Shoop. Shoooo oooop. Shoop. Shoop. Sho beee oop.
For any who remember the movie and graced enough to read the book, Waiting to Exhale was the women’s bible that was the needed manuscript to life, love, dating and mating for the black woman in the late 1990s.
We need ed it and it was the honest truth that it seems that women need to hold their breath and sanity and wait to find a place where breathing and pausing will not be used to set up a defense against their own existence.
You find us slumped over in closets with red eyes, drive thrus screaming at steering wheels, living rooms with wine glasses and displaced bras. There are not a lot of places where we can just take the girdles off of life and just breathe.
So, now I am in the midst of my winter break and I got my CD on repeat. Baby, the last 12 weeks have been a whirlwind. A reality check. A moment. A pimp slap.
See for those who thought that moving and teaching overseas is an easy gig…you were wrong. Like real wrong, severely, dead wrong. Well, in my case this is hard work and I earn every accommodation, consideration and every ink drop on my contract on a daily basis.
I can’t say that I haven’t work this hard in my life before because I have always been in schools that demanded more. And that demand is here. I have always fought for things to be “right”, even when my vision was the only vision that seemed focused on it. So I won’t say I never worked as hard as this in my life, i won’t say I never worked for administration like this because, I have. See, when we talk about the situation of now, I ain’t that upset. I been here before in some capacity or format before. The key thing is that you don’t let the tide of temporary ride you to the depths of the tidal wave. You have to know when and where to tread water, or set up the conversations knowing you have a life boat to ride out on…or better yet, an anchor to keep you grounded.
You have to take the time to call out what is what…and know the truths you work for….
For those who want to take my words as advice or a sneak peek into the world of working overseas…I will not stand on the grounds that my experience is the truth. It is my truth…its the circumstance that I work at and with. We are grassroots…we have determination that will decide our destiny. I have nothing to do that choice….my leadership does and it is their right. I have learned that now through my years in education. As well, people determine everyday what type of employee they choose to be. I have been told many times not to let my drive relax. Not to work as hard. Not to set up systems and be who I am.
I can’t. When you hire me you get the whole table. A full plate, with additional sides and dessert. And enough to get you through a few more nights. It’s not my fault I am who I am, it’s actually your blessing. So i don’t turn on or off for your liking…this is a formula which put my emotions in a bind, my professional work at a high stress level but my soul at ease, because I am true to my integrity.
And that piece remains constant about me. So the next term is now about managing my time and energy and putting it in the places that are most important…within my vision.
So, would I do this again? Hell yes. Without doubt. With all the hell that occurs, I have not one moment regretted my decision to be out here. Why? Because with all that is said and done, all jobs have stress….that is just a gambit that is part of life. Yet, this time around….my within the scope of my life, my job is my stress…and pretty much the only. And if you spend time living in regrets you can’t see the wins that are currently happening in the world.
And I have wins. The best being that this journey I have is not alone. See, every so often I get tied up in the constructs of my mind. I stay within the doors of my home. And I focus on the peace on my patio….but I got people who knock on my door. And they help keep me grounded. Let me go on my rants and pour my wine glass while I cry. Yet give me my high five when my plans go the way I needed them too. The expat family is the truth and the real star power to any screen play.
So all in all, I am back for a while. This is the rest time. The time to focus on what the next 12 weeks will look like for myself, my team, my students and remember exactly what and who I am in my work so I live through my integrity and not emotions. To exhale and release a bit….have my fun in this magnificent city, with people who don’t make me live life in spanx…I got a little bit to Jes Enjoy the Journey…for real.
Oh, there is no way in the world I can continue to quote this movie and not place this photo here. (This is how I drop data and KHDA recommendations in staff meetings)