And I Love It.

I’ve written so many blog drafts in the last few months that I’ve decided not to post. I don’t really know why. I guess I was being too personal in those posts and didn’t want to share that much with the world wide web.

I’ve done a whole bunch of soul searching in the last couple months. I’m at a professional crossroads at the moment.

Do I face my fears, take a bigger risk, and invest in myself? Or do I continue on this career track?

Can I do both? Yes. I can. And I will.

I have a chance and an opportunity right now. To create a path for myself. To pursue and achieve greatness. I just have to do it.

I told myself that I’m going to come back to writing on the blueprint. It’s crazy how the name I gave this blog years ago is something that becomes more true each time I log on.

I’m a misfit. I’m different. A peacock among penguins.

And I love it.

-Misfit.

PS. I’m back.

Have I Done Enough?

Have I done enough for myself? I’ve been asking that question quite a bit lately.
A conversation that I had with one of my associates earlier this week started this line of thinking. We began our conversation talking about books, reading, and other pretty general “passing the time” topics. He asked me if I’d gone to college, and if so, what did I study? Well I explained to him what I studied at East Carolina and he recognized the passion I had for my area of study. Talking about what marketing is, what is means, and how impactful the industry is made me yearn to be immersed in it.
I don’t work in the side of marketing that I thought I would be when I was in college. In all honesty, I took the first good-sounding job that was offered to me. I often wonder if that was a mistake.
Although I am working, earning a pretty good salary, and on a fast-track career path, I don’t want to give up on my dreams of being a marketing executive one day.
About one year ago, two of my close friends and I had a conversation about what we were all currently doing versus what we actually want to do. At the time, none of us were in our desired fields aggressively pursuing our dreams. Fast-forward to today, and both of my friends are leaps and bounds ahead of me in the race to “success”. What’s wrong with this picture?
I can’t be upset or jealous. I can’t blame anyone but myself. Have I been actively pursuing my dreams? Not really, unless constantly working 60 hours a week counts. Have I stayed up to date with marketing trends? I’ve only stayed up-to-date with retail. What about my blog; have I continued to write? Nope, I have not. Work has distracted me. All the things that kept me in touch with my passion, I’ve let fall aside. All the activities that kept me level-headed…where’d they go?
I don’t want to get stuck in a profession that I don’t like. I don’t want to wake up 10 years from now thinking, “How did I get here?” I want to enjoy my life. I want to enjoy my work. I want to wake up each day happy to be doing what I love…and getting paid for it. All these wants…and no actions.
Dreams are great, but if I never wake up and work towards those dreams…they’ll never be anything else. I’ve always operated under the “Do what you must NOW, so you can do what you want LATER,” but I’m starting to think that I’ve been very negative in my thinking. Life is short.
So I ask, yet again…have I done enough for myself?
Unfortunately, sadly, and honestly…the answer is no.
-Misfit.

Dear You

I have something to say to women who are any of the following:

-“Bigger is better” activists,
-Skinny shamers,
-Campaigners of “Curvy and proud”,
-“No stick figures over here” supporters,
-Anyone who is “All about that Bass”,
-Those who are “skinny and sexy”,
-Real life Barbies,
-“Do You Even Lift?” t-shirt wearers, and
-“Strong is the new black” champions…

Stop it.

Stop finding ways to celebrate your body by insulting others’. It’s not okay.

I see and hear it all the time. A person at either end of the weight spectrum is loving herself in all her fabulous glory; She might be wearing a beautiful dress, a cute outfit, a picture of her flexing her impressive muscles, her lack of love handles, or she may have just chosen to take a full-body picture instead of her usual neck-up selfie; whatever it is…it’s lovely. *insert unnecessary caption here* If you can’t imagine/hear/see the useless caption, here are a few examples:

1. “I love my body…with curves where they’re meant to be.”
2. “10 mile run this morning. No fatties around here.”
3. Simply “Do You Even Lift?”
4. “Don’t Trust a Skinny Cook”

Annoying, aren’t they? Are you guilty of one of these types of social media uploads? Do you ever find yourself defending your body by insulting that of another woman?

If so, STOP. Don’t call those who are smaller than you “stick figures”. That’s rude. Just love your frame and figure. Not everyone who chooses to not exercise is a lazy bum. That isn’t fair. Don’t say that anyone over a size 4 isn’t beautiful or attractive. Who elected you exquisiteness expert?

Next time you’re feeling really confident about your body, enjoy that moment. Don’t sully it by being disrespectful.

Understand that your beauty doesn’t depend on how ugly you can make others seem/feel.

I started this post by calling out all the “names” of groups of people. It would be easier to call everyone by one name.

Women.

-Misfit

I Love Birthdays…Tobi at 22!

Hey Beautiful People!

My birthday was yesterday, August 10. Happy Belated Birthday to me. 🙂

I’m 22. That sounds a little weird to say and write. I don’t really know why it’s weird for me to be 22. Maybe because 22 doesn’t sound young anymore.

I’m not clinging to my “youth”, and I’m definitely not afraid to get older. I guess 22 sounds mature…my age is finally catching up to how people say I act/carry myself!
My birthday this year was not exactly what I wanted or planned, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed.

Birthdays are really awesome. I like to think birthdays are like ‘National Let’s Show Tobi Love Day!’. Be real, who doesn’t love getting phone calls, birthday songs, heartfelt messages and cards, special birthday prayers and wishes, and just having the right to feel great, be excited, and wear a silly grin all day??

I’m totally excited about what God has for me in this new year of life. If the first 21 years are any indication…I’m in for a real treat! I thank Him for how He has worked in my life in the last 12 months and I’m looking forward to the next 12. Get ready.

My family has tons of birthdays in the month of August, so the celebrations of life will continue! This morning, my sister said that my birthday lasts until Sept 10, so…I’ll be finding ways to celebrate and rejoice for a few more weeks!

Stay tuned…until next time!

-Misfit.

Hearing His Voice.

Last night at church, it was Wave Wednesday. Wave Wednesday’s are special bible study nights that feature a guest teacher/preacher. This Wave Wednesday featured Michael R. Murphy, a pastor from Sydney, Australia who has been in ministry for over 30 years. Btw, my church’s (Wave Church) lead pastor and his family are Australian. The accents are AWESOME.

The topic of the lesson was “How Do We Hear God’s Voice?”

I was raised in the church, okay? For most of my Christian life BEFORE I decided to pursue a real relationship with Christ, I was told/taught that I should, and if I was close enough to God, would hear clearly, loudly, and boldly the deep, confident, comforting, and very audible voice of God. I expected and hoped to hear Him in a conversational volume: “Hey Tobi, you should go to [insert awesome place where God wants me]” or “Tobi, the college you should go to is [insert the best university ever].”

Well…I didn’t. And it felt like failure. Did I not ask the right questions of Him? Was my prayer ignored? What did I do wrong?

What I learned last night was the voice of God isn’t necessarily going to be a booming baritone in my ear. Pastor Mike gave some guidelines to help us listen correctly and hear from the Lord.

Using his hand, he presented these tips:

1. (Thumb) The infallible Word of God. When you are believing and listening for a breakthrough or message from God, you must first ask yourself…what has He already said about your situation? Is what you’re asking or hoping for in line with the Word of God? 1 Peter 1:25 “But the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word that was preached to you.” (NIV) God’s words and commandments have not and will not change. So again…when you’re waiting with an expectant heart, what does his word say? I’m sure we’re all guilty of just standing and waiting for the answer to just pop into our conscious thoughts. Well, friends, sometimes the answer can be found if you just turn a page…think of an open-book test.

2. (Index finger) The desires of your heart. We all know the keystone scripture, Psalm 37:4 ‘Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.’ My fabulous study bible [Tyndale Life Application Study Bible] breaks down that verse. “To delight/commit ourselves to the Lord means to trust in him, believing that he can care for us better than we can ourselves. We should be willing to wait patiently for him to work out what is best for us.

3. Counsel of those you trust. This is easy. When you are surrounded by godly counsel, it’s not a chore to ask them for advice grounded in faith, to request their intercession on a certain issue, or to seek some type of affirmation.

4. Circumstances. Sometimes God may bring a scripture to your remembrance that can speak to your specific circumstance. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the best notes on this topic, but if you’re a college student with no job, no way to pay for your next semester, and your next trip to the Cashier’s Office/Fin. Aid Office results in a “it’s been taken care of”…you’ll “hear” Him loud and clear.

5. The peace of God. When Pastor Michael reached this point, he said “Have you ever made a decision of faith and felt completely sure about it? Like you were perfectly at peace with your choice? That’s the all-encompassing peace of God. Now what about a decision you made and after you made that decision, you felt uneasy, you kept thinking about it, and you felt doubt start creeping in? That may not have been the route God intended for you to take.

I’m still learning how to listen for God’s direction, instead of using my knowledge to make what I call an “analyzed and informed decision”. It hasn’t been completely easy– it may never be– but it’s important to me that I try to make positive progress.

Whether it’s a “small, still voice” or “like many waters”…

I’m listening.

-Misfit.

 

What’s Your Love Language?

A few days ago, my sister told me to take a quiz to determine my love language.

The discussion of an individual having a “love language” and the corresponding quiz is based on a series of books written by Gary Chapman, a pastor, marriage counselor, and husband of almost 50 years.

The five possible results to the quiz are the following(love languages):1. Words of Affirmation, 2. Acts of Service, 3. Receiving Gifts, 4. Quality Time, 5. Physical Touch.

Well, I took the quiz(the ‘For Singles’ version). Let me just tell you all that based on this quiz, I am not the biggest fan of physical touch. You get a score in each of the 5 languages, and your highest one is obviously the most dominant.

I scored my highest (12) in the Quality Time language, followed by Words of Affirmation. That didn’t really surprise me.

Here’s the ‘quick-and-to-the-point’ explanation, abridged from the bestselling book, of the Quality Time language: In Quality Time, nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Whether itĘĽs spending uninterrupted time talking with someone else or doing activities together, you deepen your connection with others through sharing time.

In church today, one of the points that Pastor Adam made, in part 1 of a 2-part ‘Home Improvement’ series, was ‘maximizing the moments’. In a family, spending time together is extremely important. Many of the greatest moments in life don’t cost anything and are spent with the best people.

When I’m with my best friends or my siblings, we don’t need to be doing much of anything, going anywhere, or have any planned activities…just being together in one room, joking, laughing, cooking, eating, watching television, or just laying around and we have a good time.

Anywho…that’s one more thing to know about me. Quality Time is my love language.

What’s yours? http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

-Misfit.

Jesus Culture in Concert.

JC concert 2

"We won't be perfect, Lord...but we'll be yours."

“We won’t be perfect, Lord…but we’ll be yours.”

On May 19, I attended a Jesus Culture concert. It was the Charlotte, NC stop on the Still Believe tour with Kim Walker-Smith.

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know about my last Christian concert experience featuring HIllsong United. Can I just say that this concert may have been even better? Even with my excitement at how great it was, I hesitate ever-so-slightly at calling it a concert.

For all intensive purposes, it was a concert. I bought a ticket(premium/VIP, if I might add), had to present a physical ticket at the door, and I had a seat…but it was a great worship experience. I said it in my post about Hillsong; in venues such as coliseums and arenas where large groups of people come together to worship as one, I always imagine what Heaven will be like. Where people of different colors, of different walks of life, of different “sides of the track”, of various occupations and fields of study come together with abandon with one purpose: to praise the name of the Most High.

Their newest album drops tomorrow and I’m uber excited. If you don’t know much about them, check out the “Still Believe” album by Kim Walker-Smith and the brand new(tomorrow) album, Unstoppable Love. You won’t regret it.

Until next post…

-Misfit.