Posted in Uncategorized

Flexibility + Routine

Two things I’ve realized have hurt more than helped:

Being stubborn and rigid…and
Fighting structured routines.

How have they hurt?

Being stubborn and rigid have caused me to play the blame game versus being flexible and while placing blame is something that can still happen, I realize I am not responsible for others’ actions. I am only responsible for how I respond.

I am learning to embrace flexibility, it is a must as a mother, as a teacher, and just as a human being. I’m learning I’ll have to be quick on my toes this year as a teacher, but also as a professional. Things constantly shift and I can waste time being mad, or I can quickly adapt and be flexible and come up with new solutions. This will involve regular times of creativity, so I want to learn how to be more creative.


Structure is a MUST, for kids…it helps us adults as well. I am learning that kids thrive on routines and structure. I hated the rigidness of routines but I’m learning once routines are learned you can be a little lax and still have order. I’m learning to embrace them! and it will be a must since I have so much going on as a teacher who is getting certified in a new state, a mom, etc…structure, routines will be a must!

I’m learning to embrace the very things that I’ve shunned for so long. What got me here won’t keep me here. In order to go higher and be successful…I most definitely need to be structured and flexible. Seems like an oxymoron but it’s necessary and makes a ton of sense.

Just getting these thoughts out as I start a new school year in a few days! Excited isn’t the word!

Posted in Education, Empowerment, Life, Wellness

Doing Different-Take 2

Year 3 of teaching on deck…I’ve realized I can do all the research in the world, all the planning, idolizing my teaching heroes, borrowing from other teachers but ultimately, if I DON’T DO DIFFERENT? Nothing will change.

I was on to something this time last year when I realized that I was expecting others to support me when I was unwilling to support myself!

I had a great plan and then…everything changed. Nothing went the way I thought it would go.

So how do you handle when change comes your way and all the plans you had, go out of the window?

I cannot lie, I haven’t been the greatest in handling curveballs life throws me. SO much happened last year that I could have never planned for…getting unexpected expenses, my car getting totaled, and my budget being shot to tell. And all the self-care plans went out the window when I was thrown into survival mode and I had to make a move to give myself some breathing room.

Now that I was able to make that move, I can’t yet say I’ve fully exhaled, but I can say that I realize plans being made are only one part of the solution to doing different.

Mindset, is EVERYTHING. How can I shift from surviving to thriving, without my income increasing? Thriving is all about MINDSET, not income level.

So, how can I shift in lean times and still thrive?

I’m in the process of discovering how to do that now. By committing to something even in the hard times, even when I want to quit. Mastery and thriving doesn’t happen overnight…rather, it is a series of intentional decisions to keep at something until you are doing well.

So how can I shift in lean times?

By sticking to my commitment in the face of adversity. By shifting my means of getting to a destination even when the unexpected hits. It means having a Plan A-at least G. By committing to self-care even when things go haywire and not allowing anything to keep me out of being in the zone.

I’m learning how to thrive. And that, is a huge part of doing different-committing to thriving.

Posted in Education, purpose

Year 3 Loading…

I’m in year 3 of teaching and yep, a new district again. This time on my own volition. Atlanta wasn’t the last stop and I knew it wasn’t the moment I stepped out of the car when I arrived towards the end of last summer. Georgia has been quite the adjustment, first was me getting adjusted to a slower pace, then the people (still getting used to the people) and the more conservative lifestyles here in GA. GA MIGHT not be for you if you’re looking for something more progressive (unless you do Atlanta) but I digress…

It’s year THREE of teaching for me! Teaching in ATL year 2 was…a lot of learning and growing, personally and professionally. The challenges that plagued me in my first year in Texas, followed me to GA. This third year of teaching, I’m approaching it differently, through planning and organization. Smaller district but middle school kids are the same everywhere, so I know I will have to enter with a different mindset than the previous two years.

What keeps me coming back? THE KIDS. No doubt. There’s SO much to contend with and compete with, from cell phones, to social media…I know my middle school teachers must have faced similar challenges. Everyone wants to say the generation following them is worse but I firmly disagree. We all have our own challenges that the previous generation didn’t understand but the real ones committed to making a difference, seek to understand us and love us anyhow.

And that is my approach!

This year I’m doing planning on the front end and coming in with a growth mindset, along with my deep desire to figure out how to motivate my kids to do their absolute best. I’m researching best practices for instruction and building relationships but the best way to go about it? is to be like Nike-JUST DO IT!

I’m excited to be meeting my kids in a couple of weeks, excited for year 3, this will be the year that things CLICK and flow in the classroom and my kids grow in leaps and bounds!

I’m excited to get my kids acclimated to middle school and provide them with support academically and socially/emotionally. SO much I want to do and try but ultimately I’m there to educate and push and challenge them to grow!

I’m exploring the idea of having a blog where I can reflect and share what works/doesnt work in the middle school ELA classroom, particularly with urban kids. Still sketching out in my head what that’s going to look like as well as brainstorming on paper. Stay tuned, I may or may not share that information here!

But for now, time to enjoy the rest of my summer. ❤

Posted in Uncategorized

Room to Grow

It helps a GREAT deal to be able to name how you feel and identify what is going on with you.

It’s no secret that I have had a difficult time adjusting to ATL. I also realized today my propensity for going back to familiar spaces and places when things get tough. It’s how I cope with change.

In case you haven’t figured it out, I haven’t done well with major life changes.

And yet, I’ve had plenty of it in the last 3 years. I’ve moved, been laid off twice, switched jobs, moved away from friends, etc.

Nobody really talks about the grief involved each time you are laid off, or move. Or encounter some other kind of major life change. Especially if you move away.

With each ending, there is loss. Even if there is new beginnings you are looking forward to, you’re still losing something.

And loss for me is something I’ve still not yet mastered in learning how to cope with.

Running away to familiarity is what I do. Mostly familiar places. And Spaces.

But interestingly enough, I usually find that people have changed, hell, I have changed.

So now I realize, being here in ATL…it’s uncomfortable as HECK. And I’ve wanted to run. run back to, you guessed it…familiarity.

I don’t even LIKE Ohio. But have been wanting to go back. Because, that’s safety.

But I don’t do myself any favors when I run back to familiarity. I just stunt my own growth.

What if I faced the uncomfortable stuff head on? What if I gave myself room to grow?

Uncomfortable is HARD. It sucks. Nobody wants to deal with it. I’d rather live in my own fantasy land at times.

But instead, I’m realizing, if I give myself grace, if I give myself room to grow? I just might be surprised at how well I do. I just might be surprised at how I learn to navigate the tough times.

Tough times are inevitable. And instead of running back to ‘safety’?

This time? I’m giving myself room to grow.

Posted in Life, Spirituality

2018, Thank U, Next!

Thank U Next is a song by Ariana Grande (that I absolutely LOVE btw) is a song where Ariana thanks her Ex beaus and talks about what they’ve taught her.

All of that could be said for 2018 for me. Whew. I’ve learned so much and grown so much from all that I’ve gone through this year.
I’ve laughed, loved, lived, and cried a LOT. I’ve experienced MANY lows and MANY highs, and I can say I’m honestly ending this year on a HIGH.

I won’t even run down the list of things that I’ve done/experienced/witnessed this year. It’s a LONG list. I’ve told my mom and a few others that it feels like I’ve lived two years in this one and life can be summed up in two seasons…BD and AD (Before Divorce and After Divorce).

So I wanna say Thank U, Next to 2018…I’m so grateful for all that you’ve taught me, all that I’ve learned and experienced. I’m SO much stronger, wiser for all that I’ve been through.

2019 is looking amazing and feeling amazing already, not because I’m wishing 2018 was over…nahhh I can’t even say that. The latter half has been amazing in SO many ways. I’ve learned SO much about not just life or others but myself as well. I’ve got work to do on me but cheers to being aware and being gracious with myself in the process while I heal.

I’m legit excited about what 2019 will bring…2018…it’s been real.

Thank U, Next!

Posted in Empowerment, Life, purpose

Before I Let Go…

When I sat down to write, I just said a prayer that my words would be those of comfort, healing and peace…because it’s what I want for myself!

What happens when you end up in a place you NEVER saw yourself?
You let go of the life you thought you were going to have and embrace where you are now.

For the last couple of years that has been where I am. And I’m ending this year no differently. I’m once again in a new city, a second year teacher,  and it’s nothing like my move to Houston in SO many ways. Atlanta is its’ own place. And boy has it been an adventure.

One thing I’ve realized, I’ve dealt with alot of anger over the last 18 months. Alot of sadness.

And after entering a rough patch, I have decided it’s officially time to let go. Time to let go of the narrative of what I’ve believed in the past about myself.

It’s time to let go of limiting beliefs. It’s time to let go of the lies, of whatever doesn’t serve me.

Time to let go of the life I thought I was going to have. Time to let go of the life I thought I was worthy of.

Time to embrace where I am now and the life I’m meant to have.

But before I let go…

Let me fondly remember where I’ve been and the growth that has happened as a result.

Let me be reminded that I am more of my authentic self than I’ve ever been thanks to the valleys I’ve found myself in. I could not appreciate the peaks if I’d never ended up in the valleys. The valleys are where I found out who I really was, where I developed character, where my strength grew. Where the words came pouring out of me to help others become more of themselves and heal the broken places.

Before I let go…let me look back fondly and express gratitude for where I’ve been. All of that led me to right here.

Somehow my purpose and destiny is directly tired to the places of my deepest hurt, the lowest valleys.

Before I let go, let me be reminded that the bad was also accompanied by the good and that letting go doesn’t mean you forget. Letting go means you forgive, you hold on to the good and release whatever doesn’t serve you.

So as 2018 wraps up, it’s officially time to let go.

It may be gradual. I may have to let go a little at a time.

But either way, I’m letting go.

Posted in Life, Love

Good Grief

I’ve officially been divorced for 5 months now. Every now and then people ask me how I’m doing (if they even knew i was divorced…if you didn’t know…now you know)…my response?


I don’t know what a typical divorce is or looks like. I don’t think there’s such a thing. I just know the last 2 years have been a ROLLER COASTER of emotions. 

Divorce is strange. It’s a death that you grieve even though the person is still alive. And you don’t just grieve the marriage but the entire life that went along with it…friends, the places you lived and frequented, all your hopes and dreams with that person about the life you wanted to live together…dead. And you’re left with all the memories, good and bad. Those you want to forget and those you can’t remember. So many milestones, especially if kids were involved.

This isn’t the life I had planned for when I would be 32. I thought I would have been on kid #2 by now, a homeowner, stable in my career, celebrating what would have been my 8th wedding anniversary back in July. (And strangely there was no sadness on that day for the first time in years)

But life had other plans in store for me. There’s been good days where peace was abundant, where I wish nothing but the best for the man I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with.

Then there’s been other days. Those days were dark. I’m still not ready to fully talk about those. Maybe one day.

I have an AMAZING support system who has let me cry and babble things that made zero sense, let me pour out my feelings, really ask me how I’m doing even on those days I’ve posted all the positive things on social media. I also lamented about the people who weren’t there, because they either chose not to be, or didn’t know how to be, because they were hurting too. Divorce doesn’t just affect you and that person you said vows to. It affects your community too, especially those who were there up close through your marriage. 

However, there is beauty that emerges from the ashes and brokenness, hope that comes from despair, growth that comes from pain, lessons that come from loss. The transition to it is both painful and joyful, you battle guilt that comes along with happiness after divorce…but you get through it. No matter whose fault it was that the marriage ended, you get through it. Everyone handles grief differently…the death and perceived failure itself is not what matters most. It’s what you do with it that defines you.

Divorce is a death, but the grief of it also gives way to new life, a rebirth.

Here’s to the rebirth and new beginnings in my life. ❤

Posted in Empowerment, Life, Wellness

doing differently-a lifestyle!


I am super close to beginning my second year of teaching, I am using these last few weeks and retrograde period to reflect on this last year or so and use it as a springboard in year two to build upon it.

If I can think of ONE word to sum up what I need MOST in year 2 in order to be an effective teacher?


SUPPORT would be that word.

My first year of teaching was CRAZY and AMAZING all at the same time. I had SO much going on, personally, that affected me professionally. But an ongoing theme for me was SUPPORT. There were MANY times I just didn’t feel supported (even though I was…another story for another time).

My colleagues struggled just like I did, but not as much. Their idea of support, was different from mine. and they were upfront about me having semi-unrealistic expectations.

And man, they were right.

As I eagerly and anxiously await the start of my second year of teaching, I am approaching this with a different mindset.

in many cases, it helps to be what you want to attract. For me, that means if I WANT support, I need to not just ask for support, but create support for myself too.

That starts with simple things, like an early bedtime. A healthier diet. Consistent and simple exercise. Some kind of outlet to relieve stress.

SELF CARE IS SUPPORT! It’s MUCH NEEDED SUPPORT! I need to be at my very best in every way, in order to provide support for my students and colleagues.

that’s just basic level support.

For me I also have to add in a second level. For me this means possibly hiring a fitness trainer, someone to help with meal prep, finding a mentor who is a current (or former teacher).

This also means getting a therapist and seeing them regularly.
that one for me is a big one. I haven’t been to therapy since Fall 2016, when I first separated from my now ex-husband. LOTS has happened since then-new city, new career, new chapter in life-and in order to really get support? I need to find a therapist. That is a MUST.

I know some of this may seem like a DUH moment for y’all to read this, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this serious about a career in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever thought this way PERIOD, when it comes to my life, in at least 3 years.

I’m aware that I’m in a very critical season of transition (just like I was last year) and I don’t want to feel like I’m drowning again.

So cheers to figuring out what I need and making a plan to ensure that I have the support I need to be the best ME I can be in this new chapter of my life.

Posted in Faith, Houston, Life

Just a Kid From Cleveland: First Year down in Houston!!!

Ever since I was a kid, I KNEW I wanted to experience all that life had to offer outside of Cleveland. I knew I would someday live in another place. And finally after a lifetime of wondering what it’d be like, a chance suddenly arrived, for me to do just that.

1 Year ago I arrived in H-Town, with everything that could fit in my car…ready to begin a new chapter of my life, career, but still very much in the midst of closing the previous chapter…I was excited and nervous all at the same time. On a whim I applied to a job (shoutout to my childhood friend who encouraged it!) and GOT IT. Next thing I knew I had 10 days (give or take) to move to Houston…and I arrived here on July 3rd, to begin a new chapter! 

WHEW words cannot even begin to describe how AMAZING this last year has been and how much HELL I went through this last year, professionally and personally.
I’ve experienced some AMAZING times here so far! I’ve:

-won tickets to see Peabo Bryson/Jeffrey Osborne
-seen Brian Courtney Wilson in concert (gospel singer, one of my FAVORITES)

-survived a Hurricane
-sat through HOURS of Houston Traffic LOL
-gone to a carnival randomly
-rode my bike through downtown Houston
-been to a Houston Astros game when they played the Indians
-lived on both the north and southside of Houston (and prefer the Southside lol)
-made some INCREDIBLE friends
-joined an AMAZING church, Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church
-taught the BEST group of kids ever, class of 2024
-been to Galveston and San Antonio

And the list. goes. on. that was only a partial list. lol

Not only have my friends back in The Land been INCREDIBLY supportive from a distance, but I’ve made met some AMAZING women here that I’m proud to call friend whose kids have also befriended my son this summer…I promise Houston has spoiled me in SO many ways lol. I’ve grown SOOOOO much as a woman, a mother, a teacher…part of me wishes I’d came here sooner but the other part of me knows God’s timing is PERFECT! As I’m getting ready to leap into the unknown yet again (details when the ink is dry lol) I am Looking forward to what this next year has in store for me!
Buffalo Bayou Park, July 2017 Photo taken by: MissDei
Posted in Faith, Life, purpose, Spirituality

Teaching…a calling? Hmmm

They never lied when they said don’t chase purpose, purpose will find you.

I said before that I was a latecomer to teaching, meaning I knew I was supposed to be teaching awhile back, but held out to gain more experiences in different areas.

This year tried me in MANY MANY ways. SO many days I wanted to quit.

If you asked me at the beginning of the year, or even the middle of the school year, if teaching was a calling for me…I would have said no. I knew I loved teaching, but did I feel teaching was a calling?

Absolutely not. Even as recent as a few weeks ago, I still wasn’t sure.

But now? Having finished my first year of teaching and facing another major transition, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now. Trust, I tried to look for other jobs. I tried to convince myself I wasn’t cut out for this, I tried to see myself doing something else.

But I could not.

As of right now I DEFINITELY view teaching as a calling for me, but I also am wondering what kind of mark I’ll leave, what kind of impact I’ll have on my students. I see all the other teachers on social media and they all have their thing they are known for. Some have started non profit organizations, others are coaches, motivational speakers, etc.

What will be my lane? I know I’m passionate about self-awareness and teaching my kids to speak up and advocate for themselves and what they need. I cannot wait to continue that and really refine it more as I move throughout my career.

But one thing I know for sure, my path will continue to unfold. I have unspoken dreams that I’ve barely mentioned to anyone that I’ve held close to me…I cannot wait to begin working on those dreams as well.

Life is full of twists and turns, I’m learning to learn as much about myself as I can, use it to my advantage, and to relinquish control in this great adventure called life.