Dream Loud & Proud
by Janine Gomez
by Janine Gomez
Hold on to what is good,
even if it's a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
even if it's a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
even if it's a long way from here.
~ First 3 Stanzas of a Pueblo Prayer
2020 has been a year of unimaginable challenges and hidden blessings. Has this year made you want to give up on your dream? What can you do to hold on for 2021?
When I'm feeling the urge to give up on my dream, I read the Pueblo prayer above that is posted on my office wall. I came across this poem while struggling through many months of writing the I Dream PCS charter application. I spoke this poem aloud, over and over, when the search for a school building made my hair fall out and drove us to consider waiting another year to open. When I'm feeling overwhelmed with the daunting task at hand, so much so that I want to give up, I go to this poem for strength.
A Dream Loud & Proud post didn't happen last week because I was in that doubtful place again. The challenges of opening I Dream PCS with a group of humans in the midst of a pandemic had me thinking about walking away to live an easier life. I will be 58 years old next month. Many of my friends and loved ones are retired, with dreams of traveling to far away places to lay in the sun when it is safe to do so. I have the same vision for my retired life. A mango cart ( just to earn pocket change) and a Caribbean beach with the man I love are all I would need. Why am I enduring the headaches of creating a school?
When I'm in this place of doubt, someone or something always reminds me: This is my calling. Hold on. The Pueblo poem shouted in my face again. I continued to see number patterns - 404, 808, 1212 - when I looked at a clock. A spiritual leader I admire called me to say she has my back. A colleague showed me an inspiring quote that I don't remember saying from a video I am in. I've moved out of that doubtful place and back onto my path by paying attention to the signs and messages given to me.
Pay attention to messages and signs. Has someone, out of the blue, sent you words of encouragement? Did you hear a song or see something that you KNOW was a message for you? Are you seeing number patterns? All are signs you must hold on, that you are living what you are here to be and to do. Listen.
Change is coming.
A 90's flashback for ya!
Listening to Sounds of Blackness every day got me through some rough times - divorce, financial woes, death and loss. "Optimistic" was in heavy rotation on my CD player. Remember CDs?
Stay encouraged, beautiful people. I wish you blessings and abundance in 2021.
YouTube video provided by Universal Music Group.
The moment I met Elissa Frazier, I knew we were kindred. Her podcast, Designed to Thrive invites educators, leaders, and community partners to talk about how we are creating schools and spaces where all children are valued, empowered, and successful. Elissa invited me to explain why the dreams of Black and Brown children matter at I Dream PCS, and their dreams can matter in public schools.
"Got a chance to talk with Janine Gomez on DesignedToThrive Podcast about how she and her team at I Dream PCS cultivate the brilliance in Black and Brown children. She is nothing short of amazing." ~ Elissa Frazier
I appreciate you for taking the time to listen to Elissa's podcast.
The Save the Lakewood Y Project (2007) began with a group of 4th and 5th graders from Lakewood Elementary School in Durham, NC who decided to organize to save their neighborhood YMCA from closing. It turned into a yearlong movement. Interviews with community members, historical research, fundraising, and attendance at community and political meetings resulted in the Lakewood Y remaining open. Libby Montagne and I cultivated the skills they needed to achieve their dream. These young activists were memorialized in this mural as part of a series to honor Durham's community leaders. Mural by Brett Cook.