I’m going to let y’all in on a little secret. One that I haven’t told many people but I’m going to tell you today because it probably is a good thing to share………………..so someone can know something about themselves that they didn’t know or couldn’t see. They can make it through anything.
I’m not supposed to be here. True story. My parents split up a few times but indefinitely by the time I was eight. It was an abusive relationship so I was neglected at times because my mom wasn’t able to take care of me the way she needed to. Not because she didn’t love me, but because she just couldn’t. She didn’t have the energy. So the expedited growth process started for me. I grew up quickly. Much quicker than kids should so I could take care of myself and ensure I was always good. I learned too early to only depend on myself because of the instability in my house. I went back and forth between my parents until I was about 13 and fell into a pattern that brought about a tad bit of normalcy. Very short lived though so I eventually ended up bouncing around between friends’ houses until I was old enough to make some decisions about what to do with the rest of my life. It’s crazy as hell looking back because there is zero pain. There is only gratefulness that my circumstances didn’t dictate where I ended up in my life. It didn’t predetermine the outcome of the game I had to play with the cards I was dealt.
A pivotal moment in my life was when I decided to join the military. I was accepted to every college I applied to BUT I didn’t want to depend on anyone. I knew that I didn’t really have a reliable source to fall back on in the event I needed books, clothes, food………..just basic stuff. It was probably the best decision that I could ever have made in my life. It gave me options, opportunities, education, experiences. It gave me a new place in life, focus, my two beautiful babies, my degrees, some of the best friends I could ever have asked for. It gave me a foundation that I didn’t have and that foundation is what I build upon for my children. The foundation I lay so they never have to experience the growing pains of self-care at a young age. Concerning themselves with being safe from harm, warm when it’s cold, full when they are hungry. I always fought for that. It has driven me beyond and sometimes it makes me even more vulnerable to having my feelings hurt because I’m so tough. I’m often tougher than I need to be. That protective barrier we put up when we need to shield ourselves from things that may or may not be happening in our lives. Self-preservation I like to call it. Sadly, NOONE seems to know how to handle a tough cookie! And even worse no one seems to know how much it hurts to be so tough after repeatedly dealing with situations that require one to pick up pieces alone…….rebuild alone.
I started writing a book about all of this just to motivate people. I wanted them to use examples and stories from my life to understand that no matter the cards you are dealt, if you put it in your heart, set your sights on it and work towards it, you CAN get to it. It might not always be easy, you might fail more than you succeed, you might take some really big hits along the way, but when you win, you win big. I’ve had people come right out and say to me that if I could make it with the life I had, anyone can make it. I have done mostly everything I’ve set out to do within my ability to attain and no matter the losses, the gains have proven to me that trying is better than not trying and victory is already predetermined for those who believe in themselves.
I have written a lot about resetting because recently I reset on a massive level. Reality is, it’s important to do because it resets goals, refocuses prospective, and reorganizes priorities. I sat in a space where I saw myself losing every single thing I’ve ever invested in for one reason or another. Because I cared about someone too much, because I put myself to the backburner and said I’d get around to me later, because I was being nice, because I was negotiating and wavering on where I stood, because I forgot what value I added to a situation. So many different things. But the losses exposed my strengths and made it clear that there is not much God has allowed to leave my life that He hasn’t restored a thousand times over. Bigger. Better. Brighter…………..GREATER. My hopes and dreams are nothing in comparison to His hopes and dreams for my life.
I am not a perfect person. I have made a thousand mistakes. I don’t know why. Maybe because my parents were confused as hell and didn’t even know who they were or how to maneuver life. Maybe because I was pulling from others I looked up to what I thought was a good human being and I didn’t really know what that was. Maybe because some of the pain that I hadn’t processed through in those moments controlled me more than I realized. Maybe because I thought I had it all figured out when I really hadn’t began to scratch the surface of knowing anything. Either way, I am still making mistakes. But if I do say so myself, the woman I am becoming is rather amazing. Not amazing because anyone has given me accolades for being who I am or because I’ve received a bunch of rewards……………but because I love myself. I see my scars and bruises and I love them all. FINALLY. I can look in the mirror and see a person that is not perfect but is becoming the better version of myself that I didn’t even know I could be. That’s me arriving in the place that gives me hope of restoration, peace and contentment.
So I share this small bit of information just to encourage someone to believe in themselves. Know that you are capable of any and everything you can imagine for yourself and even things you can’t. I had no dreams when I was growing up other than surviving and every day I’m grateful that my faith in God and His Grace allowed me to realize dreams I didn’t know existed. Defeat is a part of life and it happens to the best of us. But just because you don’t appear to be set up for something great and everything seems to be stacked against you, doesn’t mean winning isn’t for you! You can win regardless.
Until Next Time Lovies!