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  • Raven James

A New Day: Welcome (again) to Serendipity & Such



A dear friend of mine always says this, but only recent have I been able to take it to heart:


There's always a Fresh 24.


A fresh twenty four hours. That is to say regardless of how today went, regardless of the shortcomings you may have faced today, there is still tomorrow God willing. For a long time, I've operated on an All-or-Nothing mentality. In other words when I was into something I'd be all in. If I made plans to exercise and lose weight, I would be exercising daily. If I dedicate time to writing, I literally shut down everything else and put time solely on writing.

But the All or Nothing mentality has a significant downside. It meant that if I messed up--even just once--I was more prone to give up entirely. It's definitely a more dramatic response, but I feel like it plagues us more than we'd like to believe. For a long time I've denied myself the idea of having a grey area. It's either I'm exercising everyday or I'm loafing in my spare time. It's either read several books per month or go months without reading. It's either binge watch shows or completely cut myself off from streaming services. It's either I'm a champion or I'm a complete loser.

By presenting this idea that I had to be on the tip top of things 100% of the time, I undoubtedly set myself up for failure. I created a breeding ground for self-doubt and negativity. And for that reason my passion project, Serendipity & Such, fell by the wayside immensely. Throughout the past few months I've been able to do some real, much needed reflection regarding how I operate and what type of mentality I have going into new things. Within multiple places in my life, I felt stuck. But at some point I wanted the negative to stop.

"I just can't concentrate"

"I haven't had anything to write about"

"I'm just so tired"

"I should be further along in life. I should be doing great things"

"Everyone else is making something of themselves and here I am"

"I've gained so much weight, I don't think I'll ever get back to where I was"


I had so many excuses for why I wasn't doing what I needed to do, or even what I wanted to do. I found myself face to face with every insecurity I've ever encountered in my life coming at me at once. At some point, I had to get up and remind myself who I am and why I'm here. To put it plainly, I just got tired of feeling sorry for myself.

And then one day, I heard my friend say this phrase. A phrase that she has probably said literally hundreds of times since I've known her: There's always a Fresh 24. As ridiculous as it sounds, something immediately clicked for me on what was likely the 488th time I've heard that phrase that didn't click before. All of a sudden I was able to sit there and ask: Why am I doing this to myself? Seriously...why is messing up one day the end of the world?

Maybe you think it's bold to say because tomorrow is never guaranteed. And while I would agree on that, it's still no excuse for me to act like the sky is falling because I was inconsistent in something. At the time of this post, we're getting ready to come into a new year. Right now if people haven't done so already, they're planning, goal-setting, everything we typically do at the start of the new year.

I've always been for goal setting. But for whatever reason I never made the connection that my worth isn't determined by whether or not I meet those goals. And this isn't to say that there's "no point" in goal setting, there definitely is. The point isn't about reaching the goal itself; it's ideal, yes, but not the main objective. When we make goals for ourselves, we should find fulfillment in the pursuit of that goal, rather than just the goal itself. Meaning if someone aims to lose 50 lbs. by next summer and by the time summer comes they've lost 42 they didn't fail! You might not have met your target goal but do you feel better? Do your old clothes fit now? Do you feel healthier? Can you go up a couple flight of stairs without feeling winded?

I spent so much time harping on whether or not I met my target, that I didn't stop and appreciate the work that did do. The progress I did make. The breakthroughs I did have. I made myself out to be a failure when I all I really needed was to work on my consistency. When we set goals, what we're really doing is creating habits that will set ourselves up to pursue those goals and become better along the way. It's like I spent so much time looking sadly at the moon all while I was passing by stars.


Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.

It is for this reason that I am reasserting my faith in my abilities. If you have been following for a while, you may have noticed that S&S has undergone somewhat of a face lift. I wanted to put more time, energy, and money into making this blog look and feel how I want it to. But believe me, the balloon imagery is not going anywhere.


Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself




I'm Raven and creative writing is my passion. I enjoy books of all kinds, whether it is fiction or nonfiction, biographies, memoirs, self-help, essays, short stories, fiction, Black literature, social literature--I read it all. I'm a full grown adult but if you bring me a balloon as a gift it will make my day. I collect Funko pop figures and have them on display in my office. I went from being a person that "sort of" likes dogs to a person that loves dogs thanks to my puppy Tyson. I'm pretty biased, but I believe my husband and I have a fantastic love story of essentially going straight from long-distance to being married. I love God and I try more than ever to love people. I'm a proud introvert but just give me some time to amp up and I'll go to that thing you invited me to. I have every intention of creating a better life for me and my family, and pursuing my dreams in the process. I'm also Pro-Oxford Comma.



Serendipity & Such is a blog I created when I was in serious need of a creative outlet several years ago. It was during a time in which I felt I was in the dark and needed light. For the first few months, I didn't bother sharing it with others because I was afraid of putting myself out there. But when I did finally start sharing, it felt like the purpose of this page became more and more clear. Just as investing time in my emotional health and personal growth has been huge for me, I wanted to make sure other people could experience that impact for themselves.


You may have noticed that the main imagery for this blog is balloons. While it's because I do love balloons, I also have become fond of the symbolism behind them. Balloons represent our aims, objectives, and dreams in life. They also represent the idea of 'letting go', whether it be our fears, our sorrows, or our past. There's so much negative in this world. Serendipity & Such is dedicated to personal growth and self-awareness, but also positive development. I hope you as the reader can be strengthened, so that you and I both can delight in our journeys as we grow from the experience and learn along the way.


Welcome and Thank You for visiting Serendipity & Such!


-Raven




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