I never really knew my purpose until fairly recently. When I was in the 2nd grade I told everyone that I would be a teacher when I grew up. I had a very impactful teacher that year that made me want to teach. While I didn’t know who I wanted to teach I knew that I was drawn to the platform of teaching. When I went to high school I always found the subject of English particularly easy. I could write with ease and I loved literature. Because I always seemed to think in abstract ideas, not really concrete thoughts, literature was great because it was mainly opinion based.
When I went to undergrad I majored in English. I particularly liked African-American literature. Until then I had never read a lot of texts by black folks. I struggled in subjects like Math and Science because they were formula based and there was a lot of memorization involved instead of creation. I passed those classes though because I was on a mission to excel. I finished undergrad magna cum laude with a B.A in English in May 2012. While in undergrad though I worked various jobs like waitressing, retail, and office assistant. And, I had grace to do those jobs for a season. At one point I worked all three simultaneously while in my senior year.
After graduation, because I didn’t have a plan–so I thought–I enrolled in graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree. I finished with a Master’s in American Literature in 2014 with an emphasis on African-American Literature. My Master’s thesis was centered on a speculative fiction series by the first African American author of sic-fi Octavia Butler. Again, I thought in the abstract. So abstract, that I was one of the few African-Americans to study sic-fi and love it. And, because I didn’t have a plan again, I set my mind to be a leading scholar of literature. I said I would publish multiple articles and be known by several people in the discipline. But, that hadn’t happened yet so I opted to go get a PhD and move to Alabama.
In Alabama, I started the program that is roughly 5 years long. In the program I would continue to read, publish articles, taught in two prisons, traveled for conferences and speaking engagements. Though highly successful as a grad student, I didn’t feel fulfilled, something was missing. At this stag of my life I became aware that my destiny was frustrated. By this I mean that school got increasingly difficult, not because of the workload but because of my thought load. Once before, God gave me a thought about opening up a nonprofit for women who struggle with identity and self-esteem–this thought was in undergrad. Though I remembered it here and there throughout the years, it wasn’t concrete, I wasn’t doing anything to lead me in that direction.
However, the Lord knows how to set you up. I didn’t want to read literature and teach academic classes anymore really. Though called to teach I knew somehow that I should be in a different arena teaching. Yet, because I’m not a quitter and always see tasks through to the end, I stayed in the program. I didn’t get spiritual clearance to move though on the cusp of destiny.
As I’m writing this blog I’m entering into my 3rd year of the PhD program. I’ll finish in the 4th year. But I’m more aware of my steps. God didn’t just have to make me aware of my destiny but he had to build my character as well. Sometimes people get into positions of power and notoriety but their character cannot sustain them. I trust that the next couple years will transform my character and sharpen my integrity as I prepare to step into he next dimension.
I will potentially write books, stand in front of large crowds, and teach on another level. I know this people God allowed me to practice in an arena that I valued and with which I was comfortable. Ultimately I’m in training, training to be the woman I was created to be and while it’s no easy process it has taught me things that I never imagined.