Posted in higher education, Life

#30in30 A Helping Hand

So as you all know, I started a new job on August 1st, at my Alma Mater. I am a College Completion Coach working with first year remedial and pell-eligible students, connecting them to the campus and local community with the necessary resources needed to finish their degree or certificate programs.

My job is a BLAST, it really doesn’t feel like work. This week was Welcome Week and we held different activities each day to welcome new and returning students to campus.

As part of my job, I’m recruiting 100 students to be coached by me for this academic year. I have a list of 100+ students, and it’s my job to sell them on participating in this program.

It can be a bit overwhelming, as an introvert. I am excellent at building rapport and relationships, but when it comes to initially meeting people? I’m a bit awkward. Recruiting is also not my expertise, not my favorite thing to do, but I want to learn and get better.

That being said, I reached out to my colleagues and asked for tips. And let me tell you, it was much better than sitting in my office wondering how in the heck I was going to recruit. They gave me some helpful tips, that left me feeling so much better.

When you go to work, you have coworkers for a reason. They hold knowledge that may be useful to you.

It’s that way in life in general. No man is an island. We are given family and friends for a reason, for companionship, and for life lessons.

We all have something to offer, something to teach. Make sure you extend a helping hand and return the favor to others when you can. We could all use a helping hand in life.

Posted in Uncategorized

#30in30 Bits and Pieces

Just bits and pieces of thoughts running through my head…

As a woman, I’m not here for men telling me what a woman really is and isn’t. I don’t tell a man how to be one…my womanhood is not defined by how I dress, my marital status, whether or not I have kids. And I’m sick of this being a topic of discussion. And unfortunately it doesn’t look like it will cease anytime soon.

My job continues to amaze me. It blows my mind that people I considered mentors and looked up to in high school and college are now my colleagues. It makes going to work every day fun! It’s amazing seeing my vision board come to life.

Some of the terms on my vision board include:

Going Back to School

Your Own Office

Building the Future of Education

Get Your Ideas off the Ground

 

Guess who has their own office? Me!

Guess who went back to school…well, I went back to the school I graduated from to work!

I get to get my own ideas off the ground…I get to take this position and make it my own!

And my work is building the future of higher education here in Ohio…

I’m just…amazed. And officially a believer.

And I still pinch myself, because, I can’t believe this is really real. I’m blessed.

 

Dreams really do come true y’all. And when you achieve a dream? It’s not the end of anything. It’s the beginning of the next dream. Keep dreaming and keep pushing. Keep believing, keep grinding. Never give up hope, stay hungry, stay focused.

The future belongs to those who dream. Or something like that. lol

 

 

Posted in Life, Married Life, Relationships

#30in30 Family Ties

I don’t regret much, but if there’s one thing I wish I could do, I wish I could have had a tiny, beachfront wedding, simple, no frills. I would have let my sisters and friends give me an amazing bridal shower, I would have invited a few more people to my wedding that are super important to me. I had no idea that how you get married, or even how you date, impacts your relationship with your siblings.

There’s a such thing as being so self-centered that it damages your other relationships. And I had that issue this year.

I had my guards up, out of hurt, out of fear of being hurt and disappointed again.

Being the oldest growing up, meant I had to be strong for everyone else. It meant I knew better, and was held accountable for not only my actions, but others’ actions too. I don’t know the exact day but one day, I did decide, enough was enough, I was going to look out for me.

And I did. I felt as if, nobody was going to look out for me, so I had to look out for myself. I was so busy afraid of being hurt that I hurt others in the process.

There was me fleeing home when my grandmother passed away on my 21st birthday. I abandoned my family when they needed me most, to grieve by myself, in my own way. I was hurting so bad when she passed away, my grandmother understood me in ways nobody else did. And she was gone. I was hurt. I was angry. I was disappointed. And now, I had all these other people depending on me to be strong. And I couldn’t. So off I ran to Pittsburgh, the day after the funeral, to be with friends. Where i didn’t have to be big sister, oldest daughter. I was just Dei.

Later on my sisters would tell me they felt abandoned. My father wasn’t too pleased with my decision. That was one of the trickiest decisions I ever had to make.

When I got married, without the fan fare, I didn’t realize, I missed out on opportunities to bond with my sisters. I missed out on opportunities to get to know my in-laws. Suddenly we were married and everyone had to deal with the fallout of it. I was so standoffish about it, so defensive, I couldn’t see anyone else’s point of view.

Even this year, there was still some fall out over decisions I had made. I was so against being a people pleaser that I failed to be considerate of family.

Even though K is my immediate family now, my sisters, my parents, and other loved ones, are still family too. And I have to balance that, walk a fine line, between making my marriage a priority, while not forgetting about my siblings. Sometimes, it feels like there’s not enough of me to go around.

Nobody’s family is perfect. There was much tension within me trying to figure out how to spend time with my sisters so they wouldn’t feel like I forgot all about them after getting married. There were words said that none of us could take back. There were arguments, tears shed, just lots of difficult moments.

Then I think back to a few days ago. My sister and I just enjoying each other’s company. And as I reflected on it now, as my sister prepares to turn 25, it reminds me of the family ties that bind us together. That no matter what happens, who gets married, who has kids, who moves away, whatever happens-that’s still my sister. A few months ago, we struggled to understand each other. We are nowhere near perfect, but we’ve come a long way. I still love her, even when I don’t quite understand her and she doesn’t understand me. Even when we’re not the greatest at communicating-we’re still sisters. And the relationships I have with my siblings, with my parents, with my nephews, are all so unique and enrich my life even more, making it that much fuller.

I love my sisters. I love my family. We have a bond that is unbreakable. Even if we disagree, argue, don’t get along. Even if mistakes have been made in the past, things that we can’t go back and change, we do get a second chance. And a third. And a fourth.

How is that?? Because we have been given another day with each other. And that is a gift in itself.

Posted in Cleveland, higher education, Life, Married Life, Relationships

#30in30 I Wonder…

‘You can still be who you wish you is, it aint happened yet and that’s what intuition is’-Kanye, I Wonder

I always knew that I was destined to be elsewhere, and yet, I’m still here, in Cleveland, not exactly my favorite place. Evidently it’s for a reason, so no real complaints, but I do wonder what life will be like elsewhere.

I always tried to leave Cleveland with a sense of urgency, for many different reasons. As I get older, I know that when it’s meant for us to leave, we will leave.

Cleveland is all I’ve known. Born and raised here, educated here K-16, and now preparing to do my masters here (well possibly, more than likely). I always wonder what life will be like on the other side of all of this, on the other side of realizing my dreams.

Yes, leaving Cleveland is one of my dreams.

Cleveland will always be here, should I ever want to move back.

But I wonder what life will be like, outside of Cleveland. Away from my family.

I got a small taste of it when I had moved to VA for college. It was short-lived, because I dropped out and moved back home. VA wasn’t my cup of tea as an 18-year-old.

I dream of raising our kids elsewhere. In a perfect world, I’d love to round-up my in-laws and my immediate family and have all of them living in a 3 hour radius on the east coast. But I know realistically, my parents will probably remain in Ohio. Mom in law may move south again (who knows).

I wonder what it’ll be like to have our own little family away from our families. I wonder what it’ll be like on the other side of all my dreams.

My dreams of obtaining a master’s degree and becoming a counselor/advisor.

My dreams of K & I moving out-of-state (only God knows where) and beginning the next phase of our careers and education.

My dreams of teaching. Hubby’s dreams of his career in sports. Our dreams of raising awesome kids wherever.

I wonder what life will be like on the other side of our dreams.

I will say, right now, my current job? A dream.

How does it feel to cross something else off my bucket list?

Surreal.

So now I wonder…

What will life be like on the other side of the rest of our dreams, especially dreaming of life elsewhere?

I’m sure it’ll be scary. I’m sure I’ll be homesick for the place that I don’t even consider home. I’m sure I’ll miss being near family. But K is my immediate family, and to have him by my side will be AMAZING. Trying, I’m sure. Tough moments, tears even? Maybe.

I wonder…

Soon, I won’t have to wonder about that dream.

I can’t wait for my dreams to come true. Because I know they will.

Posted in Faith, Life, Married Life, Relationships

#30in30 A Follow Up to Never the Right Time: Grace

I’m not super religious, but I’m aware of God’s hand in my life, and my husband’s as well.

That being said, Yesterday, I wrote about recognizing that there’s never a right time for anything…there’s good, better and best timing.

I had a conversation with K last night about it, but we decided to put it off to enjoy his bday gift (Yankees tickets). He encouraged me this morning and told me to stop worrying, stressing. I told him that I only wanted the best for us, and he said something that is sticking with me no matter what:

‘We just gotta understand that God has brought us this far by His grace, aint no turning back…’

And this is why I married him.

Grace.

Lord knows K and I made some mistakes, made some not so wise decisions at times. Made some missteps along the day.

But God is good beyond words. He’s been with us, even when we couldn’t feel Him.

He’s provided for us when we didn’t know how it was going to turn out. Looking back on how we first started out two years ago? There’s no way we should be where we are now…but here we are. Not many know our story and that’s fine because it’s not really time to tell it…but by the  grace of God, something bigger than ourselves, we are here.

Everyone who meets us, remarks on how well we fit together, how we compliment each other. He’s my best friend, we have a lot of fun together, and I mean ALOT of fun. But life aint all fun. And like I said, we’ve made our share of mistakes.

But we’re still here. Because of grace. Logically? Things that have broken up other marriages, have strengthened ours. And we both know…as long as we have God…we’ll continue to go amazing places and do amazing things.

I’m thankful for my hubby reminding me that God’s grace is sufficient, more than sufficient for us.

Posted in Education, Faith, higher education, Life, Married Life, Relationships, Religion

#30in30: Never The Right Time

There’s good, there’s better, there’s best, when there comes to timing.

Is there a such thing as bad timing? The realistic, logical side of me wants to say yes.

But then the other side of me knows that there is a force higher and more powerful than I, in which time must submit to.

I’m 26, not getting any younger…whether I like it or not, as a woman, age plays a big role in career development, education, family decisions.

Even with modern science, with technology, and a host of other advancements in society, I still have to consider age when thinking about when to start a family with K.

I still have to consider age when thinking about my career development & evolution.

I still have to consider age when considering when to go back for a masters. Amongst other things, but age is a big factor.

I hate that it must be like this, but it’s reality.

Time waits for nothing, nobody, no man…nothing. And all I can do is respect it and go with the flow. 

There are so many things that are out of my control. I can plan all I want, but God/the universe has different plans for me, ones that I’m unaware of. Sometimes, my subconscious is aware of them, as I’m pretty intuitive. Then my logical side kicks in and tries to override my intuition, my subconscious trying to give me a heads up about things. I begin to plan, and sometimes all I can do is laugh when those plans don’t come to fruition in the timing (if at all) that I would like.

Truth be told, I can plan to have kids at 30 but if God wants them to come beforehand? They will. No amount of planning, science, protection or any of that can stop it.

I can plan to do a masters degree next year, but God might have different plans for me. He might have work for me to do elsewhere. And I have to be open to it.

It’s never the right time to start a family. Never the right time to go to grad school. Are there better times? Of course. But we are not in control. God lets us think that we are, but we’re not. At all.

All I can do is, prepare for the surprises, expect the unexpected. And enjoy the ride, since I’m obviously not in the driver’s seat. I’ll trust that whatever comes my way, is already purposed, waiting for me, to make that expected choice so that I can learn whatever life lessons those experiences have for me.

My father in law told me today ‘Life lessons are all around you.’

No truer words have been spoken to me. I can’t help but agree.

Posted in Life, Married Life, Relationships

#30in30 Word to Your Lover: A Word of Advice

I don’t write a whole lot about relationships and marriage when it comes to advice, because, well, for starters, some still consider me a newlywed. K and I have been married for a little over two years, and while it hasn’t been all peaches and cream, we’re happy together. We love each other now more than we ever have in our six years together. Another reason why I don’t like to give much advice is because every couple is unique. Every couple faces a set of issues and situations unique to them, even if they are similar to other couples. However, there are a few things that are universal.

One word of advice I would give any couple would be to respect each other.

Respect is super important. I’m not sure how loving someone you don’t respect works.

Respect should be visible and detected in every interaction you have with your lover.

When you talk to each other, do you listen? Do you take to heart what they say? Do you get an attitude or just talk over them? (I’m guilty of these, by the way, so please don’t think I’m perfect lol).

Do you respect their time? Do you show up to a date or engagement with them late?

Do you respect their body? Do you respect their mind? Their soul?

Just a few questions you might wanna ask when it comes to respect.

If you don’t respect your lover, then perhaps you may want to reconsider a relationship with them.

The moment I lose all respect for a man? Is the day that I need to consider walking away. It sours every single interaction we have, it ruins everything, honestly.

Speaking of honesty, respect your lover enough to be honest with them. Even if it hurts their feelings. Sometimes we’re afraid to hurt our lover’s feelings, but I’d rather hear the truth and be hurt than hear a lie and be good. The truth will always come, later on, and I’d rather hear it from someone I love than someone I can’t stand who just wants to hurt me.

Be respectful with good intentions. Bad intentions are just disrespectful. Never do things out of bad intentions, karma is real.

Respect.

As Aretha said, ‘All I’m asking, is for a little respect!’