Be You, Do You, For You

As an individual, you ponder your thoughts so often that your second guess becomes your mainstay when you should probably trust your gut instincts.  I by far am not perfect but I do have a high moral code and I just believe that people should do what they say they are going to do without hesitation.  I also believe that sometimes our reactions to situations set a precedent that some people can handle and on the other hand some shy away from.

I am a WHOLE me all by myself and there is nothing no one outside my immediate circle of friends that can make me think otherwise.  So with that thought in mind BE YOU!

We all have some clandestine relationships with people that will rock some emotions, but truth be told EVERYBODY don’t deserve to see ALL of you.  It’s a cliche but we all tend to keep our circles small and those that we are most vulnerable with GET IT!  They understand when you are being your true self venting about your frustrations, heart-broken about love, redefining your life, and ultimately growing past your mistakes.  In being you, you hold yourself to a high standard, especially if you have HIGH ESTEEM of yourself, better than anyone else does.  You, me, or anyone else for that matter are not responsible for how people perceive you to be.   Being authentically you is your super power and in this competitive world YOU have to be YOU and ON at ALL times.  Even when you fall off, never let them see you sweat.

I sit and wonder about the direction my life and career is going because there’s always room for improvement.  However, don’t let just anybody speak over your life.  DO YOU the best way you know how and watch the pieces come together.

Based on someone’s introduction of you through what they have heard or what they have seen, some folks like you immediately and others bane your existence.

Well tough shit!

You can’t go through life living and pleasing others to the point of saying no to yourself.  I don’t agree with it.  I don’t believe in sugar coating a damn thing.  So in doing me, I get things out in the open, off my chest, and then keep moving.  You can’t go through life sparing others because one thing I have learned in my time on earth; Ain’t nobody going to spare my feelings.  After I have sat and cried, festered, obsessed, and been angry about some things, I have also realized my resiliency speaks before I ever do. Everyone is not going to be sorry for how they treat you and the best way to combat that is to always stand up and DO YOU!

Your happiness.  Your triumphs.  Your courage.  Those three things are your motivation.  You have to do for yourself before you can ever do for others. In all actions let them be FOR YOU and a truly reflection of you.

If anyone claims to be perfect they are a lie and ain’t no veracity in them.  I have had to forgive myself for my petty thoughts, outbursts, and reactions to the bullshit.  To be totally honest I have had to accept apologies I was never going to get.  Sadly, but some people don’t have problems with the things they do wrong to you, they only have a problem if you notice and call them on that shit.  Tonight I am raw in this blog because I’ve been listening to people be tired of the same types of things that get on my nerves and they need an outlet.  I’ll be that buffer…that go between…that voice.  Sometimes we need to know that when we choose to do things for ourselves it’s not out of selfishness, but pure conservation of our energy.  I can’t be who anyone wants me to be, I can only be me for me and if that offends anyone, then PARDON MY BACK!  After being mistreated, overlooked, and at times rejected you have to just do what you want with not regard to others FOR YOU.  That does not mean be careless for the rest of your life, that means set boundaries and never let another person take you out of your element.

We all need a reminder every now and then of just who we truly are.  Some of us are more than just a pretty face.  We have scars, we have pasts, we have baggage.  We also have strength, we have courage, and we have wisdom.

Let go of what was.  Embrace what is yet to come.  Be You, Do You, For You and forget whoever ain’t with it.

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Sometimes in September

 

nineThe month of September symbolizes so many different things for me that it is hard to put it all to rest in my heart because for years there has always been a battle that I had to face either with someone or alone.

September is the fall back month when I sit back and reflect about some of the shit I’ve been through then have to remind myself to push forward.  This will be an emotional read because Sometimes in September I am reminded of being choked and told “Bitch I’ll kill you…” at the same time.  That’s just something you never quite get over.  You try to block it out but the very thought of a man revving his hand back at you like he’s about to hit sends your blood boiling.

Even as the years pass on, by this particular time of year I’m so busy that I don’t have time to wallow in self pity.  I have to push forward and try to forget all of the things that have happened over the years of Septembers tried to wreck my inner peace.

So sometimes leading into fall the internal conflict I feel rears its ugly head and I have to find the strength to press forward even when I don’t want to.  I have to remember that my sons depend on me, and they have often said “Mommy you are strong you can handle anything.”

If these walls could talk, all of the Septembers throughout the years would tell you my secrets, my trials but more importantly tell you my triumphs.  My journey to here… being the woman I am is no easy feat.

Rightfully themed, Sometimes in September, a relatively short month, tests my character year after year as I enter a rebirth and rejuvenation of self deciding some shit just ain’t worth putting up with.

I’ve gone to court in September. I’ve had a divorce decreed in September.  I’ve found out I’ve been cheated on in the past, in the month of September. I have been lied to and told that you’re my soulmate in September and we can married tomorrow.  I’ve been left hanging in the balance in September.  And in all of my Septembers I’ve been reminded of my discipline, authenticity, and perseverance.  Because I simply cannot show my weakness.

I’ve been chastised for being an open book.  Told that I reveal too much.  I’ve been reminded of my truths in September and I remember every single person who said, “I’ll always be there.”

This ninth month of the year represents change.  A change in season.  A change attitude. In some cultures it the number representing “long-lasting”.  One of my close girlfriends said to me, “Look at how many Septembers you have survived.”

The number nine and September is my number of patience.  There is a reason for everything.  It has all been a test.  Divine completeness.  The fruits of the spirit. The number nine is powerful to me because I am always tested at this time.

I said it a few months ago and I’ll say again it, “Being a diamond in the rough, perfectly imperfect, and vulnerable is the true essence of your beauty.”  Just today as I felt things fall off of my internal shelf, I recognized that I’m not shattered but beautifully blemished and genuinely unique.

I find my truth in every situation I experience and overcome.  I am a bit of an enigma.  I face the realities of life and accept that my path was predetermined a long time ago.

Live, write, reflect, and learn.  I practice what I preach, too bad not enough people do the same.

Short and sweet… just like the month of September…

 

 

 

 

You Can’t Fake Passion

So when I wrote , Someday I’ll be Your Girl, I was in a turnstile trying to figure out exactly which way my love life was going.  In a world full of cliches’;  meeting soulmates, finding your true love and being open to new experiences are all trial and error.passion

Unfortunately for women we find ourselves in situations where we are totally enamoured by someone only for things to not always move at the same pace you see things in your mind and feel in your heart. It is confusing.  You think about all of the chemistry you have with someone, then wonder if they give someone the same feeling.  So here is what I say to that, “Tighten up baby girl!”

I have a male best friend and the things we talk about gives me more and more insight on how men think.  My friend told me that once a man tells a woman he loves her that is all she hears.  He is absolutely correct because those three words change how a woman deals with a man completely.

These three words in the spirit of Stevie Wonder are sweet and simple, short and kind, always kindles an aching heart to smile inside.  But baby they are frightening.  Not just for the person who says it, but also for the person who feels it.  My friend told me that in relationships, one person is going to love more, give more, and do more.  He was correct about that as well.

Even when you take action against the friend zone and be assertive and non-confrontational, you can never tell where that person of interest head is at.  You spend time doing things that make you laugh.  Meeting up at Applebee’s for 9 o’clock happy hour, sitting on the porch talking for hours about life, texting throughout the day to check on one another, being each other’s hypeman behind the scenes, and keeping each other in on the loop about what’s going on in each other’s life seem endearing.  NOT necessarily.  But it’s a start.

There are some voids we are always trying to fill.  So many of us have been hurt that moving beyond the proverbial friend zone is asinine in theory.  Why ruin a good thing a lot of us think?  But you never know how happy you could be with someone unless you try.  Sadly, we are all dealing with hearts that we didn’t break.  But continue to wait until you’re ready, you’ll never be ready.  Love is a risk.

Everybody is screaming loyalty but at what cost?  A woman who is focused on one guy has tunnel vision and will wait for a sign that he is as into her as she is into him.  Sadly that is a recipe for disaster.  Unfortunately, women put our all into something and when it is not fully reciprocated we lose our damn minds.  Men on the other hand don’t take a damn thing seriously until they feel they are about to lose someone.  It’s just TOO complicated at times.  

The STORY of my life. LOL!

Scenario 1: Friendly Conversation

A woman meets a guy in a relatively public and social place.  He finds her on social media, they become friends and there is a lot of heavy flirting.  He’s easy on the eyes, athletic, educated, but very guarded.  He calls the woman from time to time.  The very first time she went over his house place, nothing sexual happens.  He makes her some hot tea, they talk, he’s tired, they go to sleep and become platonic friends.

Now there are fireworks between these two… he sees her beauty and she sees his strengths. They talk, they continue to laugh, but nothing happens beyond that.  He even tells her that he entertains conversation with her because she has his attention.  But still nothing.  They never have serious conversation about their interactions.  They just keep it polite.  How are the kids?  How is work?  How are you?  But they get a kick out of the friendship so they keep it there.

It could easily be more.  But they don’t push it because yet again they BOTH have been EXTREMELY HURT.

Scenario 2:  A Complete Stranger

“Can I buy you a drink?”  Oh what a standstill conversation this was because the woman looks at the dude questioning his motives.  They step to the bar, he buys her a drink, they make small talk, exchange numbers, and the friendship unfolds.  They go on their first date and after the movie they stand in the movie theater lobby and talk for about an hour admiring each others’s style.  Coincidently, they arrive looking coordinated and laughed about it.  In fact one of the very first times they hook up after the date, the guy gives her a foot rub and she is blown away.  He cooks her favorite foods, buys her her favorite drink, work out together a couple of times at the gym, they laugh, they chill, in fact they are having a blast because he tells her he will always make time for her.  She meets his brothers and instantly finds friendship with one of them.  Then there is a change.  

It feels too much like a relationship, something he now realizes he’s not ready for.  It’s cool right?  No it’s not, but she doesn’t push him away.  She takes a step back and realizes that even in the fun they have she has feelings for him.  So here we go!  The heart is involved which makes it difficult to just ignore that pinch in your chest every time she is around him.  She is an open book and ready for love.  She is unafraid to love if it finds her.  However, he is a bottle of nerves because he’s not ready for a woman like her, a statement he repeatedly says.  But who is he trying to convince?  Him or her?  The electricity between them is electrifying!

The way he looks at her, admiring her physique gives them both chills.  He’s written her poetry, and she has done the same for him.  He asked her if she wants to hear the words or be shown the words?  It’s confusing because in their friend zone he has comfortability in knowing that he has found a friend in her.  A friend he said has been a pleasure meeting and would like to get know better in the future.  She’s at a we’ll see stage in her life because their have been promises and strong emotions between the both of them but one is more afraid than the other.  In their case, you can’t fake passion.  

Scenario 3:  History in the Making

It has been a progression because old cliches and sayings having people thinking that they have already met their soul mates.  But is it possible?  Out of the blue to get a message on social media asking you how are you doing?  Stunned and nervous because this person has the ability to shake up your whole world and create distractions.  You play the catch up game.  How is life?  How are the kids?  What do you do for a living?  Then you hear the words, I should have made you mine a long time ago, but I didn’t want to hurt you.  BE BLOWN AWAY! Be very BLOWN AWAY.  Of course you didn’t expect it, how could you?  

There has been years between constant contact with certain friends, and as we mature and look like we are handling our business certain interest begin to change.  The historical friend! The one who has watched you grow up admires your drive and actually tells you that you are who they prefer as their mate.  They tell you that you are the mold in which women should be made from and it’s more than words because they trust you enough to tell you things that they dare not tell anyone else.

This man has never lied to you.  He’s stable.  He thinks you’re amazing but this is all too complicated to wrap your head around.  You know exactly where he is coming from and nothing beyond genuine conversation has every taken place between the two of you. So you practice the pause.  You wait.  You become patient.  He reaffirms your patience.  A passionate friendship.  A trusting and abiding connection.  A strong vibe and bond that is unbreakable.

You can’t fake passion. Align yourself with someone that matches your effort not just compliment it.  

xoxo

LaTilya Rashon

My Love-Hate Relationship with Fitness

imageAt my heaviest I weighed in at 190 pounds at five feet one inch.  I said to myself HELL NO this is not my life.  When I saw my clothes size balloon for me up to a size 12 and 14 I was secretly devastated but I was also upset about the things that had happened in my life.

Being a size six all throughout high school and even in my early 20’s was the best feeling ever so I knew something was up when after working out my size 6’s didn’t fit anymore. Surprise…You’re Pregnant!  I was elated about my first little bundle of joy.  I had a c-section so working out was not an option for at least eight weeks because for one I had sutures and had at least six weeks to wait for clearance from my doctor to do anything. Needless to say my mother-in-law at the time was extremely rude and insensitive about my weight gain and said to me when my baby—Lil Phil—was two months old, “You know what you can do to lose weight don’t you?”  I was emotionally unprepared for such a statement to come out of her mouth.  I immediately called my husband in tears while guzzling some Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream.  Postpartum hormones on 10!

I lost my weight by running four times a week at the time while in the Air Force.  Of course my second blessing was born while I was on active duty so the pressure to get back right was important to me.  Then next thing I knew in 2007 I was moving to my home state, in a new house, and relearning a familiar town but now as an adult.  I joined the gym but then that eventually got boring.

I fought with my then husband, we separated, I changed careers, I gained weight from lack of exercise, I lost weight due to overwhelming stress, I drank some, I slept a lot…I was unhappy and scared to start over.  Then one day I looked at my stomach full of stretch marks, my thick ass thighs, size 14 pants and decided that this was not healthy.  I hated feeling like I couldn’t cross my legs or feel completely comfortable in my clothes.  I was self-conscious but hid it with a smile.

Stress caused me to gain at one point because I was not active at all.  All I did was take care of my sons, go to work, and sleep.  I was trying to figure out my life and starting over.  I was 30 years old and my life was in an uproar.  I took charge!

So post divorce in 2011 I picked up a tennis racket and went to a private lesson with a group of friends.  It was fun and the tennis pro was fun.  I didn’t put the racket down and my true weight loss journey began.  I was determined to lose about 40 pounds because I felt entirely too heavy to be so short.  I have been playing tennis since the top of 2012 and I love it.  It keeps me active.  I was not good when I started and the way I play now is a major improvement.  So here I am five years later still playing, I have been on different teams under different captains, I have even been the captain…  My love affair with staying fit is a struggle especially when life gets in the way.

On top of playing tennis I was at the gym and at times spending up to three hours on some days working out.  Not the plan, but after leaving the gym I would get a text asking who could play tennis so I would jump at the opportunity especially in the summer time. I even jumped on the P90X extreme workouts and would tap out at about day 60.

I had a time or two that I took to the pavement again, playing around with the C25K running app.  I’d make it to week five and then get totally thrown off.  Life would interrupt my workout schedule and next thing I knew I was slowly gaining weight.

I saw my dress size begin to shift.  Those 14’s dropped to an eight and suddenly I felt too small.  Right now I am at a steady weight, some days I’m okay at 165, then it’ll drop to 160 and I’m okay with that.  I have a love-hate relationship with fitness.  I work out to relieve stress, take my mind off of things, and weight maintenance.  I still have a belly full of stretch marks and some days my stomach appears flat; other days I look at it and I’m reminded that life was carried there.

I am an active person.  I’m always going to show you something real.  This body takes work…cardio…elliptical…tennis…ministepper…running.  I don’t want to be pushing 200 pounds ever again.  I took control.  Besides I have to be around for Lil Phil and Pressy. They keep me young!

My journey to staying fit is ever evolving.  I’m not going to pay for a body.  I’ll just work on the body God gave me.

~LaTilya Rashon

Where Can Little Black Boys Play

So I have lived in my neighborhood since 2012 when I closed on my house and other than the 2013 Fourth of July shooting, it has been very quiet over here.  Needless to say the shooting that 4th of July was my Caucasian neighbor who “allegedly” was suffering from PTSD and had “allegedly” assaulted his wife while shooting at two police cars and an ambulance that caused the neighborhood to be on lock down for four hours while the SWAT team moved in.  Other than that my neighborhood is pretty uneventful and there aren’t people moving in and out.

My neighbor across the street from me is a youth pastor and used to host Sunday Funday at his house.  The kids would play football, basketball, and everything else for a few hours every Sunday of course crowding the streets but NO ONE ever complained.  So can somebody please tell me why in the hell on Friday did my other neighbor, who lives behind the youth pastor, come to me about the crowd of teenage black boys playing basketball in my front yard?09f2c5c1cd89847bf3a870d585393c8e-human-connection-white-photography

See on Friday, my former student who has become like a daughter to me celebrated her 21st birthday this weekend, so while out getting her make-up done and her photo shoot, a few of my son’s friends were outside playing basketball with MY two BOYS.  This has become the norm being that it’s summer time and the kids are out of school.  We had a big water fight outside a few weeks ago and it was all in fun.  So who has the problem and why?

As I’m getting out of my car with my Applebee’s leftovers I didn’t even notice the ghostly lady from across the street walking in my direction.  Just as I closed my car door I heard a voice say, “Excuse me but do you know they are all outside in the street playing basketball?’

Now as a mother I damn near lost my mind and went straight into protective mode, but I calmly said, “Yes, I would rather my sons and their friends play in front of my house where they are safe versus being somewhere else.”  I was trying to be respectful.  My mom raised me to respect my elders.  Then she said, “Well do you know that they are outside cursing?” I had to catch myself and not curse, so I said, “Ma’am have they been to your house bothering you or even in your yard bothering you?”

At this point I was trying to be diplomatic and again respectful even though I was at my OWN house standing in my garage.  Poor little lady must have felt privileged because she went on to say, “Well I had to drive across the neighbors grass just to get home because they wouldn’t move.”  In my mind I’m thinking, “they wouldn’t move”, but I looked over her shoulders and there were not tire marks.

“Ma’am again you are bothered by them, my boys, being in the streets playing ball where they are safe.  I’m bothered by you being in my garage smoking a cigarette and I don’t smoke.”  I refused to feel inferior and be told what my kids could not do.  A bunch a hormonal teenage boys at that…  This old lady looked at me and said, “Well the neighbors are complaining.”  I said,”Well let them.  I’m done with this conversation”, and walked in my house.

It’s sad in this climate and culture that we have to worry about how our children, especially our young black men and boys move about for fear of something happening to them. I want my children and their friends to feel like my house is safe and they are out of harms ways.  But I be damned if I going to be told that a yard full of black boys is a problem for my neighbors.  No one’s house has been broken into or vandalized.  They aren’t outside blasting their music, and as far as being boys—I cannot control what they say in a heated game of basketball.

It made me think.  Yes sure everyone was nosy and peeking outside when the neighbor shot up the police cars and there was yellow crime scene tape blocking off half of the cul-de-sac.  Everyone politely blew horns to get the youth ministry kids out of the street.  But then now you want to complain about where my black boys hangout and play…MY HOUSE.

If my boys can’t play and be safe in the comfort of their neighborhood and not in the streets, I ask, WHERE CAN LITTLE BLACK BOYS PLAY?

11 Summers of Reflection

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In a friendly conversation I was asked if I reflect on my life.  I had to resist saying, “Duh!” because it would have been childish, but it turned into a fruitful conversation and a serious train of thought for me.  Since coming into the new year, I promised myself that I wouldn’t dwell in the past, but some things are worth remembering.  Today I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and knew that I had to sit down for this blog post.

I separated from the Air Force in 2007, the summer of 2007 and here I am now, not working my 11th summer and still getting paid.  That is a blessing!  Not because I’m an educator, but it is a blessing that I have a career that I love and it frees up my time to pursue my passion during breaks and holidays.  My website and blog are my outlet to practice my writing skills as I crank out my inspirational nonfiction.  I never thought nonfiction would have been the genre of my first two books My Fourth Year in Middle School:  The Truth About Teaching (2016) and Brown Sugar Magic: Goal Setting and Reflections Journal (2017).

So here we go, 11 Summers of Reflection…

2007:  I was scared out of my mind to be separating from the Air Force after six years because I was concerned with finding a job.  It didn’t matter that I had earned two associates degrees, my bachelors, and was separating honorably, I was preparing in my mind for my future.  I settled into my new home back in my home state and pushed dozens of my resume and applications out.  I chose to go work for the Office of Child Support Services.  In eight months I learned that child support enforcement is not the kind of job I wanted.  Thankfully I was a forward thinker and able to move on.

2008: The summer of newness.  After working for the State of Georgia for a hot minute… I was impressive enough to secure interviews in April of 2008 to become a teacher.  So mid-way through my Master’s program leading into the summer, I was blessed enough to not work a second summer in a row, and still collect a check.  My Essentials to Teaching class was an eye-opener, but I was excited to take on a new challenge and start my new career as a teacher.  I had no idea what I was getting into.

2009:  This summer broke me just a little….  I had been with my high school crush since 2001 right before joining the Air Force, but at the end of my first year of teaching we had a MAJOR fight… the fight was the snowball to that marriage.  I celebrated my first year of teaching, the highs and lows.  I found love for the classroom and for the students I taught.  I moved forward with my career while crying my eyes out at night, but pulling it together to be SUPER mom for my boys.  We separated.  Tough Summer!

2010:  I had filed for divorce, experienced a fling with a blast from the past and when that didn’t work, I flew to Puerto Rico.  It was just the getaway that I needed.  Now there is no need for details, but being around a familiar and trustworthy face made the trip worth it.  We ate, we drank, we talked.  I loved him but we understood that our love was not to be explored beyond where we were at.  We were adults… still distant friends… Truly someone I will never forget.  I see his life now and I’m extremely happy for him.

2011:  I had completed my third year of teaching and I had some tough decisions to make.  Reconcile completely or not to reconcile at all.  Things were not adding up so I made a choice to walk away.  After someone says they don’t like the word marriage, you walk away.  I never work summer school, but one of my friends had the bright idea to start a book club and we had the most fun ever.  The book club fell to wayside because life happened but shortly after the summer, September to be exact, I was officially divorced.  After all according to that spouse, marriage was just a piece of paper.  Ain’t no way hell was I about that life.

2012:  This was my summer of sexy!  I had officially become a homeowner and hosted my housewarming party.  This was one of the most rewarding experiences I had in a lifetime.  Becoming a homeowner and decorating my home was the best feeling ever.  I could not have been more excited in this year of independence.  I loved every moment of my freedom to do as I chose.

2013: Summer of blur.  I was in a relationship.  It was fun.  It was combative.  Two summers post divorce, and second summer of home ownership.  I had tunnel vision and was completing my last required courses towards my doctorate.  I was trying to be a free spirit and finding myself all over again.

2014:  Let’s call this the summer of love.  I was smitten. I was engaged. I was a nervous wreck.  I was trying!  I think I tried and cried so hard this particular summer.  I honestly don’t know if I was coming or going.  But that is all apart of life.  The struggle to get to what is real.

2015:  The summer of laughter.  A beautiful summer of grilling, slip and slides for the kids, Tybee Island, Jekyll Island, and Summer Waves.  WE had fun…a lot of fun.  I was oblivious and living in the moment.  I was happy.  My boys were growing up and mama was having a life too.  Life could not have been more grand than what it was.

2016:  Revelations and Celebrations!  A year ago I was flying back from Fort Lauderdale after walking across the grand stage to receive my Doctorate of Education.  I was starting my “business” of writing and blogging and trying to figure things out.  I published my book and was on an emotional high.  Of course some things did not feel right in my marriage, but I took things in stride and accepted some harsh realities.  The highs of cruising to the Bahamas a second time, Florida, and family kept me motivated.  I was continuing to come into my own.

2017:  The journey to here!  I am elated to be standing because I know who I am.  I know the impact I have on my LOVED ones, and the RESPECT I have earned in my career, my family, my friends, and my life.  The story is still being written as I’m WRITING!  So do I reflect on my LIFE?  Hell yes I reflect on my life and I am forever grateful for all of my experiences.  The GOOD and the BAD.  The HURTFUL and the LOVING.

In my 11 summers I have made time for myself.  I love myself and the woman that I continue to become.  Others will wonder how I do it?  I’ll just say that it’s the drive and the God in me.  I’m not perfect, I’m original.

Live~Reflect~Write~Learn

LaTilya Rashon

Now I Understand Why It Was Time To Move On

2214327028_55640546a9_oI remember as an 80’s baby wanting to dress, sing, and dance like Janet Jackson.  “I Miss You Much” and “Rhythm Nation” were bomb ass videos but I was always stuck on Janet’s wardrobe.  My mom actually bought me a pair of black patent leather police shoes, with a gold clip on the tip of the toes, and black ribbons as shoe strings.  You couldn’t tell me a damn thing when I got those shoes and when I wore the soles almost out and outgrew them, I knew it was time to let them go and move on.

My love for Janet Jackson in the late 80’s and early 90’s is like my love for my career.  New students and academic gains always excite me.  I’m like a mom each school term ready to see her new babies, but after repeating the same routine year after year, I felt began to myself at a standstill.

I refer often to my past blogs, but the 7 Things You Should Do In 2017 is in the top five of my favorite post because I knew that coming into this new I was going to have to do some things differently.  Therefore when I wrote 3 Step To Living A Better Life blog and did a vlog for it, step two brings me full circle in my understanding that it was time to grow past middle school.

In 2013 I transferred to a different middle school, same population of kids, but the family atmosphere and new leadership was what I was craving after being at my first middle school for five years.  I had not mastered every single teaching strategy, but I had done enough to be considered an exemplary teacher in the English/Language Arts (ELA) content.  In all honesty I just did not want to work under the same principal for a fourth year, and I was over him especially after my car was stolen from the school.  I was finishing up my last two classes towards my doctorate but as I was finishing those classes, my attitude began to shift.

Since my first year of teaching in 2008, I always gave my students 110% of my energy in the classroom because I was eager and wanted them to achieve academically.  Well I felt my fire burning out, and the quality of work from my students began to diminish.  The last thing I wanted to do was give up on my students or my career.  The wheels in my head began to turn and after two years in my new school then the merge, I found myself right back in my old school removed from ELA but teaching reading.  In my heart I was unfulfilled.

There was a lot of miscommunication the year of the merger and even though I was able to get my proposal approved and move to the next step working on my Internal Review Board (IRB).  I felt like a zombie going into year eight.  Nothing felt the same and I had become complacent.  Waking up each day, driving thirty minutes to my school, just feel more tired inside of the building than I did after a full day of teaching.  Something was not right, and I could not put my finger on it until I made up in my mind it was time to move on.

I had been in place long enough finish my doctorate and decide what I wanted to do next.  Much like when I bought my home, I had outgrown my duplex.  It was time to move on and plant my feet firmly in something I would call mine.  Even when I faced my separation then divorce, it was time I chose my happiness and not hold on to something that was keeping me sad and confused.  I no longer wanted to dance through the halls and have fun with the kids.  I barely wanted to be in the building because in maintaining the status quo, I was not teaching with the same zeal I once had before.  So at year nine in middle school, post-doctoral graduation, I understand why it was time to move on.

I had grown too comfortable that even with the teaching I was doing, my heart was not there.  I wanted to be somewhere else.  Any place than my current setting.  It was not about my timing.  It was about a higher plan that I had no say-so in controlling.  I will miss middle school but I am so happy to be moving on to high school.  I will find my rhythm again and I will teach with the same tenacity I initially started with.

On the halls of my new school, I will dance like Janet Jackson again, in my patent leather police shoes.  I will be as sharp in my movements and well organized for execution on the day school resumes.  I have pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and I’m walking in my authority into the new.  I’m so excited!

I’m pushing myself to do something different and enjoying each moment that I learn more about myself that makes me tick.

~LaTilya Rashon