Why I Chose Odyssey

Why I Chose Odyssey

And Also Why You Should Too
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When I was twelve years old Hurricane Katrina hit. My home flooded and we wouldn't be going back. I had to go live with my dad in New Orleans. They don't live in the city, but right outside it and once everyone was allowed to return back, I was sent to live with him, my stepmom, and two of my sisters for a year.

*Note: because the Lord is faithful, their house was completely untouched besides the door being blown open and leaves inside the house.

While there I called my mom every single night at 9:00 pm. It became a routine. I'd talk to her about absolutely any and everything. I fell into sort of a depressed like state. I was an honor roll student, yet found myself just sitting in class staring off into space. I wasn't happy.

My mother began to give me topics every single night to write about before bed. Some would be silly topics such as, "If I were a fridge that what food would be inside me". And then some topics would be a little bit more on the serious side to get me to think.

I was even asked to write my own stories and brainstorm my own topics some days to write about what was on my heart. I even had a special little notebook with a special case to keep it in and made sure to never miss a day. It was my outlet. I still have it to this day put up safe at my moms house.

I have always loved to write. I loved the creativity in it and that I could write about anything that I wanted to. It was freeing.

This is what Odyssey has brought back.

As I have mentioned about always loving to write, but before joining Odyssey, I never wrote. It had been a hobby, but because of school and life, I never did it anymore. I even graduated and had time to focus on it, yet never quite felt that urge or push to just begin writing. I felt that there was just no need for it.

Then I had a friend tell me that she just started writing for Odyssey and absolutely loved it. I was so surprised! Of course, I had seen and read plenty of articles that come from Odyssey, but never had realized that I could potentially be a writer for them myself. I debated on whether I should apply or not and with the encouragement of my friend, I applied.

I now had a reason to begin writing again! Having deadlines and due dates encouraged me to write knowing that there was a purpose for it. I'm not saying that you need a purpose or a reason to write, but finally being finished with school, for the time being, not having anything to be due, not stressing over homework meant that my time was free!

What is also great about Odyssey is that if you love writing and have passions that you just want to share then Odyssey is a perfect place for you.

There are communities that are filled with those who love to encourage and keep you motivated, ready and willing to write. These people will help you to share your articles and get them spread. I personally didn't join for the publicity of my articles, but knowing that they could be reaching people who truly are meant to read it encouraged me.

I believe that God gave me the passion to write as a hobby. A way to let out my thoughts, to share what God lays on my heart, and to just write about the silly things when needed. It is not demanding. You will have due dates, and this is for your benefit. They help to keep you on track and to get them ready to go live in a timely manner so that you can share what has been laid on your heart.

I definitely encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, like I did, and if you have been questioning to write or not, to just do it. Step out on faith and allow your creativity to flow. You can join a local community such as your university or choose to go on your own where you will have the chance to write as often as you choose or skip a week or two if needed. Unfortunately, with being solo you won't have the convenience of the community or editors before publishing it, but you will still be writing with Odyssey!

If you are considering it, I suggest you go to Odyssey website and seek out information for yourself and just go for it. You won't regret it!


Cover Image Credit: https://noccainstitute.com/2017/09/fall-classes-for-adults-in-writing-tap-dance-and-improv/

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10 Reasons Why My Mom Is My Hero

She's also my best friend.
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My mom is pretty darn special. And I'd be kidding myself to say that I tell her enough how much I appreciate her. There aren't enough breaths in the day to thank her for all that she has done for me, and all that she will do for me. So this is for my momma, these are just a few of the reasons why I think she's pretty great.

1. I can talk to her about anything.

I know for a fact that no matter the issue and no matter the story, my mom will listen to the entire thing with nothing but compassion in her heart. I don't ever need to wonder if she will judge me because I know for a fact that she never will.

2. She gives the best hugs.

I don't care if I saw her yesterday or if I've been away for three months; my mom will always hug me like she hasn't seen me in years, and there isn't a better feeling in the world.

3. I have never met a more selfless person.

She has such a heart for others and I am constantly blown away by her devotion and passion for serving those around her. If I (or anyone else) needs anything, my mom is the first one to jump up, drop everything, and run to help. If I have half as much generosity as my mom someday, I know that I would be making a huge difference.

4. I am inspired by her.

Always.

5. She cares so much for me.

I know that no matter how old I grow to be, and how mature I may become, my mom will always be there for me. She will always be waiting with open arms to either congratulate me or console me. I have never felt more loved by any other human than I do by my mom.

6. She loves me unconditionally.

I will never ever need to worry that she will stop loving me. No matter the circumstances, no matter the phase of life that I'm in, my mom will always be there for me, loving me every step of the way.

7. She is my number one cheerleader.

I don't think I will every meet another person more dedicated to my success and ready to celebrate my accomplishments than my mom. She is hands-down my biggest supporter and will always be standing at the finish line of whatever race I may be running. I could be crawling across that finish line and she'd still be cheering for me the whole way.

8. I can always count on her to point me in the right direction.

My mom will pray for me. She'll encourage me. She will lead by example and through the counseling that she is always ready to provide. I know that I can always count on her to push me in the direction of my dreams.

9. She has the best laugh.

I could pick my mom's laugh out of a crowd of hundreds. Her ability to laugh at herself (and at her own cheesy jokes) are part of what makes her so amazing. But the sound of my mom's laugh has the capability to make anyone's day, including mine.

10. I never stop learning from her.

See points 1-9.


Mom, you are such an amazing woman, and there is simply no way that I could put it into words. So I'll simply say thank you. Thank you for all that you do for me, day-in and day out. Thank you for loving me, and showing me what it means to live like Jesus and everything else that you do. I hope that one day my daughter might love me as much as I love you.

Love,

Me

Cover Image Credit: Ashley Burton

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Thank You, Odyssey, For Giving Me A Place I Belong

You were the thing I never knew I needed.

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When I was asked if I wanted to write on Odyssey, I was skeptical. I had no idea what it was. I maybe had read two or three articles that I saw on Facebook but besides that, I had no exposure to it.

I didn't understand what Odyssey was. I was told it was a place where people from all over could write about whatever they wanted.

To me, that sounded amazing. I could freely write about any and everything.

Since joining Odyssey I have found something within myself that I never knew I had.

I didn't ever think that I would enjoy writing as much as I do now.

Writing for Odyssey makes me happy because I know that no matter what someone will read what I write. You're guaranteed at least one reader, and sometimes that's all you need. One person, one view, one soul to care about something that you are passionate enough to write about.

It's more than just writing a weekly article, I am now in a family. My fellow Odyssey members and I support one another, offer help, and inspiration.

Thanks to Odyssey, I have felt more comfortable talking to people about some of the serious topics that I wouldn't prior to writing for them. For whatever the reason I psychically couldn't talk about how hard it was losing my uncle. But after I wrote my article on What I Would Say If I Could Call You, One Last Time, and it peaked at 2,600+ views, it gave me a sense that other people knew how I felt.

I had friends, family, and complete strangers reach out to me following the article. For the first time in my life, I could verbally communicate with them about such issues. It helped bring me out of my shell.

I was always so anxious about sharing my articles on my social media. Facebook? For me, that was strictly for family and close friends, and I was scared people were going to judge me. They were all going to see a side of me that I show very few people. Vulnerable.

But I did it. I shared my first article on Facebook and surprisingly got a lot of support.

To anyone in need of an escape or hobby, consider writing. You can find the Odyssey application by clicking here.

Joining Odyssey family will give you a sense of belonging, just like it did for me.

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