My revelation.

What felt like a million attempts led to this blog post. This raw-honest post. 

There’s so much that can be spoken about, but today we will only speak on this: The reality of what comes with expectancy. As someone who everyone expected to be far in life is truly at square one. I’ve dropped out of college, I’m living with mom again working a part time job and gave up on an opportunity that had so much in store for me. Now, not saying this is a terrible position to be in, it’s just not the position I ever saw myself to be in. I am going to share the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my whole 19 years of life. The lesson that came with certainty. 

Right out of highschool, I was ready to begin my journey. I had everything planned. I was on my way to getting my Masters in communications, I was going to make so many friends, United Outkast was on its way to reaching the masses and I was on my way to becoming a millionaire before 21. There was nothing stopping me until the unexpected happened. Unfortunately, I had come across an experience that would change the entire trajectory of my direction, leading me the complete opposite way of my path. Slowly but surely, I began to spiral until I fell smack dab in the middle of rock bottom. It has been a year since I’ve been confident in who I was. A year since I was passionate about my purpose. The question now is, how can I get back to that, or maybe, is there something even better in store? 

As someone who has always done the saving, I can admit that I needed to be saved. I’ve run out of fuel. I guess this is the notorious part of adulthood that everyone has warned me about. I’ve spent a portion of this year questioning my sanity, another portion asking the how’s and the why’s, I spent time blaming my circumstances, but here today I am left with no other choice but to learn from the outcomes and deal with the unexpected. It is safe to say that I never had it all together, and the truth is I spent so much time convincing myself that I did, even when the ground was crumbling beneath me. I no longer am chasing the person that I was, but getting to know the person that I am now. I’ve grieved the girl who was oblivious to hard truths about life, and am working on the girl who deep down knows can overcome more than she might want to. I’ve seen parts of myself that I never wanted to see, but now I know I needed to. The parts that have kept me from being me unapologetically. I now can come to terms with the fact that I am a people pleaser, a perfectionist, a workaholic, someone who struggles with codependency, and above all of that, a girl who has years of healing buried beneath the heels of a runner.

I spent this entire year shaming myself for making the choices that led me here, but I failed to look at the beauty of this all, the beauty of learning from living. What seemed to be a disaster turned out to be my greatest revelation. I’m nowhere close to where I want to be, but I sure am further than I was, and for the first time I am truly learning to rejoice in my progress. The old me wouldn’t consider a celebration without physical results, but I only have the capacity today to honor emotional growth. Which is much more valuable than the praise I was used to getting. I used to balance plates on my finger tips, making sure that my righteous performance was enough. Today I am learning to carry one plate at a time in the palm of my hand, internalizing the fact that righteousness has to start in my heart, and knowing that is enough. I’ve allowed my pride and expectancy to hurt the ones closest to me, trying to prove a point that didn’t exist. I spent so much time attempting to force the future into my present, which only pushed it further and further away. I always saw myself as one thing and one thing only, and that was right. But thank God for truth and reflection. Nowadays, I find myself accepting my mistakes, inviting in my flaws with hopes that one day, they will be cared for and tended to as they were always meant to be. I no longer strive for perfection, but for whole-hearted happiness. Which, believe it or not, is new to me.  

So for someone who may be a leaf in the wind with no control, my advice to you is to let go and find peace without a grip. There’s no need to stress  about what didn’t work out or what should have been because honestly, change is the one thing we can’t run from. From someone who spent an entire year complaining about her circumstances, save yourself the hurt and just be. Because what may seem like a disaster could be the gifts given to you by life. How are you going to treat them? How are you going to use them? Where are you going to take them? It all comes down to a change in perspective and a heart of grace. I understand the frustration that can come with complacency, but don’t turn your face to the virtues that lie in stillness. We are called to love, but love can be replaced quickly with stone cold emotions when we step out of the now. Dysfunction is present when we place our consciousness out of reality, so I pray that you and I can be here in this moment together. We can’t afford to skip a beat, because time doesn’t wait on us. 

With love, Riss.

I am an Outkast.

“Out” is to be far. “Cast” is to be the focus. Why is the stigma of being the focus for being far from conformity so degrading? Why is the Outkast labeled as weird, and not unique? Why do Outkasts watch the pack, instead of leading it? Why are Outkasts shunned by society and not encouraged to be a part of it? Over all this time, Outkasts were known to be the black sheep, but have evolved to be the solution to humanity. It is time to give credit where credit is due. 

It isn’t a secret that we hide our identity to the public. It isn’t a secret that leaps of faith are stopped by fear. It is easy to swim the same direction of the tide, but with the proper training and discipline, it is possible to swim against it. 

Trust is earned, not given, but for some odd reason, we trust the masses to direct our tide. Society has a way of distracting us from what we were designed to express. It is a game of fetch. Society will throw the trend out while we go chase it. Once the excitement is over, we bring it back so that something new can be thrown out again. But what would happen if for some miraculous reason, we stopped chasing the ball? How would society react if we stopped entertaining the only game that they have played with us, and what does that mean for the players who have now taken off the collar of control and are standing in the flesh of freedom?

You see, we were never meant to live within the borders of expectations. Free will was a bitter-sweet gift from the heavens. No one on this earth has the power to limit your own potential. But unfortunately, being a renown human being with no moral foundation leads to toxic tactics and manipulation. The world has convinced us to walk the path of internal conflict, while God provided us with the route to unconditional love.  

There is power behind being the black sheep amongst what is familiar. Outkasts are the beauty marks that lie effortlessly on the face of the earth. Outkasts carry what the majority don’t, and that is humility. In the mind of an Outkast, it is obvious as to why they don’t fit in; and that is the lack of understanding. How can a seasoned spirit connect with one whose spirit was stolen? Yet, they continue on throughout life canceling out the noise of distractions to pursue patience for when their time is to come. Many Outkasts die at a young age, in order for a worldly being to be born. There is not one person to blame for this occurrence other than the pattern of generational curses. If not now, then when? When are we going to fight for what was ours since the beginning of time, that being our identity? When are we going to put an end to conformity and rise as uniquely designed individuals? When are we going to stop hating the fact that we are not like them, and loving that we are like no one else? When Outkasts unite, magic happens. An atmosphere of pure happiness, genuine engagement, and unimaginable creation. A multitude of passionate and authentic minds is the answer to many battles we face today. If we as individuals put down our own qualities, how can one allow encouragement to flow to those within their space? Opening up the floor to the voices that have been silenced can ignite inspiration and new ideas to a mentally blocked audience. 

Close your eyes and imagine: Imagine a life where you can empower others using your gifts that you’ve been suppressing. Imagine what it would feel like to be loved and accepted for the person that you were created to be. Imagine a life where you’ve grown to love yourself so much, no one can steer you away from your own identity. It is possible, but you have to make the choice to unlearn in order to relearn. Your past has a sneaky way of keeping you from excelling. Do not let it. Step over your demons, push shame to the side, look insecurity in the face, and demand that it has no room in your life anymore. The future is meant to be exciting, a thrill of adrenaline is meant to be felt at the thought of it. The future is literally in your hands. What are you going to do with that information? It is finally your time. Don’t park at a red light. Don’t hesitate when it turns green. Put your vehicle in sport mode and drive your dreams into the heavens.

Societal Instruction.

We attend elementary school, then high school, eventually leading up to college. We choose a major to spend a great amount of money to learn. We graduate, settle in our career. Get married, have a family, and the rest is history. Isn’t it crazy how a single person can lay out the blueprint of life, and the majority of people can look at it say, “yeah that sounds about right.”

Here’s the thing. If you keep living your life following the “rules” of society, you have given up on a journey that was uniquely designed for you, and have chosen to follow a path that was designed for those who can’t break out of a conditioned mentality. Since the day you were born, you have been influenced to think and feel a certain way. Your first influencers being your parents, then your teachers, finally leading to our government. Over time, after being so accustomed to listening to others before ourselves, we take in the information we have been fed and believe it. No questions asked. Then towards the end of our lives, we will look back and ask ourselves, “Am I content with the legacy I have left behind?” I don’t know about you, but if I lived my life based on societal standards, the answer would be no.

As a young teenager, I would consider myself quite the Outkast. For those who knew me probably wouldn’t agree. Yes, I got along with many people and was considered to be someone who people knew of, but I, myself was not comfortable nor happy with who I was because I knew I was different. I was very indecisive and my emotions fluctuated more than they should have. Looking back, it all centralized around me trying to fit in with what was expected from the people around me. I wanted to like what others liked, do what others did, and feel the way others felt. This is something that everyone has to go through, the whole phase of trying of “fit in.” Now, as you get older you have one of two choices: continue to strive for the approval of society, eventually losing your originality along the way and become apart of the world, OR break the cycle and allow your differences to flourish and to become obsessed with the journey that was meant to satisfy your soul.

It is OKAY to be different. It is okay not to believe in the same religion your parents believe in. It is okay to not want to dress the way the other girls/boys are dressing. It is okay to not want to eat the same way you have been fed your whole life. It is okay not to be interested in what your friends are interested in. It is okay to be attracted to the same gender, different race, and different skin tone. But it is not okay to allow others to tell you how to live your life. Nor is it okay to put down someone for living a life they are genuinely happy with. There is always going to be someone who will have an opinion on the way you live your life, and nine times out of ten, they are intimidated by the fact that you have broken a conditioned mentality that they have yet to conquer. It isn’t an over-night transition. During the process of breaking free from society, it will feel like a battle between You against the World. You will experience discouragement, hateful remarks, you will lose people along the way, and it will seem easier to just throw the towel in and allow the world to win. But to those who fight a good fight, God promises freedom in the end. Nothing in life comes easy, keep that in mind when you are ready to start releasing all that the world has put on you.

During the time I began to pursue a relationship with God, I was afraid. I was afraid of what my future was going to look like, I was afraid of what people were going to say about me, I was ultimately afraid of what type of change I was going to experience. When I started to open up about my faith, people looked at me different. Some good, some bad. I had a few comments made such as “How can you say you believe in God if you do that,” or “I’m happy for you, but that just isn’t something I want to be apart of,” or my favorite one, “Come on, it’s not like you haven’t done it before. God will forgive you.” The way people viewed me started to generate the way I chose to live my life. I set standards so high for myself, that if I didn’t reach perfection, I was unsatisfied. And I assume you can make out what that had done to me.

Fast forward til now, this is what I have learned. If I had a squeaky clean record in life, I would be a god who believed in God. But I am not God. I am a human, covered in flaws, who believes in God. We were created to sin, it is HUMAN NATURE. Who am I, or anyone else to judge someone and what they believe in based off on my own perception of what I feel is right? Another thing, I am not entitled to perform for the world, nor impress those who expect me to be who they want me to be. It is impossible to satisfy every human that enters your life, that is why it is so important to be satisfied within yourself because in the end, that is all that matters. Lastly, my biggest moment of awakening was realizing how powerful it was to mute society’s voice, and blast God’s voice. His direction is freeing, and I know that because I can testify for it.

To this day, people will not agree with the way I live as a christian. No, I do not live a sin free life. No, I do not bash non-believers. No, I do not judge others for not practicing moral behavior. Why not? BECAUSE THAT IS NOT WHAT A CHRISTIAN DOES. That, my friend, is what you would describe as a christian created by society. Wake up and take the initiative to educate yourself and tap into your higher power, whatever that may look like to you. It is time to override the system that has been placed upon us. How does it make sense to you that a single blueprint in life is made to sit right with every human on this earth? Exactly. It doesn’t.

Start today. Go out and wear the outfit you have been dying to wear in public. Quit the job you dread going to and start working towards the career you’ve always wanted to pursue. Go make friends with the person that everyone told you was weird. Withdraw yourself from the crowd that makes you feel unseen.

There are legends who have walked this earth and will never be forgotten. Those people were the ones who swam upstream, disregarded others’ opinions, listened to what their heart wanted and made it out alive. How do you have room to take a leap of faith if you are suffocated by societal instruction? Just know, the greatest experiences are found in the unknown.

Hold On Tight.

Hey, Alice. I suppose you have encountered an injury and ended up in an unfamiliar place. Although you hoped it to be Wonderland, it is not. It is your land. I am here to present to you your choices. In your land, we offer something called the Great Escape. It helps you cope with your new reality. I figured you may be numb from your fall, so we have all the resources to maintain your state of being. Others see it as temptation, but we see it as treatment. Down here we rely on quick fixes. There is also another option, but it is up to you to take it upon yourself to make the trip. It is a road of unpredictability and commitment, but the few who have made it out have never hit the bottom again. The choice is yours.

Resources such as drugs, self harm, alcohol, rage, and carelessness. The road being the path towards healing. Listen, emotions have powerful capabilities that can send anyone off the deep end if not taken proper care of. Depression can send you to a place of helplessness, as if no one will ever understand nor know how to aid your sorrow. This place is blurry, lonesome, and honestly pretty terrifying. I think it is safe to say that we have all experienced a time in our lives where it genuinely felt like nothing worth living for will ever be present again, or it may just have been me. Who knows?

I am not a licensed therapist nor a clinical psychologist, but I do know a thing or two about feeling under the weather, how to prepare for when the storm hits, and how to recover after all is said and done. Don’t get me wrong, there is no true solution to make every day a good day; there isn’t a special armor to shield you from what all the world throws at you either. It’s called life, and there’s always ways to make troubling times just a bit easier.

There will be signs that will signal that your plane is crashing. For instance, all of a sudden you fall into a state of anger or sadness with no reasoning behind it. Mood swings start to become part of your daily routine. You will slowly start to detach from things you have interest in. You may start to experience an identity crisis due to the lack of control over your emotions. And lastly, you will become curious into finding a way out, or in other words, participating in activities that are out of your character. Now you may be experiencing all of these, or maybe even one. The point is, it is important to be in tune with yourself in order to recognize what is happening to your emotional and mental health. If you can pick up on these changes and admit that something may be going south, you can prepare for what is to come next.

This is not a topic to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, there are times where you will lose your battle over your emotions and it will become a season that you will have to go through, so hold on tight. I remember times where it almost felt impossible to overcome what I have been through, but it was vital to remind myself that it was only temporary. Manifesting your happiness will slowly become a habit, if you let it. The more positivity you feed your spirit, the quicker it’ll begin to revive. Your spirit is what is in control, so if that is not protected and is open to interference, everything else such as your mind, heart and body will experience downfalls. During this time of uncertainty, try your best to take care of your basic needs, even if you do not want to.Try to make sure that you are eating, try and get a good amount of sleep, attempt to socialize and allow good energy back into your life. It is really important to be around people who are willing to carry you through this process, and to not let others keep you in your funk. At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own choices and life changes. Be strong, and always strive to participate in what represents self love.

Finally, when you find that speck of light shining through the darkness you are surrounded by, chase it full speed. The closer you get to it, the more you’re going to want it. Everybody speaks on physical recoveries, but emotional ones are just as important and deserve to be celebrated. The majority of the time, coming back on top after a hard fall puts you further than you have ever been before. You have experienced what both sides of life are like, and it becomes a mental goal to not to want to ever experience such negativity. Recovery leaves you with knowledge on how to catch yourself from falling too far off, and you are now able to relate to others who have been in your position. You become an asset to the world because not only are you clothed with strength and awareness, but you are able to help the next person who may fall into your shoes.

Any sort of set back can be scary because it isn’t something we are used to. As humans, it is an instinct to adapt. With that being said, it is natural to try and become familiar and comfortable in a place where your spirit is weak and your emotions become your enemy. This is where faith and perseverance kick in. Become renewed and let a brighter future become your motive to recovery. Life is not forever, but self improvement and self love can change the quality of living for a lifetime.

Remember Your Roots.

It is such a rewarding feeling to be at a place in your life when everything seems right. Your goals are starting to launch, money is being made, you are starting to become noticed, and people are actually recognizing who you are. But with all that comes challenges. It is common to want to change as a person in order to align with the position you are in. It is common to experience a change in your crowd and to lose people who don’t really care to see you excel, and it is especially common to question whether or not you should continue pushing forward.

United Outkast was just a thought in my mind a little over a year ago. During that time, I knew I had good intentions and was heading down a path of influencing and spreading truth, but I didn’t feel confident. I was still living recklessly and did not feel worthy enough to speak on things being the person that I presented myself to be. After sharing my ideas and thoughts amongst a group of people, a mentor of mine named Katy Lanier reminded me who I was in Christ and encouraged me every step of the way to overcome my fears and to push through any type of struggles that were holding me back. If it wasn’t for her consistency and believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself, United Outkast would’ve been a thought brushed off of my shoulder. A year later, her being miles and miles away, we still keep in touch and she continues to be as supportive as she was from the beginning. Success isn’t always a one man road, it can take people like Katy to help get you to where you are. Always give recognition to those who were there from the start and allow them access into your “new” life that they helped you achieve.

Just as important it is to recognize those who you’d consider to be on your team, it is important to identify the opposing party as well. What is your intention with where you are going, and what type of energy do you need around you in order to progress in your journey? For instance, United Outkast’s “rule of thumb” is to generate positivity and hope, so we can reach those who are seeking. With that being said, I want to bring people who are passionate about helping others and who are willing to be vulnerable and are accepting within themselves and to other personalities. Invite people along who share the same drive as you. No, I don’t mean similarities as in personal characteristics. I mean similarities as in striving for the same goal and sharing a similar passion. Bad apples are for a whole other post which I won’t get into now, but having someone around you who is trying to be on top instead of beside can really take a huge turn for the worst. As spoken before, we always want to see the good in people, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always turn out that way. When you decide to become invested in something greater than you, whatever that is becomes a priority. And just like all other priorities in your life, sacrifices come with it at well. It is vital to make big decisions that will benefit your mission, and not just yourself. Your initial intention with where you are going should always stay grounded. I want to enhance the lives around me, even if that means starting off with just one. As soon as I start letting other factors get in my head, like money or fame, I have already messed up and the originality of what my goal is.

A journey towards success isn’t easy, it never will be. But if it is embedded in your heart to achieve something, it will be worth it. The further you progress the more you will be exposed to. Not only the good, but the bad as well. Judgement is a common reaction amongst people when someone is doing something different. When people express judgement, it is easy to question yourself and where you are trying to go. You begin to ask yourself, “Am I the person who should be doing this? Is it time to call it quits and just go back to where I was comfortable being? Am I changing for the worst?” Do not be fooled. Negativity is so powerful and will prey on the weak whenever the chance is given, but you have to be strong and stay grounded to your roots. Remind yourself constantly why you are doing what you are doing and who are you doing it for. Don’t become entangled in what the world is most known for, and that is turning people into what they want them to be. You have to be smart and understand the concept of facing adversity. Potential is a seed that is planted in every human being, and the ones who make it to the top are the ones who stayed focused and put in the extra hours instead of taking the easy way out.

Dreams are a beautiful, self-generated aspect in life. They should never die and should always continue to renew. Dreams are also unique and shouldn’t be placed in the hands of others who have the power to take them away or morph them into something that they are not. Originality is what moves you in the right direction because it is personal. It represents who you are and what you are all about. Stay focused on that, and everything else will fall in place. Staying grounded to your roots is a given when you first start, but then becomes more of a challenge the further you go in life. Always remember that in order for something to sprout, the roots have to stay alive.

As a Girl.

Why is it that generally all children are treated the same, but as time goes on, gender starts to cause division?

Kids are free to dress as they want, they are protected equally, and they see no difference in one another… unless they’re taught to see otherwise.

As a girl living in 2020, it isn’t easy to be free as we were born to do so. For some odd reason, there’s this idea that women are less than men, we are seen as objects rather than people, and sadly, we are treated as if our voices and presence don’t matter.

Women are emotional. We tend to overthink almost everything possible. From what we are going to wear out to eat, to making sure we are saying and doing the right thing. We are sensitive. Our feelings get hurt, whether we want to admit it or not. We not only feel our own emotions, but for others too. We get attached, or it is typically in our nature to do so. Attached to our friends, our homes, our loved ones and our lovers, and for lack of better words, it isn’t a stroll in the park to just walk away. Last but not least, we are vulnerable. We naturally crave security and attention and once it comes around, even just the slightest bit, our hopes are up and our hearts open. We like to give the benefit of the doubt in every situation, hoping that others have the best intentions. But unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out in our favor.

Women have periods. We hit a time in our lives where everything begins to change. Our bodies grow in different shapes and sizes. Every month we experience a different side of who we are and nine times out of ten, it isn’t a side we enjoy. We cry, we yell, we are angry one minute, then okay the next. We crave food even though our tummies hurt. To sum it up, it is a roller coaster of everything in one. We didn’t ask for it and we cant get rid of it, so we just have to live with it. Also, once we have hit that stage, we then can carry babies. For the sake of our future, we are trained to automatically resort to birth control. I myself can not speak on its side effects, but I have only heard negative things and how much of a toll it takes on women. But we do it to be safe, not because we want to.

Women protect themselves as much as we can. It isn’t safe to be alone at night, not even if we are taking a trip to our cars. We have to limit our skin exposure when we go out, so we don’t attract danger. It is recommended for women to always carry pepper spray. Trust begins to decline the older we get. It’s difficult to trust others to respect our boundaries, it’s difficult to trust that men are interested in us as human beings and not just for sexual purposes. A lot of women, including myself, lack the physical capabilities to defend ourselves, so it is a conscious reminder to always be prepared just incase altercations start to escalate. And sadly, the list goes on.

With all of that being said, what I am trying to address is that women are not weak, and it is vital for people to understand that. We are constantly fighting battles within ourselves while trying to rise above the stigma that has been placed upon us in society. It isn’t okay to treat women as if their feelings don’t matter. If we say no, it means no. If we say we are uncomfortable, it means back down. We have been given a voice, and all voices deserve to be heard and feelings deserve to be validated. This not only applies to men, but to other girls as well. We are a team, we can relate to each others struggles. Don’t let the girl behind you fall if you know that you have the capability to lift her back up. Don’t judge a girl for being in the position she’s in or for going through a troubling season. It all goes back to the principle of helping one another and being there for someone when life gets rough, because we all know to live a perfect life is impossible.

Women are beautiful and are full of power and potential. Each of us deserve to live in a world where we can express ourselves truly and freely, without being afraid to do so or belittled when we have. We are more than objects, we are more than a pretty face and we are more than just “care-givers”. We are human beings with dreams and goals. Blood runs through our veins just like the next man. Don’t be the one to change a girls life for the worst, or put her in a position where she is in fear. Take care of her, encourage her, and defend her. Speak life into her and help her through any insecurities she may be facing. Lastly, always take into consideration that you do not know the life behind a woman. Many girls have had traumatic experiences. According to RAINN.org, one in every six women have been raped or someone has attempted to inflict it upon them. It isn’t easy to be a girl in this world. Help our fears vanish and vocalize the importance of taking care of one another.

DISCLAIMER: This post is not about putting a bad reputation on men, it is simply to bring awareness to what us as women go through and how to help us be who we were born to be.

Corrupted.

Why Me? Why now? Why us…

Masks, masks everywhere. Why are there so many people of color dying? Our brothers and sisters in Yemen are starving. How does the whole world hate our president? Oh, how I miss my freedom. Since when is money more important than people’s lives?

Just a handful of thoughts that were gathered in 2020. A year of what was thought to be for growth and prosperity is now chaos and fear. Who would’ve thought so much can happen in such little time. It is mind boggling to witness the way of the world and personally experience how we react to all that is going on. For some of us it is anger. Anger towards our government, towards our peers, even anger towards simply being in the position we are in. For others, it is fear and sadness. Who knows what tomorrow will look like? Whose life will be taken or what type of bad news will be publicized? Or if you are like me, confused and emotionally distanced. I cannot even comprehend and feel for everything going on given the rate of toxic publicity.

This post could have been about targeting politics and taking a stance on who is right and what should be done, but honestly, opinions are overrated. In my heart, I feel it is important to deliver experienced advice and help navigate those who feel lost in an unrecognizable world.

So, here it goes.

Take yourself out of your shoes for just a moment. Put yourself on a cloud and look down to our world. What do you see? Some may say riots and protest. Others may say kids locked away from their families. There is also a load of patients suffering from a global pandemic… plus more. But go ahead, choose your fighter.

Here’s the thing. There isn’t just one big issue going on, there is multiple. So much to the point I feel it is difficult to really know or stay centered on making a difference when you want to fix it all. It is such a vital part of life to know when to throw the towel in. How healthy do you think it is feeding your mind of all that is going on, working yourself up over something you have no control over?

Don’t get me wrong, educating yourself is important. But what resources are you using to do so? There’s a difference between interacting with factual articles and scrolling through hateful posts on Twitter. The more focused you are on being involved versus being aware, the harder it will be for you to react accordingly. If peace and justice is what we are fighting for, then why does tension seem to escalate? If lower cases of COVID-19 is the goal, why are they skyrocketing? If we want our president to change, why aren’t we giving him the chance? And the list continues…

Society is so fast paced, always ready to make the next move, but right now is not the time for that mentality. Making decisions based off of your emotions is easy, but giving yourself time to feel and think realistically is effective. I think it is fair to say that life is precious and is out of our control. Don’t waste these moments feeling afraid of the future, or stress over what is already set in place. To be brave is to be courageous, ready to endure anything thrown in your path, but choose your battles wisely. If you are fighting all that comes your way, you might not have enough in you to tackle the one that really counts.

This is a test from the man up above. Who is willing to put their pride aside to love every sinner who bleeds just like you and I? How much can we take as humans before we break? If death is our fate, who are we going to be in order to enhance the world we are living in? Am I making a difference for the greater good, or am doing it to make a point?

Make your moves wisely and with love. Why add fuel to the fire when it has already burst into flames?

I have had many conversations with people who have very different views and focus points. And as a human, I have mine. But I do not hate people nor shame them for how they are grasping this new reality. In fact, I have respect for those who are vulnerable enough to share and communicate on a civil level over speaking out of ignorance. Truth be told, I have kept as cool as possible these past few months, SURPRISINGLY. Having faith in the future and remaining calm speaks volumes. Thanking God and praying for a greater outcome releases worry because in the end, I alone cannot put a stop to any of this, but I can shield this journey of unpredictability with strength and humility.

Thank you for taking this time to read. Stay safe and keep your head up! – Love, Riss<3

COVID-19 Taught Me.

I thought eight hours of school was prison, until the stay at home order was issued. Never have I thought in a million years we would be living through something like this, but here we are, and there is nothing we can do about it. Or is there?

It has been a while since I have woken up to an empty schedule. No school, no work, no church. No community.

I expected to feel a lot different. I thought that I’d have a hard time not being the person that I am used to being. A student, a friend, a coach, a mentor, a leader. But surprisingly, I am doing really well. At first, I contemplated if I was a bad person to feel this way.

“Do I feel good because I’m not needed? Am I really this lazy? Am I going to have the same drive and love for people when all of this is over?”

I’ve came to the conclusion that I was lacking self-care. I never had time to have a full 8 hours of sleep. I didn’t have time to paint or draw. I didn’t make time to walk my dogs or go on picnics with my family. I didn’t make time to incorporate what I always knew I needed, and that was time for myself.

Obviously there is nothing we can do about the outbreak, but there is so much we can do for ourselves. This isn’t a time for panic, but a time for breakthrough. How cool is it that even during troubling times, God still allows for opportunity? There are no more excuses. Take this time to discover who you are again without so many influences in your face. No one is around to judge you, or comment on your opinions. The public is closed, but your doors are open. If there is one thing that I can take from this experience is that life shouldn’t be made up of pressure and speed, but comfortability and pace.

Maybe we can go back to normalcy with a different outlook, a new balance. We can be better, not for others but for ourselves, which in the end is better for everyone. We can appreciate our teachers for the sacrifices they make for our well-being, and the essential workers who sacrifice their lives to make sure we are equipped, and finally our families for sticking together despite how hard it may be.

To those who are struggling during this time, pray. Talk to God about your feelings, and reach out to those you trust. Thanks to technology, we aren’t completely without. From the bottom of my heart, I hope that you can make it through this and that your strength overpowers your doubts. Remember that there are brighter days to come, focus solely on that.

-Love, Riss<3

Detached.

It has been exactly 24 days since my last blog post. Too long for someone who has made a publicized commitment to stay connected with her community. I am here to explain the answer to a question that keeps me up at night. That question is, “Am I good enough to be an influencer, and am I ready to give up the life that tempts me to fall short?”

During this long overdue break, I have learned a lot about myself and about society. Due to certain circumstances and the discouragement I allowed to overfill my mind, I lost sight of how God viewed me and began to listen to the stereotypes of how the world viewed me. I lost my strength for a moment fighting for things that are out of my control, I lost hope in a family I prayed so hard for, and finally, I lost myself during this time of tension and confusion.

There are so many things that I have lost. But today, I am here to tell you that what is lost can absolutely most definitely be found. Yes, I am a follower of Christ. Yes, I serve in my church. Yes, I am family oriented. And yes, I choose to be a mentor to kids I come in contact with. By doing so, I now am held with higher expectations to do right and fight a good fight. This month has been a whirlwind, but once again, God has made a way. I was one to look at the mess I’ve made and leave it as it was. Dwelling over the spills and clutter I’ve created. Now, it is time for me to start cleaning it up.

I am not who I used to be. The old Marissa would have already deleted United Outkast as if it never existed, hoping that people would forget about it and I would continue living my life selfishly. But that is not who I am today and refuse to ever look back permanently, despite how hard it may be. When I started to realize the impact this blog had on people, it felt so good to know that I was capable of doing so. It motivated me. But what I failed to realize was how much more noticeable my actions were going to be to the public eye. Judgement was on the rise, faster than I was able to prepare myself for. When people began to point out my flaws and mistakes, I allowed myself to question my worth. Then “coincidentally,” all that affected me in the past, showed up to my doorstep with full force. As a human being, life tackled me and I allowed it.

I detached myself from this blog, from healthy friendships, healthy coping mechanisms and from all that I had to keep me held stable. But like I said before, God makes a way. A few days ago, I had the honor to be part of a conversation with someone who has been struggling intensely with a situation almost identical to one I’ve been through before. The temptation to fall short was eating this person alive and she was comfortable and vulnerable to speak her mind to me. In this moment, I knew that this journey was not over. At the end of our conversation we made a pact to each other to stand back up, resist what the devil is putting in front of us and come back stronger than we have ever been before.

So to answer the question. Yes, I am enough to be who I want to be; and that is an influencer. Am I ready to give up temptation to fulfill the life that is needed ? That answer is not a yes or no. It isn’t about being ready. I don’t think anyone is ever ready to turn their face to what feels good, even if it is not beneficial. But I can tell you that my intentions are beyond my actions. I am young, with a lot of life to live. But with time, I will make a choice to continuously live the life God has put forth, despite my falls. Judgement is produced by the enemy. Without mistakes, there is no room for growth, and growth is what educates me with what I am able to speak on today.

I want to announce a sincere apology to all that view these posts. I also want to thank you all for your patience and understanding. With that being said, this website is in the works to move further and deeper in to what United Outkast is all about.

-Much love, Riss.

You Are Who I Am.

POV: I am your friend who has been distracting you from who you are and where you are going in life. I am ready to switch things around for the both of us. These are my words:

You and I met a year ago. Since our first meet, we became inseparable. Overtime, our choice of words ironically started to sound similar, our taste in clothing and accessories were syncing as well, and before we knew it, our down time hobbies became one. Where did we go wrong?

Now before I met you and you met me, you had dreams. You were on the road to success and were determined to stay aligned with the goals you have set for yourself. Six months into our friendship, you hardly mentioned your plans for the future. Instead you chose to pick up on my lifestyle. I, on the other end, had no plans . I wouldn’t consider myself troubled, although, those who know me may have shared otherwise. I can give you what many people can’t. Freedom. I offer you a spot right next to me . The world is in our hands for as long as we can grasp it , even though it won’t last long. You are willing to risk the potential success waiting for you at the end of your journey, for these “in the moment” decisions that will be nothing but old memories. My “ten years later” will be framed in a studio apartment, living off of ramen and waffles, but you, you have the chance to be the famous success story people like me needed to hear.

I am a lucky person to have met such a bright minded human being. What I have yet to confess is that I have dragged you further away from who you were before meeting me. Our friendship is like no other. Almost euphoric if you ask me, but we are at the age that can make or break who we are as grown adults. At the beginning, I had no interest in encouraging your mindset of wanting to be proactive, but as I noticed your spark slipping away, I felt guilty. I don’t want you to get caught up in the crowd. You had unique visions that set you apart. I don’t want my lack of motivation and effort to be contagious, especially to someone who had a drive generated by their own hunger to make it far in life.

From here on out, boundaries are needed to be placed. We owe it to the both of us. I have learned in this walk of juvenile recklessness that complacency is a real thing. I am stuck in a place where I don’t want to leave, which is why I set you free. We were meant to be friends. Not co-dependents. It was so easy for you to lose sight of your prize when late night adventures, marijuana, and playing hookie stepped up to the plate.

I know you more than you know yourself, which isn’t how it is supposed to be. My lifestyle was more entertaining, yet yours was more beneficial. It is time for you to plant your feet in the foundation of who you are. Hardworking, driven, creative and spontaneous. I want to switch my occupation from a careless friend, to a supporting one. I have learned that in the beginning, my energy was dominant, therefore our friendship circled around more of who I was. I recognized that. Now it’s time to grow closer and maintain who we are individually, embracing it, and letting it be the legacy that we can share. The legacy that can be framed in our “ten years later.”