I Know What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

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I resigned. I just could not do it anymore. I tried and failed. I tried again and failed. I tried once more and plummeted. I plummeted so low that I knew that walking away was the only true solution to the monotony. I did not even say goodbye. I couldn’t do it. I could not be the next mentor, teacher, and advocate to bid them farewell. I could not take time to answer the questions of the perplexed. Oh, the benefits of teaching. How extensive they are when you possess the credentials that warrant top pay, top benefits, and in my weary mind, top reasons to walk away. Not just walk away, RUN. So I RUN. But where am I going? I’m running with no direction, little support, and minimal knowledge of the finish line. I just know I have to RUN. Not later. But now.

It started with nursing. I want to help people. I want to make a positive impact on those around me. My personal mission has been to select a career that promotes societal change and works toward ending negative generational cycles. However, did you know that in this nursing business, you need to look at blood almost DAILY? Here’s a come-to Jesus moment. I do not like blood. I faint at the sight of blood. Apparently, this is a factor that would change my current course of action. So I take a break. I work through programs that provide wrap-around services to this mom rendering “single” in the year 2001. I work in various environments that serve children. These experiences shine the light to the next step in my journey. A teacher. That’s it. I am to be a teacher. Let’s get this party started.

I enrolled. I accomplished. I impacted. But I am empty. I am pouring out. But I am empty. I have nothing left to give. Because I am empty.

Cue the mind games. Note to self, when you are taking time to reflect, the mind is the biggest battle to overcome. Outside voices chime in with their non-credentialed thoughts and minimal background knowledge to support their theories. Thoughts inside my mind fight for authority. To walk away means to let people down, release control, and step away from a level of comfortability that would be sure to extend itself for many years to come. But I am empty. The still, small voice in my mind whispers in an audible tone that can be heard beyond the screams. A final conclusion is made. My mental health is more important to me than any level of security or public stature.

But there’s no Next Step GPS. I know my internal struggles. I know the desires of my heart. And most of all, I am beginning to understand the various gifts I possess as a professional woman of color that has changed zip codes more than some have changed wardrobes. I am a diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging powerhouse. Each geographical experience has molded and shaped my life as a mother, a wife, and an educator. The practice and insight cannot be minimized. Understanding your worth and value removes the barriers that we, especially women, frequently place upon ourselves.

So I am searching. I am searching, praying, meditating, and emotionally exhausted. That age-old question of “What is it you want to do ” resurfaces over and over again. I want to ensure that generational cycles are broken, systemic oppression has ended, and my brown babies that share my DNA and that have beckoned my classroom walls and doorstep have a chance. Can you sign me up for that, please?

Months pass. I am weary. I am tired. I’ve submitted applications totaling into the hundreds. Please explain to me how organizations request a high level of experience but refuse to give you the experience (a blog for a different day of course)?

I am refusing positions that many would be elated to accept. But I know where I have been. I know where I am going.

On March 1, 2021, I stepped into the role with Shine Early Learning as the Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Specialist. Y’all they are giving me a chance! I am thankful, humbled, blessed, and ready to begin this next chapter in this book called Life.

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