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

Why Be Mediocre When You Can Be Great

wp-1477058810654.jpgSitting at work a couple of weeks ago in professional development we watched a video about the “Golden Circle” but the message about the golden circle was setting out to prove WHY you are GREAT at what you do and how you do what you do.  In a nutshell the Golden Circle challenges the “Status Quo”.  Why be mediocre when you can be great?

Ironically I had had the words status quo floating around in my mind for a few days so after watching the small clip on the TED video it served as confirmation for the things that I had been pondering.  I have joined various Facebook groups, followed many others on twitter and Instagram, and I can for sure say that I am enjoying the process.

When I Inadvertently Took Some Time Off I had no idea which direction I wanted to go and still I only know that I want to write.  I love teaching so I’m vexed between niche writing educationally and exploring doing a blog series on various topics such as family, marriage, divorce, relationships, career, and other hot topics that I come across in conversation.  There are no rules to this blogging thing; you just have to get in where you fit in.

I am super excited about relaunching my blog and “write” now I am loving my new categories…but can a sister get a better laptop?  I am about to switch over to Apple I guess because it just looks like that is what everybody uses…LOL *Have you seen the images*

So let me introduce you to WHY I’m great and YOU should follow me…  and here is my disclaimer…I probably should get an email list and figure out this email marketing but I don’t get it so just follow my blog.  And for one, my TRANSPARENCY is the biggest part of my WHY!  But check these categories and I promise you’ll be smitten.

Live~Laugh~Love *Loving the Life You Live*

I turned 30 years old at the very end of 2011 and my motherly instincts told me that it was time to purchase my first home because my two loves, Lil Phil and Pressy, were growing up and I wanted them to have a backyard bigger than the one at my duplex at the time.  The Live~Laugh~Love mantra was strong throughout department stores and was actually the theme of my housewarming party in June 2012 and it was at this age that I truly embraced my life.  I am loving all of the experiences that have shaped my existence…nothing was an accident, it was necessary.  As open as I am, I am sure that I  will be able to show YOU how to love the life you live and be happy even when things feel like they are falling apart.           For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.      ~Ecclesiastes 3:1

Retrospective Life: Reflections, Lessons, and Blessings458651399_c3065e705d_q

You only grow as a person when you feel uncomfortable.  Like the saying goes, “If you do what you have always done, you going to get what you have always gotten.”  It’s insane to make the same repeated mistakes in life.  Once is a mistake, the second time it’s a choice.  Now you can’t predict how relationships will go—friends, family, significant others etcetera—but you can reflect on what you learn through your different experiences with people.  You honestly can learn from other people because they show you with their actions how to treat them.  It’s funny we (society) spend a lot of time trying to figure out other people, but if we pay attention, they show us ALL of the time who they are.  It is okay to change your circle, because some people are a truly a blessing, but when the blood suckers drain you of your energy…push them out of your life and grow.  Taking risks and doing something new creates layers in your life.  You want to be able to look back on your life and say to yourself, “Damn I have accomplished a lot!” I can write a list of my accomplishments and smile from ear to ear…I’m soon to be 35 (December 28th) and my two marriages, divorce, birth of my sons, military experience, and teaching career has taught me a few things about LIFE.  I have no qualms with sharing!

The Educated Butler

The play on words as “The Educated Butler” sums me up in three words because of my thirst for knowledge.  I know a lot of stuff, and in my ninth year as a traditional classroom teacher I want to rise above public school teaching and transition into higher education and really make an impact.  I faced many obstacles in school from being bullied, belittled by teachers, and proving society wrong that children from single parent homes can be successful.  I defy stereotypes at every turn and look at every individual experience as a lesson that has strengthened my core.  My first self-published literary baby, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching propels my desire to write, publish, blog, edit, research, and help others.  Education is a necessity and I will show you WHY.  Click on the title and I will introduce you to a whole new world…my educational journey as well as cover the trends and issues that affect my perception of education, teaching and learning.61yromeb5hl

Writer’s Corner

This is dedicated to the writers who don’t want to coach but just have a good time blogging and being creative.  Not to say I don’t want to turn a profit but not sticking to rules, outlines, and suggestions of others will allow me to be free.  We all want to make money whether it’s being a profitable blog, creating content, tool kits, offering services, contributing to other sites, and of course for me WRITING BOOKS.  I have played around with blog topic generators, read just about everybody under the sun, registered with multiple sites but the one thing I need to do is be more CONSISTENT, PLAN PROACTIVELY, and PRODUCE.  Yes I created my first free product, What No One Tells You About Blogging mini-book, and I was afraid to release it but I said to myself, “Why in the hell not?”  I’m continuing to learn, explore, and take risks.  So in this corner I’ll water you, you’ll water me (feedback on what I post) and we’ll grow together.photogrid_1481570462792.png

Thanks to the Golden Circle I’m going to push pass the Status Quo and give the unabashed display of WHY I’m a great writer.  My message is clear…it is rough around the edges, no holds barred (limited profanity…LOL), and true to who I am.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the ride!  Leave a comment and don’t be afraid to SHARE!