#WriterRevelations: Turning 30 and Witnessing a Miracle

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Can you believe it guys?! Your girl is 30. I can’t either but I am grateful I made it here because there has been many things that have happened that tried to steal my God-given right to growing old and I am grateful for every single day that I get.

If you are wondering what I decided to do for the big 30, you should know I finally visited my dream location: San Clemente, CA.

And I not only visited San Clemente but I stopped in Austin, TX and even stayed in San Juan Capistrano so my week was full of so many wonders: all breath-takingly divine.

For more on my trip to San Clemente, CA please watch this video diary below

If you are anything like the people I spoke with before leaving, most of you probably have that same perplexed brow and that question mark upon your face wondering, Why San Clemente?

Well, as most stories regarding my life, I was introduced to San Clemente CA when I religiously followed Mr. Ryan Sheckler. He’s from there and I have always been intrigued by the location but when I watched his MTV show, I really was taken with its beauty. I felt a divine pull on my heartstrings and basically felt like God wanted me there. I didn’t know how or why I just knew I had to get there.

Back in 2010, I finally had the money to go and booked the trip but my grandfather passed away a few days before I was set to leave so I never got to go. I was set to go with one of my longtime friends who I met through the Sheckler Foundation. He was understanding of me not going but I always regretted how that panned out for me. I lost $1500 booking that trip and not going because of the death in my family, only for priceline to not provide me a refund because I couldn’t produce a death certificate.

So getting there FINALLY and standing on that pier felt like a dream come true type of moment. The weather was perfection. The trip this time went absolutely perfect. There was no roadblocks to me getting to San Clemente, the things I planned to do while there, and there was no problems coming back to Florida either.

I really felt like if God did this for me, nothing is truly impossible.

Prior to that trip, I was still 29 and I was struggling with a lot of things:

  • Why my business has seen less than $500 in revenue this year
  • why I still haven’t gotten a job that would provide me a liveable income
  • why everything I seem to do outside of writing seems to really not take off despite my entrepreneurial spirit.

But I don’t really know what happened to me in San Clemente outside of my entire soul was refreshed and recharged by the Pacific Ocean air.

But since I’ve been back, I realized that:

  • Instead of focusing on the lack in my life, I can focus on the perspective that God gave me the gap year I had always wanted at 18.
  • Instead of focusing on how things either don’t take off or go anywhere, I can keep showing up anyway.

I don’t know what it is other than God and the fact that I’m 30 but I actually have this weightless feeling now. I am no longer plagued by tons of existential questions.

I have made peace with the idea that when people don’t like me, it has actually 0-5% to do with me and everything to do with how they perceive themselves in comparison to me.

It truly is such a freeing energy.

I ended up recently having a bit of anxiety over an issue with my parents living situation that I refuse to talk about openly but I shared about it with a faith-based friend and he asked me why I was choosing to worry. He said, Ask yourself why you are choosing not to believe in God’s provision? What is it about this situation that is making you doubt God showing up for you?

And instantly I was washed over with relief. And I realized he was right.

So I quit worrying and I’m trusting God about that situation and all the situations mentioned above because if he could care that much about how much I desired to be in California deep in my heart and soul, there is nothing he can’t do, he won’t do, and he will ignore me regarding.

It all comes down to grace and divine timing.

Speaking of divine timing, I did a photo shoot while I was in San Clemente, CA because the last professional photos I got done and enjoyed were my senior photos. Now that I’m an author (again) and look mostly like an adult, I also really wanted someone to capture me taking in the beauty of San Clemente and the San Clemente pier.

That someone was Lulu Seldon and she is absolutely incredible.

If you live in SoCal or are planning to visit there anytime soon, and you need author photos, headshots because you really want to be on reality tv, or you just want lifestyle photos done for social media, please reach out to Lulu and tell her I sent you.

Other than that, I am happy to share that I have gotten over 100 votes in the Book of the Year contest.

I took my birthday off from voting and I went down to #4 in the overall contest instead of #2 so I must resume asking people to vote for me but what’s weird is in the 1 month I didn’t ask people for votes at all via social media, the person in the lead has 295 votes and they first posted about their book being in the contest on August 16 which means it took them 17 days to get 295 votes but it took me 5 months to get the votes that I have.

I smell something sketchy. The book in the lead is a sweet children’s book about spreading the gospel but still…It just doesn’t add up.

God recently made my day with this. I randomly got a message from a follower of The Smart Cookie Philes wanting to know if we were going to hold anymore giveaways. I told them that it has been a rough year for the business and they said they love my page which is crazy because this year especially I really have gone back and forth with shutting down The Smart Cookie Philes and going back to blogging about books and music but not collecting revenue for it.

Then, I get a message like this and I realize how much of an impact my sweet little post-college determined to be somebody venture has turned into, and I owe all of that to God.

I recently got fired up about working out that I decided I basically wanted to make money from it and so I took the leap of faith and became a Beachbody coach. As most other network marketing ventures, I was nervous having to invest that initial money in to it to be a coach but I really am proud that as soon as I felt that whisper in my soul say It’s time. I didn’t question it or run from it. I just leapt with absolute trust that God was going to use my small set of talents and my love for encouraging and connecting with people via social media, and help me provide others with hope.

If you are interested in starting a fitness journey that gives you your power back, gives you real time results, and makes you thrive, please feel free to watch the video below about why I decided to become a coach:

As with everything I put my hands to or any job I do, I always ask God to help it be something that bears visible fruit in my life so that all who witness it or come upon it know it is from God.

I pray right now that whatever you are struggling with, questioning, concerning your mind with, may be put to rest at the feet of Jesus and you let Him take the care of that from here.

I also pray that The Smart Cookie Philes, my Etsy shop, my poetry collection, my Beachbody venture, all bear good fruit in my life that it spills over into the lives of others and it blesses them, shines a light in their darkness, and saves their life in some regard.

I pray that peace surrounds you, envelops you, and that one of your heart’s deepest desires comes true this year.

In Jesus’s Name, I pray.

Until next time, remember that God gives us grace to get through every single day. And grace is God’s undeserved favor on us.

Be well my friends and stay weird!

In Christ-Like Love and Confidence,

Chelsea

xoxo

Just Keep Swimming!

#WriterRevelations: The Holy Detachment

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I want to start by saying I have been trying to get this blog up for two whole months and every time I did, God prevented me from getting it to you because I guess he wanted it to read like a full and complete story.

I had all intentions of sharing with you how I have come to a new realization about this idea we grow up feeding on: that we must attach to the way people see us. We all have these pictures in our minds of what it means to be in a relationship, what we should have done by a certain age, or even what it means to put out a book (that one may only relate to me) but still.

Growing up, I didn’t even realize how much of what I was taught or what I saw in the media made me attach to what humans think of me. Yet, recently, after all those very drastic changes I discussed in my last post where I found out I have Asperger’s, detaching from my divine counterpart, and even ridding my social media feed with people who are one-sided made me realize that although I always believed I was non-conformist, anti-culture, and very “against the grain” in my day to day, I actually was guilty of being attached to people pleasing.

My dog Hazel has been sick for about a year now. It started with an emergency surgery due to pyometra and now it’s Cushings disease, and most recently she struggled with an allergic reaction to an antibiotic that left her lethargic, practically blind, and we thought this was where her life story would end. My mom and I were crying every day because we couldn’t understand it. The vet had just checked her levels for her Cushings Disease and gave her an excellent report: This dog has a lot of life left in her.

Then, due to a UTI, she had to be put on the antibiotics that made her eyes red and her sight practically blind.

As you can see on the left, Hazel looked a lot like a full fledge picture of death, and so we started to consider possibly putting her down. Yet, we took her to the vet to find out why she was lethargic and the other vet (who doesn’t usually treat her) told us she might have thyroid issues. When she went back to check if her UTI had cleared up, her usual vet took one look at her and goes, “Oh, Hazel had an allergic reaction to the Baytril.” So she came off of it and the lethargy and red eyed blindness went away but she started having those symptoms again right after we came back from our trip to Mexico. And she often suffers with mini tremors due to the tumor associated with her Cushings. It was a hard month of April to say the least but she was perfectly fine while we were in Mexico. And since has only seemed to improve thanks to this all natural adrenal support supplement blend I got for her. She even was able to go with us recently to an Airbnb getaway for Zoey’s 3rd birthday.

I on the other hand was dealing with this immense inner struggle with my book, it’s success, and why it seemed that people didn’t seem to care. So I took a break from posting on social media because of all the back and forth with Hazel but I also started to notice that even though I moved to a new account it felt like I was in a wind tunnel shouting “Hey I wrote a new poem. Does anyone care?” And I got little to no response back. So I said I’m going to go to Mexico and then when I return, I will return to social media again.

Yet, meanwhile during all this, God’s been working with me. I stopped going to a counselor for my mental health treatment after visiting them in December 2020 where I told her I had Asperger’s and instead of making me feel safe and welcomed, she outright said to my face: “I don’t see how I can help you any longer.”

So I made a personal decision to quit taking the supplements I was taking for my anxiety and depression, and if I was struggling with any emotions or circumstances, I would just be still and talk to God like I would have that counselor. I’ve been doing this since the end of February and I can tell you that I have never felt better. It turns out that giving everything you are to God really is possible, and also talking with God so openly has made me acutely aware of his presence wherever I am.

I will clarify that I am not in any way knocking mental health treatments or the need to go to counseling. I just can’t afford it at this stage of my life right now to spend money I don’t have on pills and doctor visits which last only 20 minutes and then you get rushed out the door. I also have been doing self-study about Asperger’s so I can better understand myself and that also seems to be helping me as well. And when God arranges for me to go back to counseling, I will know but in the meantime, who better to be my counselor than the one who created me.

It really all comes down to detaching from the world and getting still in the presence of God.

I went to Mexico and had an amazing time. I literally was disconnected from everything and I love that aspect of vacations. where people can’t call you, text you, burden you. You are solely in the moment. And it was entirely such a blessing to be there, and have that experience after everything I’ve been through, and still working through.

I came back from Mexico and all the stress just stifled me. I was under that pressure again. Posting on social media, not feeling like I am getting much out of it, not sure what will become of me, my career, my writing career, etc.

Yet, because I faced my fears and went to Mexico (I have flight anxiety), I had a newfound sense of self-worth because God had shown me how abundant my life could be if I simply trust him.

First, I debated with the idea of closing The Smart Cookie Philes. Not because of any other reason than I wasn’t sure people really needed it anymore, and the money since I had started charging what I’m actually worth, had been slow to come in. Then, that Monday following my return to the United States, I had an interview for a lead publicist position with a firm that claimed on the job posting to be an advocate for mental health, marginalized voices, and much more.

During the interview, I gave it my all but I was very upfront about explaining my poetry collection and how it dealt with that last toxic workplace which I mentioned because I wanted to test just how much of an actual advocate they were for mental health.

They rubbed me the wrong way when they asked if I would be closing my firm in order to take their position. My company is more than just a PR firm. It is an extension of my self-expression of my special interest in music, and my love of books. It is also a place where people can feel safe on the internet to be exactly who God made them, and not feel like they must mask, or that they have to conceal parts of who that person is.

If you want to talk about being an advocate for mental health, you really should offer health benefits.

So I felt very grown up when I very politely told them I wasn’t a fit for the role. Not because my experience and skill set wouldn’t have helped boom their client base or create new ways of doing various PR strategies but because they came across to me like very snobbish people. And I’ve learned that in the interview is where you can see exactly what you will be getting yourself into.

Then, a guy who I met through an author facebook group said he was interested in hiring me to be his publicist but only in the capacity of not needing media bookings but solely to get him book signings so he could sell books. Yet, when he asked me to work with him, he goes, “I looked over your offer and it turns out that I don’t want either of us to waste our money so I will pay you $200 when I sell 100 books, $1,000 when I sell 300-500 books, and $10,000 when I sell more than a 1,000 books at a signing.”

I was intrigued but something kept causing me to hesitate to start making calls for him. Then, I realized that he was doing what most people try to do to me because they don’t understand how public relations works: They try to get me to agree to commission based pay, and I will never work for commission. That’s the equivalent of working for any of those pyramid marketing schemes I’ve already worked for: It Works, Farmasi, etc. Where the person at the top of the pyramid profits and everyone else gets bread crumbs.

I did not get a college degree in a specialization for someone to feed me bread crumbs which is why I changed my pricing structure this year. I’m not really interested in doing this work in a freelance capacity anymore. I need full-time work so I can live the life I promised younger me I would. And I know it’s possible because I’m part of another facebook group for PR pros and they discuss their prices openly there as it is set up like a forum. And some of them charge $10,000 a month. I could easily charge that but the little bit of work I’ve done PR wise through my own firm really doesn’t justify why I would need $10,000 a month other than that people forget that I need money to pay rent, utilities, food, transportation, medical, dental, savings, and also plenty to help me travel and promote my books so heck, maybe in 2022 I will raise my rates to $10,000 a month because that’s doable for me. What the heck do people even think? That I can live off $40-$200 a month?!

This is why I still have my day job delivering food and groceries.

Before I get to that, I must let you know that as soon as I mentioned a contract to that guy where he would sign to pay me my retainer plus the commissioned amounts he mentioned, he basically got real nasty with me and openly told me he was on unemployment right now and it was about to run out. Well, then don’t promise to pay someone $10,000 or even worse $20,000.

So basically, I was really beginning to feel grown and very confident with this new found way I was instantly aware that someone was trying to take advantage of me, and it was totally okay to set a boundary. Thank you trauma healing and self-care. Without you, I would not be this far ahead.

Yet, I was still very stressed about how everything would work out.

Speaking of day job, on May 29, 2021 the Mercury Retrograde started. Weird things that never occur were occuring and there was a very strange energy in the air that day.

Then, Mom and I went to start our night doing Ubereats. We had a Checkers run first, and then got two Applebees runs. We delivered the first to some apartments in Trinity and headed to the next drop off off of Seven Springs Boulevard. We turned onto Mitchell Ranch road at 9:58 p.m. and I only know that because my sister called me as we were turning onto the road. And I also remember the road being incredibly dark and the only light I could see was my phone lighting up when my sister called. I answered the phone and began talking to my sister and about a minute into driving down the road, everything went black. Next thing I know our car is off to the side of the road on a side street, and the entire car is full with smoke, and I notice the airbags have deployed all around me.

Mom and I come too. I say to my sister, “I think we were in an accident.” And both my mom and I get out of the car.

People rush over to see if we are okay but as Mom and I take in the car we are amazed that we both are still standing there. Apparently at approximately 9:59 p.m. a young man driving a black small sedan didn’t stop at the stop sign crossing the intersection between Strada Lane and Mitchell Ranch Road, and he hit us at a rate of speed more than 30 mph. We believe we spun out before the entire main components of my mom’s car started to fall out and then we landed to the side of the grass on Strada Lane.

God really did a miracle here guys! Mom and I both walked out of this car. Mom took the brunt of the impact so she suffered a hemotoma contusion which is basically life-threatening because it is a literal mass of blood which if it breaks apart the wrong way could cause my mom to suffer blood clots.

I basically have been suffering more mentally than physically but it’s only because I went into shock initially at the scene and didn’t realize the severity of my injuries. Now that I’ve been seeing a chiropractor for treatment, it is clear that my left knee struck something very hard because it tends to have a dull throb from time to time, and days following the accident, I actually could barely walk on my leg because the pain was so intense.

It has been 3 weeks now, our healing has begun, but still. Everytime Mom and I are in the car now whenever we get close to a stop sign intersection, I brace for impact. And Mom says she still hears that crash sound in her head whenever she’s driving.

Yet, God saved us. We walked out of there alive and seemingly with nothing too severe at the scene. I guess that’s why an ambulance wasn’t even called to take us to the hospital. The only reason we got to the hospital at all is because my sister drove us.

Yet, one thing this tragedy showed me is how fast it can happen, how short life is, and also how little people actually seem to care about me and my family.

For example, I posted the picture above on Instagram, and people actually liked the picture. About 7-8 people commented and reached out, I got several messages asking me if I was ok, how my mom was doing, etc, but for the most part, I thought it was absolutely heartless that people LIKED that photo. Then, I wrote a poem about it to help me process, and I shared it on Instagram. And it got plenty of LIKES again but absolutely no feedback.

And that’s when I realized I need a very long hiatus from social media. And I also realized that as far as me sharing things publicly, this and my email newsletter will be the sole place I share things, as well as my Youtube channel because Facebook really doesn’t favor an autistic person like me.

I mean yeah I will be returning to Instagram after a month but I really don’t see how it’s beneficial to me anymore to be so active on these platforms. They really have only caused me grief. I’ve enjoyed the people I meet there but at the same time, there is a lot that doesn’t really help someone with PTSD and autistic sensitivites.

So I’ve been off Instagram an entire week, and I can tell you that it is exactly what I need right now.

And I also found out that the Book of the Year contest I am in is rigged. The site actually has someone in the lead above me who has only 157 followers on Twitter and when you go to their profile, you see that they purchased multiple advertising options from OnlineBookClub.org which is why they are in first place.

Oh, I’m not giving up on winning this one, I just felt a small sense of relief when I realized this so I’ve stopped obsessing over asking people to vote for me. I actually have been on my old Instagram to do so and it turns out that a lot of followers on there (other writers) are entirely hedonistic and one-sided. Several of them even blocked me after I messaged them. And some of them wrote me in response to asking them to vote with the excuse: “I can’t vote for your book since I haven’t read it.”

This is the reality. Why would I want to participate in a network where these people are not team players but all about themselves? And more importantly, I know that God doesn’t want me to force nothing that isn’t seeming to budge. So I’m truly at peace with not being on social right now and seeing what a month away does for me creatively, personally, and emotionally.

I’m also sure there are a few of you who wonder what’s happening in my love life currently. Well, from my perspective, absolutely nothing but in my heart, I know what I feel and I’m okay just living my life with Jesus, and focusing solely on that.

Yet, almost as if God wanted to open my eyes, on April Fool’s Day 2021, at 1:30 in the morning, I was working on social media posts or something for The Smart Cookie Philes and I got a text from a number I didn’t have saved in my phone.

They wrote me: “Who is this?”

Yet, the last time someone sent me that it caused a plethora of emotional pain. So instantly I was like, “Could it be him?”

Yet, it turned out to be someone I basically had met my freshman year of college who I had talked to following graduating who was interested in being a screenwriter and we mostly had always talked about shop stuff: writing jargon, industry trends, etc.

I didn’t remember him at first even after he told me who it was. I was still hoping he would tell me this was a joke and it was actually you know who.

No, it was that guy from freshman year who apparently I had made quite the impact on in the little I actually had interacted with him in person because he could name two facts about me right off the bat:

And what was what I call a fool’s miracle, we talked for the entire day. He was able to keep the conversation going, and I really enjoyed our discourse that day. And it made me acutely aware of the fact that in love I have settled for bread crumbs but I deserve the entire loaf. And if a guy can’t reply or he is short with you over text (sidenote: I don’t text people. Mostly it has to do with a guy I was on and off with throughout college but I don’t really ask for people numbers and I don’t care if I have someone to talk to all day) so when I remember your number or still have you in my contacts, it really means that you are important to me. I began praying for him from this day forward.

Yet, the conversation got weird at the end because he started to get flirty with me despite telling me early on in the conversation that he had a girlfriend and he just had a child with her.

I told him several times when he started to get weird. I think we should stop talking. I’m not a side piece and I also want you to figure out what you want with your current relationship.

Can a guy with a girlfirend ever not try to hit on me?!

Then, he’s been texting me and calling me after midnight most nights or at least once a week for the past two months. The only reprieve from him contacting me was when I was in Mexico. But as soon as I switched my phone off airplane mode, I got a text from him “Hey!” that was from a few days ago.

Recently, I blocked his number because I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t really want to be talking to a guy with a girlfriend because first of all, I’m not that desperate and secondly, because it’s not at all right.

So I blocked his number and thought. Good, he will leave me alone. Plus, our last conversation from his number was very rude and pushy. He had nothing to say about my accident. He even had the audacity to say to me, “But why are you still alive?”

So I knew that keeping this guy accessible was driving me crazy and not something I have the capacity to handle along with everything else right now.

Then, the other night, I get a text from a number that appeared similar to the area code he texted me from.

Turns out, he used someone else’s number to text me. And what was the pressing matter?

He said he wanted to die. Yet, to me, if you are suicidal, if you have the time to text someone about it let alone someone who told you she didn’t want to talk to you anymore, then you are looking for attention. Not actually suicidal. I also know that because I’ve been suicidal several times in my life and my last thought was to text someone and tell them over text message. I did talk to someone or several people and eventually realized I didn’t need to go through with it but still, guys like him are why I choose to be single.

I blocked that other number and I hope I never hear from him again. Though I will continue to pray for him because God can work miracles while I am only one human being.

Honestly, it’s important that you all are aware. I am not the same person I once was. I have been through probably the first real devastating heartbreak in my life, and I also don’t see currently how someone would ever want to put up with someone with Asperger’s (I mean me. I feel like I am a handful. And guys my age don’t really have the capacity to deal with their own shit, why would they want to deal with mine). People with Asperger’s do date, get married, and even bare children, but right now, I really want to live my life, heal, and help others heal.

I no longer feel attached to the idea of having someone to love or more importantly who loves me.

It’s not a popular notion in any social circle including in my family but I don’t care. Detaching for me is releasing myself from society’s constructs that have led me to create unrealistic expectations for myself and how I am perceived by others.

Single people have and always will be sad in the eyes of society because society is laden with narratives of sex, romance, and relationships, and anything outside of that, doesn’t fit the mold.

I’ve never fit the mold so I’m getting too grown to care that I will never fit. Instead I am attaching to who God made me to be and learning to love that person.

And it’s become my sole mission and why I’ve decided to republish Sticks and Stones. The first collection was a solid piece of literature but I just wanted it to be all encompassing and have a beginning, middle, and an end.

And I wanted it to end on a good note which gives the reader more of a hope. And also allows the reader to have permission to be okay by yourself because when I had my heartbroken, too many people said the generic things to me:

They put him down.

They said I deserved better.

They also told me that the guy for me was out there.

It’s now become important to me that the book reads more in the sense of mental health, and also allows the heartbroken to know they need no one but themselves to be ok.

Until next time remember, you don’t have to be anyone except who God made you to be and if you lose track of who that is, Go talk to Him, read his Word, put on some praise music, and be unapologetic about making the rest of your life the best of your life according to His good plan, and what and where you feel the most free.

In Christ-Like Love and Confidence,

Chelsea

xoxo

~Just Keep Swimming~

#WriterRevelations: Lighting Up The Dark

Twin Flames, Walking Away, and Finding Out I Have Asperger’s after 28 years….

I guess you could say that maybe I’ve been making a mountain out of a molehill. I recently went to my therapist for the first time in over a month and once I voiced some of what was weighing me down…I couldn’t understand why I was letting it bother me so much.

Oh right. You weren’t a fly on the wall or listening in through my phone’s microphone.

Let me back up a bit and explain what has happened since it’s also been a while since I last talked to all of you.

I was scheduled for an appointment with a psychologist for my Asperger’s evaluation at around 3:30 p.m. I arrived at 3:20 but the sign in the waiting room said wait here and Dr. So and So would be with you shortly. With COVID-19 regulations still in place, I didn’t want to rock the boat so I waited and I waited. At close to 4 p.m. after not being helped for nearly 30 minutes past my appointment, I knocked on the door and the doctor welcomed me in and we began the evaluation process. I had never done one before but I was curious as to what it would entail. Spoiler alert: it isn’t very fun. Matter of fact, it’s like the initial visit with any doctor but instead of just talking medical history, this particular evaluation comes with you unloading your soul within the confines of that office. I basically had to openly verbalize my entire life story but only if it pertained to the question. As an INFJ, I only answer what I believe fits for the moment in time. If i feel that the information doesn’t relate to the question in that it reveals too much or just feels too personal, I keep it to myself so basically what I unpacked within this two hour evaluation was personal history. My childhood growing up, my dating history, whether I had friends, any traumatic events or experiences, etc. This doctor did exactly what he was supposed to in regards to checking off the boxes he needed to diagnosing me with Asperger’s but his words haunted me long after I left his office.

I openly told him that I felt better mentally and emotionally than I had in a long time which then became ironic because following that visit, I was entirely disturbed.

What haunted me most about the visit was obviously the act of talking openly with a seemingly judgmental stranger about the trauma I’ve experienced definitely didn’t make it easy. It also felt like everything I said was met with a condescending observatory comment. After I told him about the incidences of sexual assault I suffered as a child, we reached my high school years.

He asked, “So you never dated in high school?”

I answer, “No.”

He then asked, “You never went to prom?”

I answer, “Oh, I wanted to go to prom my senior year but my parents told me I couldn’t because they didn’t have the money, and also discouraged any further rebuttal from me with the notion that I didn’t have a date anyway.”

He then goes, “How did that make you feel?”

Me: “It basically sucked because I could have went alone. I was never ashamed of it, and I knew all my friends would be there.”

He then blurts out, “Honestly, when you took your mask off, I was absolutely taken aback because I initially thought she has to be the prettiest girl who is inquiring about having asperger’s I’ve ever evaluated. You are very stunning and attractive so it honestly surprises me that you’ve never had a boyfriend. You seem like you basically could have stood up in the lunchroom and said you needed a date to prom and you would have gotten someone.

Me: (blushing) Thank you.

Then, we talked about several other things that I felt he shallowly notated but based on his final report, he misconstrued. He not only thought it was awkward that I have a passion for street skateboarding but that I had a crush on Ryan Sheckler for most of my teen years and the beginnings of my college education. He even misconstrued my recent traumatic experience at that toxic workplace.

As it relates to Asperger’s, I guess my love of skateboarding looks a bit off kilter to those who know I’ve never skateboarded myself or don’t know I’m a writer. Yet, for me, the skateboarding community has always been a kindred spirit for my artistic creative side. If you have ever seen a skateboarder do a trick, you can’t argue that it’s both physically mind-blowing and artistic the way their bodies hold on to the board, that get up after falling (even when they break bones), and the culture associated with skateboarding is also inspiring to me as a writer. I still don’t get how that relates but whatever your degree tells you qualifies me for the condition, I’m not going to argue with you on.

I ended up getting diagnosed with the condition which I wasn’t at all surprised by. I’ve always felt unconventional and awkward so at least now I better understand why that is.

The video below shares more about the symptoms I have as well as the difference between Asperger’s and Autism.

I was entirely disturbed that he didn’t understand why I was depressed most of my life, never had a boyfriend, and how he unknowingly made me hate myself for a good two weeks following the evaluation.

He claimed I was smart and pretty so it didn’t really make much sense. Honestly though, you could start there. Being pretty means people treat me like I’m invincible, have little to no feelings, and that I always get what I want in life. Being smart means I struggle to connect with ordinary everyday people because they lack the intelligence or don’t get my jokes.

I try to find common ground with anyone because as someone who can’t understand herself why my “pretty girl privilege” has not landed me a boyfriend at all, I truly don’t see myself as the prettiest or smartest person. I have a vessel mentality. I am the messenger but the glory should just be showered back on God. On a related note, I have never felt conventional my entire life so I’ve never done the normal thing: looked to be married, build a family, etc.

This graphic basically sums up what I’m trying to say here: nothing wrong if that is what you want out of life but I just want to make a difference and live a fulfilling life. For me, fulfillment looks like writing books that people crave, helping people without expecting a thank you, and traveling the world and seeing as many new places as my little heart allows.

Do I want to be loved back? Well, of course I do. Doesn’t everyone?!

I don’t really think I have to justify why I don’t have a boyfriend. I’ve tried and tried but unfortunately for me, most of them were boys who had yet to discover they were called to be men.

I’ve never really made dating a priority. And I never wanted to marry for money or fame. I want that love story because it happens naturally. Almost out of nowhere. Entirely unexpected but changes you from that moment on.

For those that have yet to read my poetry book, you don’t really know the story about me and the last guy but before I get to him, I think I should prove to the world that I’ve had suitors just no one that suits me.

My childhood love story? You read that on Valentine’s Day 2020.

I’m sure I don’t have to talk about all the crushes I had through grade school but there was at least 30.

  • When I was in college, I settled for trying to date this guy who was the cutest guy on campus. He believed he was God’s gift to women, and he had the harum to prove it. Yet, I wanted to be the girl who changed his worldview. Yet, he was Albanian. I had trouble realizing that he wasn’t right for me at all. Like we didn’t really share the same views on anything but I guess that’s what I liked about him. He made me all fired up and hot and bothered.

I ended up learning Albanian for him, and even got my license because of him, and took to learning more about how to be a little more domesticated. I tried to learn how to cook and bake because I figured that’s a good skill to have if I ever want to be a wife.

Unfortunately for me, I was unaware that no matter how much yogurt I added to the Albanian cookie dough batter, they were always bound to come out of the oven and crumble. Our love story was equivalent to those cookies I made. Tasteless and destined for detriment.

Following him, there were many more suitors not suited for me.

  • A young black man from the islands who had a history of racial prejudice due to an ex’s father and how she treated him while they were dating. We had the same taste in Christian hip-hop but when things started getting real, I blocked him on everything because I was afraid to be vulnerable with him, and believed he was going to judge me or my father for his issues with alcohol.
  • In late October 2018, I began really living my life enjoying who I was. I went on my first overseas cruise and visited the beautiful Bahamas and Turks and Caicos islands. And just when I swore off love being real, I met a cute Indian man who worked on the ship. After leaving the ship, I was hoping I would reunite with him but didn’t expect him to find me on Facebook and message me. We talked for a good few months before he asked me to come down to Miami for the night and he would take me out. He even offered to pay half my bill.

Yet, my mom popped my rose-colored bubble about him when she told me he most likely didn’t want to go to the bookstore in Miami but he surely was looking to have an in-port ron de vu.

After talking to him over the phone a few times, and realizing he couldn’t hold a conversation with me at all, I ghosted him because I realized I was way more into the guy I had met and worked alongside at the new job I had just started.

  • And so here we are, back to square one…Mr. Suncoast. The guy I never expected to meet let alone fall in love with. Now most people know that he ended up ghosting me in early February of this year, and I’ve still had trouble understanding it but now that people have read my poetry collection, I am not alone. One of my dear fellow writer friends even reached out to me recently regarding it. You can see his reaction and many other reader’s reactions right here.

One thing I have yet to share publicly is that he actually unblocked me as of September 28, 2020. From there, I have found out that he’s newly single and finally living a happy life. He still works there but he seems to be doing much better without the influence from that toxic girl he was dating.

There is much more to the story but I am a huge believer in respecting that it’s not my story to tell.

Yes, that means he hasn’t reached out.

And following that evaluation, I became obsessed with figuring out how I would get him to.

It’s truly not faulty wiring or even due to Asperger’s. It’s due to the fact that I couldn’t stop thinking of him.

I think the weekend following that evaluation, I went to watch a Hallmark movie with my mom and instantly regretted it. It made me mad. And my mom even noticed.

She goes, “What happened to you? You had a weird face and then you left the room while the movie was playing?!

I shrugged it off but I knew why I got mad. It’s just heartbreaking to me sometimes. Love and dating seems to be so simple and so effortless for everyone but me. And to top it off, I still don’t understand what went wrong with the last guy, and I will openly say I’m still not over it. And being that we were never officially an item, I never feel like I can talk to anyone about this. I didn’t even get to tell my therapist this last session.

Then, on Black Friday, my parents took me to Busch Gardens and while there I was bombarded by the memory of him re-enacting the new launch coaster there, and telling me about how he spent his birthday.

I don’t even wear my Ariana Grande perfume because it brings back memories of him, and how at the end of my time there, he smelt it in the office and it made him want blueberry muffins.

Yet, since I released the book, I decided that the best thing for me to do despite my INFJ ways is to surrender the care of him to God completely and also leave it entirely in 2020. I mean I believe he could still reach out mostly because I believe us to be twin flames(I will get to that later) but at the same time, if he doesn’t. It’s not personal. It’s just how the story was meant to go…and you can’t argue with the author of humanity.

Speaking of releasing my book, it’s got lots of positive reviews and it’s reaching and resonating with people from all over but this book was entirely the hardest thing I ever did this year, and I honestly feel similar to a mother who just gave birth. There was blood, there was sweat, and by golly Ms. Molly, there was tears.

Leading up to the announcement, I was entirely excited to share that I was putting out a book. I really couldn’t wait to see how many people would be thrilled for me, proud of me, etc. Yet, like everything in my life, I didn’t allow myself to have any unrealistic expectations about it.

Yet, the announcement itself didn’t get the engagement I thought it would. And I just thought maybe it was that people didn’t care, they were sick of me talking about this (toxic workplace, ghosting, trauma, etc). Yet, that’s the entire point and why I knew I had to share the book. When I did my testimony with unemployment, I never talked about that much either but my state was entirely eyes wide shut about it. The guy who did that testimony didn’t let me share about the trauma but instead made the entire testimony about my performance as an employee and even worse, believed the employer’s lies and endless denial of all incidences mentioned.

I didn’t get upset that I didn’t get awarded the money but I did feel like my story was being swept under a metaphorical rug, and it struck a nerve with me. I thought to myself, “Ok, I know that I’m not the only one out there that people call a liar and don’t believe initially but I am entirely sick of it.” This has to be out in the world. People need to know that managers shouldn’t treat their employees like this or they need to know how to speak up or create change within those dankly dark workplaces much like mine. And women everywhere and men too are being sexually harassed, assaulted, even raped and when they speak up about it, they are told that it’s not true and it didn’t happen.

And that feels heartwrenching when it really did happen to you, and you feel awkward first of all that it happened to you in the first place, and secondly feel entirely vulnerable having to discuss it again.

Basically, I knew I had to put this book together so that women and men everywhere felt safe again, felt less alone again, felt heard, seen, and less like a joke and more of a brave and powerful human.

And I also wanted it to represent a few things that this culture doesn’t allow to be represented:

asexuality, mental health issues, suicide ideation, etc.

And even the “pretty girl privilege.”

Turns out, following the election, Instagram (where I made my main announcement) had turned off recent hashtags which drastically dropped the engagement of most everyone but exclusively it left me ( a writer and publicist who was over the moon excited to put out this powerful poetry book) utterly isolated and alone when it came to announcing my book. Then, after two weeks of not being able to do anything related to my to-do list, I finally got resolve and my book was available via Kindle and Paperback. If you want to know more about my entire publishing process, please enjoy this 21 minute video about it.

I have since been renewed about my book and the fact that I self-published it because over this past weekend, I rented The Man Who Invented Christmas and it was extremely encouraging to me because even as a kid, I was obsessed with Charles Dickens but I had no idea the story behind him writing the Christmas Carol. His publisher didn’t support the idea and they were stealing his royalties from him anyway so he decided he was going to do everything himself and this was in 1832. It became his most famous book and a best-seller. He sold all the original copies of the first print the day it was released. There was a line used throughout the movie that also was entirely inspiring and I believe it myself. Another great thing about the movie was that it helped my mom see what it’s like inside my head at any given time, and even Charles Dickens was interrupted while writing the Christmas Carol so I guess it happens to all writers who live with big families. Haha.

I left Instagram as of December 14, 2020 and have since felt so much better mentally. I understand that I can’t be gone forever but I think logging out daily really is the trick to leaving well-enough alone and just connecting with people as I always have but as far as the fact that a second-rate poem gets 1000 likes and 45 comments and my poetry excerpt gets 50 likes and two comments is no longer going to be a measure for my worth and value.

After leaving Instagram, I ended up trying to build up my TikTok, and in a short amount of time found that the algorithm is less biased and entirely friendly. I’m having fun, and I don’t feel pressure to post all the time or prove anything. On Tiktok, anyone can create videos and they can be entirely themselves.

My favorite guy on TikTok?! This one right here:

Here are some of my faves so far that were not writing related…

@lmarg33

and that’s not even MENTIONING childbirth #foryou #NeedToKnow

♬ pregnancy is a horror movie – linds 🌿
@spicysicilianmami

This is extremely vulnerable but I wanna hear some thoughts in the comments 🧐

♬ original sound – ❣️L E A H❣️

I will be returning to Instagram in the New Year but I will not be putting in the effort I once was. It went from being my favorite network/platform to being my least favorite so quick and yes, it all boils down to how it seems like the only posts I share that get a lot of traction or comments are ones of my face, and that annoys me because I hate when people box me in by the way I look.

Yet, I just felt compelled to share this with everyone and since this is my last post in 2020, I want to share some things I will be walking away from in the New Year but before I get to that I want to talk about the power of the twin flame phenomenon.

It’s not a new-age concept and it’s not some weird hip hashtag on social media. It’s literally in the Bible. From Genesis where we see the creation of the divine masculine and divine feminine with Adam and Eve, to further proof with Samuel and David. See more evidence here.

And Twin Flames are not always romantic, sometimes they are friends or even just a catalyst for you becoming your highest self.

A twin flame is this idea that one soul becomes dispersed into two bodies and when these two people meet, it’s like something you can feel within you that this is your twin flame.

I just think it’s best for me to not worry about the details anymore and leave the entire thing in 2020, and up to God.

God knows I prayed for him every day since I started working there and I still pray for him every day even now.

I am naturally a confident person. I don’t care if people label me or don’t like me.

Yeah it hurts and I’m not sure why certain people just hate me like I’m leprosy or global warming or dare I say it…COVID-19 but you can’t please everyone.

I just stay being me. I’m an optimist with a sunny outlook but I have days that the shadows inside my soul creep up on the walls around me, and scare even me into withdrawing and not being out there and among the people, but I think it’s the deeper part of me…dare I say it? It could even be the part of me that I love from which is why I love so deeply and so all or nothing.

But I’m very self-aware and that freaks people out because they would rather blend in than stand out…and I can’t make people join me on my crazy train I can just offer them a ticket and hope they don’t mind going off the rails every now and then…

So yeah, you can think what you want. Matter of fact, I encourage you to think freely. This is a non-judgemental space. And if you think you want to tell me that my theories are bullshit, please do. You can email me or DM on Instagram. Or you can even comment below.

I just won’t apologize anymore for who I am. I never feel that I have but that’s where I’m heading in 2021.

In 2020, I was healing from a very traumatic year. And I simultaneously lost a lot of friends because of it. As soon as I started sharing my truths, people stopped reaching out, I watched them read my message and not reply, and some even blocked me.

I lost clients. I lost friends. But I gained something even greater: peace within me once again.

So I can honestly say that 2020 may have been an equally trying year but it ended on a good note.

I realized that I have begun to heal.

I realized that I love me, and the only thing I want in this life is to make Jesus proud.

I put out a book and it’s doing bigger things than I even imagined it would.

I want people to find help, find hope, find friendship, and find authenticity when they look at me, read my words, or strike up a conversation with me.

I also want people to feel free to be their best self, always growing, always learning.

So as we close the book of 2020: with our eyes wide open no longer sleeping in a dreamlike state but awake to the corruption, secrets, and true pain of the world, I bid you to share your WALK AWAY-isms with me.

2020, you were a wild one but not like that handsome male stripper at the bachelorette party, more like that girl who drank too much and then ends up tripping in her own vomit presumably at the same party.

In 2021, I am walking away from:

  1. things and people who don’t serve me
  2. this idea that at 29 I still have to validate who I am to please people (EWW No thanks boo!)
  3. people who are on my social media watching but never congratulating me
  4. giving attention to anyone who I believe to be a false prophet in popular culture
  5. not living my life for me (stop telling me how to live or how often to post. I will do what I want, kthanks).
  6. anyone who makes me question the words of my Lord and Savior
  7. this idea that I have to have everything figured out by 30.
  8. that being single and pretty is one of the seven deadly sins
  9. that being single is strange or off-putting. You know what’s sad? You shaming single people.
  10. from the idea that my Asperger’s makes me less of a person.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, REMEMBER:

#WriterRevelations: What Going Silent on Social Media Taught Me

As most of you are coming here from one of my social media networks, you may or may not be aware I took a month off social media. It was originally going to be a week but I got so used to living my life without staring aimlessly at my phone, that I decided to take over a month off.

Let me back up a bit here so you get the entire picture. I took time off social media when I had COVID-19 back in July and realized people were entirely forgiving then, why wouldn’t they be now?

It started on my birthday of all days.I felt like although I’m always happy just spending the day at home watching some of my favorite movies, I felt almost like I was missing something somehow. Not on my feed or in my DMs but within myself.

What got me to realize that my birthday this year was entirely weird was that I usually get so excited to get my birthday coupons specifically ones for a free stack of pancakes from IHOP or even a free dessert from Chilis but due to the pandemic and lack of my own personal income, I resorted to throwing most of those coupons in the trash unused.

And I can literally hear you through the computer screen, Are you honestly saying that you not getting IHOP pancakes made your birthday suck?

Yes and no. My family have a long-standing tradition with IHOP. It’s been the restaurant in my family where we celebrate all the big moments. I went there when I got my learners permit, driver’s license, most birthdays, when relatives or family friends would visit us, and as of recently, I started going there two years in a row on my birthday since I worked there as a hostess.

So this year, watching myself literally throw away that coupon got me all emotional. For many reasons. Most having to do with the pandemic being a crock of utter shit and just being so fucking ridiculous. As someone who has had COVID-19, can I safely express here how much I am over the whole social distancing thing, the whole mask wearing thing, the whole having to deliver people their order wearing blue latex gloves? I really don’t know how much more I can take with this shit.

Now I understand it isn’t at all about me as much as it is still an ongoing thing but I can tell you that I got COVID-19 while doing all the things you are supposed to be doing and I still got it, in my own home, might I add.

Why can’t we just be unique and totally out of the box and pull a Sweden? I’ll wait while you google Sweden’s response to the pandemic.

The other thing that set me off was a few days later I actually got a message from someone who never wished me happy birthday and it was entirely impersonal I realized with eyes wide open how unreliable people really are.

I was in my backyard ready to get all tap-happy on my phone keyboard and ALL CAPS that person until they couldn’t remember their own name, when I heard God tell me

SHUT YOUR PHONE OFF NOW!

I never question that voice. Whatever He says goes, no matter how much my flesh wanted to rip someone a new one.

I spent the rest of the day deep in prayer, meditating on the word, and sudddenly heard God say:

Feel this? This is what you needed. Just to be still in my presence. You are killing yourself with all the overthinking and obsessive scrolling. I will fill you up again until you have such contentment not living for other people’s expectations of you, you won’t need to share so much. I died not so you could be verified on social media but so you can have LIFE and have it in abundance.

Now I don’t really need to go more into anything. You guys know most of what I’ve been through in the past year. Matter of fact, if for some reason, you are NEW here, please feel free to read my very explicit take on all that under the OLD POSTS tab above.

Yet there are a lot of things I don’t share on social media anymore. (That being because people always use my social media posts against me and also it feels like a lot of people I thought were my friend have no real problem messaging me less or even leaving me with that ugly “seen checkmark” after their message. I started feeling like I was the only one holding the coversation, or worse. They didn’t want anything to do with me because they were sick of hearing about my mental illness, etc.)

I suffer incredible anxiety about my social media content so much so that when I don’t have to post, I literally feel relief.

Yet, you can’t really not post anything on social media and ever expect to build your platform as a writer. I also have never shared that I actually got to the point where I was making 30 graphics for The Smart Cookie, 30 graphics for my Instagram (that I cross-use on Facebook), and 30 graphics for my mom’s cleaning business. If you didn’t know, since I have left that last job, I’ve been doing this month after month feeling entirely stressed because I was scheduling content for each day, multiple times a day, for 8 different social channels, all of which utilize a different content style.

I would tell my mom that today was the day and instantly she would know what I meant. The day when I packed my Buffer with all the posts for the entire month. Yet, when that didn’t work, the last few months before my social media hiatus, I was scheduling each network two weeks out. Plus in July, I totally left Twitter. I don’t even barely use that and the friends I had there either have followed me elsewhere or have realized that for a millennial, I am pretty old school and enjoy sending emails and snail mail more than a social media DM or even a text message.

So when God sat me down and got real with me about this. I didn’t even blink an eye or shed a tear. I honestly believe I smiled for the first time in a while from ear to ear. (Haha, that was poetic guys!)

Then for one day each week while I was off social, I kept my phone off for most of the day and did the same thing I did that other day. I sat in his presence and listened to him. Plus, before I left social media, I started feeling this urge to put a poetry collection together so I knew he also wanted me away from social media to get that together, and work on my marketing strategy.

It was entirely funny to me.

The closer to God I got the less magnified everything became.

Instantly, I found out that living life free of society’s expectations of you is more fun. Actually, I highly recommend it especially if you suffer from a mental illness like I do. It should be socially popular within our culture to leave our phones off or away from us for a while. Logging off is healthy for your mind and your body.

I felt so free that I would sometimes forget I had a phone. I was still on social media but it was only for The Smart Cookie Philes and to help build up my dog’s Instagram page. Yet, those posts have little to do with me, and have everything to do with turning the spotlight on someone else, which is my favorite thing in the world to do because I’m always looking to stand back and point at the one shining the light on me anyway with my actions, my content, and always through my writing.

  • The first thing I witnessed or learned is that the anxiety I feel regarding social media has entirely to do with childhood trauma I suffered where I was ostracized and not accepted for who I am, so I always have an innate fear of people abandoning me for someone more cool or better looking.
  • Yet, once I overcame the incessant need to be liked or accepted for who I am by most of popular culture and society, I realized that I started to feel less anxious and entirely more free.
  • I even felt like being more outgoing in public and noticed I didn’t shy away from talking to people.

I also enjoyed being more present in my life:

I went to the movies twice and didn’t share about it except in conversation with people who inquired.

I visited a local winery and got all dolled up and went out for once not to do deliveries but to visit a new place and immerse myself in the experience (plus I tried this peach wine which I ended up loving).

On September 10, 2020 (well I was approved a few days prior) thanks to the help of my state representative, I applied and was officially approved for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and what was so awesome about God’s divine timing with that is it entirely lined up with me putting my book out and manifesting myself out of debt after a year of barely making ends meet and living entirely off my credit cards.

It felt like justice had been served and it was a beautiful GLORY TO GOD moment where everything came full circle but the fight I fought was finally won. God vindicated me from the ashes and gave me beauty. And the amount I was promised was way more than I was originally quoted when I went to “court” with that former employer.

  • I’ve been able to start seeking treatment for my mental health.
  • I’ve been able to close and pay off five credit cards.
  • I’ve been able to help my parents through their rough year.
  • I’ve been able to pay for things with real money instead of credit cards and I’ve not felt this free since college fiscally.

Since I am nearing my announcement for my poetry book, I did have to return to social media. I did so as of yesterday. And what’s ironic to me is that people welcomed me back with open arms, and I lost a whopping 64-70 followers total (on Instagram only), and gained them back already today by returning to the network so I lost nothing by being “logged off.”

Speaking of my poetry book, it is giving me anxiety a smidge because I have to wait so long for them to continually make sure my formatting on my interior file is right and fits within the margins but I did finally get to order my proof copy today so we are cooking with gas now. As soon as I resubmit the manuscript and it is approved, I can offically reveal my cover and you will be safe to pre-order the book. I’m also hoping once all that is ready to go, I won’t have to move my publication date around but being that I want to safely inspect the actual proof before having people order it, you can see my small little issue.

Be on the lookout for that post to be shared separately very soon.

It did make me a little mad that I didn’t get more content ready for you while I was off social but like I said, my main focus was my poetry book and all the book launch tasks for that, and spending more time with God.

The main thing I’ve taken from this is that social media doesn’t require a post every day. It requires you engaging with people. Don’t just like the photo. Comment. Talk to someone. Usually this results in a follow or a few and I’ve decided that I am going to be posting only 2-4 days a week, and using my story on days when I have nothing to share on my feed.

I was also doing LIVE videos via FB every week and I’ve decided that I want to do these once a month to start and then adjust that depending on engagement because I enjoy doing them but they don’t really make me any money whatsoever, and now that I work 13-20 hours per week for a delivery service, I don’t always have the time to do them.

Until next time, remember:

In Christ-Like Love and Confidence,

Chelsea

xoxo

#WriterRevelations: Forever Alone? Nah, You are Never Alone by Chelsea DeVries

Two weeks ago (exactly 17 days ago) I began exhibiting symptoms of #COVID19. I didn’t realize it was in fact “the virus” until the end of the first week I was sick.

I never got it from delivering for Ubereats, Postmates, or Grubhub. Or even for visiting my favorite childhood arcade in the beginnings of the “reopening.” I got it from my younger sister who had gone to a gathering two weeks ago. I’ve compiled my experience with Coronavirus into this video:

Two weeks before, I was actually awaiting something, anything really to happen after being deactivated from doing Ubereats and still not getting many calls for dayjobs due to COVID-19 and the reopening of the economy.

When I got the email from Ubereats I felt like such a failure. I had decided to do it to avoid having a manager after suffering for ten months silently in order to expose and uncover the evil business model of the family I worked for.

I also enjoyed doing Uber because it got me out of the house, it deemed me essential, and it also allowed me the freedom to wholeheartedly pursue both the writing career and building my business as a book and music publicist. I even got to bring my dog.

Yet, in that moment, it felt like I had failed because of the same reasons that have haunted me and made me feel not good enough for six years:

You feel completely helpless and alone when something like that happens to you. Most of us don’t have wealthy family or even friends who would offer us a couch and a blanket if we became homeless.

Yet, amidst this dreaded circumstance, I had to believe that God would show up and do the impossible (Matthew 19:26).

Show up he did. First my dogs got asked to be featured in ad campaign for dog treats.

And it would replenish all the money I lost during this pandemic that I had to borrow from my business in order to stay afloat. Plus, I love being able to show off my dogs. They are all different, but love me in the same way, without end and without reason, which we as humans could learn from and take notes about the true depths of unconditional love.

After all, dog spelt backwards is God, and that is no coincidence.

Then, a week prior to experiencing symptoms, I got a call for a real job with all the perks. Full-time, over-time, and all the benefits I’ve dreamed of since college.

Yet, the day I was scheduled to take the test for the position, my symptoms were undeniable so I knew that I would not pass feeling this bad and I also didn’t want to put anyone at risk while at the testing site.

Now, after being home and isolating and healing I no longer have the doubts I had prior to COVID-19. I also realized that any pressure I feel regarding content and having something to share always are only due to unrealistic expectations I am placing on myself, and they no longer haunt me.

Between losing my only stream of steady income and experiencing COVID-19 firsthand, I have no fear anymore because God showed me through all of this his mighty hand is still on me.

You may be reading this and thinking, “Oh that’s easy for you to say. Your parents cover most of your living expenses.”

That’s where you are wrong. Yes, I live with my parents but it has no bearing on anything other than the fact that I am grateful they have allowed me a temporary place to stay while I continue to rise above the poverty and lack I was raised in. I have faith that it will happen, and may even be closer than it’s ever been. Plus, my parents won’t admit it but they need me as much as I need them but for different reasons.

One day, they know I will pay them back for all they have provided me. I am their daughter after all. They raised me to always give back to the hands that feed you, or help you rise above where circumstances currently have you. My faith taught me to be generous no matter what because love has no why or how. It just shows up for people.

I understand better than just about anyone what it feels like to suffer a panic attack, to feel an utter sense of loss, and to feel like you want to give it all up, but I’m here to tell you that we are not alone in any of this but instead have someone who loves us enough to promise that he will never leave us or forsake us.

Until next time, pray this with me:

Amen.

In Christ-Like Love and Confidence,

Chelsea

xoxo

#WriterRevelations: The Difference Between Happiness and Joy

It seems almost cathartic that I am sitting down today to write this because the battle in my mind hasn’t been light and easy at all. I’ve literally been bombarded by hopeless thoughts. It all started with something that started on the first full week of the year. It threw me off; it blew me away. Then, on that Thursday, I had to rehash old wounds after I was just starting to heal. Then I was denied reformations for the abuse I witnessed and suffered.

Yet, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being happy. What does that mean? Or should I want to be full of joy.

In college, I used to live by the saying “Happiness is a choice,” but then I started to experience depression and anxiety and it’s truly not a choice. Happiness is a temporal emotion but I want something that lasts the rest of my life.

I have trouble recalling the last time I was truly happy. 2006 was a good year. 2014 had really happy moments. 2018 was a good year. After that, I can’t recall being happy. Yet, it brings me joy to be kind to others, to give to someone to remind them they are loved, and think of someone other than myself.

I get happy when my favorite band acknowledges me on social media or when my favorite skateboarder used to smile at me at skate events because he knew I supported him wholeheartedly. I get happy when I am at the skatepark, the library, and the bookstore. I get happy when I can bask in the warmth of the sun or be outside. I get happy drinking a hot cup of espresso or reading a book.

I get happy when I write anything and people say, “Wow, you really have a way with words.

Yet in life I found that traveling and being outside of my normal routine and my comfort zone brings me a sense of zeal. What’s that, you say?

It’s this idea that whatever you are doing or wherever you are, brings this intense energy that literally feels like a fire burning just under your rib cage. It’s a passion that is lit by this awareness of how vast and expansive this big beautiful world is. It’s a sense of purpose. The why you get up every day.

In 2017, I was working toward finishing the re-write of my NA romance novel that is a romantic mystery that takes place at a fictional version of Disney. So I saved my money and asked my mom and she set it up with our family that lives over there for us to have a BEST DAY EVER at Disney World. I hadn’t been to Disney since I had been in college. I think the last trip was in 2013. So it had been four years since I had been to my other happy place in Florida.

Then in 2018, I went on my first cruise and went to the Bahamas but it was Grand Turk that literally set my heart on fire for God’s plans for me. It was the beauty of that Carribean Island that opened the floodgates for me, and an eight month writer’s block was broken.

Yet, it’s joy we should all be after because it is joy that sticks around even in the darkest moments of life. I am about to face a giant on January 31, and I believe God will be with me but the anticipation of sharing my truth and helping fight for those who never felt safe enough to speak out about the abuse they faced is keeping a rain cloud over my head. Top that with still being on the job hunt, and needing to move out on my own, and loving and losing yet again I truly have days lately that I can’t see the light with my natural eyes.

Then, a small infinite miracle will happen that just makes me see that God truly does hear every whisper and collect every tear I shed when life is hard.

I count it all joy when my bills that week get paid from unexpected checks, food deliveries, tips, and surveys.

I count it all joy when I get rejected for yet another job because God’s got a HUGE opportunity prepared for me.

I count it all joy when I get to wake up to slobbery dog kisses from my sweet boy Cooper, my girls Zoey and Hazel who pick me up off the floor when I am sad over that dumb guy or my daily workout was incredibly hard.

I count it all joy when I get inspired by a phrase and run with an idea for my PR business.

I count it all joy that the other day I felt the stirring in my heart that it was time to get serious about writing again.

I count it all joy that I get to laugh at something funny my dad says or have a nice dinner of pizza and wine with my mom at Carrabas because tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.

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I count it all joy when I get a message from a friend that says “Your progress is super encouraging.” or “your determination is appreciated. Keep it up.” Or when I share a clip from my workout that day, “Looking great every single day.”

I don’t at all have this life thing figured out and I’m no better than anyone else but I do see that sometimes God’s process is weird at first but when you get to the other side of it you see the whole picture.

When the oil in the paint settles, what a masterpiece.

I recently wrote this micropoem and wanted to share it with you

Honestly thought, I have no clue where you are in your life right now. I have no idea what you’ve had to endure, what heartbreak you’ve faced, what you have had to overcome or what you are currently fighting against but I write these little essays to light the fire in you and me. We are the change this world needs.

When things are looking bad, and worry and self-preservation and self-pity try to take over your mind, just stop and say, “Jesus, thank you for the promise of the Holy Spirit. I’m asking in your name, that the Holy Spirit rise up within me and reveal my Father to me in this situation. Reveal how much he loves me and how much he has given me.”

Until next time, remember:

#WriterRevelations: The Power In Being Present

So here we are on a brand new site…reading my first blog post.

And just like that something on this page, or a sound or something around you took you away from focusing on my words.

Believe me when I say, I know exactly how that can be.

If someone actually showed my brain’s activity on a livestream where everyone could see every thought and how it pops into my brain, and how the majority of them I pay no mind to but as I’ve gotten older, it seems that I have a tendency to focus my thoughts on two things:

  1. The past ( recently: why did I work at my last job, memories of working there (mostly all upsetting) and that one guy I almost Facebook friended who never replies when I text him
  2. The future (imagination) [how things would be if I was dating that guy, the next job I will have, me in my own place, etc. all happy thoughts that have no grounds in the reality of time and space]

I rarely ever am paying attention or giving mind to the here and now.

Well, I’ve started to become aware of this so the first thing I did when I resigned from my last job was take my dogs on (almost) daily walks.

I spend a lot of time at home now that I am solely self-employed, and continuing to wait on the next opportunity that supports the next chapter of where God wants me. Either way, it’s important to get out of the house, and since I am very goal-oriented to the point that I don’t sleep or I suffer anxiety or panic attacks because of it, I have to practice different things to be present.

So I take my dogs on walks with the goal being that I wouldn’t think about my to-do list or all the things I haven’t done yet (all those videos that need edit, the new idea for a video I need to film, all those reviews and content ideas for The Smart Cookie, or how to better promote my merch shop designs, etc.) You get the idea. All I focus on while on the walk with my dogs is the dog I am with and I allow them to take as long as they need to just be a dog. They can sniff that tree, pull me back towards that smell that has them curious, and even walk as slow or as fast as they want. It allows my brain time to truly rest from all the things and my dogs pure unfiltered “I am a dog out in nature” experience.

My dogs love it and I do too. So much so that I try not to miss a walk anymore.

Then, towards the end of last month and in the beginning of this one, I noticed that I started having anxiety about the walks.

  • Would people be outside?
  • Would they say hello?
  • Would they think I’m weird?

Basically, all things you can’t control. So now that I realized I can’t control people within my own neighborhood, I’ve started to realize what I can control is me and my own body and if being present means helping me care for myself then I must work to do it more often.

With that said, I do feel grateful for many things this year. 2019 was a weird year but it was still full of good things which are:

  • 1. The grace and love of my Lord Jesus
  • 2. My health
  • 3. My red hair
  • 4. My squad aka 3 of the best dogs ever
  • 5.That I was able to leave a job that was toxic to my overall growth
  • 6. That my parent’s take care of me while I continue toward the next opportunity
  • 7. My clients
  • 8. All of you
  • 9. Hot Chelle Rae and the Jonas Brothers returning to music
  • 10. The continued growth and continued success of my baby The Smart Cookie Philes.

I will say that ever since I resigned my bills have been paid. God always finds a way to get the money to me in time and I don’t have to fear that not a penny will be short of what I need each week. I know that I am being asked to learn how to get by solely by the grace of God but not a moment too long will I need to wait or be weary about the next opportunity will come.

It is on the way and I believe it.

One thing I also realized is that social media doesn’t help with me being present. It is full of people and things that trigger old wounds, past mistakes, and current or future rejection. So when I can, I tend to pull back with sharing things on there when I feel that people aren’t listening with both of their ears but solely judging me silently with both of their eyes.

If you are struggling this season or just need to focus on God right now, pray this prayer below:

Until next time, remember:

In Christ-Like Love and Confidence,

Chelsea

xoxo

God Bless!