“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
What has been your path? This is a question I have been getting asked a lot recently. It must be a sign that I’m aging! The funny thing is, I used to be the one asking others this very question.
What I have learned about the journey is that my path can’t be compared to others. Navigating the higher education terrain as a Black Woman is not for the faint of heart, but it is also not the only journey being taken.
To understand your own path, ask yourself “What has been my path and how have I navigated the many disappointments, false promises, the systemic racism, the sexism, the judgments, and the assumptions? How can I remain positive even when negativity is walking beside me? Where do I find motivation and what keeps me committed to assisting students and other professionals?”
The truth is, I’m not sure if I fully know the answer to any of these questions. I know that the students give me strength on a daily basis and I want them to win! There are days, weeks and even months when the mental and emotional cuts and bruises are too much and I wonder if it’s worth it.
I do know that I thought the path would be easier. It looked easier when I was a Resident Assistant and even when I was an entry-level professional.
“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” ~ Barack Obama
So, what has my path been about?
I think my path has been about clearing the terrain for the Higher Educational Warriors who are here and for those who will come after me. In terms of remaining positive, that is definitely not an easy task, but I try not to take things personally and shield my soul from any negativity as best I can.
At the end of the day, I just try and keep walking on my path and I encourage you to do the same. Together we can make progress.