Well, I must say I have never been one to take the easy road. I have always (unintentionally) taking the road less traveled, with the least amount of lighting, straight through the wilderness, in the dead of night. Yes, I recognize later that there is a much easier way just as the first sights of dawn appear. When I reflect on this year and the many rocks I have pushed uphill, I realize that I am genuinely grateful for the journey.
As I look back, I have continued to embody the concepts associated with the Adinkra symbol of the Akan people; the Sankofa- return and get it. One version is a bird that appears to reach back towards his tail feathers and planting a seed in his feathers; the other symbol appears as a heart folding into itself at the top and away from itself at the bottom. I returned to school after leaving 16 years prior. Of course, I felt like the old lady in all of my classes, but I was on a mission. Armed with the things I had learned over the years, I somehow took a 1.723-grade point average and graduated cum laude. That’s right older ladies can make it happen.
I was excited to complete my degree, and that was a major accomplishment for someone that had become accustomed to many false starts. Even more exciting, I was offered what appeared to be a dream job that would normally be reserved for someone with a Masters degree, and I was one of the few that did not. It was intimidating and exhilarating all at the same time. Yet again, the odd lady out adapts and overcomes. Unfortunately, while I loved this position, this was not the role for me. The great thing about this season was it motivated me to apply for my Master of Social Work program.
So, fast forward, I have earned my Masters, attempted a few new roles. The funny thing about it is after being a soldier, coordinator, clinical assistant, group facilitator, procurement specialist, and purchasing specialist, I have come full circle, and I teach. In this role, I have been able to engage and empower my students. No, they do not all listen, but those that do get it. No, I have no plans to stop trying to reach those whose eyes glaze over when introducing a new concept. It’s kind of funny when I think about it. I started my journey following the crooked road, seemingly in the middle of the night, but even though it has not been a spring day in the park, I am excited about where I’ve been and what beyond the trees. This, not too young, lady has a few more grim forests to explore.