As women, we are often pulled in so many directions. It’s important for us to find a balance in managing all of our obligations so that our health and happiness do not suffer. As we know, some of us are better at doing this than others. Sometimes it helps to sit down and get advice from a sister friend about how she juggles it all. When I decided on this topic, my sorority sister and friend, Diandra Polk was the first to come to mind. She has so much on her plate, but manages it all with sheer grace.
Diandra and her hubby, Shawn, are the parents of an absolutely adorable set of twins. In addition to being a dedicated wife and mom, Diandra is a proud teacher of special needs students. She is active in her church and various community organizations. She loves the arts, and is a very talented dancer and singer.
Read on and get to know April’s Gem, Diandra Polk
Me: I have to tell you that I’ve been looking forward to this. I don’t know if you know this, but I truly admire you. When I think of Diandra, I think of someone who can do it all: you’re talented, a wife, a mom, you can dance, you can sing, and the list goes on and on. You seem to be doing it all.
Diandra: Oh my, now I didn’t come here so that you could make me cry (laughter). You know, as women we need to hear those things from one another. I appreciate that. There’s not enough positivity among women.
Me: I’ve told you how I see Diandra. How would you describe yourself? Who’s Diandra?
Diandra: I’m a chameleon. No matter the situation, I tend to adapt. Don’t get me wrong, like anyone else, from time to time, I may feel like buckling under pressure, but failure is not an option.
Me: You seem to be a very resilient person.
Diandra: I’ve always known whose I was. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves whose we are. I can tell that I’m maturing. I deal with things differently. In most cases, if I’m dealing with something you would never know it. For instance, if I’m at work and experience a particularly stressful situation, I may get in my car and have a boo-hoo, hallelujah cry. I walk out and pull it all together. This is when my mom’s survival kit comes in handy. She told me to always have on hand Visine, tissue, an ink pen, and mints.
Me: Let’s go back a little. Describe Diandra, the child. It’s always interesting to see how a person evolves.
Diandra: Creative. I don’t think that I wanted attention, but I wanted siblings. I was very imaginative- I guess like most children. One night I was pretending Michael Jackson was coming to pick me up. I had my bags packed and everything. Definitely imaginative. I was heavily into the arts: dance and piano. Dance has always been my life.
Me: Besides wanting to be Michael Jackson’s girlfriend, what were some of your happiest childhood memories?
Diandra: I used to love watching Annie, and I liked to reenact the scene where she fell asleep and Daddy Warbucks carried her to bed. My mom would play along and carry me to bed.
Me: What did imaging becoming as an adult? What did you want to become?
Diandra: Everybody goes through that “I want to be a teacher” phase, but I was saying that because I liked playing teacher, acting like I was grading papers. I had my little chalkboard. I never thought anything would come out of my creativity. Of course when you’re younger, you can’t decipher all of that. I just knew that I would dance. I would look up to the dancers who were older than me and set my dance goals. I didn’t think in terms of where my creativity would take me.
Me: On the flip side, what was your greatest fear?
Diandra: I used to struggle with not being accepted. It was a silent fear. It didn’t sway me one way or another. I was always my own person. I never had a set group of people who I would hang with. I got along with everyone. I guess that’s a part of that “chameleon complex”.
Me: Seems like you come from a supportive family. What have been the greatest lessons you’ve learned from your mom and dad?
Diandra: From my mom, I learned to endure, to stand no matter what, and to never let them see you sweat. From my dad-perseverance. My dad just completed his master’s degree in divinity. From him, I’ve learned that it’s never too late. Pretty much, both of my parents taught me to endure because the blessing is on the other side; walk until you receive your blessing.
Me: Do you feel that you’re where you’re supposed to be in life?
Diandra: No. I don’t feel that I have a grasp on what my purpose is. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy. I’m content with where I am as far as my teaching position is concerned. I received advice from a friend that pretty much spoke to this topic. He said that God may be allowing me to be content in my current position so that I can branch off and develop my other talents. Now, my dilemma: in what way can I utilize those talents?
Me: You’re successful at so many things. What has been your greatest accomplishment, so far?
Diandra: Bringing twins into this world. I say that because a doctor told me at one time that I would never give birth.
Me: What’s your greatest hope for your babies?
Diandra: True happiness in all aspects of life.
Me: You have to be proud of all that you have going on. What do you love most about yourself?
Diandra: I never cease to amaze myself. When I think that I’ve done all that I can do, I excel.
Me: What advice would you give to women who may be facing obstacles with getting to this point of being happy with life and content with herself?
Diandra: You have to put yourself in God’s hands. Allow God to show you your purpose. Allow God to show you true love.
Gems From April’s Gem
*Having a relationship with God and having faith can make a difference in how you handle life’s obligations.
*Be resilient. Life may seem overwhelming at times, but we all must have develop our own healthy ways to cope.
*Though you may be busy nurturing those around you, do not neglect to take care of yourself. Take time to find your own source of happiness. Nurture your purpose and talents.
*Be supportive of your children’s dreams, and provide them with resources that will enhance their talents.
*Take the time to pat another sister friend on the back. Even if you think that she knows how great she is, tell her anyway.
Thanks, Diandra, for taking the time to chat with me. I know that this post will touch so many!
Gems, be sure to comment and let Diandra know how her story has touched you.
Antoinette C. is a blogger who delights in all things that foster unity and growth in women. After all, if the woman is happy and fulfilled, so is her family and community. Through Truly Charmed, Antoinette will introduce you to women who have inspired her, and who will, hopefully, do the same for you! Here's to your charmed life!