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I recently woke up from a dream in a pensive mood. There was a good 15-year period where I didn’t dream at all; then I started taking a magnesium supplement, and now my brain won’t shut up. But that’s a story for another day.

Most of the dream is blurry now, but I remember walking into a meeting with a former colleague. We somehow got on the topic of a mutual former co-worker… and I proceeded to rant about how they were the worst person I’d ever met in my entire life. The venom I spewed was created from years of harassment and abuse, and the heat from it could’ve burned down a city. The more my perspective was disregarded, the harder I eviscerated this person.

When I awoke from this dream, I realized that it had been six years since I’d had to tolerate this person. I had another thought: instead of always reducing them to the devil reincarnate, I should consider how they were drowning in their life’s circumstances and taking it out on everyone around them. I’m not excusing it, and I’ll never tolerate that kind of behavior around me… but I can understand it.

It’s not uncommon for my brain to focus on the negative side of a situation, feeding myself the worst-case scenario. It’s second nature at the moment, so it takes intentionality to actively analyze situations by their reality and not by my emotions.

We are what we eat.

The most obvious context is the food we consume: while fried and fatty foods may taste amazing, they wreak havoc on our bodies. It’s well documented that our cells take on the characteristics of the food we ingest, and it shows in our energy levels and behaviors when we’re not eating the right foods. Like the gas we put in our car, the same goes for our bodies: junk in, junk out.

The other context is what we allow our minds to focus on. The more we consume negative media, thoughts, relationships, etc. …all of it affects our psyches. But when we are intentional about consuming healthy content, food, relationships, etc… our lives will begin to reflect that.

The algorithms on every social media platform reinforce this: the more of something you consume, the more it feeds you. For example, the sheer number of stories on Reddit about toxic romantic relationships made me ready to die single. However, conversations with really good friends in healthy relationships showed me I was focusing on the wrong things.

Yes, there are a lot of people in this world that genuinely suck. There are even more people who are genuine, who want the best for their partner and loved ones, and are willing to do the work. And although the dating pool has pee in it, I still cling to the hope that I’ll find the perfect partner for me.

So now, I’m more intentional with what I feed myself, especially on social media. The more I consume positive content, the more positivity it feeds me. Focusing on getting 1% better every day will provide results over time. It is infinitely easier said than done, but Rome wasn’t built in a day either.

I’m still working on my food diet, but one step at a time.


Orondé Jenkins is a multidisciplinary artist and media consultant based in Nashville. No Average Journey was born out of his desire to help artists grow in their lives and careers.