Feeling Renewed in Business, Career, and Love

July became my month of yes and I took a huge leap into something that I was not sure I was ready for.  The internet is full of copycat ideas and recycled presentations so I’m sticking with what I know…I’mma just DO ME!

When I log into my social media and I see ads for “FREE” this and “FREE” that I’m slightly intrigued.  I click, I enroll, I listen, then I receive countless emails.  There are a few people that I pay close attention to because they consistently push the message of authenticity.  So I’ll continue to be authentic and transparent in my approach because that’s all that I know how to do.

I had to gather my thoughts for this post because I have taken a lot in over these few weeks for summer break and I just wanted to be clear in what I was saying before I posted my thoughts about anything.

Business|I was obsessing about book ideas and then I was struck with one that I cannot abandon.  I find it ironic that as fictitious characters speak to authors, my real life thought processes urge me to write in that discipline…EXPERIENCES from my classroom mixed with life lessons.  Sure other educational experts focus on the needs of our students but I like the approach I’m taking with my writing.  I’m focusing on ways to help teachers because honestly so many times in my career I felt alone and misunderstood.

img_5542So I’m turning that around to pour into my writing and helping other teachers as well on their academic journeys.  Once I got my services in order I began to see how I help more teachers than others would have probably thought possible when I first began teaching.  I had to BOSS UP just a little bit and be unafraid.  For every one thing about me that was misunderstood, I’ve taken back control of my business and writing and I’m pushing the envelope.

img_5543

I’ve stepped into my purpose and I knew that things would take time.  I have even tapped into my entrepreneurial spirit and realized that in order to live the life that I want to live, I must pave my path and create in my own lane.  Books and business are only the beginning and I’m staying the course because I have two precious boys (no matter how badly they drive me crazy) that are paying attention to my every move.

Career|This summer went by in a flash.  It seems like we were just getting out in May, and we return tomorrow.  I had the wonderful experience of attending the Model Schools Conference in June.  I felt inspired to keep writing in my discipline of teacher mentorship and set a personal goal that I will be speaking at the conference in June 2020!  I have to speak things into existence because I feel strongly about these next few years of teaching.  Putting things into perspective, my oldest is going to be a Freshman in high school, and my baby boy is going to 7th grade.  Entering my 11th year in the classroom, my career clock is ticking and I’m feeling like I just might be done anywhere between the next three to six years.

See I’m 3 1/2 years from 40 and with my new business venture (started my own health and wellness business) I’d like to create wealth in that, continue to write, speak~guest speak~facilitate~or host workshops in the future.  I’m not a radical voice, but I’m dedicated to newer teachers because experience has taught me.  Entering the field of education is political, but new teachers and I mean those that have been in the classroom less than three years need SUPPORT.  I know I did which is why I wrote my first book.img_5177

I have been asked about leadership and if I have thought about transitioning into that level and to be honest…NO!  After being passed over to become an academic coach because the other candidate “looked better on paper” I realized that maybe it was not for me.  I was not deterred, but like I told another administrator, “You never know what someone is capable of doing until they are given the opportunity to show their leadership skills.”  My candor is a gift and a curse and I am not compromising that for anyone.  I’ll practice my delivery, but the reality is that people hear what they want to hear.  When you think outside of the box like I do most of the time, you will face rejection and scrutiny from some, but encouragement and support from others.

In teaching I have had to adjust and not let my feelings be stronger than my mind.  I’m not saying that I’m unemotional, I’ve just learned how to manage my feelings better while teaching.  In a roundabout way, I’m desensitized and situations that would get me upset before, really don’t now going into this 11th year.  The only thing I don’t take kindly to is anyone discrediting my teaching and attacking my career.  That’s a big NO-NO in my book.  But I’ve realized people don’t like my style because of how I disturb their approach.  What happens in my classroom is just that!  I’m in control of my content!

LOVE|I have not ventured into this topic in a while and it was with GREAT intention not too.  And it’s not because I’ve been unhappy in love, I was just on hiatus from dating and putting all of my eggs in one basket.  See I dated an older guy for a while.  He was GOOD to me but he had some extra baggage that held him back from dating/getting to know someone/trusting ONE woman exclusively.  He started off saying I’m only interested in getting to know you, then ALL of that changed.  We began to see each other less frequently and it was hard at first because we SPENT a lot of time together initially.  He’s still a decent guy but we are just FRIENDS and we both are okay with that…NO PRESSURE!

When I walked away from that, not exactly a clean walk away, but when I took a step back to focus on BETTERING ME and my VIBRATIONAL PATTERN, I saw the beauty is organic chemistry.  There are familiar strangers all around, and you’d be surprised at who would treat you right if ever given the opportunity.  People make a big deal about commitment and dating to the point of it being exhausting.  I for a fact don’t look at each person I date as marriage material.  I mean after a couple of dates you know if you want to be around someone and enjoy their company without the complications… I NEVER have been nor will I EVER be the, “So what are we doing girl?” LOL…

img_4975

Then I met HIM and all of that has changed.  Solidifying the FRIENDSHIP!  I’m renewed in LOVE because I’ve always believed in the possibility of genuine and organic connections.  Hmmm…when BAE said, “I pray for you, and I pray for US.”  That changed the trajectory of EVERYTHING.

I’m fully aware that my business, career, and love won’t look like anyone else’s; I’m okay with that.  I’m staying true to what I know and believe.  So what is for me, is for me!

cropped-cropped-20170110_153240-e14840823819535.png

My First Year In High School

img_4751

I have not neglected my teacher hat by focusing on self-care and writing more consistently in other areas of interest, so today I will chat about my transition to high school.  I’m undecided about writing a book about this experience.  Maybe after a couple a years I may do a follow-up to my debut book.

Based on my experience in high school and having the deep rooted thought that I would be a high school teacher, it took me nine years in middle school before I leveled up to high school.  I must admit that I LOVE IT!  Even as I’m asked how do I feel about being at my school I tell people that’s not a fair question because I have been in my particular zone for 10 years, so these are MY KIDS!

I admit it’s a different world teaching in my area because I live 30 minutes south of my zone and it’s like night and day.  But I often say that if I was anywhere else I would be bored out of my mind because my kids are very entertaining.  Now much like with my  first book, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching, there have been some bumps in the road, but these minor detours have been more manageable than they were when I initially began teaching in 2008.  I think it’s safe to say that I have reached VETERAN status…LOL!

51-ykyw6rfl-_sx331_bo1204203200_

I didn’t know what I was embarking on when I decided to step up but I see from the whispers, uncertainty, questionable approaches, relationships, and sticking true to who I am and I how I teach…I’m Good!

Now in 2008 when I took the steps to get certified to teach through the old Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (GaTapp) I thought I wanted to start off at high school, but I’m so glad that I took my time getting here.

For starters, in my sixth year of teaching, the current seniors in my building were my 8th grade babies the 2013-2014 school term.  The current juniors in my building were my 8th grade babies the 2014-2015 school term and we packed up and shut down the old middle school at the end of that year.  Recombining middle schools the 2015-2016 school term, I taught some of the 8th graders through my reading connections class, then the 2016-2017 academic year I taught half of the 8th graders after abruptly being moved from the reading connections class into the English/Language Arts classroom.  But that is another story for another day.  It turned out to be a good move even though the way I was moved was not handled the best way in my opinion.

palm-beach-banner

I knew that when I graduated from Nova Southeastern University with my Doctor of Education degree in 2016, it was only going to be a matter of time before it was time to move on.  I thought that my interview went fairly easy, but to move up with my kids was a big blessing for me.  I was ready for the challenge and to be a familiar face for my students that gave me a greater feeling.  To be honest to see the students that have made it to their senior year warms my heart because so many students get lost along the way.

My classroom management has not been an issue since my first year of teaching so that was the least of my concerns.  But building relationships and reestablishing relationships with my previous students has been so much fun.  The junior class of students have a very special place in my heart. So stepping back into their lives daily even though they are not in my actual class, seeing them, and having them visit my class as often as they can has been the warm welcome that I needed for high school.  It’s also safe to say that building relationships has not been an issue for me in the least bit.

This is year 10 and there is still a lot for me to learn.  I enjoy being an English teacher, and adjusting to the curriculum was more of a matter of the content versus the standards.  The great thing about my content is that the standards are the same, but I admit I have enjoyed the stories we read in class and the dialogue that was created.  “The Gift of the Magi” and “Everyday Use” have been my absolute favorites.  Aside from teaching though the only thing that blows my mind is where colleagues place their value when it comes to teaching the kids.

There is no denying the fact that I have favorite students, but what teacher after years of building relationships don’t?  There are children that seek genuine support while in school and that very often misunderstood connection students establish with certain teachers is shamed.  Everything is not always fair and as a teacher my only conversation majority of the time is what can I do to better myself?

Now I had a mentor teacher when my journey began and she was absolutely the best and very supportive.  I have been lucky enough to work across the hall from a “football mom” and friend that I’ve known for years and she has been my rock.  We truly have a safe place in her room as we “debrief” from the daily shenanigans and goings-on in the building.

The take away I have for this year is that I must continue to always take care of me first.  Students are still going to twist the events of the day.  Some adults around me will question, “Why I’m still the favorite?”, “Why do kids like to come to my room?”, and a multitude of other things but that will not deter my purpose for my classroom and why I love doing what I do.

I’m still trying to figure out my next move beyond the high school classroom and ultimately would love to be a Dean of Student Affairs because my strength lies in being among people.  I don’t ever want to lose touch with what is going on in the classroom and trending in education period.  It only takes one child to show you that you are doing something right.  But when I look around at all of  my students at my high school I have reached a lot and I’m glad to have had partial impact on their educational journey.

This is only year one with a few in me left to go.  High school has been a hoot with 12 days left until graduation.

I Will Sit, Wait, and Be Silent

I have been on an unapologetic tour and living my life my way because I never want to feel boxed in by anyone’s expectations or opinions of me.  I am taking moments on the regular to embrace my current status and put myself first in all of my thought processes.  I have had to learn how to be my own hero and not depend on anyone who was truly not going to be here for me.  My renewed sense of self rears its pretty head as I wake up each day fully rested from the night before because I am in control of my existence.

I have a very strong prayer life and rarely do I share my closest thoughts with anyone because not everyone will be empathetic to your personal pains.  I myself am an empath…the people in my life that I care an extreme amount about capture a part of my being that renders me incapable of ignoring their shifts and storms.  I am a good listener and however abrasive I am at times, my friends know that I wouldn’t tell them what they want to hear just to appease their feelings.

See, at the onset of 2018 I had a lot of questions swimming in my head that made me adjust how I deal with confusion and then deal with the person causing the confusion.  My brother says I’m a logical person that analyzes everything and that the way my brain works it makes abnormal.  I accept that because I say it clearly whenever I am asked, “What is it about me?”  I just simply say that I am DIFFERENT!

When I take a moment to pause everything that I need to see becomes visible.  Everything that I need to hear is being said.  And everything that I need to let go of is released because under all of this confidence is a woman that has felt unimaginable hurt that I have buried deeply inside of me because I’m not defined by those things.  Not to sound like a cliche but yes everything happens for a reason.  Discernment is a blessing when you recognize it as your gift.

I know things will come about in my life that will alter my views and challenge my thoughts and ultimately continue to push me forward.  So as I live for the moment completely unaware of what is to come next, I will sit, wait, and listen.

Sitting Pretty: Sitting does not mean I will become a hermit and not enjoy all that life has to offer.  It means that I will sit still and not move too fast on anything too soon.  Like for instance, I went on a couple dates with this one guy and though he was nice—our ideas and thoughts were not in line with each other.  I knew that I was not in the same mindset and the conversation of building with someone (a year post divorce) was not the life I’m envisioning for myself at the moment.  I want to take some time to get know me, explore my creativity, push myself to the limit, and see how far my goals and aspirations will take me.  Yes, I know I’ve done a lot already but I want more for myself.  I’m in a season of selfishness and I cannot afford to be distracted by things that do not feed my drive.   As I am sitting, I am watching and taking a lot in on a daily basis.  When it is time to purge, I will be at a place in my life where all the pieces make sense and I will have elevated my existence… mind, body, and spirit.  Until then I will sit!

Waiting Patiently:  I am not waiting for a night in shining amour.  I am waiting for my mind to slow down and not feel like everything has to happen immediately. No Rush! This second quarter of this new year is showing me a lot because as I slow down and take inventory of myself, I am becoming more appreciative of my time.  I was asked by my students where all did I attend college and after I rambled off my 16 years of enrollments and degrees conferred, I smiled on the inside.  I have worked tirelessly towards my credentials, my career, being a great mom, and maintaining relationships (significant others, friends, and family) that I’m burned out.  I’m burned out from the nonreciprocal effort as I reclaim my peace of mind and focus on myself.  The only people that come before me are my children because they depend on me to take care of them.  I knew the day would come that I would slow down just a little bit to enjoy all that I have accomplished.  I will wait in the balance of this life that I live and strengthen my mind…

Being Silent: I woke up one day about two weeks ago and decided that I was not going to speak on certain things.  That didn’t mean that I was not going to talk, it just meant that my conversation had to be guarded a little bit more because oversharing begins to sound redundant.  Again in casual conversation with my brother I shared my thoughts on a bothersome situation and while he sympathetically listened, I realized sometimes that’s all I need.  Telling someone how you feel all of the time is not warranted and actually isolates you in those feeling from time to time.  I thought at some point in my life I had to be open with the ones I cared about as an expression of my loyalty to them so they’d know in turn that I would always be there for them.  Turns out…some people can’t handle your feelings and are confused about you at the same time.  In my silence, I didn’t shut down, I just pulled back and decided I would speak on what is presented to me and not what I thought I should say.  I received two phone calls as a result of my intention, my bestfriend and a dear friend.  The in-depth conversations that were had provided clarity and peace that was welcomed for both them and myself.  I have continued to be silent and prayerful for those two because the love and concern for them is real.

April has been a month of personal reflection and this has been what I’ve needed.  I shifted from the business branding and blogging to focus on what is real in my life right now.  I’m not conflicted nor am I lonely. I am surrounded by love and appreciation.  I sit, I wait, and I listen, taking time for me as I continue my journey into self-care.

Thanks for reading…

Leave People Where They Are

Sometimes you have to leave people where they are so that you do not stunt your growth.  Take a look around you, take in the faces you see, the many people you encounter in a day are fighting battles beyond their control.cc489911048d3d6ee19e0e528fa64722

It is easy to tell someone to give their problems to God, let go and everything will work itself out but what about the advice given that is the complete opposite.  Your closest friends, family members, and spiritual family will pray for you as you pray for yourself but as you pray, you feel your flesh becoming weaker by the day and you lose faith.

In an interesting roundabout of conversation I have communicated with people with various perspectives on love, relationships, and life and I learn something new each time these topics come up.  The issue of marriage is always a hot topic because most of the people that I am around daily are married and have been for a few years.  In a wide range of two years on up to 20 years or more, listening to these people speak on the topic, as I also contribute to the discussion, we hear each other saying the same things but how we deal with each situation is completely different.

Conflict is always the laughable stories.  Communication in relationships causes unwanted stress.  The discussion on finances always arises and figuring out how to balance it all is our common denominator.  But what do you do when all of this breaks down?  Do you throw in the towel or hang on and let the relationship take its course?

The idea of moving on is tough especially when you have completely invested yourself in the relationship and know that once you get over the hump things will get better.  I personally admire marital relationships that have lasted 20, 30, or even 40 plus years.  The relationships that have lasted that length of time show commitment to one another to see each obstacle all the way through together.  They didn’t just walk away because things got tough and almost unbearable.  They worked through the conflict and heartbreak in order to mend the connection they share.

However, on the flip side of working things out I was introduced to a different perspective.  Ironically people that are single want to be married, and married people want to be single because marriage takes a lot of work.

I heard a guy say in a discussion once that you don’t have to get married because that is what society expects you to do.  He said that people treat marriage like a trend, and after they see what it’s like and decide that they don’t like it, people just walk away.  He also said that people don’t take love seriously anymore.  He had a point because I know women including myself that have had to cope with failed relationships time and time again.

Now the guy was not bashing marriage and relationships but he said sometimes you just don’t want to be bothered.  He’s right! Ignoring your significant other makes matters worse if there is already tension in the air.  But he went on to say that relationships take a lot of work, almost too much work if you asked him…LOL. He was dead ass serious.  He set this scenario:  If your significant other is having a bad day, you have to put your feelings to the side, take on their concerns, sympathize with them to make sure they are okay then do something for them to make them feel better.  He didn’t say that he would have a problem doing it, he was simply saying that at the end of the a bad day, he likes going home to confines of his four walls and not dealing with anyone if he doesn’t have to.  That sounds easy but when there is already a breakdown that is not easy to do.

That’s not a selfish thought that is just where he is in his life and that is respectable.  At least he’s a man that knows who he is and what he is and isn’t ready for.   When he does finally decide to settle down I am sure the women he gives his love to will be truly adored.

All too often we jump into relationships, the new feelings and attention gives you goosebumps then the infatuation wears off.  The kind words turn into periods of silence and every conversation has a slither of conflict attached to it.  The roller-coaster of emotions is ushered in and you find yourself at an impasse.  Women are emotional creatures and internalize the breakdown and will see things for what they are while remaining optimistic.  Men will walk away using their heads and not their hearts not realizing the hurt they are causing.  This is not all relationships, but I have talked to so many women that have loved with all of their heart and still got handled badly.

If God is not at the center of these relationships, most times these relationships are failing.  Moving on sounds easy in theory but it’s a lot harder to do for some more than others.  Eventually you have to move on and leave people where they are.

So I have a question, do you think it is easy hang on because relationships have seasons or should you move on?  Leave a comment, I’m interested to know what you think.