Writing to Heal Parts of Me

I have been asked how to write books, how to start a blog and my simple response is just to start writing. This is not my first time putting my story into the atmosphere, but this the space that puts the pieces of me together. I had a beloved blogspot but when I decided to step things up a notch back in 2016, I was not clear. I was simply stringing thoughts together and calling it a blog.

It was not until I sat down and outlined my first book that I realized I was diving into territory that was uncomfortable but was my wholehearted truth. I was nervous but I shared the tragic dissolution of my marriage in my first book and that was a huge mountain to get over. See, in my second year of teaching, I had only been separated from the Air Force a little over a year, I was still a new teacher, finishes up my alternative preparation program, and sadly my life was in turmoil. I was separated from husband of six years, and I was completely devastated. In the midst of all of those emotions, I still had to be a mother and figure out what I was doing in the classroom. I cried a lot that year, and simply felt like I had no control over anything in my life at the time.

I felt misunderstood by coworkers and even judged at times. I was completely ostracized from spouse’s family, and the only person I relied heavily the most on was my mother. She struggled with watching me deal with pains of my marriage because it was an pain that she had never experienced. She could’t tell how to fix things or how to navigate through the problems because she had never been married.

I was separated for two years before the divorce was final. We tried briefly to try to reconcile, but one day I asked him, “What are going to do?” He looked at me and said, “I don’t even like the word marriage.” That is when I knew I had to let go, as hard as it was. The reality of that pain is that I survived. Dealing with personal problems outside of your profession surely is a test of wills and each time there is a set back and life gets in the way, you learn how to bounce back. Of course at that time I was 30 years old, finding my voice as a woman and refusing to be treated as less than an equal partner. Now my tolerance for things that aren’t conducive to good vibes, I gladly shy away from.

Sharing my story, my ups and downs have become my survival guide because just when I thought I was ready to give up, my strength takes over. I know that I am strong but sometimes when I’m tired, I want to be able to be vulnerable in the arms of someone that will be my strength when I feel weak. We will lose ourselves many times in life but it’s always worth it to see the pieces get put back together as if they were never touched.

My heart as a mother will not let my children down because everything I do is for them. They make me better. My love for writing as an author gives me the ability to share my trials and triumphs. Some days are better than others, so I focus on the good even when I don’t feel like it. When I am in my classroom, teaching continues to add layers to my life and give me experiences that I would not trade for anything in the world.

The parts of me that make me unique, I gladly share and each time I reflect on my trials and my blessings, I am eternally grateful.

~xoxo

LaTilya Rashon

Diving Into My Brag Bag To Be More Creative

I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth so everything I got in life has been because I’ve worked hard for it. Growing up in a single parent home the odds were stacked against me. If society had it’s way I would have been another statistic as a teenager; teenage mother, living off of government assistance, and quite possibly a high school dropout. My mother was not having that for me at all. I knew my father but he was not an active part of my life, so watching my mother work various jobs to always provide for me was the best example of hustle and heart.

We lived in the family house until I was four and starting head start.  We moved across the street to Fort Bailey housing projects.  Walking to the store for a bag of pink cookies and a cream Ritz soda was a treat, now I live for my crab legs and moscato…LOL!  I was a project kid, with a key at the age of five letting myself into the house each day by myself then waiting for my mom to get home.  Life was sweet in the 80s.  Now it’s not that easy to leave kids home alone because too much can happen with predators lurking at every turn.

I grew up being very independent and doing a lot of things for myself because the fact is I spent a lot of time by myself.  My mom worked and that was understandable, so throughout middle and high school, during my mom’s off time we spend time together, then when she was gone, I’d read a book or watch t.v.  So by the time I graduated high school in 2000 having worked at Wendy’s and Shoney’s I could make a little money for myself but in the back of my mind I always wanted to just write.

I went off to college to the University of Florida and partied my life away.  I was introduced to beloved Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., met some amazing people but ultimately blew it.  I joined the United States Air Force in 2001, lived in New Jersey my entire enlistment, got deployed to Bulgaria and Italy, got married, had my two sons, then separated from active duty status in 2007.  My background had set the tone as I share my story because it was not easy being active duty, married, tending to babies, and pursuing my studies all at the same time.  I was very overwhelmed and emotional a lot of times but I pushed through anyways.

By the time I relocated to middle Georgia, I had acquired 3 degrees and had multiple ideas of starting a women’s magazine, writing a book, short stories, or just something creative because I have always had the passion to write. By the time I began teaching in 2008, I was halfway through my Masters in Public Administration program and still had no idea what I was going to do next. But the yearning for more was peeking over my shoulder and in my subconscious. I kept digging until I outlined my first nonfiction title. In 2013 I said to myself that my book was going to be great and everyone would want to read it… Well that didn’t happen. See I wanted more but I didn’t have a plan. Now the plan is for me to TELL MY STORY, so people really get a true idea of who I am, what I represent, and what I’m all about. I defied the odds and I have a story to tell.

Achieving my advanced degree in 2016, my Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Leadership was personal.  It was a checkmark to be place of my list of life goals and accomplishments.  There have been others that did it younger than me, but see at the age of 34 with two kids, a second marriage, six years of honorable military service and eight years of teaching, I was doing damn good for myself.  So where is my POP?!  When things got rocky and I thought I had a clear vision of what I want to have happen, a second divorce happened on 2017.  I wasn’t devastated, but I was derailed so my goals for pursuing speaking and writing more took a backseat.

Now here I am 11 years into teaching, having taught roughly 2000 students, each year I wonder who will or who has been that one?  I have highlighted some of my most memorable students in My Fourth Year, but beyond that when students come into my room to hug me midway through a lesson, or stop by my door during transition to class it has been too many to count or name.  My colleagues are hit or miss, but some of them know where my heart is.  I simply refuse to give up on my population of students, but good God some days it is hard.

When I look at my mixed career I have done a lot and take a stand for individuality. I’m often confused and people like to put other people in a box and you shouldn’t. Creativity is an extension of who a person is and you have to tap into your greatness better than anyone else can and tell your story.

Be vulnerable because someone needs to hear from you.