Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Long Way

I did not post that picture to brag or flaunt my educational accomplishments. I did so to serve as an example of what a dream and a little hard work can do. You see, I was not a stellar student in high school, and neither of my parents have college degrees. I had no road map to follow. I had to figure a lot of things out on my own. But, I never gave up on myself, and I have continued to do the work of becoming the best me I can be. That is the message I have tried to convey to my students. And that is a message I will hopefully be able to live by.

Let me start from the beginning. Though my parents were married when I was born and stayed married for 10 years, they ultimately divorced, and I lived with my mother. Not to call her out for being a bad parent but I was neglected and lived in poverty. And outside of what I saw on television, I had no idea of what the world had to offer. Fast forward to the age of 13 and my brother and I moved to another city to live with our father, who was married to an alcoholic.

Though our financial situation was a lot better, my father was not/is not a very nurturing person. He did not encourage; he demanded. He did not celebrate accomplishments; he noted failure. He did not embrace my independence; he questioned every decision. I grew up feeling unloved and unsure of myself. And it was not until my senior year in high school that I really began to think about the kind of life I wanted.

So, when I tell young people that they must take ownership over the direction of their lives and that they must not allow anyone to beat them down and steal their joy, I am speaking from a place of resilience. I kept going; I kept moving. I did not loose sight of the fact that I deserved more. And it was that mindset that drove me to earn those degrees.

As such, I wanted this posting to be a reminder that anything is possible. It only takes belief in oneself and the willingness to put in the work.