It is hard to believe that in a couple of months my fellowship will come to an end. I believe it was February of 2019 when we were at our final interviews, almost two years of an incredible amount of growth. Allowing the time to reflect while connecting with the right people and organizations, has been an incredible journey.
Running a school is not an easy task. It came very easy to get caught up in my busy schedule without making the time reflect and most importantly, making time to take care of myself.
From a year ago to today I have connected with so many people that have given me the tools to understand more of who I am as a leader and to start my own healing process.
I started my journey as a Bush Fellow with a huge impostor syndrome complex. All those feelings that hunted me have slowly gone away.
So every morning I would put on my armor and I would go out to work. And there I was cover in a shield from head to toe because I doubted so much about what I was doing. I was only listening to my heart and following what I had learned from stories from my grandfather and my father.
I was trying to create a space where families, students, and teachers felt connected with each other, related to each other, and felt that they belonged. In other words, a place where non of us was no longer invisible.
I was drawing in the culture of scarcity, I was never enough. My work was never enough. It felt that trying to create that space where everyone belonged was not extraordinary enough and by not being extraordinary I started to protect myself and my school. I played safe. It was hard for me to show the real me outside of the school.
This past year I have been gifted with the opportunity to reflect on my work and my leadership. I want to say that I want to continue with the work of decolonizing myself and decolonizing the spaces where I am given the opportunity to lead.
There were two very important factors that have been crucial in my fellowship:
By the end of my fellowship, I would have a degree from Columbia University in Educational Leadership. This degree not only gives me the credentials, and also is giving me the pedigree required to navigate the system. Also, it has given me the validation that I was on the correct path. Most of the feedback that I have received from my classmates and professors is about how innovative my work is.
I have interacted and made connections with people that are influencing my leadership and are supportive in the continuation of my leadership development. They see me.
All comes to a full circle. By carrying heavily the impostor syndrome I was pretty much not taking care of myself. There have been decisions being made along the way that I had to take because now taking care of myself is always on the top of my list.
I became more vulnerable to colleagues and others. Vulnerability is the path to love and to trust. I am trusting myself much more. I am modeling the behavior to my son and others. Now I focus much more on my own strengths and solving problems. I try to be congruent, many times as leaders we say much about nothing.
Health is a priority. Especially because of the times that we are living. I will continue to work on my physical health as well as on my emotional health for the rest of my life, no matter my role.