Happiness According to…Me

Happiness According to…Me

happiness2

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been doing my best to focus on happiness. I’d like to continue this happiness movement with a new blog post series entitled Happiness according to… I’d like to start a conversation on happiness and see how different people view it. To do this, I’ll be asking a few questions.
1.What about you makes you happy?
2. How do you define happiness?
3.What makes you happy when you’re feeling sad?
4. What advice would you give you someone who isn’t happy, but wants to be?

I’ll be looking all over the blogosphere asking bloggers and other happy folk (yes, I just said happy folk) for answers to these questions and will feature my favorite answers here. If you’d like to answer the questions and be featured here, feel free to fill out the contact form below. You can answer one question or all four and you can be as vague or as detailed as you like.

I’ll answer the questions first, just so you can see what I mean.
1. What about you makes you happy? My positive outlook on life. My relentless optimism, even to the point of being kind of annoying. My choosing to smile and being happy. Being a sunshine and a positive ray of hope for others.
2.How do you define happiness? A state of unexplainable joy and peace. Being with people that I love and that love me and doing what I love just because I love it.
3.What makes you happy when you’re feeling sad? My family, God, reading, being by myself and watching funny videos on YouTube.
4.What advice would you give you someone who isn’t happy, but wants to be? Don’t keep it in. If you’re sad, don’t keep it to yourself, talk to someone. Acknowledge the fact that you’re not happy and don’t try to repress it or ignore it. Get around happy people because it’s contagious. And try doing something nice for someone else. Selfless acts of kindness go a long way.

Good Luck answering these questions! I’m very interested in reading your responses.
<3 Maya

EDIT: In 6 months (It’s 5 months, now)…

EDIT: In 6 months (It’s 5 months, now)…

Calendar made by posst it with copy space

Since embarking on this happiness mission, I’ve taken another look at my 6 month agreement. The agreement doesn’t speak to me as much as  it used to, so I think it’s in need of an edit. In the previous agreement I said, “There needs to be a risk, something to lose if I don’t go after what I want because if there is no consequence, then there is less motivation to work towards my goals.” A risk or consequence is a great motivator, but that’s only if you honor it. I’m going to be honest, if I happened to have not accomplished something on this list, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t going to give a favorite book away if I didn’t want to which in my mind was okay since this isn’t a legally binding agreement. This doesn’t mean I wasn’t planning on working towards my goals, it’s just that the consequences didn’t have as much weight as they probably should have. So, and in the interest of this happy movement, I think I’ve come up with a great incentive instead of a consequence. Read on to find out what it is…

In 6 months (It’s 5 months, now)…

  • I’d like to have my driver’s license.  This hasn’t changed. Though I’m getting accustomed to public transportation, and probably won’t have a car for a while, I still want my license.
  • Note: Bullet 2 was I want to have applied to grad school. I am interested in pursing a Master’s Degree in Library Science, but I’m not sure if I’m “mature” enough or in the mindset for an advanced degree. I want to be a little bit more sure of my decision and I have a little more experience before I apply so this one will be changed to applying for a library internship. I may not get one this year, but I definitely want to have an internship or volunteer experience before I apply.
  • Note: You may remember that bullet 3 was my wanting to have a job. Turns out, the job market is not the best for a college graduate with little professional experience. This isn’t being negative, it’s truth. I’m working for my mom now and I can afford what I need, so that’s good enough for me. Depending  on whether I go to grad school or not, I may  look for full-time employment in the future, but for now, I’m good.
  • I’m going to finish book 2. I owe you all an update of what’s been happening with book 2. The short version of the story is after 6 months of working on the draft, I’ve basically decided to start over from scratch. Don’t worry, I’ll explain everything in the blog post and I still hope to be finished by the end of the year, but that might be wishful thinking.
  • The next two goals are fitness-based and I still want to do them. I want to be able to do a standard push-up and I want to be able to run a mile.
  • I’m adding one last goal and it’s a requirement for me to be able to get my incentive for completing each of my goals. I want to have read 10 books and have donated at least 5 books that I don’t like anymore. It doesn’t make sense to hold on to books I don’t really like anymore and it’ll allow me to make room for my incentive.

There are six goals here and for every goal that I accomplish, I, Myiesha “Maya” Speight will be able to get one book. I love books, that’s no secret and if I read more and get rid of some books that will make me feel better about getting more which is why the final goal is a requirement. I’ll be accomplishing goals at the same time, so how could it get any better? This agreement may change again in a month or so, but for now, this agreement definitely makes me happy.

<3 Maya

Note: Post originally published on June 5, 2015.

My Top Ten Favorite Books (that I own)

My Top Ten Favorite Books (that I own)

I was looking through my book collection the other day (yes, that’s something that I do) and I realized I’ve never actually said what my favorite books were. I may have mentioned some of the books in passing but have never really talked about them. Now before I begin, these are my favorite books that I own and not my all time favorite books. It was hard enough narrowing down my favorites in my collection to 10, narrowing my top 10 favorite of all time will not nearly be as easy, but I might be able to do a top 20 favorites of all time. Ohh, a post idea for the future. I’ll make a note of it.

And now for my top 10 favorite books: 

1.One Day at a Time

one day

This is my all time favorite book. Of course, it’s by Danielle steel and I’ve re-read it I don’t know how many times. I think I love it so much because I can see myself in the main character. As a dog walker, Coco Barrington is her family’s black sheep and she feels like she doesn’t live up to her family’s expectations of her. She just wants to forge out on her own and find her own way. I can definitely relate and identify with her struggle and I love that she stays true to herself. And on top of all that, there’s a superstar actor as her love interest. This will probably always be a favorite of my mine.

2-4. Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon

peter1 peter2 peter3

This series was my Harry Potter. I read this when I was younger and I don’t remember much of it, but it will always be a favorite because it stuck with me this long. I’ll have to re-read it to see if I still love it. I love the twist on the Peter Pan tale and how we’re able to see what it’s really like not to grow up while the rest of the world does.

5. Watchers

0-590-10996-0

I’ve re-read this one recently and I still love it. Even though it’s a middle school age book, it’s still interesting to me. It’s a supernatural mystery type book and I absolutely love the twist at the end.

6. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

whangdoodles

I don’t remember this book at all, but I remember it being my favorite for so long, so it goes on the list. The book that sticks with you no matter how old you are, that book deserves to stay with you forever. I’ll have to re-read this one again too to see if it’s really one of those books I’ll love for a lifetime.

7. Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush

rush

I did my senior seminar project on this book. This is another one of those middle school age books that has universal appeal for any age. As you probably have noticed, a lot of these books are books I’ve loved for a long time. I think I love this one so much because it doesn’t act like it’s a book for younger kids which I find awesome. It doesn’t feel like I’m reading a kid’s book, just a book with a young protagonist. I love seeing how the main character, Tree, deals with her ever-growing world. She’s another protagonist that I can identify with because she African American, tall, and just trying to find her way. I’ll probably always love this book.

8. Meant to be

meant

This book takes place in London, one of my favorite cities in the world, so you know this book is a favorite. It follows Julia on the search for her Meant to be, the one she’s supposed to be with forever, that she may or may not have met on a night she can’t exactly remember. She travels all over London with her insufferable travel partner and of course learns many valuable life lessons along the way. It’s a really funny book that I stayed up all night to finish because it had me that hooked.

9. Dreamland Social Club

dreamland

Plain Jane returns to her mother’s childhood home in Coney Island and works to find her place between the freaks and normals at her school. Her mother died a couple of years before and now being in her childhood home will give Jane a chance to really find out the type of person that her mother was. While she’s doing that, she might also be able to figure out the mystery of the elusive Dreamland social club. I absolutely loved the mystery aspect to this book and how she tries to shed her plainness, not to a freaky level, but just to become her own person.

10. An Earthly Knight

knight

Fairies and a girl trying to find her way (which seems to be a recurring them in this list) it doesn’t get better than that. And there’s also a little legend thrown in and I love how it was incorporated into the story. It’s just a really cute book.

I’ll admit, I’m not the best at talking about books, but I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little about the books that I have loved. There are so many more books that I wanted to add which means I’m definitely going to have to do an all-time favorite books post. Keeps your eyes open for that.

<3 Maya

 

Choosing New Blog Name poll

Choosing New Blog Name poll

poll

As you may know, I’m focusing more on what makes me happy and just being happy. I want my blog’s name to reflect this new, happier me and I’d like your help in choosing a new name. Take a look  at the choices below and choose your favorite. Voting will end July 31st at 7 pm.

<3 My

 

 

I may be too happy?

I may be too happy?

happiness

This is definitely one of those posts that’s going to need some context. For the last couple of months, I haven’t been very happy. I won’t go into the details as to why I haven’t been my usually happy self. Besides the fact that it would take too long, why I’ve been unhappy isn’t the point. What is the point is that recently, I made the conscientious decision to take control of my happiness. I decided once and for all to not focus so much on the things that have made me sad and to focus all of my attention on what makes me happy. It’s gotten to the point where everyday I actively seek out things that make me happy.

It’s only been a week of this and oh my goodness! Is it possible that it may have worked too well? I’m serious. Not like it’s a bad thing, but I may be too happy now. Let me explain. I tried to do a rant woe-is-me post the other day and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to spread the negativity. Then there ‘s times during the day when I feel myself being negative or rude about something, I actually stop myself in mid-thought, tell myself this thought or something I said was very un-happy of me and then I completely end the thought before it has time to fester. In the last week, my mood has skyrocketed. I feel even better than I did before when I was my “usually happy self.” It amazes me how a simple change in attitude can change everything. I’m happy. Actually happy and I look forward to finding things everyday that make me happy and that I can share with others.

I think you all should try this, too. Maybe just for an hour or a day or even a week, decide to be happy. Don’t let yourself wallow in misery or self-loathing. Be happy. Find what makes you happy and if it makes you really happy, share that happiness with others. I use the hashtag #whatmademehappytoday when I share online, so you’ll be able to see what’s been making me happy. Let’s spread the happiness and see how the world changes.

Before you go, in the comments, tell me what makes you happy.

<3 My

 

Use Your ‘And’

Use Your ‘And’

and

I will preface this post by saying I know this #UseYourAnd campaign has probably already passed (and may no longer seem relevant) and I am in no way being paid or sponsored for what I am about to say. I just had a random thought which reminded me of the campaign and how the campaign may no longer “seem” relevant, but it  always will be. I’m the type of person that likes to do a lot. I like to participate in a lot of activities and go to a lot of places. I am a lot of things and can’t and wouldn’t want to be defined by just one word. I wouldn’t want to be known for just one thing. I am too complex and weird to be fit into one little box. The same can be said for this blog. It’s not just a writer blog, or advice blog or self-confidence blog or weirdness blog. It’s all of these and so much more and so am I. I’m not just a writer. I’m a blogger, and a reader and sister and daughter and an innovator and an optimist and a christian and so, so, sooo much more. I will not limit myself to one thing and I guarantee this list will only get longer as I get older. This is why the campaign is so important. It allows you not to limit yourself or choose between this or that. I don’t have to say I’m a writer one day or a daughter another day. No, I’m both. I’m everything. Let’s celebrate everything that we are and encourage others to do the same. To learn more about the campaign, check out the video below.

Until next time,
<3 My

 

‘Dance like no one’s watching’ and other random thoughts

‘Dance like no one’s watching’ and other random thoughts

dance

It’s been about a month since my “hiatus” and I thought this was a good time to share a random thought and tell you some of what I’ve been up to. My random thought is this: Dance like no one’s watching. Don’t care what you look like or what people think. And don’t worry about the opinions of people that you honestly don’t really care about. What prompted this, you might ask. I was out and about and found myself spending entirely too much time caring about how I looked to other people so much so that I stopped being myself. It didn’t take me long to realize that not being myself is boring and caring too much about what others think is a waste. Live your life for you and no one else. At the end of the day, only you will have to deal with the consequence. Live your life to the fullest and don’t care who’s watching.

Now for what I’ve been up to…

  • Still working on book 2 and no, I won’t bore you with the details
  • I’m interested in exploring other modes of creative expression which is just a fancy way of saying I want to paint and write more poetry. I want to express my creativity in ways other than just writing books. I also want to challenge myself by painting(something I’m not really good at) and writing poetry (something I’ve never really considered, but I think there are thoughts bubbling up in my brain that can only be expressed through poetry.) I may share some of my poems or artwork, but knowing me, I’d probably forget :-) Hopefully, I’ll remember to share a poem or two.
  • And finally, congratulations are in order. I have had this blog for 2 years and a day (yesterday was my blogiversary and it completely slipped my mind.) Each year keeps getting better and better and I have learned so much about myself. This off-and-on log of my life has helped me so much and it’s a comfort to know that it and you all are always there. I have no idea what the future world will hold for NRJW, but if the last two years are of any indication, it will definitely be interesting.

<3 My