On Sunday, March 5th I attended the first ever Hats & Heels a women empowering women community , event held at LaVue Boutique Inn. It was an inspiring event designed to support the development of woman’s hotline on the island of Anguilla. It was a lovely Sunday brunch surrounded by beautiful sisters from all walks of life.
And oh my the hats and the heels…...kitty heels, stilettos, heels whose names I can’t pronounce...big hats. floppy hats, side hats, hats with feathers, prints, you name it we had it...Of course, I wore one of my fedoras, sort of a hobby of mine, I’ve been collecting hats from since I can remember, it started with baseball caps to anything funky to fun and fashionable fedoras with dramatic prints...so this was my opportunity to show off one of my hats…..For the event I chose my sequined fedora that reminds me of an abstracting painting with its wide variety of shapes and strokes showcasing a rhythmic blended sea of white, tan, brick red, army green, baby blue, and burnt orange. As you can probably tell, I love this hat, one of my faves.
I could not stay for the whole event but I was able to listen to two dynamic speakers, the first was Mrs. Shelly Brooks-Johnson, fellow blogger at My Anguilla Experience. She reminded us the importance of living inspired as she shared her own personal growth journey. Then I met Anguilla newbie, a globetrotter with a unique story, Ms. Tanesha Barnes. It is from her words of wisdom that the idea for this blog was sparked.
Tanesha asked a series of questions which stemmed from a “woke” analogy between the privacy of curtains how we live our lives.But when she spoke of “wearing masks”, I immediately jotted down in all caps “WHAT MASK ARE YOU WEARING?
How many of us hide behind a mask or the curtain and never reveal our true selves? Perhaps deep down, you have always dreamed of living the life of a travelling artist, in which your world adventures spark a creativity within that produces brilliant masterpieces? Or perhaps you always wanted to be a curator of fine luxury antiques? But somehow somewhere you did not believe this was possible? Or you just did not believe it was for you? Or you just didn’t know how to exactly how to go after that dream? (Did you know that lack of information is the #1 reason people don’t go to college, stay informed, be in the know, #SayYEStoLearning). So you wore a mask, that has made everyone believe that you love what you do, you pour yourself into the career, the job that you really don’t want and you bring your “A” game to hide the true you that is crying inside, wishing to take on what you truly wanted to do?
You know what I’m talking, how often do we hear of the corporate beast, a powerhouse, top of their game, just one day suddenly quits to teach elementary students, Or the computer tech person that decides to move from behind the computer and starts a company hosting bike tours?
If you are not doing what you really want to do, it will eat at you inside. You may begin to resent those that discourage you from pursuing your dream. You may begin to feel self doubt or worse depressed because you are not living the life you truly desire.
The truth is, you can start living and working towards that dream, There’s nothing stopping you but you!
It’s time to remove the mask. Go for it! What’s really stopping you? Join the millions that have chosen to live their dream.
So let me ask you, “What mask are you wearing?”
So my cat Tom, spies a clean bucket filled to the brim of fresh, cool water and despite the fact that he has his own bowl of water, does not prevent the enticement of the bucket water that was calling, “Tom,Tom, Drink me!” as though Tom had just fallen down a rabbit hole and was in his own cat version of Alice in Wonderland. Tom stands on the edge of the shower wall on his back legs and proceeds to lean towards the water, he almost loses his balance and tries to hold on to the rim of the bucket. However, touching the rim of the bucket meant getting his paws wet, which he was just not having, I watched Tom relentlessly squirm in anguish, pacing back and forth, looking at me, meowing, looking at the bucket of water that he “in his mind” could not get to because he did not want to get his paws wet.
Here’s the thing, isn’t that what maybe stopping you from saying Yes to Learning. Tom, like most cats hates getting wet, so his FEAR of getting wet is what is stopping him from getting that thirst-quenching water he so desires.
What is your FEAR?
What is stopping you?
As fellow entrepreneur Roshanda Pratt, the storytelling strategist, puts it “You have to be odd to be number one!
Are you afraid to be odd? To be different? To step out from the norm? To step out of your comfort zone?
If you have a unique dream, an innovative idea that hasn’t been done, then by all means go out and learn what you need to, to make that dream a reality.
If it seems as though you are the only one, trying to go to college, change your career, don’t be afraid to step out on faith. Perhaps you are meant to be the only one or a role model to inspire others to follow your lead.
Remember FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real -The negative things you THINK are going to happen probably won’t because you will not let it.
Today, go for it!
Step out on faith!
Enjoy being uncomfortable, it won’t be for long!
Get your PAWS wet!
Say YES to Learning!
This year marks my 20th year as an educator. It has been an interesting and exhilarating ride.
I celebrate my 20 years,with My Pajama PD Party Online beginning this week under the theme “Say YES to Learning”. I am excited, thrilled, anxious and nervous at the same time.
I am excited to start a new chapter on my entrepreneurial journey, as Kiana Porter- Isom of Edupreneur Today would put it from classroom to consultant.
I am thrilled, I mean who wouldn't be..I'm going LIVE!
I am anxious but that's nothing new, my anxiety is a reminder to plan and over plan.
I am nervous because for me this is not a job. It's not some random rant. I am nervous because I am sharing my lifestyle, my way of life, how I have created over the years a lifestyle of perpetual learning. Going LIVE, that alone has become apart of my learning process.
My nervousness is not a signal for lack of readiness. Quite the contrary it is a sign that I am ready to bring it! To bring value, to bring purpose to why we should all live a lifestyle of learning.
I have given myself the task of inviting you, of inspiring you, of motivating you to Say YES to Learning.
Today as I prepare for my Go Live experience, I can’t stop but think where teaching has taken me, the connections, the friendships and the learning experiences that I gained along the way. In addition, as I write my book which I hope to bring inspiration to others to Say YES to Learning,I reflect on my own learning experiences filled with a big ol' mixed bag of emotions.
These emotions remind me of a what would have to have been a major turning point in my life. I would have to say it may very well be the first time that I came face to face with the term “Say YES to Learning”. I was about 10 years old, completing the 6th grade. I do not know exactly when or how it came about, but my parents along with my aunt came up with the idea of me going to school in Anguilla and living with my aunt and grandmother. Well, this may be important to note, at that time I was living in St. Maarten with my parents, a mere 20 minute boat ride away. (err, uhm ,yeah, I kind of did move a lot JFK-SXM-AXA-JFK)
I could only imagine what other people must have thought, “Annie and Delvin got to be crazy!”, You see my parents had just buried one child the year before and here they were about to ship one, literally, across the sea. What were they thinking??!!
As a child I was excited about it. I guess after years of reading, Around the World in 80 days, Pippi Longstocking, Nancy Drew, and Dr. DoLittle (sigh, the book not the Eddie Murphy movie), I believed I was on my own magical adventure waiting to unlock and discover a hidden mystery. I had dreams of becoming a world explorer.
My parents, on the other hand, had dreams of a daughter going to college and making them proud or rich?? or both? not sure really?? (ok, joke mother, just a joke geeesh)
Their decision to send me to Anguilla, was their way of saying “YES” to learning for me. They knew the importance of not just an education but a good one. Their motives, their purpose was quite calculated and intentional. Not only was I going to get what they felt was a better education but I was also going to live with my mom’s sister, who just happened to be an educator. Now you tell me if you still think my parents were crazy?? GENIUS I tell ya, just genius.
Up until that point, I cared little for school. I went to school like most children because my parents sent me. But preparing to go to school in Anguilla changed everything. Having to prepare for an exam, passing with top marks, and acknowledging the fact that my parents were making a sacrifice, made me at 10 years of age “Say YES to Learning!”.
Was it a consistent YES? Definitely not, along the way I had to learn how to say YES to Learning!
It has nothing to do with age or maturity. There are many factors why you may think you are not ready. Or the times you felt like you screwed up, like when I got kicked out of college, another time for that story though.
Whatever it is......
It’s not too late!
So maybe you dropped out of high school, it doesn’t matter the reason. Or maybe you finished or about to finish high school and just not sure which way to turn. Perhaps you are feeling stuck at your current job, it was not what you hoped and are thinking where do I go from here. If you are feeling like you are at a crossroads, not sure what to do next. You may be asking where do I go to learn to help myself, to help my situation. If you fall into any of these categories, then you my friend, are ready to Say YES to Learning.
What are you waiting for #SayYEStoLearning? Join me every Third Thursday at 8:30pm AST/ 7:30pm EST. Together we will chart your course to learning.
Take care and see you then.