Limitless Family, I am excited to introduce our newest Limitless Lady - Mrs. Allison Rae Redden! Allison is living & leading on purpose with a perspective of intentionality in all things. Find out how to embrace life's twists & turns with an open heart & open mind in her insightful & inspiring interview below! #liveonpurpose #limitlessmindset #limitlessleadership#limitlesslifestyle #limitlesslady
1. What does it mean to you to be a "limitless lady?"
When I think of the word limitless, I think of being unbounded—unbounded from societal expectations or the expectations of others, from perceived barriers, from my own thoughts telling me I can’t or shouldn’t do something. It can be a challenge to shake my thoughts of self-doubt, but recalling moments of success, perseverance, & faithfulness remind me that limits are a human construct that we’ve created to keep us from being who we were called to be. Being a limitless lady means recognizing your gifts & strengths in all their glory & being brave enough to pursue your passions.
2. You have an avid desire to ensure that the people understand & have access to a quality education. Why did you choose to “fight the good fight” developing educational policy & what can women do to stay informed on the issues that matter in the upcoming local, state, & national election?
This question is loaded and I love it. I spent five years teaching elementary and middle school in The Triangle, &I swear that making the decision to leave the classroom was one of the hardest I’ve made to date. I loved my kids so much, but was so frustrated by so many policies & systems that kept myself and other educators in a box. Leaving the classroom & shifting to a more policy-focused position, or at least a position that doesn’t have me teaching children every day, is something I’m still figuring out. In the last two years of my education policy graduate program, I’ve had some amazing opportunities to engage with individuals who have the real, tangible power to change policy. There are people who support you & will always be your cheerleaders, & there are people who disagree with your philosophy, saying things like, “equity is just a buzzword” or “some kids are just smarter than others.” To push the status quo & press against the ignorance so that every child has access to a quality education is the good fight, & it’s always worth fighting.
Being able to take my experience—as a classroom teacher, as a student council advisor, as a Kenan Fellow, as a science department chair, as a Teacher of the Year—& use what I know & what I continue to learn to make positive change for more students & more teachers than just the ones I worked with is an incredibly humbling, exhilarating feeling. It is a true privilege to have a seat at this table, & it is important that I use that place of privilege to make room for others & to amplify their voices through the policymaking process.
There are so many ways to stay informed on issues at the local, state, & national level, & one of the best pieces of advice I can share is to consume as much information as possible. One of my personal favorite outlets, particularly about all education-related things in North Carolina, is EdNC. I appreciate their balanced approach to reporting & find their articles to be incredibly accessible. I think it’s important to read articles from a wide variety of news sources to maintain a balanced perspective. Question sources, too—if a candidate is sharing statistics or using graphs in a presentation, look deeper into where (s)he got that information.
3. What advice would you give to women who want to live & love on purpose?
To me, living & loving on purpose is about intention. Intention represents a commitment to carrying out our future actions—what steps do I need to take to get to where I want to be? How will this current career path help shape what I want to do five years from now? Am I in a place where I love myself & feel comfortable enough with myself that I can wholly share myself with another person? Being intentional & thoughtful about next steps about anything in life can yield great results; however, just because you answer all the right questions doesn’t mean that every little thing will go to plan.
I made a ten-year plan in eighth grade (yeah, I was that kid) &, according to that Ticonderoga-smudged timeline on my purple sheet of paper, I was supposed to have been married with a kid on the way by age 26.
Spoiler alert: my 14-year-old self’s timeline was…off. To say the least.
We can still live with intention & be flexible with our plans—that’s just life. I never, & I mean never, thought I was going to meet my husband on a dating app. But, on my second Bumble date on a fateful February night, there he was. I never thought I would have any kind of career outside of being a teacher. But here I am, an MPP holder who is an education research analyst.
Our plans change, our purposes may shift, but pursuing passions with intention should be constant.
4. Finally, what goal or vision have you set for yourself in 2019?
With only six months left this year what are you doing each day to make this goal/vision a reality? Typically, I like to set big goals for the year and then smaller monthly goals that help me reach the big goal. I’ve already crossed a couple big goal off of my list, like graduating from my master’s program & finding a job! Now, the remainder of the year is dedicated to figuring out how & where I fit best in this non-classroom-teaching world. I’m not always good at slowing down, & I want to be able to stop & revel in more moments—more time to enjoy those around me, to learn about myself, to see how God is working in my life. I’ve been doing guided mindfulness runs & try to take time out of each day to do a quick devotional to reset. I’m hopeful that these practices of clarity will help me discern throughout this upcoming chapter.