leaving the store, a cashier saw me and said “Ayeeeee! Nice costume!” I was really bothered by why no one seemed to care that there was a random girl in a banana costume just hanging out in Wal-Mart. It could have been that most thought I was a child because I am so tiny and it is common that people have mistaken me for a 12 year old than a 19 year old. Or it could have been that after having a long day of running errands, over working themselves or dealing with whatever life threw in their faces that they were too focused on that than to just take a moment and laugh at someone’s ridiculousness.


Lately I have began to understand the importance of setting time for yourself. Working a full time job, going to school full time and keeping up with my internship and school activities, time seems to go by so fast and there never seems to be enough hours in the day. I am a busy-body kind of person and I love what I do no matter how crazy everyone says I am. But no matter what stage you are in life or what season it is, taking an hour or two a day or every couple of days is good for you mentally. I met with an old mentor and she told me that I was doing good things but don’t forget to take that extra time with God and my writing. Those things you enjoy doing that are not required for a job or tasks, make life more meaningful and fill you up with passion. Set some extra time aside to go to the beach, go shopping, or that spontaneous Wal-Mart trip with some close friends. For me, I feel complete and ready for the day when reading the Bible and journaling while drinking coffee in the morning. It feeds me spiritually and gives me the strength to take on whatever lies ahead during the day. Life is short, and every day is precious. Spend each moment making the most out of it. Or else you could end up as a zombie shopping in Wal-Mart not caring about the odd college, banana girl who makes odd choices for her free time.


Staying on Top

I spent most of my high school career taking the easy way out. The idea of ever challenging myself in any way seemed stressful to me. When I had homework to do, I would never go the extra mile and only did what I had to do get an alright grade. It was not until college started and my lazy ways started to hit me in back in the face.

Flashback to my first semester at HCC, I walked into my Public Speaking class, my first college class. The professor handed the class these complicated pieces of paper that were all labeled syllabus at the top. I knew of what a syllabus was and the purpose of it. After seeing the never-ending list of due dates and assignments, anxiety began to set in. I spent the whole semesters stressing out over my four easy classes. I knew college would be more difficult but little did I feel prepared. I struggled with barely passing my psychology class, which was ironic because that was my original major.

My struggle continued into the second semester. I tried hiding my stress from my friends and family because of the embarrassment I was feeling. I continuously tried to find the easy way out with all of my assignments, however my professors saw right through me.

I was also struggling with other areas in my life: organization. My car was gross, it smelled awful, and I found a dead frog in my trunk. My room at home, which I share with my 15 year old sister, was always trashed with actual trash on the ground and dirty laundry. My parents nagged me on a daily basis about it. My life just seemed like it was slipping. I felt I had little control over everything. It is that feeling that no matter what you do to try to change, you just cannot seem to. It was not until I applied for a teacher position to teach a leadership class with my fellow classmates.

Last summer I had to learn the importance of time management. I was working two job, a waitress and a cashier at a retail store. I also kept up with my internship with Focus Magazine. I was always on the move doing something. Once a week I met with my co-teachers for several hours to prepare the lesson plans for the fall semester. I also decided to take an online class during the summer. Sounds like a mouthful. I never planned to do all these things over the summer. I originally wanted to go on missions trips. But God changes your plans and you realize you like His plans much better.

Back to the leadership class, I got to know the Student Activities Coordinator better. She led us as we prepared for the class and gave us advice and taught us how to become better speakers. I tell her this all the time, but she is the reason I am able to stay organized while doing many things without going insane. Because of her, I realized that your planner becomes your best friend. She also taught me that wherever you are in life, whatever the job you have, to give everything your all and to never make up excuses for when you make mistakes. Every week, we had to show up on time for everything; which i struggled with. This lady has  the most beautiful office ever! Everything has a place and has a label. I now use these organization skills for my home life and for my new full time job working in retail.

I can never forget my dad’s impact either. He gave me his nifty planner and showed me how to dedicate an hour to whatever assignment I had to do. He also held me accountable for when I was being lazy and just watching t.v.

Also working at two jobs has influenced me to keep my car tidy because you never know when you will need to take a nap in there.

Last summer changed my life. It prepared for what was to come for the Fall semester. So far I don’t feel like I am slipping. I feel prepared and on top of things. I know God is preparing me now for something much bigger in my next season. It can be challenging, but God bring us up in training to make us stronger for His future purposes (Ephesians 6:4).



Pressing Forward

When I was in high school I was super anxious to graduate and to get out of there as soon as I could. It is now my second year of college and I do enjoy college a lot more than high school. However, I do miss the simpler times at Plant City High School.

I was driving the other day and had a Christian music station playing in the background and different songs played that I used to listen to all the time my Junior year. I forgot the names but if I heard them again I could tell you which ones they are. When those songs played my mind went back to my Junior year of high school. Every afternoon I would sit in my cozy room at my desk listening to the radio as I did my homework with a cup of tea. I usually had to work later that evening so I wanted to get my homework done as soon as I could. I thought I had too much going on during that time, but man was I wrong.

Even though I do not completely miss high school, I do miss different moments and wish I could go back to change things. Who doesn’t want to change the past? Most people probably have something they want to fix or erase if they could go back in time. For me I would tell my younger self to not stress myself out so much and that it does not matter what other people think about you. Another thing would be to spend your money wisely and save as much as possible since I did not have many bills compared to now. I would also tell myself that there is so much more out there other than getting into relationships/meeting Mr. Right. I am glad that I was finally able to learn these different lessons as time progressed. But part of me still wants to warn my younger self of what the next couple of years held.

I’ve noticed that many, including myself, try to ignore what may have happened in the past. Especially when it was not the most pleasant memory. Yesterday I went to my Student Government training day and we watched the movie, Moana. There was a quote about how you need to look where you have been to know where you  are going. It made me think of the Bible verse: Philippians 3:13 “Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me.” It is in our human nature to make mistakes. But rather than beating ourselves up for them, we can learn from them and press forward.

The mistakes I have made in the past have made me who I am today. I know I still have much to learn but I can rejoice in the grace I am given on a daily basis. I think we tend to put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect at everything we do and say. We also tend to pressure those around us and come off as judgemental when someone “messes up.” Rather than pushing people down, we should shower them in love and grace and encourage them to do better next time rather than discouraging them. Why though? Because we have been shown a great love that is impossible to comprehend.

We cannot change what happened in the past. But we can make better decisions based on the lessons we have learned. Keep running the race and do not give up just because you had a bump in the road. It will be worth it in the end.