the best of YED: vol. II, before you start

Aaand we’re back!

“We” being me.

And the Holy Spirit.

Anyway, here’s Volume II! How’d you like the first installment of my YED Series? That volume focused more on relationships, so now that we’ve laid out the backgroundwork, I’ll be talking about getting started. This volume is packed with questions because I’ve learned that it’s really important to be introspective before yelling, “we move!”

(Like, where are we moving to pls? :-/)

These are all points that I saw coming in handy for the pre-beginners. Whether you’re thinking of starting a business, your next semester, a new diet, a new book… whatever it is, just take the advice you need.

Again, I’ll have the points I actually took from the Summit big and bold; everything else will be thoughts from yours truly. Let’s get right into it!

1. Integrity -> Integer -> Whole

  • Can you stay focused? Can you settle down?


Can I be real a second? (For just a millisecond?)

I can’t really remember how integrity relates to staying focused. I have an idea, but I could be completely off. I’ll figure it out as I go.


To explain the arrows: integrity comes from the word “integer”, which means whole (as opposed to being in fractions, parts). When it’s said that a person has integrity, or is a person of integrity, you can think of them as being all or nothing. Being focused.

Yeah, I remembered.

So why is this important? Ideally, you don’t want to go into something new with anything weighing you down. So ask yourself—do you finish the books you start? Do your drafts make it to the editing stage, or do you just push them aside when inspiration comes afresh? Do you follow up with the people on your team, or does your distractedness keep you from keeping up with your responsibilities? Do you drop out of the race when the pace picks up?

Are you disciplined?

If you can’t stay focused, you won’t get things done. Ko possible. Exhibit A is me trying to write this blog post while moving out of my summer housing and applying for a research conference and being a bridesmaid, and probably other things, but just know I’m behind schedule and it feels gross. (moved out a week ago, just finished that sentence. Exhibit. A.)

This isn’t to say that you can’t manage multiple projects, but you need to be honest with yourself about how much of yourself you have to give to them. Can you afford to be wholly invested?


2. “No one’s gonna come save me. No one’s gonna do it for me. I need to do it.”


I was gonna save train of thought for another post, but I can attempt to give y’all a sneak peek now (I really did try):

When you boil it all the way down, life is just “drip or drown”.

I mean, sink or swim*. If you’re thrown into a pool of water, those are your only options. If you’re given a test, you’ll pass or you’ll fail. If you set standards for yourself, you’ll meet them or you won’t. Super. simple.

Nobody can swim for you.

Or maybe, think of a tree. There’s a tree in your brain. On your good days, your creative days, this tree is fruitful. And y’know what fruit does? Protects seeds.

So your brain is full of all these seeds, and you’re the only one who can plant them. Can other people help you by tending to your seedlings, watering the soil, pulling the weeds? Of course. But that’s your seed, and it won’t grow until it’s planted, so recognize the responsibility you have in making sure it’s fruitful.

That metaphor probably made more sense in my head, but just recognize that if it’s your idea, you have to to get it started. If there’s anything you want me to clear up, just let me know!

(funny story, when I was 4, my Uncles TOM (3 separate uncles, but their names started with T O and M and I was a smart kid) told me that if I swallowed an orange seed, an orange tree would grow out of my head. yes, I was mortified).


3. If there aren’t any roads, you shouldn’t be buying a car


This one is just common sense. Before you get ready to make an investment, consider how much you really need what you’re pouring your ____ into. Strive to be a good steward of whatever you have. Time, money, resources, knowledge–the list goes on.

Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, ‘“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ ‘

Luke 14:25-30

I left the first few verses in there because they’re spicy and we can talk about them in the comments, but consider the bolded portion. If you don’t think ahead about what you can do with what you have, you might just go out sad. (Translation: you might embarrass yourself.) Don’t bite off more than you can chew because you don’t know how big your mouth is. Don’t buy a car when you’re planning to move to a tiny village in Europe with tiny paths for everybody to ride their tiny bikes. Know what you’re capable of, and check in with yourself to make sure that you actually need what you’re getting out of your investments.


4. Lists are not prisons

  • Not every idea will make the cut


This was another direct hit. I’d already been saying this, but apparently, I can’t do everything. Like, it’s physically impossible for me to take the 24 hours I get in one day and use them to do all the things I’m supposed to WELL while also doing all the things I want to and all the things I need to.

Classes start in less than two weeks, so I have to go back to my Wunderlist + Google Calendar + Calendly combo. If I want to keep up with this blog (while also doing photography and drawing) while managing my Glam Squad duties for Better Than Half while ALSO bringing up my STEM GPA (lol) and studying for the MCAT (LOL)… I’m just gonna stop there. brb.


Here is my list. It’s looking pretty unreaLISTic (ba dum tss), but at least I’ve prioritized things. It’s a lot to look at, but I have to remind myself that it’s not binding. It’ll probably change before the end of the semester, and come January I’ll have an entirely new list. What matters is that I have one.  With this list, I know have an idea of what I can and can’t take on. This is integrity in action.

But remember, you can plan as much as you want–God remains sovereign over all. You cannot out-god God with your Wunderlist. Or your Google Calendar. I’ve tried.

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. ‘

Proverbs 3:5-6


5. What table do you really want a seat at?

  • it might not exist yet


ah ha ha

I smell a segue #staytuned

(fyi, a lot of people say type “segway” when they mean “segue”. and then cue/queue??? que isn’t even an English word, unless you’re abbreviating barbeque. anyway.)

When I think about Bible passages that refer to tables, Psalm 23 comes to mind.

‘You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows. ‘

Psalms 23:5

We love this verse. Getting revenge by means of success sounds really enticing, and this verse seems to back it up perfectly. But think about it; the verse just says that you’re in the presence of your enemies; that doesn’t mean you’re flexing on them. They could be flexing on you! You’re just there having your table prepared. So what’s more important, the flex or the preparation that’s being done for you despite your circumstances? More on Psalm 23 soon. Like real soon.

So, know where you want to go. Everybody talks about getting a seat at the table, or getting your own table, or making your own table, or BUYING your own table, everyday table table table but where is this table??? Even if you don’t know exactly how you’re going to get there, you probably want to make sure you know where you’re going, just in case it doesn’t exist yet.

Bonus thought: the table exists, but are you supposed to be sitting there? Pray about it a likkle.


6. For what you want to do, could there be a part 2? Should there be?

This was a really interesting point for me. It was given in reference to an app that has a 2.0 version rolling out soon. ~An upgrade.~

To go back to point #1, I can be so “ooo, new!” that I start running as soon as I have an idea that seems solid. Not a lifestyle I would recommend. Even without the rest of my list, I truly cannot see myself with another blog. I didn’t plan for that–I didn’t even plan to update my theme, or logo. Almost 2 years ago, I hit the ground running.

And that’s okay.

Sometimes, you’re just gonna have to move, like Jonathan did. (I really struggled with this passage because I didn’t understand how he was going forward with such a crazy plan without knowing that God was gonna back him up. Mans literally said “perhaps”.) Sometimes, only the first step will make sense. I’m sure Peter wasn’t thinking past his first step when it was time to walk on water–you can’t really plan a path when your landscape is doing somersaults. But when God sent Himself to us as a man, He knew He’d be sending Himself as a Spirit. He had pt.2 figured out.

‘ “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

John 16:5-7

I doesn’t hurt to think ahead (just make sure you’re staying present #selfdrag). You might’ve been told to come up with a 10-year plan for your career goals, but your dreams and desires deserve proper planning too.


And that’s all she wrote.

I usually push the writer’s block aside, but idk. I want to start writing regularly. I know I won’t always feel like it when the time comes, but discipline uno. This post doesn’t feel perfect, but I’ll actually be touching on that concept (perfection killing progression) in a later volume (woohoo for planning ahead!)

It’s 2:10 in the morning (I really wanted to finish “today” so I can finish my application “tomorrow”, which is just later today at this point), so all I have to say is “goodnight”.

and “be blessed bbys ✨”

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