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Martha's Daily Writing

Success on the First Try

The diver stood on the high dive and looked down at the fifteen high school girls sitting on the bleachers. They were all staring at her, some of them shaking their heads in hopes of failure, others giving her a thumbs up in hopes of success.

She lifted her hands to the air, bounced slightly, took a deep breath, and jumped. Midway through the air, she shifted her head to the water and straightened her body, keeping her legs parallel to each other and her toes pointed upward.

When her body descended into the water, there was no pain. No belly flop. It was a perfect dive! She nailed a perfect dive from the high dive, the first girl in the class to succeed on the first try.

Some of the girls on the bleachers waved their hands in the air and cheered; others just stared in silence, dumbfounded. She took a deep breath and smiled, amazed at what she just did.

She swam to the edge of the pool and pulled herself up to the floor. As she stood up, she wondered…If I can do that, what else can I do?

Feeling invincible now, she decided that it was time to find out.

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Stars and Life

On the nights when I spend time looking at the sky, the stars look a little different than they did before. Some nights, there’s only one or two stars visible. Other nights, I can see big clusters of stars, each one of them varying in brightness, size, and age.

Most of the time, I don’t think about these differences. Only on the nights that they’re super noticeable do I acknowledge them and feel wonder.

Now, as I think about the differences that I’ve seen, I wonder…Is this the passing of time? Is every second different than the one before? Is every day different than the one before? Do we only think about these differences when we take the time to look back and/or anticipate the future?

Time moves fast, but we don’t notice it when we’re standing still. Everything just looks…the same. Every day feels the same. Same routine, same places, same faces. So it’s easy to assume that our feelings about life will never change. It’s easy to assume that the future will be no different than the present.

I don’t know about everyone else’s views. But I have found that on the nights when the stars look different, so too does my perspective on life.

What Others See in Our Eyes

 

When we look into another’s eyes, we might admire the color. We might notice and become curious about their expressions.

Some eyes are dark and vacant. Some eyes are vibrant, full of life and expression. They’re all different. They all tell emotion, changing from time to time when our moods and circumstances change.

We’ve all seen sad eyes and happy eyes. We’ve seen wide eyes–the eyes of shock. We’ve seen squinted eyes–the eyes of focus and determination. We’ve seen tightly-shut eyes–the eyes of irritation, grief, or pain.

We don’t know the stories behind these eyes, but we do know the stories behind our own. It’s only when we look in the mirror that we notice our own eyes. We can control how they look and judge them for ourselves. But in the eyes of others, the eyes of people looking into our own, they might have good enough vision to notice the honesty that our eyes reveal.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/eyes/

Whom Was I With?

There you go with your head hanging low.

You’re walking through love alone.

Just two seconds ago, he let go of your hand

after walking you through a dim romance.

 

I could tell from your glass eyes,

And your half-smile hiding miserable demise.

The smoke oozed through your lips,

and you knew you took too many hits.

 

Now, as you walk half-awake,

you wonder how you didn’t break.

Your fog blinded you from what you missed.

And now, you ask yourself, “Whom was I with?”

 

The Surface Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

In my journalism classes, my professors have emphasized the importance of not taking everything at face value. In this piece, I talk about how social media skews our perceptions on the qualities of others’ lives.

 

Think about all of the recent Facebook statuses and Instagram photos your friends have posted. Their statuses might be about their great relationships, new houses, or awesome jobs. They might have photos of themselves glowing from the “perfection” of these aspects.

But what’s beneath the surface? What is all of this “perfection” hiding?

Having personally experienced much envy from others’ Facebook statuses and Instagram photos, I’ve been wondering… How do I know that all of this is the truth? How do I know that everyone’s “really” happy?

Photos show what people want them to show. People share stories and omit the negative parts (the stress, arguments, failures that they had to face before they could find success). It’s SO EASY to assume that what we see is what really “is”…because we see it so much. AND it’s what we want to see because it gives us hope and inspiration.

But what do we do on social media? Are we always honest? Do our photos and status updates share the whole truth to our victories and celebrations? Or is there something deeper (something not-so-happy) under the surface?

To figure out what’s under the surface of our own stories, we need to think about what we say to our friends and what thoughts keep us up at night. These truths tell us what really goes on in our hearts and minds. What’s under the surface of our stories can be similar to that of others.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/surface/

I Hope You Were Joking

Text conversation between best friends Brooke and Sam:

Brooke: Hey, Sam! Do you want to go to the beach today?

Sam: Sorry, girl. I’d love to, but I’m at a family reunion. We’re 3 hours away. 😦

Brooke: Aw, man! I haven’t seen you in weeks! Summer’s almost over. 😦

Sam: I know! I wish I could leave.

*Several seconds later*

Sam: …You know, I could just ask my sister if she’ll let me take her car. I’ll pay gas money.

Brooke: Really?! Do you think she’d let you do that? She’d have to go home with your parents then.

Sam: Oh, yeah. She probably wouldn’t be cool with that.

Brooke: Doesn’t she owe you a favor, though? You DID convince Ray to ask her out.

Sam: You’re right. But still. This would be asking a HUGE favor.

Brooke: Yeah, but it’s worth a try.

Sam: Okay. I’ll text you back after I ask her.

Phone call between Sam and her sister Jess:

Sam: *Calls Jess and eagerly waits for her to answer*

Jess: Ugh. What do you want, freak?

Sam: Uh…I was wondering…

Jess: What?

Sam: Could I borrow your car?

Jess: *Serious voice* To go where?

Sam: To go home?

Jess: WHAT?! *Laughs loudly* You’re joking, right?

Sam: No. I just want to hang out with Brooke.

Jess: So I’m assuming you want me to go home with Mom and Dad?

Sam: I know it sucks! I’m sorry! But just this one time! Please?!

Jess: No!

Sam: Come on! I got Ray to ask you out. You owe me.

Jess: I’ll do you a favor sometime, but I’m not letting you take my car. *hangs up phone*

 

A few seconds later, Jess texts Sam.

Jess: I really hope you were joking.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/joke/

 

Featured post

Journey to Inspiration

Spontaneous walks, sporadic thoughts. Steady pace, racing mind.

Body and mind both wander. They’re not in sync with each other.

And that’s okay. Walks lead to new sites. New sites lead to new thoughts, which lead to new words, new stories.

This is the journey to inspiration.

Hope and Effort

I believe in the power of hope and effort.

I believe that the two go together. When there is hope, there is motivation to put effort into goals. When there is effort, hopes become realities.

I believe that effort is effective in times of difficulty. This requires hope in effort.

In school, I had a lot of difficulty learning. Time and time again, I redid assignments. My parents and teachers saw this as a problem because it was a waste of time and stressing me out. Although they were right, I didn’t mind taking a lot of extra time to complete everything. In the end, they resulted in good grades. So my effort gave me hope. My hope inspired effort.

In high school, I hoped to become a music journalist. Every month, I wrote a new album review or a school-related feature piece. By setting deadlines for myself and spending time after school to meet them, I became a better writer, more excited to branch out to different topics and styles. Instead of my hope to become a music journalist, I hoped to just keep writing and get pieces published. I hoped to eventually turn it into a career.

The effort in writing and hope to get pieces published inspired greater hope and effort in college. The hope and effort showed love, passion…the feeling that I couldn’t live without it. So my hope changed. Instead of hoping to pursue writing as a career, I hoped to inspire people.

After college, I went through depression. Writing became harder. Effort became more strenuous. Hope dimmed. But the past writing existed, affecting my emotions. By slowly writing about my emotions, I felt more sanity. That sanity led to hope, which led to effort. And once again, the effort helped me succeed. Over time, I gained the courage to spend money for the publication of my first book.

After getting my book published, I received positive feedback. People could relate to it. Some people were inspired by it. That made me feel better than writing for my own sanity. I was helping others find hope, peace, effort.

Now, my hope is to save lives through writing.

JCLU Forever

A few years ago, I came across an online Christian store called JCLU Forever. As I looked through the website, it was really nice to see so many shirts expressing faith and praise. Some of the shirts had words like “Blessed”, “Forgiven”, and “Saved” on the front. Others said phrases like “The struggle is real, but so is God”, “Love ’em. Don’t judge ’em”, and “Keep it holy”. My favorite shirts were the ones with full Bible verses on the front.

For college graduation, my brother bought me a T-shirt with 1 Timothy 4:12. For my 24th birthday, my mom bought me a woman’s V-neck with Proverbs 31:25. Recently, I bought myself a T-shirt that had Philippians 4:13 in calligraphy.

Every time I wear one of these shirts, I am expressing praise and faith through scripture. I am reminding myself and others of the power and love from the God Most High.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/praise

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