Happy Monday, Reigners! To kick off #MotivationMonday, we are highlighting our friend Marianne Lawless because she is a model of independence and appreciating the simple joys in life. Marianne drives her own destiny, listening to her inner cheerleader and following her heart rather than being held back by fear. There is a quote from Maya Angelou that reminds us of the strength and courage Marianne possesses and the legacy of resilience and perseverance from which she has emerged:
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”– Maya Angelou
Tell us about yourself!
I’m an English teacher for a private school in Rhode Island. I’ve lived here for the past three years and prior to that I lived in New Jersey my whole life! I started out in the business world and realized that I loved the academic environment much more and went back to school for a Master’s in Teaching. After completing that, I got a job as a Basic Skills Instructor at a nearby middle school and stayed there for ten years until moving to Rhode Island!
Tell us about a woman who has inspired you.
This sounds so cliche, but my mother is very inspiring. She grew up in the Bronx, when the Bronx was beautiful, but had a challenging childhood with an abusive father. She managed to keep a job and help my grandmother raise my mother’s younger brothers after my grandfather left. After marrying my father, she moved my grandmother and her two brothers, my uncles, to NJ with her. She lives simply and has reminded me that we don’t need much in terms of material things to be happy.
Describe a challenge you faced or a crossroads in your life that defined your path.
I think the most defining moment I can think back to and refer to often was when I was in the 5th grade. I don’t feel this is the single most defining one, but it clearly sent me in the right direction. I was young and awkward in the 5th grade and had much trouble making friends. The popular girls always seemed to have it all and I wanted to be a part of their group. It took me a while to realize that they weren’t the nicest girls to be with and one day, when they expected me to follow along with them, I didn’t. I literally walked away from them in the opposite direction, and never looked back, and never felt better about my decision. What I think that moment did for me is set me apart from the others as an original “Miss Independent”.
What are your favorite websites, apps, or other tech tools?
Some of my favorite websites that help make my life easier? Well, I Google everything I have a question about. Although that’s a search engine, I rely on it heavily. A site that I use regularly is Real Simple. It does exactly what it says and keeps everything simple from cooking to organizing your home-life. I like to organize my work-life in Excel. I keep everything from attendance to curriculum to grades in there. I love the ability to sort however you’d like to find the data you need!
What hashtag describes you/defines your life goals?#neverstoplearning
Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”