Toni Jones- "Who Am I Without Work" - Official Video: Reflections

 Full circle story:

In my time of reflection of the past 12 years as an educator, I’m having to tell myself some truths. One of these truths is that I have been unable to fully process my accomplishments because I’ve kept my eyes on my greater goal. I’ve been glad but not satisfied. I’ve sat in gratitude but just for a moment before I’m on to the next thing. I was abandoned in this work and my response was to carry it all by myself because I could only control me. How could I let the kids down? How could I let the vision fade away? I’ve been on the spin cycle for too long. And yes, I crashed. It's making challenge even more this grind culture, even when you are serving youth.

Today, I had breakfast with one of my Black Student Union (BSU) grads and her mother. They recounted opportunities, events, trips, connections that she participated in and she found a love for game design as a result. They appreciated me for doing so much for them. She is now a lead game designer at a game studio. But I’m just one part of the village that needed to cultivate the seed her mother planted in her.

Impact, to me, has levels. Her story should be the norm not the exception. I disagree with W.E.B. DuBois’ talented tenth theory but it takes a strong, supportive and highly intentional village to increase the percentage. I’m in this for the outcomes. For these post college meetups that credit BSU as having some part in putting them on a career path they love. Not only that, but they come back with the heart to serve the next gen.

She wants to encourage more Black girls to get into the field. She wants to be a mentor and help with resume writing. She wants to teach and help ME now develop a platform for 'gamified' education- I told her my interest and hesitation about going back to school.

Her mother said (speaking about the bigger picture), “No, you don’t have to do everything anymore. She went to school so she can come back and help you too!”

I accept.  🥰

...And because my mind is open to see confirmations everywhere... a song. If you are struggling with your feelings about work, working hard, the grind, etc. LISTEN TO THIS and let me know how you feel after in the comments.

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