7 Things You Should Do In 2017

2017
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In this New Year things will be different for some people, will remain the same for others, but it will ultimately represent completion for the risk takers, over-achievers, and GOAL DIGGERS!  I am a few months shy from the rebirth of my blog and with all of the things I have done with writing, experimenting, and finding my niche, I am moved by LIFE!

So as I was sitting home on New Year’s Day I had a burst of energy and the title, 7 Things You Should Do In 2017 popped in my head.  So here goes…

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Turning 35 in December put me smack dab in the middle of my 30s and Lord it hit me and I wasn’t READY!  But now as I look at my career over the past few years, six years in the military, a near year of working at Child Support Services (Not ideal for the working man), and in the middle of my ninth year in the traditional classroom (middle school teacher)…I am ready for something different.

I have earned multiple degrees (A.A.S., A.A., B.A., MPA, Ed.S., and Ed.D.), so now I want to transition into Higher Education.  So on with the pursuit!  If there is something that you want to do, the worse that can happen is being told no, but that does not mean give up.  That just means pour yourself into your pursuit.  It’s time and I feel in my gut that it is going to happen. This is my year!  So follow your instincts and take a leap, you just might enjoy the ride.  *Refreshing my resume, LinkedIn, Higher Ed. jobs account, and EVERYTHING else.*  Wish me luck!

Plan the Vacation You’ve Always Wanted to Taketaking-a-vacation-in-the-middle-of-a-class

I found, booked, and fully paid for a cruise to Jamaica in 2014, but due to extenuating circumstances I was unable to go so I loss $1500.  Sounds like chump change right?  No the hell it don’t.  But after sitting at home these past two holidays…Thanksgiving and Christmas… I have decided I bet I won’t be here next year.  It is time to plan my trip to Jamaica and anywhere else I want to go.  I will escape my home life and you should too.  Whether it’s domestic or international, invest in yourself, your peace of mind, and take yourself somewhere that you’ve always wanted to go.  Jamaica…Aruba…Virgin Islands…Turks and Caicos… I swear I must have been an islander in my past life and thank goodness I already have a PASSPORT.

Write and Publish Your Own Book61yromeb5hl                                                      Everyone has a story or two to tell.  We are all made unique and our life experiences shape us into divine individuals.  For some my life as a country girl from a single parent home that has grown up to do the things I have done is inspiring and for some it might be a bore.  But what I know is that regardless of your backstory, somebody is interested in reading it.  Writing My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching was extremely personal because it was my journey into teaching.  It’s not about the money; it’s about sharing my words, my talent, and my expressions.  So I challenge you all to put it on paper and watch it grow.  Tell your story…someone needs to hear it.

Kick it With Your Crush1303213-211743-valentine-sweethearts-characters-arm-in-arm1

Being recently separated after being married for a couple of years, I am suddenly facing no longer being married (I’m not mad, I’m GOOD and so is LIFE).  Oh My Goodness I was blindsided by some things but clearly it was time to let go.  But there are some really good looking men in this world so when a man steps correctly-spend time with him, get to know him, Netflix and Chill with himJ  Ain’t nothing wrong with kicking it with the opposite sex…respect your space…set your boundaries….but be an adult about all of that.  Have a crush, get you a kiss, hold hands, go to movies…throw on some Xscape and Just Kick It! YOLO! LOL!

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I have decided that I will purchase gift cards each month leading into the holiday season, but I need my NEST EGG to be back where it used to be.  Don’t get caught up in helping others (the parentals are not included) that you tell yourself NO.  I used to be able to have a few thousands in my savings but when you HELP someone too often you end HURTING yourself.  I don’t know anything about 501ks, stocks, bonds, cd’s…so that is going to be my next INVESTMENT…  I need my duckets lined up in a row.  My teacher retirement is one thing but the way my mind set up… Give Me More!  I’m trying to save enough for all of those rainy days…besides by the time my rays of sunshine (Lil Phil and Pressy) go on to college, I’ll be paying out of pocket! Jesus Fix It!  I need and you need your savings to match your mortgage and car note for at least three months.  I’m Just Saying!

Start Your Own Blog4549909730_542d6bc1d3_z

Blogs are the new diary.  Everybody can become Bridgette Jones.  Yes everyone has one but what is the message in your blog?  Crazily everyone is taking this blogging business haphazardly as I look around at people with profitable blogs.  You may not be looking today to express your thoughts, share your life, or build your platform but you have something to say and share.  I love my journey.  I love my blog and the feedback I get from it lets me know that I am reaching further than I imagined.  I am not really stuck on lifestyle, spirituality, or beauty…but now people are turning their personal interests into a business, and so should you.

Don’t Dwell on the Past

No one cares about your past unless you make it a reoccurring topic.  You have to ask yourself how am I going to build a brighter future.  Dwelling in the past does not propel your future.  Jobs/careers are not always dreamy, relationships fail, and life is always a battlefield you just have to decide to have faith or stress about what you can’t control.  Everyone has a past.  Live for today and take nothing for granted because your life has already been designed, outlined, and determined.  Because of my faith I am where I am supposed to be and I don’t REGRET a single thing.  Let Go and Move On!

In this New Year, I will strike out like never before and accomplish more.  I saw a meme that said it nice to see girls names on degrees rather than club flyers…check my resume…check my LinkenIn… these 7 Things You Should Do in 2017  will most definitely help me and YOU #BragDifferent

 ~TilyaRealEyes

35 Random Thoughts on the Eve of my 35th Birthday

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I’m sitting here under my chocolate, velvet throw blanket on this gloomy day one day before my birthday.  Tomorrow is MY National Holiday and I have the most random, sincere, thought-provoking and heartbreaking thoughts running through my mind.

35. The holidays have seemed to go by in a blur since 2009.

34. This is the first Christmas that my children have gone without seeing their father. (I’m sure someone will make sure to tell on me for this one… good for you!)

33.  My children really do have everything they could ever ask for…go karts don’t count because they had gas powered four wheelers when they much younger (like 5 and 7)

32.  How is the world did I manage to forget to renew my driver’s license the day before my birthday.

31.  My husband’s problems overshadowed my graduation in June… I got my Doctorate, he lost his job shortly after.

30. One of my older cousins was murdered Mother’s Day weekend…we weren’t close but my mom was one of his favorite aunt’s.

29. It took me five years to complete my degree…Doctor of Education…I’m so damn proud of myself.

28. I self-published my first book and what an experience that has been.  I’m proud of myself.

27. My babies are growing up…Lil Phil will be 13 in March, I’m not ready.

26. Preston is going to be in the 6th grade next school term; I am going to cry my eyes out…he’s my heartbeat.

25.  I’m ready to transition into Higher Education…

24.  One day I have got to make it to Jamaica…that is my dream trip. (Who’s going with me?)

23.  I got so focused on someone else that I forgot to keep my “star player” in check…#LIFELESSON

22.  I decided that I really like Patron…Anejo (the orange box)…it’s so smooth

21.  I need a new hobby…I’m considering couponing (my children eat a lot)

20.  I binge watched the third season of Power and it was alright, Angela really upset by turning on Ghost in the end… I blame Tommy!

19. I really have been living separately from HIM since July…trying to support his job opportunities.  Now it’s a permanent separation! (Someone else will tell on me for this one too… Good job to you too!)

18. September introduced a shift in the atmosphere and I realized I had to get some things in order…your gut don’t lie.

17.  It was time to lose weight, and I lost 20 lbs.  I guess a little stress and watching what you eat does that to you.

16. I know most of these things on this list are not directly about me but they consume my thoughts.

15.  For the past few months I literally have been waking up at 3:30 each morning, praying then going back to sleep.  I can’t explain it, but my spirit just wasn’t resting well.

14.  Some people think that I am strong because of the things that I have experienced, but most days I feel so anti and want to stay home because I get tired of PUSHING through the BS.

13.  I have stopped trying to see the good in everybody…I either fool with you or I don’t…and if I don’t trust me, you’ll know.

12.  Football season for my son’s was LIT!  Preston got faster…he’s a beast…Young Primetime…Randy Moss in the making.  I just adore him.

11.  There is nothing wrong with coming home to the confines of my four walls and not fooling with people.  I’ll socialize when I’m good and damn ready.

10. Being friends is better than relationships sometimes because as friends there are no lines to worry about crossing…laugh, have a good time, go your separate ways until you connect again!  I Will Sing Sing this with a smile on my face!

9.  Next year my plans will be laid out clearly and I will accomplish all of the goals that I set for myself…2017 is going to be EPIC!

8.  God told me to sit down and not be so busy… I did then I was able to see.

7.  God then told me to be quiet so I did then I was able to hear.

6.  God told me to be honest so I was, then my heart became lighter; I was no longer caring the burden of unfulfilled love.

5.  I got the toxic people out of my life and I’m still standing.  Who cares what other’s think?  People are going to talk anyway and only understand from their level of perception.

4.  As hard as I work, I will never let another person bring me down again…I’ve accomplished too much.  My resume looks GREAT at 35…IJS!

3.  My heart is not hardened but I will guard my heart because it is the source of life.  Love can come later…I’ll pass for now.

2.  Who would have thought that three years after meeting someone they would become a distant memory.

1. 35 is another milestone.  In my new year the goals I have set for myself can only be deterred by me and I am too ambitious to let myself down.

Happy Birthday to Me! 35 is year of dreams come true! 2017—7 the number of completion…I can’t wait to see what I will complete in the new year.

20 Facts About Me

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  1. I am my mother’s only child.
  2. I have half siblings on my biological father’s side.
  3. I was in a secret relationship my Junior year in high school. (I hate him now!)
  4. I began my college journey at the University of Florida.
  5. Seafood, specifically snow crab legs and shrimp are my favorite food.                       
  6. I have attended 8 different colleges and universities from 2000-2016.                  University of Florida, Burlington Community College, Western International University, University of Phoenix, Community College of the Air Force (A.A.S. 06’), Thomas Edison State College (A.A. and B.A. Liberal Studies, 07’), Bellevue University (MPA 09’),  Nova Southeastern University (Ed.S. 10’ and Ed. D. 16’) img_20160518_110904.jpg
  7.  I am from Waycross, Georgia, Home of the Okefenokee Swamp. 
  8. I joined the United States Air Force in 2001, and served until 2007.
  9.  The first time I got married was in 2003 until I got divorced in 2011.                                                                                                                   
  10.  I have visited 12 United States and 1 U.S. Territory:  Florida, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and U.S. Territory-Puerto Rico
  11.  I am a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.20160116_112608-1-1.jpg
  12.  I have been on 3 Carnival Cruises: Bahamas twice, and Cozumel/Key West once
  13.  I worked for the Office of Child Supported Services for 8 months, and hated it.
  14.  I love the The Real Housewives Franchise, except for the Miami cast, they don’t do anything for me.  The Real Housewives of Atlanta are my favorite since I’m a GA Girl.
  15.  I have twelve tattoos…three of them are butterflies that represent the changes in my life.
  16.  I have two wonderful sons, Phillip who’s 12 and Preston who’s 10.
  17.  I have been a middle school teacher since 2008.
  18. I got remarried in 2014.wp-image-1457144966jpg.jpg
  19. I have played tennis as a hobby since 2012.
  20. I self-published my first book My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching
    20160702_170048Comment and let me know what you find the most interesting, I’ll be sure to respond.

5 Things My Single Mom Taught Me

I grew up in the small streets of Waycross, Georgia where there was a clear division in the sides of town, dirt roads that you didn’t drive down, and noticeable identities of jocks and band geeks.  No matter what, when I looked around me I always knew who to lean on, and other than God, my mom was my strength.

I didn’t live in Cherokee Heights but was fortunate enough to be inside the homes of my cheerleading friends that did.  No matter what was lacking in my life on my side of town throughout it all my mom modeled self-sufficiency to the fullest.  I learned a lot of things watching her and those things shape my continued existence.

Thing One:  Independence

My mom had me when she was 18 years old and my dad was around for a quick minute before he was never thought of again.  He made appearances in my life, but my mom set the ground rules.  I was a latch-key kid at a very early age so many times I looked after myself until my mom came home from work.  Not having others around all of the time, made me rely on myself as I was learning to navigate through life.  I studied my mom make things happen for herself and how strong she seemed all of the time.  She displayed her independence by going without when we didn’t have what we need and not placing her small family in vulnerable situations that we couldn’t return from.  She worked, she paid the bills, food was always on the table, most importantly she survived the social woes of single parentdom.

Thing Two:  Provision

In kindergarten I left for school one day and there weren’t any presents under the tree, but when I returned home the tree was full.  My god-father had purchased every single toy that I wanted, but of course who could resist my six year old face.  However, by the time I was 15 Christmas was not that big of a deal and I found that money was hard to come by.  I never really knew my mom’s financial situation growing up.  I just knew that sometimes we had and more than what was needed and other times she stretched what she had to cover the necessities.  I can recall things being a little tight here and there, and one year for Christmas she uttered the words that she’d do what she could.  She was my only provider, and watching her work tirelessly I know she had to be a praying woman because even when money was scarce our needs were always met.

Thing Three:  Imperfection

My mom worked crazy hours.  While working at a plywood factory called Champion, she would pull 12, up to 16 hour shifts and would come home smelling like wood, mildew, and steam.  I hated it!  Unfortunately the long hours would be accompanied by mood swings.  We disagreed a lot during those few years and I said some pretty horrible things and so did she.  Some children look at their moms and see mean women that don’t understand life.  I looked at my imperfect mom and loved her with all my heart.  My mom was perfectly imperfect, making mistakes raising me, and we we learning and figuring out life together.  That’s what happens when you’re an only child, and you work through the imperfect moments to learn a lesson.

Thing Four:  Trust

It is true that it takes years to build trust and only a second to lose it.  However, I instinctively trust my mom.  I can not recall a single time in my life that I doubted who would be here for me.  I didn’t want to trust her advice as a teenager because I wanted to make my own mistakes.  Growing into an adult in my hardest times, my mom listened to my deepest fears without judgement, hugged me tight, and reassured me that there was always a bright side to every down side.  I don’t have to second guess her loyalty.  When I am reminded of failed trust relationships, I question if and when I ever had second thoughts about someone being in my life.  When I think about my mom I smile and if I think about others and frown, they are not worth my trust.  It may seem juvenile, but one thing for sure is that my mom is not going anywhere.

Thing Five:  Love

Love is a word that comes and goes, few people really know what it means to really love somebody.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1 Corinthians 13: 7).  Unconditional support comes from her direction.  No matter how many times I feel inadequate, unworthy, and outright lost in my decisions and life, I know that I can count on my mother’s love.  I strive to love my children each day as much as she has loved me.  I strive to love my neighbor as I love myself.  My mother’s love is never-ending, so when people I allow people into my life I’m optimistic.  When I hold on to people it is with the kind of love my mom showed me.  It’s hard sometimes when you want to shut down, but love is a safe place for me when it comes to her.  I in turn want love to be a safe place for my sons when they think of me.

My mom did it alone, but I learned so much.