He changed my heart

 

I’ve always considered myself Christian, even before actually having a unique encounter with God which caused me to change my entire perspective on everything. I grew up in the church and most of all my values aligned with Christian doctrine, whether I abided by them or not. My mother had a great deal of influence on me and though I recognize that my admiration for her won’t let me regret it.

When I was in elementary school, I was often teased and bullied. I’d ask my mom how to respond and she always said, “pray for them”. This was frustrating as a child. I didn’t see how praying for someone would stop them from hurting me. She taught me to treat others how I wanted to be treated, regardless of how they treated me. While this could be hard to learn, I still subscribe to this ideology. I sought to understand others and compassion helped me to forgive easily. Maybe I should say let go instead of forgive. I think there’s a difference. When you let go, you acknowledge (within yourself) that someone hurt you and rather than deal with it, you let it go and pretend like it was nothing in effort to move past it. This habit ensued avoiding confrontation but also caused me to harbor discomforting feelings subconsciously.

Before my encounter with God, I tried to treat others the way I wanted to be treated regardless of how they treated me.  I “let go” of things people did and said to me easily. Much of this was motivated by my desire to be accepted. After years of this I realized it wasn’t working for me. It led to depression and I think may have even contributed to a subpar self-view.

Since becoming a true follower of Christ I’ve learned a few truths that have empowered me to truly live joyously in spite of undesired circumstances.

  1. Give without expected anything in return. Often, I tried to be “nice” or “friendly” but why? Is our generosity linked to what we expect to receive back? I used to be puzzled wondering how I could be so good to others only to have them stab me in my back. With this new perception, I give what I can because I truly want to, because I’d want it to be given to me and because it is what Jesus would do. I have no expectations of the person on the receiving end.
  1. Someone’s blatant rejection of me isn’t a reflection of me but of them. This truth is liberating. There were people who rejected the Truth because they felt it threatened their popularity and livelihood. People will reject me for reasons I’ll never know. What’s for me, is for me.
  1. One of the most important things, it ain’t about you! We get boggled down in depression when our worldview is centered around us. What we don’t have, what we can’t do, what others have done to us, what others have in comparison to us. The quicker I learned how selfish it was of me to sulk in other’s wrong doing against me, the quicker I was able to get up out that sunken place. I had to shift my focus.

An actual encounter with God will challenge everything you thought you knew. God had to change my heart. And He’s still working on me! Which of these three truths resonated with you most?

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“Happy Birthday Mom” From the Backseat of a Police Vehicle

IMG_1285For audio version click here.

Have you ever had to tell your Mom Happy Birthday from the back of a police vehicle, well this week a year ago ushered me into a new awareness.  

 I’d been living in Louisiana for the past two years and you can bet every holiday I was clicking my heels together three times. Home is where the heart is and you can bet there’s no place like it.  

 Last year, I had the privilege of co-coaching and ultimately inheriting my school’s cheerleading team. Though I had plans to drive home immediately after school let out for Thanksgiving break, when they asked to cheer at an off-season playoff game, I couldn’t disappoint.  

 That cold Saturday morning (my Mother’s birthday), instead of packing and heading on my 6 hour drive to North Mississippi, I was making my way to a middle school football game. 

 Let’s just say, I got a late start. I like to “surprise” my family when I come home, so often I tell them I’m leaving the day after I actually leave. Their look of surprise is priceless and grandma likes to fuss about me driving at night. Well, this time, they learned I was in town when they had to pick up my car, because I was indeed being arrested.  

 I was less than 30 minutes from home, about 11:00 pm, I elected to pass two slowly moving vehicles. I made sure I was in a passing zone and I went for it. As soon as I did, I saw the familiar flashing lights behind me. Immediately I called my cousin to let him know my whereabouts and situation. As I looked for a place to pull over all I saw was an extremely narrow highway with no shoulder and extreme darkness. I was traveling alone and this isn’t the best area to be black, female and alone in the dark.  

IMG_1280_FotorActual picture from the same highway in Mississippi. There is no shoulder and no lights.

 Let me give you just a bit of the history of this area. It has a large population of “Klan” members, “skin heads” and “white supremacists”. They pass out flyers for recruitment and are often on the news for their antics. Not only that but a couple years prior, there was an officer impersonator in this very area pulling people over and killing them.  

 With this foreknowledge I elected to do what I always had been told was a perfectly legal thing, drive slowly until you reach a well-lit, populated area. I hung up with my cousin and called dispatch. By this time, the officer was growing more impatient, as he had now turned on his siren and began speaking to me over the intercom.  

 “911” 

 “Yes, there’s an officer behind me, can you let him know I am going to pull over. I’m looking for a safe place.” 

 She relayed the message and I could hear him telling her to tell me to pull over now.  

 “Tell him, I’m alone and it’s dark and I’ll be pulling over when we reach a lit, populated area.” 

 Ten minutes later, still on the phone with dispatch, we reached the only lit and populated area within a 15 mile radius. I stopped. The officer aggressively approached me with a drawn handgun. This was when I realized how “serious” the matter had become.  

 He couldn’t tell me how fast I was driving, only that I was speeding. At this point my uncle had called his friend, a deputy, and asked if he could help. This white officer began arresting me, after I had explained to him my intention. There were two other black officers, my uncle’s friend looked at me as if his hands were tied. The other, proceeded to tell me how wrong I was for driving until we reached the store.  

“Have I done something wrong?” I asked.

“No” he replied.

 “Are you upset?” I asked the officer as he was apparently in his feelings. (An idiom that means his was highly annoyed or irritated.) 

 “Yes, I am.” Was his reply. 

 He was highly annoyed that I didn’t pull over faster.  

 “If I were your daughter, would you have wanted me to pull over?” I asked. 

 He replied in the affirmative. This uncultured, uneducated, oblivious officer was arresting me for failure to stop, though I did stop. I do believe if he had a black daughter, he wouldn’t have wanted her to stop in a dark, secluded area, especially knowing what could possibly take place. 

 My Mom came and I gave her my keys. As she was standing beside the backseat of the deputy pick-up, I wanted to say, “Happy birthday Mom” but couldn’t bring myself to say it.  

 On the way to the county jail the officer informs me that his Aunt went to Jackson State (an HBCU) and that the Judge would likely throw out the “failure to stop” ticket.  

 Once I arrived at the jail, I was stripped of my clothes, asked to squat and cough. This process was dehumanizing to say the least.  The other women officers there, black and white, both said they would’ve done the same and they proceeded to tell me, “he is a good one”. They were trying to say he isn’t racist. This is a thing in this area, as many of the elected officials are rumored to be Klansmen.  

 Ultimately he charged me with reckless driving, I think largely because he had no idea how fast I was driving and failure to stop. My Mom and my Niece bailed me out around 3:00 am and we went home.  

 I sought council and was advised to take research with me to court and that the ticket would be thrown out. I had transcripts from the dispatch showing that I called and remained on the phone with dispatch throughout the duration of the stop, I had articles detailing killings in the area by an officer impersonator and information advising citizens to stop in safe areas.  

 Ultimately the white judge was unable to understand my fear of stopping and the charges stood. I felt helpless. There was nothing I could do. I had faith in the judicial system and was more than disappointed. The consequence was two misdemeanors and a $1000+ in fines. 

 I know my situation could have been worse. I know of many other instances where women were raped, violated, injured or killed. These public servants have sworn to protect and serve, and my question is:  

  1. Who/what are you protecting? 
  2. Who are you serving? 

 I know not all officers and not all judges are the same, but indeed many of them are, too many.  

 I asked myself many times, should you have just stopped? Were you just trying to be difficult? 

Regardless of the answer to those questions, a black person has great reason to fear civil servants who display the ability to deescalate armed and ferocious white men, but tend to immediately shoot unarmed black men.  

Only when our communities gain awareness and connection, only when a white man can look at a black man and see his brother, only when a white person seeks to understand, learn of and is immersed in the black experience will progress be made.  

It is our similarities and not our differences that remind us of our humanity and that is what the elite fears. 

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A Defining Moment: Racism and Double Consciousness

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My mother and I at one of our favorite spots.

Being young, black and southern must be synonymous with experiences of discrimination, fear and hatred. Show me a young, black southerner who hasn’t had to deal with direct racism and I’ll show you a severely unaware individual.

With that being said, one of my earliest memories of racism came Halloween 1997. My mom had allowed me to go trick or treating with some kids who lived in a local housing project. My mother had taught the girl and she was close to my age.

In our small town America, (voted best small town to visit btw) has always been and still is divided by a railroad. For their reasons, white people prefer to live separate from us. And even when black doctors and judges moved into their neighborhoods, they either move, or erect an enormous, thick cinderblock wall to serve as a fence.

My mother had dropped me off with this girl, her mother and a few other children. Her mother had said we were going trick or treating on the “other” side of town, noting that they had “better” candy; however, I’m sure there was a thought about it possibly being safer as well.

Smile BIG!

We stopped at an apartment building really close to Delta State University. Our small group walked up to this door and knocked. An old white, lady with grey hair opened the door. When she saw us, her mouth gapped open and she began throwing candy at us. She yelled, “yall are not supposed to be over here!” Then, somehow she noticed me. A little fair-skinned (I was much lighter when I was younger) girl with long, wavy hair (likely from my mother’s long “dookey” braids) and she paused for a moment. She gave a sort of blank stare, and slammed the door shut.

LOVE THAT SWEATSHIRT!

This was one of the first moments that I realized how deep and serious this divid really was. It made me wonder. Why did she hate us so much? Was she scared? If so, why? We were just children hunting for candy. We weren’t trying to harm or scare anyone. This was when I started to realize that not all black children had the same experience. A part of me wondered why she paused and stared at me, before forcefully shutting her door.

This was a defining moment. It was when I began to realize I must be aware of my surroundings. I must be aware of myself, and how others may perceive me. As a 7 year old, I must prove that there is nothing to be afraid of. #doubleconsciousness

Self Work, Self Worth and Internal Dialogue

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For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.”

                               -Psalm 139:13-15 ESV

Self examination is a big part of my personality. I’m not sure if it came from the many times I’ve been rejected in life or the fact that my mom always found ways to encourage my improvement (research internal dialogue and how outside influences affect it). Either way, I became one who’d sit in a corner and examine my life, actions and words with a fine tooth comb. I didn’t always find my faults by the way, sometimes it wasn’t until long after I was removed from a certain situation that I was able to see how wrong I was.

Sometimes this habit was a good tool, and other times it wasn’t healthy. Sometimes my internal dialogue could be quite mean. If you can imagine what an army sergeant might sound like, sometimes thats me. I realized at some point that wasn’t the most inspiring voice. I had to change that voice to something more motivating. Maybe that method works for some people, but I learned it was much better to come from a place of love and encouragement.

I have so many questions. But I always do. In the past, I’ve always tried to rush every stage of my life (I finished college in three years and I took two “light” semesters). I catch myself focusing on the destination and getting there as quickly as possible. This must be  another reason time is so valuable to me and I could rarely ever justify “kicking it”.

In all this, I realized something integral to my existence. I connect my self-worth with what I do. I attach my worth to what I produce. If I’m not doing anything I deem meaningful I feel lost. I’ve also learned from past ventures that even if I’m doing something “good” it matters not if my heart isn’t right. Sometimes my questions waste time, and keep me from progressing. But other times my questions have helped me to learn so much.

My worth and my value isn’t in how generous I am. It isn’t measured by the works of my hands. Because before I donated any of my money, time or ideas; before I gave my love and passion to anyone or anything; before I decided that I was only as good as my efforts, God died for me. Before I accomplished any goal, before I took my first breath, before I inspired a smile on any face or warmth in any heart God thought I was worth EVERYTHING He had to give. My worth shall not be connected to anything other than what my heavenly Father says it is.

People use works as a way to try an earn salvation; to feel good about themselves; to get recognition; to try to earn love and so much more. Whatever the case may be, I now know that if I don’t do anything in this world, (not that I wont) God would still love me and He would still view me worth His life.

“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit”

                              -Titus 3:5

THREE QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT

  1. What does your internal dialogue sound like?
  2. What do you attach your self-view/self-worth to?
  3. Do you value self-evaluation? If so, what does that look like to you; how do you go about it?

AN INTERESTING GOOGLE SEARCH ON INTERNAL DIALOGUE CLICK HERE.

Be anxious for nothing?

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 “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

                                                       -Matthew 6:26

This past week felt like almost a total loss. I barely got anything accomplished. For some reason, early this week all of my motivation was gone. I didn’t want to do anything accept eat(a lot), sleep (a lot) and pray.

It wasn’t good for my mental, physical, emotional or spiritual health. Not getting things done negatively affects my mood. And not being purposeful with my time and decisions, this week drove me deeper into this stump.

I believe I was instructed to stop teaching, but when I asked God, “What do you want me to do?” I always felt writing is what I’m supposed to be doing in this season. But this presents me with a couple issues:

  1. Write what? I write poems/spoken-word, lyrics, stage-plays, screenplays, articles, presentations and I’ve been flirting with the notion of writing a book.  So, with that being understood, there must be some focus and direction here, right? I kinda need to know what I’m writing. Or do I need to just write for a few hours a day and see where He takes me?
  2. Though, I’ve saved up some money, I need to be replenishing what I spend at least at the same rate of my expenditure. When I looked at my income recently, I was quite shocked at what I counted. God has been continually blessing me, it’s only been a couple months but I’ve been receiving enough funds to pay my necessary bills and I haven’t had to tap into my savings at all (This alone is more than enough reason for a praise break!). I’ve received random checks and people always find something they want to pay me to do like marketing, designing, speaking, trainings, singing, acting etc (and I’m happy to do it and give it my all from a genuine place). I have been helping businesses market their products and services, and implement best practices within their infrastructure. Often, business owners are too overwhelmed to do their own marketing and an outside perspective can help them to reach their internal goals. With all that beautiful stuff I just noted, I’ve been experiencing anxiety surrounding not having a “job”. I’m sure this has contributed to my recent stand still. This reminds me of the Hebrews wondering through the wilderness. God was providing them with manna from heaven. He told them not to take more than they needed, that He’d provide them manna in the morning and quail in the eve. Though they saw He was making provisions for them, they were still afraid to go hungry. Check the 16th chapter of Exodus. My plan was to spend my time helping my mother grow her business, developing my own personal wealth (my intellectual property and business) and doing whatever it is the Lord leads me to.

I know the things I want to accomplish are great, but I know it has to be tackled bit by bit. I must prioritize, focus and commit. But more than that, I know I must change my thoughts, to the thoughts God has towards me. A daily dose of reading and meditation is in order.

Me, recently at my grandfather’s funeral in Chulahoma, MS.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

                               – Phil 4:8-9

I just want to be sure I’m in God’s Will for this set time in my life. I know how important it is and what happens when I’m not led by the Spirit. I know I can end up in the middle of nowhere. I also know, I won’t be happier doing anything other than what I was created to do.

Cultivating a habit of writing everyday is slick intimidating. Though I enjoy writing, I’ve yet to see myself be consistent in any area of my life, even when I know the benefits. Pray for me and I’ll do the same for you.

Be Gone Negativity: How I Overcame Negative Thoughts.

 

For those that know me, it may be hard to believe, but I’ve had battles with depression in my life. I’m very upbeat, positive and optimistic so it is difficult to think that I’ve struggled with depression. And by struggled, I mean really struggled, but my joy now is truly genuine and I’m happy with the simplest of things.

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There were times in my life, that my thoughts completely weighed me down. As a result, much of my experience was tainted by this negative viewpoint. When I was in college, I went on a trip with a school organization. While on this trip I experienced what could be termed as a “break up” with this guy I had fallen deeply in-love with. The whole trip was ruined as a result. Quite honestly much of my college experience was tainted by it. Once we made it back, someone asked me how I liked it. “I didn’t like it at all.” I replied. When my professor heard me, he said “don’t say that”. But I felt it with every ounce of my being. I hated it and I wished I hadn’t gone at all.

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In hindsight I realize that I couldn’t see past what I was going through momentarily. While getting over this experience took me much longer than I’d hoped, I know I could’ve greatly benefited from a more positive focus.

It took me a long time to understand I was depressed. I had negative feelings associated with certain buildings, people and experiences. Whether most of this was in my head or not doesn’t really matter because what we believe, our perceptions shape our life and experiences, regardless of their actuality.

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With that notion being understood, I know that I can feel emotions without allowing them to overcome me. I have the ability to choose what I think and what I believe. One technique that I benefited from greatly was the use of scripture based affirmations. We have to realize that a vast majority of our thoughts aren’t really ours at all. They are from an outside force. We can adopt them or we can dismiss them.

Once, it got to the point I was constantly attacked by negative thoughts and I felt powerless. I couldn’t stop them and I couldn’t control them. It lasted so long I thought I’d have to struggle with them forever. I googled scriptural affirmations and came across a large variety of options, ultimately, I choose to go with some I found on Joyce Meyer’s website.

At first it seemed like I was just saying empty words. I’d stand before the mirror in the morning and at night, or even in my car and say these 4 sentences three times each. After about a week of this, it began to sink in. I started to believe the words I was saying. Then the words began to take whole new meanings to me. One word can mean multiple things, depending on how you say it or even what you think of when you say it. The results were amazing. I began to see my overall mood improve. I was happier and the occurrence of negative thoughts diminished tremendously. And when they did come, I had an immediate response for them. I felt so powerful. I was able to choose exactly what I wanted to think and how I wanted to feel.

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What once seemed to be an existence I’d need to become accustomed to, is now a distant memory. I AM more than a conqueror through Christ (Romans 8:31-39). And so are you.

 

Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord AND Savior?

Here’s how: https://www.intouch.org/read/content/how-do-i-accept-jesus-as-my-savior

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Be Out Like A Midnight Train…

Click here to hear me read this blog post.

As I look back over my life, I think of the many times I tried to hold on to something that was either dead, pointless or counterproductive. I wanted so badly for things to be good, to feel good. In some cases, I was holding on to what used to be. In others, I held onto what could be, but never was. And honestly, some of these relationships never served or benefited me in any way. They never intended to.

I love to see the good in others. I find something great and I hold on to that for dear life. I enjoy connecting with others. It excites me. Energizes me. Listening to their dreams and how despite they’ve had much to overcome they still have hope. It reminds me of all that is right with the world. You know, it rained last night. It thundered and stormed, but this morning the sun came out again. And you not only have to keep going, you  not only have to keep living, but you’ve got to find something you love with every inkling of your being and let that propel you forward like a jet engine.

No doubt all of that is beautiful. The connections you made. The great times you shared. They’ll make for good memories. But the fact of the matter is things change. People change. And sometimes those great times may have been more imagined than real.

It can be hard to accept that someone who was like a sister no longer values your presence. It’s hard to accept that a significant other has taken you for granted or treated you badly for far too long and you’re finally realizing it. It’s hard to accept that maybe all the things you thought were great, wasn’t real. And it’s HARD to accept that something you want like a cold drink on a hot summer day doesn’t want you the same way.

You’ve got to ask yourself:

  1. Do I feel good when I’m with this person or after I’ve been with this person?
  2. Does this person value me?
  3. Do I value them?
  4. Does the God in me want me to accept this relationship for myself?

If the answer to any one of these questions is no, then you need to be out like the midnight train to Georgia. You deserve better and you must decide to give yourself more.

LET-GO

An Unexpected Visit Home

Friday, January 27, 2017

This Tuesday morning, I received a text message at 5 am, but instead of reading it, I decided to cling to my pillow a little longer. 30-45 minutes later I awoke to the news, one of my beloved uncles had transitioned. Immediately, my cousin and I texted back and forth. Shamefully, I didn’t have his number saved. From there I spoke with my cousin in Chicago, Memphis and then my mother who had gone to the hospital to be with my uncle, his wife and children.

School that day was unusually good. I found myself crying in my morning class as my students consoled me, ignorant of what happened. My second class seemed to have been sensitive and supportive again, without knowledge of the circumstances.  And my third class, they joyfully pushed me to work, hard.

I thought about my uncle. How goofy and funny he was. How he and his family had been on my mind constantly the past few weeks. How I’d felt ashamed that I hadn’t really talked to them recently. How I had gone home to visit without spending much time at all with him and his family.

As I checked online for airfare, I quickly realized the short notice trip would be more expensive than I could afford. Megabus is almost worthless from Nola being there are only 3 destinations, Memphis not being one of them. I was reluctant to drive, knowing I’d be extremely tired upon my return and teaching; you have to reserve the much needed energy to expel in the classroom.

Greyhound was the choice. I figured I could read, write and think without having to be too too concerned with the road. Did I mention when I’m not driving I often get motion sickness? Unless, someone I trust is driving.

This week, school had been extremely chaotic, and the children haven’t been the cause. The adults have. Standing between women, who can’t squash a disagreement from three years ago and continuously go back and forth, was the cause of many headaches. Including the fact I had my own ideas to meditate on, a part of me embraced taking Friday off for my travel home to Mississippi.

Friday morning, I clung hard to my pillow again. Unlike me. I didn’t have a friend to take me to the bus station, so I reserved an Uber. Running late, I missed my 8:50AM bus.

My Uber driver and I talked for a few minutes about his football career at a school in Mississippi, a beautiful, sweet woman he’d met and foolishly let get away, and how once his divorce was finalized, he would find her.

Talk about disharmony, I was feeling it. Though I was ready to accept the consequences of my being late, the employees of greyhound went out of their way to accommodate me.

After some consultation, a driver agreed to allow me to ride with him to Baton Rouge.

The bus driver and I talked about his home, Nigeria, some customs and how they differ from America, and how he hopes to soon one day settle and have his own family. He, too, said he wasn’t ready to settle when he had the opportunity.

As I made my way home to see my family, I thought about the poem I was writing and would share at my uncle’s funeral, how I’d missed opportunities to love on my Uncle and other family members, and how often we exist in the same space without actually connecting with one another.

I love him very much. He was the first loved one (that I really knew) I’ve had to transition. My first real encounter with death.

I anxiously traveled down the long country road to my grandparents rural and modest estate. There were cars everywhere, family and friends everywhere. Sad occasion but grand gathering.

Going into the house, I was initially afraid to look anyone in their eyes, scared of what I’d find. People were strong. I knew I had to be. My uncle was one who loved laughter and fun.

We must take time to connect, to love, and to appreciate the ones we love. Let’s not be so consumed with our own lives that we neglect to revel in the now. 

 

 

Reflections of My 1st Teaching Experience

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Reflecting on my first semester teaching at what some people would consider one of the worst schools in New Orleans, I feel like a survivor. There were many days I wanted to quit, but I had no peace and I kept coming. I was afraid. Afraid that I was unequipped to be with my students needed. Many times I was there before the sun, on the weekends and on holidays. The children I worked with were difficult to say the least but many of them were in difficult situations. And though often times the energy of that building was depressing, those students were survivors too. Sometimes I couldn’t sleep thinking about my students. They were tough. They were strong. They were fighters. Fighting to survive at home and unfortunately fighting to survive at a school that subjectively seem to be set up to perpetuate the status quo. My kids were fighting for attention. Fighting for consistency. Fighting to be respected and ultimately to be loved.

 

While working with my students I experienced stress, depression, and a loss of energy. I gained an invaluable experience, a motivation, a resilience and an understanding that I was unaware of before. I learned that the system was flawed. I learned that there were many teachers that were worn out, miserable and negative. And lets not mention the politics involved.  Though we have to deal with a lot as teachers, we still have beautiful students facing unimaginable circumstances that deserve everything we have to give them, especially our love and our positivity. There were times it seemed the kids hated you and completely opposed structure, but the fact is you have no idea what they deal with when the exit those school doors. I just hope that there was something I did or said that let them know that they were loved, there was hope for the future and they had greatness within them.

 

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Sitting in the living room of my grandparents home in Chulahoma, MS @ 1AM. Thinking about the next chapter of my life.I’ve just spent a year in New Orleans, LA, away from all my family and anything that even resembled comfort. Didn’t do as much as I thought I would’ve creatively and experienced professional and romantic disappointments. At the very least, I can say I learned somethings and gained some invaluable experience.

Change, it’s inevitable and imperative to growth. We should not only embrace it, we should anticipate it. This place, where I stand, I feel like I’m walking down a dark dirt rock road with a flashlight at night. I feel somewhat numb, because until now I didn’t see where I’d taken any strides forward. For a minute, I felt like I’d wasted a year doing almost nothing. But to believe that, would be to be completely ungrateful for the wonderful things I was afforded to be included in.

I understand that change is coming. I’ve been isolated from everything I cling to, everything that comforts me, my loved ones.

In this time, I must grow spiritually and personally. Learn to deal with things semi-alone. Leaning on Jesus. A woman on an Island, God and myself. Sure, you always need other people; but, I believe this is a time in my life that I need to be alone. She needs to be established. I’m being called to become a stronger, wiser, more independent yet still dependent woman. I love it. For the first time in a while I feel I’ve gained a little bit of clarity. A street light just came on! 🙂