During the spring of 2015, I was traveling in Brazil with some of my incredible students, when I started to consider a career change. At that point in my teaching, I’d only been in the game for about two years or so, but I soon realized that what I thought I loved about teaching wasn’t actually teaching, but it was hanging out with kids, getting to know them, listening to them, advising them, and helping them become their best selves. The problem was I wasn’t exactly sure what that would look like career wise. Surely I couldn’t get paid to just hang out with teenagers. That job doesn’t exist, right? Well after talking things over with a few of my closest friends, I learned that it kind of does exist in the form of becoming a counselor, a therapist, a clinical social worker, or a psychologist. But how could I do this? I’d just accepted another job at a new school. I couldn’t just leave that behind. I couldn’t back out. I couldn’t change my mind. It was too late. The thing about discovering and pursuing your purpose, however, is that it’s never too late to make it all come true.
2014 has been a wonderful year! I traveled to many domestic and international locations, made new friends and reconnected with old ones, made tough life decisions for the sake of my present and future happiness, and discovered my dream and began making serious steps toward turning it into a reality!
Needless to say, this year has been unbelievable. While there were tests and trials, it did inspire me to share a few words of encouragement to help you to and through 2015:
You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, with the certainty of tides, just like hopes springing high, still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise that I dance like I’ve got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
No matter what happens, where you are,
where you go, when you stumble, when you fall,
what people say, what people do, what people think,
what people feel, what life throws your way…
When the weight of the world is on your shoulders,
Always remember your purpose…
Always remember your worth…
Always remember who you are…
Always remember whose you are…
Get up, dust yourself off, and fly. Rise from the ashes like a phoenix.
Stand tall and be your most authentic self—
be better than your circumstance!
Live your life like Dr. Maya Angelou:
fearless and phenomenal…
(and don’t forget to help those along the way.)