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 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 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.

Posted in Empowerment, Life, purpose

Run Your Race

I have a confession…

I’ve suffered from achievement envy the last few years.

Crazy, I know.

But Deidre, you’ve accomplished alot.

I know, and it still doesn’t feel like enough. It still doesn’t feel impressive some days.

Some days, I feel like I’m JUST Kiddo’s mom. Or JUST a daughter, sister, friend.

Some days, I seriously forget what I have, and what I’ve accomplished.

Crazy I know.

I’ve accomplished ALOT in 31 years. I have to remind myself where I came from.

A graduate of one of the poorest urban districts in the country, I still graduated in the top 17% of my HS graduating class, and already had a semester’s worth of college credits under my belt.

I have THREE degrees (Associates, Bachelor’s, Masters). I have won numerous awards. I’m a member of the MOST Illustrious Sorority on Earth, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated, a goal of mine I was able to achieve while being a wife, mom, full time employee, full time graduate student and STILL managed to graduate with a 3.52.

I forget the numerous professional accomplishments I’ve racked up. And now that I’m shifting lanes professionally, I get to set new goals and achieve those.

And yet some days, I look at those younger than me, or the same age as me, or older than me, and feel like they’ve accomplished so much more.

But we didn’t start at the same place. And we weren’t given the same set of tools to work with.

We all had different advantages or disadvantages. We all have our own unique toolboxes, with different gifts and talents, different starting points, different things that give us an edge. None of us really started at a deficit, no matter how much we may feel so. We all encountered obstacles, that we had to overcome to get to where we are. And some of those people we envy, had their own challenges and load to carry.

I say all of that to say, I was reminded today that we must run our own race.

“I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”

Ecclesiastes 9:11

And that’s it right there. How can I run the race given to me if I’m so busy looking at the person next to me (or on an entirely different track)?

I was graced to do what I do. And if I’m being completely transparent, I have been so busy looking at the person next to me that I didn’t run my race. I didn’t do the best that I could with what I’ve been given.

But it’s okay. I have this moment right here and right now.

I must run my race. There’s something to do in this very moment.

Like write this post and share it with you all.

I have been examining what I want lately and why. I don’t want to desire something simply because someone else has it. That envy is a clue, and I look deeper.

Maybe I recognize part of myself in the people I envy. Maybe I realize there’s something in them that I admire and instead of being envious, I can develop that trait or characteristic in myself. Use it as fuel to do what works for me.

I’m determined to run my race, with blinders on. I want to cheer on others with no envy, but instead pure joy because they are running their race and winning at it. Because I want others to do the same for me.

And to be honest, who am I really without all the accolades, achievements, accomplishments?

I’m still Dei.

Still worthy of love.

It’s not about what I have or what I have done. It’s about who I am.

Run your race.

It’s been given to you for a reason.

Posted in purpose, Spirituality

Letting Go

Life isn’t happening to me, it’s happening FOR me. And as soon as I realized that, life really began to open up for me.

Sitting here writing this as I reflect and think on my journey, to every moment that led me to this current present state.

The older I get the less I realize I know.

The older I get the more I’m learning to surrender.

I’ve got a secret. Or maybe it’s not a secret.

But I, up until recently, was a control freak. And it damaged alot of relationships and ruined some good things. Well, I don’t know if I believe it ‘ruined’ anything. What I do know is, I know a different way now.

I used to think that if I didn’t make something happen, that it would never happened. I often wanted and pursued things out of desperation and lack. When I did this, I chased away the very thing I wanted and often settled for something that either wasn’t a match to who I really was, or it wasn’t entirely what I wanted but ‘good enough’ was better waiting on that thing that was just right for me.

The thing about ending up somewhere less than where we want to be is that we never let go of the desire to be where we really want to be. And as we move closer to that, anything that isn’t aligned with that desire, has to fall away. That in itself isn’t always a pleasant experience.

But in it, we learn to let go. To surrender. To not force anything that doesn’t feel right. And we know when something doesn’t feel right. We vow not to do anything that isn’t aligned with what we want.

We vow to let go. To take our hands off everything and let God do His thing, work His magic.

Faith is believing in something we cannot see.

Faith is letting go of desperation, of anything less than trust in our deepest desires.

Faith is letting go and letting God.

Posted in Faith, Life, purpose

Where You Are…

I have my own struggles just like anybody else.

I LOVE to empower, encourage, uplift others, and sometimes I’m not in the headspace to do so, because I need it myself.

Sometimes I get discouraged by things happening in my own life. But then I remember, that I can make peace with where I am.

Life will never be perfect. Curveballs will always get thrown your way. Challenges will come. People will let you down. But you can still make peace with where you are.

Just remember you are not where you used to be, and that’s something to celebrate. The journey to becoming who you are meant to be…is what it’s all about

Posted in Life, Love, purpose

Finding my way back to love-a Valentines Day Ode to my dreams

I’m on the eve of my 30 before 30 (30 days before I turn 30) and as I sit here with writers block with a rough draft of my paper due Tuesday, I figured blogging would help me get through it.

Mentally, emotionally and spiritually, I am not who I was last year.
I hit some lows I thought I’d never hit. Dealt with depression, bouts of low self-esteem and struggled with doubts of who I was. I kept finger pointing to external sources to blame for the reason I was unhappy, despite being an excellent student, good mother, wife, daughter and friend.

Truth be told, it was ME all along.

I was too busy wishing I was something I wasn’t. I allowed other people to let me feel inferior. I focused on the past instead of being present in the moment and realizing how much of a gift it was. I concentrated on my fears instead of grabbing hold of reality and who I really am in GOD, who HE created me to be…absolutely brilliant, gorgeous, multi-gifted, trailblazer, creative, and unashamedly uncommon.

Part of last year was spent wishing I was like others. This year, I woke up and decided to celebrate being who I really am, being cut from a different cloth. And as I’ve begun to do that, I’ve realized, some features of who I am aren’t that uncommon at all. I’ve met others who love Jesus and trap music. Other women who can eloquently state why Cam Newton and his blackness is something many are threatened by…all while quoting his stats, where he went to school, and a football analysis of why he didn’t get robbed at the superbowl.

I am returning to the best of me…the me that rocked Keds in high school when everyone else had to wear the latest Js or Air Force Ones. The me that loved God with all of her heart…and didn’t feel bad about listening to ‘secular’ music. The me who knew that there was absolutely NOT another me, and that if the world didn’t get me, it would miss out on something absolutely amazing. The me who wasn’t afraid to dream and then go DO.

As I wrap this up and prepare to begin writing this academic paper, I wrote this post to say the following…

Dear Dreams,

I want to apologize for leaving you behind. I should have never listened to the internal critic within myself that saw reality and didn’t bother to dream anyways. I doubted the fire within that would have propelled me forward.

But no regrets. Everything not only happens for a reason, but I have now learned that true love never dies.

My best friends can remember me with a pad and pen for as long as we can all remember. I was always writing a story or creating a novel on scraps of paper.Performing was also my favorite thing to do, whether it was praise dance or singing in church, or at school. I still remember the looks on everyone’s faces the first time I played Tonex in church (LOL) In college, the highlight of my collegiate experience, was my two first loves-writing/journalism and music.

I hate that I abandoned you. I thought that I could live without you. I thought that if I settled, I could be okay.

Boy was I wrong. And now I know…I found myself in you. With you, I can be who I’ve always wanted to be, who I was always meant to be.

Dear Dreams, I’m back like I never left. Except this time, I’m stronger, wiser, more fierce, and, together, we’ll get to the TOP. It was good that I went and dated other things..because now I’m back and ready to commit. There’s nothing else I want to see or do.

Journalism and Music…I’m back! Happy Valentines Day ❤

Let’s turn the page in this book and sing some new songs…I have no idea where this journey will take us but, let’s make this life unforgettable and everlasting ❤

Love,

Dei

Posted in Faith, Kanye West, Music, purpose

Intuition and Greatness

“You can still be who you wish you is, it aint happened yet and that’s what intuition is”

-Kanye West, I Wonder

I have always loved Kanye West. Even in his crazy antics (because in many times, he was telling the truth…not always, but often), I appreciated his candor, but most importantly I’ve always appreciated his confidence and his desire to share that with the world.

I wonder how young Kanye was, when he knew he would be great? I wonder how young he was when he found a sense of purpose, direction?

Graduation is one of my favorite albums of his. And “I Wonder” is my favorite song on that album. Perhaps my favorite song of his, period.

“I Wonder” is a song that that has always resonated with me, because I often ‘wondered’ about my dreams.I wondered, if I was crazy for the big goals that I have. If I was being unrealistic. But that song? Has kept me dreaming. And that line, that I quoted above? Has kept me pushing forward.

what if what you want to be, your deepest desire is your intuition telling you of your destiny, what you are meant to be? That innate desire, that inner drive, is where greatness is born.

Only you have the power to make that happen.

True greatness, starts with your intuition, with your thoughts, and with your desires. Many have a desire to be great, but quickly dismiss it. We make excuses. Too poor, too fat, not enough time, not enough luck.

And those excuses become our mantra. And it remains our reality until we dare to do something about it.

Many never will. They’re convinced that their circumstances have already predicted their future. They are sure that their history determines their destiny.

I can reassure you, with that thinking, you are absolutely right.

Proverbs 23:7 says As a man thinketh, so is he.

Your thoughts control your destiny. If you think you can’t, you are right. If you think all hope is gone, you are right. If you think you are poor, you are right.

You see, your thoughts don’t just speak to your current reality; your thoughts are prophetic as well. You have the power to shape your future, your life, using your thoughts and words (Your words are the second part of where greatness is born, that is another post for another time). That’s right, you, are POWERFUL.

Greatness, starts, with your intuition and your thoughts. It’s why you must guard your thoughts. Your intuition is never wrong, you know. If you’re not careful, you can second guess yourself if you are bombarded with negativity, with messages that go directly against your intuition. Your thoughts are a direct byproduct of the people you hang with, the tv shows you watch, the books you read, the music you listen to, the environment you live in, the places you go, the things you pay attention to.

Do you desire to be great? Dare to pay attention to your intuition. Dare to let that inner drive, that desire, push you towards it. Block out naysayers. Turn off social media if you must. Limit your time around people who speak against your desire to be great. Read books that feed your spirit. Listen to music that affirms who you are (not who you are currently, but WHO YOU ARE, prophetically-remember, your intuition, your thoughts are prophetic!).

Greatness does not occur without work, I am not minimizing the importance of hard work, diligence, and good habits. I am saying, it all starts with your intuition.

If you have a feeling you will be great, pay attention to that. Follow it.

As long as you are given the greatest gift of waking up to see another day, your intuition is always right.

Posted in Faith, higher education, Life, purpose, Religion

No Regrets on Purpose

“If you could go back and change one thing in your life, what would it be?” is a common question asked on a regular basis on a variety of different platforms and situations.
My answer? Nothing. Because the smallest change could literally change the course of my entire life.

My freshman year I [briefly] attended a HBCU in Virginia. And while now, I look back on my experience and time there fondly, at the time I was depressed, homesick and unhappy while I was there.

Years later I am able to set aside the depression I experienced and remember mostly the valuable lessons I was taught there, both in and outside of the classroom. Those lessons stuck with me and even shaped me into who I am at this very moment.

Leaving that school was devastating, as I looked at it as coming home empty-handed. No college credits under my belt, no degree, nothing. Just feelings of failure and embarrassment as I enrolled at the local community college.

But who knew that in the moment of my despair, the foundation was laid for my personal and character development? Who knew that depression I went through would strengthen me and position me to encourage others later on? Who knew coming back home would lead to even greater opportunities, meeting my husband, and discovering my passion for education?

God knew. Just like He knew in the Old Testament story of Joseph, that Joseph getting sold into slavery by his own brothers, being imprisoned and punished, would set him up to be one of the highest ranking officials in the country, putting him in a position to save his family’s life during a famine, one of the worst ever.

I’m sure Joseph never saw any of that coming. But I’m sure if he were alive today and you asked him if he could go back and change anything in his life, his answer would be the same as mine.

“Nothing.”

And how do I know this?

Genesis 50: 20 told me so.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

You may have lost a loved one. Or some friends. or a job. You may find yourself in a situation you never expected to be in. But God allowed it to happen. It all has a greater purpose.

You losing your job led to a career change, or allowed you to be able to take care of a sick relative. Losing friends allowed you to make new friends, appropriate for the season of life you are in now. God knew what you needed before you did, before you even opened your mouth to ask Him.

Your pain, your frustration, has purpose.

God is interested in our happiness, our success, our triumphs, absolutely He is. But He is more concerned with making us like Him. And whatever He has to do or use to do that, He will.

Take comfort in knowing that God wants you to be the very best version of you possible and He will bring you to unexpected places so that can happen. Trust that God knows better than you or any of us ever will.

And in times of trials, frustration, devastation, despair…know there is a purpose, a reason for it all.