Finding the Good

Life never seems to go according to plan; at least my life doesn’t. I graduated this past May. I was supposed to graduate with a job offer somewhere exciting like NY, DC, Chicago or Atlanta. Instead, I graduated with a summer internship in NY. Okay, not exactly my plan but I’ll take it.

I was supposed to rent an apartment in Manhattan with a roommate and explore the city. You know, be in the middle of the “big city, bright lights” action. Instead, I stayed in my cousin’s basement in Jersey City and caught a bus and two trains to my internship each day. Okay, still not my original plan, but it was free housing and I still had a wonderful experience.

During the summer I applied for job after job up and down the east coast. I was supposed to land a great job, excellent pay, move to a new city (if not NY) and, well, just be fabulous. Instead, I received a remote-editor position with a salary, not great but livable, and ended up going back home to save money before finally moving. Okay, yet again, a little different than I expected, but at least I can move to an exciting place, as long as my salary affords it, with no obligations.

Before going home, I visited my boyfriend and explained to him how down I was about my situation. I thought when I’d left at the beginning of the summer I would only return home to get my car. I just knew I was out of school, out of that city and never looking back. Yet, there I was preparing to go back home; going back to the same place, same people and surroundings like I’d never left. And do you know what he said to me?

And I quote, “Somehow, you always find the negative.” Okay, not the response I was looking for, but the one I needed to hear. It made me stop and think, do I really only see the bad things? At first I protested, but once I came to terms with the fact that I was in denial, I found my answer to be yes.

Hello, my name is Shala and I am negative. It even hurts to type it.

When I graduated I was excited about going to NY, but a part of me was disappointed that it wasn’t for a full-time job. Negative. The reality is that I should’ve been grateful to have any type of income coming into the awful economy we’re dealing with. Positive.

I had this idea of NY and my stay there, but my living and commuting situation dampened my spirits. Negative. I got the chance to live FOR FREE, work in Soho, meet so many great people and have one of the best summers of my life. I was blessed to do what many others could not. Positive.
I didn’t want to go home and feel like a failure because I was “going back.” Negative. I was headed home, again, to live FOR FREE, save up money and then drive across the country to live in any city my heart desired because I have a work-at-home job. Positive.

My life never seemed to go according to plan because I was looking at my own plan instead of God’s. Then I’d end up disappointed and seeing things in a negative way instead of the good He meant for me. Everything is about perception; if we see bad, it’ll be and feel bad. But if we choose to find the good in seemingly negative situations, our entire outlook will change.

So today I encourage you to see the good no matter what. Everything happens for a reason, and if we search hard enough we will discover something to be thankful for. I’ll start: I had a negative mindset, but I’m thankful someone cared for me enough to correct me so that now I can say “Hello, my name is Shala. I am positive and I find the good.”


Service is her passion, writing is her platform, women and the Black Community are her avenues. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Marks aspires to help make a difference in society through the messages in her writings. She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Check her out at:




  1. Shala-Very good article. I’m glad that you were able to look in your mirror of truth and see your own character defect. You seemed to have come to terms with it and adjusted your way of thinking. That is a positive accomplishment in itself! 🙂

    Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll see everything that you want, come to fruition! 🙂

  2. Thank you Sweet Serenity! I appreciate it! And thank you for reading.

  3. Shala, this was awesome. We could all use a check in our attitudes. I’m glad to chose to stay focused by seeing where God was taking you for your own good and deciding to roll with it. Good luck in your future endeavors!

  4. I totally understand, I use to have that attitude as well, and God delivered me from it. I find that we often don’t see ourselves the way other people see us. People that know and love us. As I was reading your story all I saw was how God was blessing you! You work in the field you went to school for; most don’t, you clearly have a lot of family support; again a lot do not, you were instantly offered an intership when you graduated! Awesome! You have favor my dear, and now an amazing attitude…enjoy it! I can’t wait to see what great blessing God has for you next!

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