The room seemed to be spinning as if I had drank way too much and those fish tacos were on their way up from the depths of my belly. (This from someone who doesn’t drink but have witness enough drunks in my life to understand what happens after a long night of throwing back margaritas at happy hour with your closest girlfriends) My last application for law school was complete. Graduation, was next semester and I wanted to make sure all my ducks were in order. On one hand, I knew that graduating from one of the most esteemed HBCU programs, would never be enough for her. To see me, to recognize me, for her to say she was proud of me, or even simply be genuinely happy for my accomplishments, that is all I ever wanted. Getting accepted into Law School was going to change all of that, she would finally be proud of me; possibly become my number one fan, or so I hoped.
For most of my life, almost everything I had done was seemingly to impress her, in hopes I would finally be “good enough” for her stamp of approval. It was after I was initiated into my sorority, that I discovered and accepted my own calling. Often times we know and feel our calling however we ignore it because we are too afraid that it won’t bring us the fame, or assist us in breaking into the tax bracket we feel we deserve. So, we ignore it and instead we focus on the thing that drives us to settle for the acceptance of currency. In the pursuit for extra money, I began a part time job tutoring at local Title I school in Houston. It was there that purpose bear hugged me so tight and inevitably wouldn’t let go.If you’ve ever been bear hugged before then you know the first 10 seconds of this is paralyzing and the more you try to fight the harder it becomes to break free. During my stint there I exhausted myself into helping the students, both inside and outside of the school. Every day became a day of learning for both myself and for them. I believe I learned more from them then they from me. I learned the meaning of life and destiny. It is far larger than a position or income, it is the passion and joy you feel when you have landed on the moon when shooting for the stars. Wow! What a feeling!
After hearing several of my students’ survival stories; I knew that the reason I could never get that great Criminal Justice job I so adamantly applied for, was because God had other plans for me. Their survival had become my survival. Their acceptance replaced the need for her acceptance. My acceptance was my own affirmation of what ‘”I” wanted for my life. It was in that very moment that I began to redefine what success look like for Roneshia. Only I had the Power to do. It is my belief that everyone has that same Power of defining their Purpose…. W all have it… It meaning; Purpose. It cannot be given or taken away by other, not even someone as special as your mother. Most settle with living comfortably rather than seeking their Purpose. For me my Purpose was hiding behind the need for acceptance from someone who hadn’t fully acknowledged and accepted herself. I’m often asked “What happen to your aspirations of becoming an Attorney?” Well, I realized that it was never my dream but rather a measuring stick of “Am I good enough?” And, thankfully… that answer was no longer left open for anyone to answer but me. I chose teaching over Law School because I found Purpose in helping to mold the minds of the survivors. I saw myself in them. They were my reflection. I accepted them for who they were and I wanted to help them accept themselves as being capable of anything their little hearts could imagine. They were me and I them. PURPOSE…..
Are you living in your Purpose? Or are you living someone else’s ?