Let’s color outside the lines and Dream More Than One Dream!
Can you color outside the lines? We know, what kind of question is this? Especially because as children, we were often taught and applauded for coloring inside the lines. But, as we have transitioned into adulthood, we often find ourselves trying to redefine ourselves and live life on our own terms. As we set comfortably in living life our way, we normally find joy in the very thing that either our close friends, family or even society has tried to discourage us from doing.
Well coloring outside the lines is what, adjunct professor, business consultant, and devoted mother, Cheronda does best! Cheronda believes #DreamingMoreThanOneDream is coloring outside the lines because she is not living in the boxes society has assigned to her. Cheronda says, in the words of Jay-Z, “I saw the fork in the road and went straight.”
Cheronda has never been one to color in the lines. In high school when everyone discussed a one-track career or life goal, she desired to be a stay-at-home mom with a Ph.D. and president of her children’s PTA while operating several businesses and actively engaging in her community. Even as a 19-year-old college student with a newborn baby, she still managed to work two jobs, be a full-time student, and an on-campus student leader. Now, fast forward to a few years later, Cheronda has earned two master degrees, is an adjunct professor for three universities, past PTA treasurer, serves on several non-profit boards, and operates her business consultant firm. Although she is not a stay-at-home mother, she is able to volunteer at her children’s schools during the day and attend their games and big school events. Talk about determined, go head Cheronda! It is important that she dreams more than one dream because she recognizes that her children, family and mentees are watching her, and if she is encouraging others to live out their dreams, she must do the same.
While she recognizes she colors outside the lines, it did not come without a cost. Although she does not live a life of fear, her biggest obstacle was being able to articulate that she needed to create a life that allowed her the flexibility to. To overcome this obstacle, she sought mentorship and started to connect with other mothers that lived a lifestyle similar to what she desired. Cheronda says she did not seek mentors who could develop a plan for her, but she simply wanted to just observe their way of life. Cheronda says during this time she was very reflective and went through a silent season where she didn’t plan. She began to examine herself and the reasons she obtained her degrees, moved to different towns, and changed careers. It wasn’t until she turned 31 that she was able to articulate what living more than one life looked like for her. Once she determined flexibility was what she needed, she was able to have a clearer vision of how to obtain it. Cheronda says she was blessed to obtain a position that affords her the flexibility to live life as a stay-at-home mom while managing her own business.
Ok, dreamers, we think it’s important for us to acknowledge that Cheronda took a moment to be still and reflect on past decisions to determine how she could fully live a life of #DreamingMoreThanOneDream. At times we constantly think we have to be on the move to be successful and get frustrated when things don’t pan out the way we imagined. What if we stopped and took time to reflect on our decisions and examined ourselves? We are certain if you do, you may be able to find the answer you’re looking for so that you can develop your next plan of action.
Cheronda has a few words to encourage those of you that are feeling like the #DreamingMoreThanOneDreamlifestyle is impossible! “It is not possible because you believe it is not possible!” Cheronda says to think of the story in the Bible where Peter walks on water. Cheronda says people tend to focus more on Jesus telling Peter,”O ye of little faith,” but there is more to that story. Remember Peter walked on water with no issues as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, which was essentially the prize. The second he looked away, he began to sink. Cheronda reminds us, the moment Peter’s doubt started to set in on the possibility of him walking on water and his focus began to shift towards the strong winds and waves and how far he was from the prize (Jesus) rather than on the prize (Jesus) himself, he began to sink. Cheronda says the same thing essentially happens in our own lives when we stop believing, take our eyes off the goal, and begin doubting and believing our goals are impossible, we begin to sink. “We have all we need to continue to do the impossible. Do not sink, and if you do, remember you can SWIM. Keep pushing forward, keep taking steps, and keep your eye on the PRIZE.”
On a final note, Cheronda wants us to remember, “The boxes, rules, lines, and perfect paths do not exist, they are an illusion. Remove the doubt, let go of fear, believe in yourself, take the leap, and FLY!”