Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 Highlights, Achievements and Lessons

I can and can't believe that in a few days, 2015 is over. This has been a roller coaster of year. As you can tell from the picture above, I did it! I finally finished my graduate program on December 12th. I have officially earned my Master's in Public Administration. Although the program was only 18 months , it was a long road mentally and emotionally. However, I thank God that it is over and I can move on to the next chapter of my life.

If  you have followed my blog or any of my social media sites (especially Facebook), you know this Master's Degree is so special to me because of my plight of single motherhood; working full-time, raising four girls, helping my oldest with her daughter, ( single nanahood), running a household and keeping my sanity all at the same time. I've been a mom ever since the age of 17 years old. And while I've been legally wed twice, I've never had a real marriage. My girls and I lived in a homeless shelter for a couple months some years ago and we are survivors of Hurricane Katrina from our hometown of New Orleans, La. People doubted me at times; didn't believe that I would overcome stereotypes of the black, single mother and do something with my life. For me, my accomplishments are not about proving anything to anyone who didn't believe in me. They are to inspire someone to believe in themselves.

In May, I celebrated my 20 year high school class reunion with old friends and classmates. It was a weekend I will never forget. My classmates are beautiful, genuine, kind and great people. I'm so proud of them individually and all of us collectively. We partied literally like we were back in 1995. The spirit of unity was overwhelming. I could not have been a part of a better class. We danced together, literally took thousands of pictures together, sang together, ate together and prayed together. We also showed our love and respect for our classmates who have gone home to be with the Lord. And, it was also my birthday weekend which completely added to the awesome sauce of it all.
In August, I had the honor and the privilege of serving as a co-host of the first ever "What If" Women's Conference in Jackson, MS. I am a part of an amazing group of women who participate in quarterly experiences that uplift, inspire, and encourage one another to reach and achieve their full potential. The organization's founder named the group "Stilettos On The Pavement." The What If Conference simply means . . . " What If" we as women support one another with actions instead of tearing one another down with our words? "What If" I support your business? "What If" I encourage you to go back to school? And so on. . . Amazing things can happen in our communities by simply asking "What If"? It was an extraordinary day of revelation, rejuvenation, unity and growth. I was honored to be a part of something so moving and uplifting.
I've shared some of my most memorable highlights and achievements of the year. I've learned some valuable lessons this year as well. I'm all for being a continuous learner in and out of the classroom. In my last blog I talked about getting out of my own way; about how I over analyze everything in my life. I am still working on that; however, I feel as if I've gotten so much better. I've learned to pace myself, and not sweat the small stuff so much. I'm learning that I can't be great at everything; at least not in the beginning. I'm truly enjoying rediscovering newness about myself in my singleness. Yes, I'm still single, although, I have a nice long distance friendship with a guy who has managed to keep my attention for some months now. He encourages me, makes me laugh and he has stimulating conversation. And guess what, I can live with that. Also, I'm learning how to not think that I'm a failure as a parent every time my kids do something I don't agree with or when they make a mistake. You guys won't believe the things that truly "unbothers" me at this stage in my life. Maybe it's a sign that I'm getting older. Whatever it is, it's working. I am learning how to pray, give them the word of God, tell them right from wrong and allow them to make their own choices whether they are good or whether they are mistakes. I have noticed by me doing this, my hair is not graying as fast anymore (seriously). This does not mean they get to do what they want in my household or in my presence; it means that I can lead the horse to the water but I can't make them drink. And, furthermore, it means, I can still be their mother and live my life on my terms no matter what they are doing.

I am not going to get all cliché on you guys with the "New Year" jargon about 2016. I have goals, dreams, and plans for the new year; and you guys will read all about it (if God says the same) as it all unfolds. Until then, thank you so much for coming to my space and entering my world. I wish  you all blessings and prosperity in the new year ahead.

~Tasha Mac