I Define Who I Am

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WRITER:  I am who I am!  I am unapologetically crafty with words.  It is the very essence of my being the way I move words across the screen effortlessly.  I am in awe of others that do the same whether it is to freely express their feelings into written form just to share or even as those write with the ultimate purpose to make money.  Writer is only one title that defines who I am.  I am defined by my talent because I push it into the atmosphere.  As I constantly define my life and redefine who I am, I am not deterred by setbacks.  To no end I am pleased with the steps I have taken to set myself up to share my thoughts and inspiration for those to grab hold of.  As I keep prioritizing my goals and dreams, I urge anyone to obtain a copy of Brown Sugar Magic as a guide to help you in the right direction.

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Now this is not a just a plug about my last book even as I continue to work on my writing and do some educational consults and writing.  This blog is about the titles that define me.  Unless you walk a day in my shoes you have no idea how much of a blessing my life really truly has been.  I do not dwell of what I cannot change.  I have changed myself from within and I am HEALED from my PAST because it does not DEFINE me!

DAUGHTER:  My mom worked too hard for me not to be GREAT!  Growing up as a “latch-key” kid and becoming independent at a very young age has carried well over into adulthood.  The amount of love and respect I have for my mom spills over into how I love and nurture my children.  As a daughter I have become my moms confidant and I continue to learn so much from her about resiliency and not allowing your troubles to last.  I’m the daughter that my biological father misses out on because I have exceeded expectations thrown on me by society as a “Fatherless Daughter”.  Everyday has not been a walk in the park.  As with anyone if you lose a companion, friend, or spouse you have moments of doubt and utter confusion.  I am the daughter of King who knows that is has been nothing but the grace of God that has walked with me through troubled waters.  Be careful about who you judge!  I have favor over my life, I know where my help comes from.

MOTHER:  I cannot get enough of my sons.  They are everything!  That says so much in such few words.  I love and take care of my sons the way my mother took care of me. Watching my babies grow up over the past few years from elementary to them both being in middle school next year I am emotional.  It has not been easy finding balance, co-parenting, and accepting things that are out of my control.  I certainly did not like experiencing my family being torn apart when they were younger, but they have ADJUSTED extremely well.  I am the ONLY mother they have and they know I will give my life to save them from any dangers.  I’m selfless when it comes to my SONSHINES!  They will definitely remember the tough lessons, mistakes, and decisions that have been made in their best interest.  Spare the rod, spoil the child (Proverbs 13:24).

TEACHER:  I interviewed in May 2008 and walked into my first pre-planning session July 2008.  I have told the story before about one teacher telling me I’d never have a job because of my attitude when I was 13 years old.  Well here I am now, 35 years old with 16 years of VALUABLE work experience that is a mixture of my career choices and education.  I am so glad to be moving up to high school after nine years at the middle school level.  I think sometimes people think that my profession defines all areas of my life, but let me tell you a secret…IT DOES NOT!  I have a REAL life outside of school and the kids are the worst sometimes because they tend to think that we have been adults our whole lives.  That’s until I tell them some of my childhood stories to show my HUMAN side.  Yes I’m a teacher that builds relationships with my students and that’s why I LOVE what I do.  CAREER and EDUCATION choices MATTER!

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FRIEND:  The title of friend I hold close to my heart because I either fool with someone or I don’t.  I am never swayed by what someone thinks of me or other people that matter to me.  One of my good friends has opened my eyes to just living in the NOW.  Too bad some people don’t know how to leave some things alone and let people LIVE.  When you go looking for problems with people to report to your friends, that says more about YOU the investigator and instigator than it could ever say about the other person.  My TRUE friends know that I have a heart of gold and I rarely hold back my thoughts. I have learned to drop the rope and not engage. I am NOT going to be liked by everybody and that is okay.  I ACCEPT that!  See I am not what or who other people say I am.  I am a friend to those who show me genuine adoration and respect because I give them that of me in return.  I am a friend to those who seek my guidance and honest help because the truth is the truth.  I have learned how to be more vulnerable in my friendships and not be so STRONG because I have a life full of AWESOME things to be THANKFUL for.  The ability to have friends that SUPPORT you in good times and in bad times is admirable.  I am one of those that stand by in good times, bad decisions, confusing moments until WE get it back right!

I am defined by my actions.  I am not defined by the chapter of my life that you walked in on.

~LaTilya Rashon

Check Your Credentials: Are You Qualified?

ARE YOU QUALIFIED?

I have spent the past 16 years enrolling and completing degrees at different institutions of higher learning.  The requirements and skill set for each degree program seemed attainable, and you ultimately learn as you go, what is distinguished in presentation and rudimentary.

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However along the way you become a subject matter expert to your peers when they ask, “Well, where do you go to school?”, “What classes did you take?”, “What was your major?”, and the ultimate question, “Was/Is school hard?”  You then spend hours discussing your undergraduate experiences, reliving the fun times, the trying times, and the confusing times.  You explain why you got caught up, and how you wish you knew then all of the things you know now.  You carry on with your life until the next set of questions arise.

What is your master’s in?  I reply,  “Oh, it’s in Public Administration because it caught my eye at the time while I was working for a state agency.”  Now you are advising your friends on degree choices because they are stuck between a master’s in social work or education and they are undecided.  The only thing they know is that they don’t want to be stuck behind the computer writing papers, but you feel compelled to tell them that at the graduate level that’s a big part of the degree.  You have now embarked on research expert territory.  “Should I go to a bricks and mortar school or find a degree program online?”  Again, you relay your experiences and why you chose accelerated online programs because it was conducive to your family structure. Your friends then say, “But on my God, I have to hear the professor because I’m not disciplined enough to do the work online by myself.”

You spend more time explaining how online is not that bad, and is actually better because other than scheduled live-streaming lectures, you can complete and participate in class discussion threads, and post your research papers by the suspense date asynchronously.  Before long your friends are asking you questions about different schools, why you chose your school, and once your’re done, what are you going to do next or are you done with school?

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You have become a consultant, adviser, and financial aid consultant by default because you are telling them how “it” works.  Then then next wave of requests become, “Can you help me with this discussion?”, “Hey can you find some articles on this?”, “Can I see your phase 1 draft?”, “Will you read this for me and tell me it how it sounds?”  Before long you’re an editor and proofreader but you’re not charging your friends, because they ask for help here and there.

Considering the amount of work that goes into attaining degrees, when you garner a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D), you become qualified to do many things and your skill set is expanded.  You are now a referral service because everyone wants to know who helped you along the journey. So then you begin to examine your skill set a little more closely and realize you have a lot to offer.

I am a

  • researcher
  • consultant
  • adviser
  • writer
  • editor

A lot of times we offer services as help then realize some of the services are provided to others at a price.  You don’t want to take on too much too soon, but when you complete your work without the paid help of others, you either encourage your friends and associates to do the same or set yourself up to be paid.  You are qualified to do whatever you are passionate about without naysayer opinions.  The only way you build your skill set portfolio, is to continue working on those skills and let your work speak for itself.  Validation comes when you become the referred rather than the referrer.  You are qualified to be your own boss in any industry that you can’t see yourself walking away from or not being a part of.  Education and writing are my industries of choice.  So am I qualified?

Check my resume!  You damn right, I’m qualified!

~LaTilya Rashon