Best Thing I Ever Learned From: Driving

I thought I’d do another quick Best Thing I Ever Learned From… edition, this time focused on driving. In the upcoming year, I’ll finally have to renew my license after six years (three yays for a new license picture…), which got me thinking about driving.

When I first learned how to drive, my excitement quickly gave way to nervousness. At first, I didn’t understand why people loved it so much. There’s a new sense of freedom, sure, but reversing and not hitting anything? Parallel parking? How about all the rules of the road? And the highway? Forget it. How was I supposed to remember it all? After one afternoon of driving practice with my dad, I remember parking in our driveway and with a frustrated huff, saying something along the lines of, “How do people do it? Driving is so hard! I can’t even reverse correctly – the car doesn’t go where I want it to go!”

I’ll forever remember this next part clear as day. My dad reached over from the passenger seat, held the steering wheel, and then turned to me and said, “Layo, you see this wheel? The car goes wherever you turn it. If you turn it right, it’ll go right. If you turn it left, it’ll go left.” For one, that was some pretty memorable advice for my reversing game (I’m a pro now). But more than that, those became some practical words of encouragement for me to remember at various times down the line in my life. And they’re words that I know will come in handy for 2017. Most people have goals they’d like to achieve for each new year; and most end up shucking those goals to the wayside by the time January comes to a close, due to distractions, procrastination, or hardship. But how much more successful we’d be with our goals if we remembered my dad’s poignant words! Continue reading


This morning, I read a blog post written by an undergrad who’d been accused of plagiarism by her professor. She wrote on the obstacles she faces as a first-generation college student and U.S. citizen, and how superiors in her field of academia don’t expect her to be capable of achieving above and beyond the many accomplishments she’d already worked incredibly hard for. They assume she isn’t smart enough to grasp complex ideas, or to write scholarly and engagingly enough for her class assignments. This is, of course, a systemic problem with deep roots. But what struck me the most about her post was the fact that she felt “invalidated.”

How many of us have ever doubted “ourselves, our abilities, and our aspirations” based on other people’s opinions, as she did? I would guess that the number would include all of us. It is so ridiculously easy to let other voices infiltrate our emotions and influence our thought processes. We hear opinions from all sides, all the time: from friends, co-workers, employers, family, peers, society, media, and perhaps from what could be worst of all – ourselves. We allow the resulting doubt to fester in our minds until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We wonder, Wait… can I really do that? Am I really that capable? Do I really have that talent? Is this really what I’m supposed to do? Continue reading

Come To Me

Goodness, time flies – it’s already the last day of February, and a week since I turned 23 (I got to celebrate with my friends for most of the week, which was quite spectacular!). As a small end-of-February celebration, I thought that I’d share some music that I’ve been listening to as my bread and butter for the past month, a song that I’m sure will encourage and refresh anyone who hears, as much as it did me. I don’t remember how I came across it (probably on Pandora – that app seriously gets it right sometimes), but it was close to the end of January, and I remember stopping whatever I was doing to listen to the words of this song. The words gripped me, not only because of their simplicity, but because of the power and absolute truth behind them. They’re written as if straight from God’s heart to ours, and it’s just overwhelmingly beautiful to me. Continue reading

Am I There Yet?

I’m directionally-challenged.

I don’t know what “turn southwest” means (I mean, is that left or right?!), and sometimes when my Google Maps app lady tells me to turn right, I accidentally turn left thinking I’m completely correct. I could chalk it up to normal human error, but even then, I still have the hardest time deciphering (what should be simple) highway directions. My internal conversations as I approach and am on highways goes a little like this:

(heart speeds up) Must… edge… into… oncoming… traffic… safely. Anddd success!
Hm, do I take this exit?…
Or THIS exit?
Wait, no, I think I just exited too early.
Or…wait… Am I even on the right highway?
Okay, I’ll take the exit in a quarter-mile.
Wait, there are two directions to exit in. Is it left or right? Left. Or. Right. LAYO, CHOOSE!
(veers left)
Google Maps Lady: Rerouting…
(face palm)

Such is my life when I’m out on the road and not too familiar with my surroundings. Yes, I definitely panic when I’m waiting on the Google lady to tell me where to go, and she hasn’t said anything in 5 miles, and I see a stoplight coming up, and I wonder, do I turn? Am I going straight? What do I do, Google Maps lady?? It was at a time like this recently – when I began to internally panic as I drove to my destination – that God really started to tug at my heart and speak to me about patience and listening to Him in my life. Continue reading

Unbreakable Smile

I so wish I had more time to write a decent post on the greatness that is Tori Kelly and this song, but unfortunately, studying for finals comes first (at least it’s great study music!). Tori is an amazing musician (I mean, those riffs…!), but what I love about her the most – aside from her spectacular hair – is the stand she always makes to live upright in an industry and world that says it’d be easier to just compromise one’s standards and be like everyone else to be successful. In my eyes, she’s one of the best kinds of success there is – someone who’s unique, talented, and doesn’t let the world define how she should use those talents.

I’ll let her words speak for themselves. Continue reading