Not too long ago I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a picture which I’ll paste down below that said “remember that once you dreamed of being where you are now.” And unlike most posts I just scroll past, it got me thinking about where I started my journey and how far I’ve actually come since then.
All of the obstacles, heart-break, feelings of being utterly alone and of course, the strength and courage I had to pretend I had to get here. Not to get too deep into my life story (that’ll be for the book — LOL), but I have never has it “easy” as some say. I was born to two people who love me very much and who did the very best they could to keep me alive, despite their inability to love themselves, financial difficulty and for my mother an incredible list of health problem (mental and physical).
For me, the “perfect childhood” was never an option. My parents were lucky to provide the bare minimum. So rather than be raised to be a leader, I was raised to survive without expectation of me ever being able to break free of that cycle; yet I did. For a large portion of my childhood my mother was a single mother while my father was off figuring his life out. Then, when I was a teenager my mother passed away leaving my father who was barely able to provide for himself, to take care of a strong-willed teenager with a million dreams. It was difficult, but he did it. Thank you, dad.
Due to my poor home life, school was easy for me. Teachers and counselors worked hard to get me where I needed to be, hoping that once I was off on my own I’d continue working as hard as they trained me to work. When it came to school, I was very well taken care of, those teachers and counselors made sure of that. I had clothes, food, school supplies and most importantly, I had a chance to become exactly who I was meant to be. Thankfully, I realized that, which not many children do. I noticed there were adults who actually gave a crap and I took full advantage of that opportunity. I stuck closely with those adults knowing that if I did, I would be okay, despite what was happening at home.
When I was eighteen, I was released out on my own. I had graduated high school and left all of those wonderful teachers and counselors behind and with little to no family support I moved into college and everything I had to do was solely up to me. No one was checking up on me, no one was making sure I was taken care of, it was all up to me. That transition was incredibly difficult for me, however, I managed to figure it out.
A lot of my high school friends went left and I went right so I had to create new friendships which has never been my favorite thing to do as I despise having to open up to new people, and I also come well equipped with trust issues galore. But with those friendships I found some of the most amazing human beings that I’ve ever encountered. Through those friendships I’ve built the support system I always craved and never thought I would have. Thank you Jessica, Victoria, Breanna, Rachel and Justin. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I created amazing friendships. I put my back and heart into my work and after switching my major three times, landed on social work. I’ve graduated and therefore am officially a social worker and those two things have made my life better than I ever thought it would be. I always dreamed of being precisely where I am right now
.I’m currently working at a job with people who help me continuously grow. I work in a nursing home and being surrounded by a large group of men and women who lived their lives for 70+ years puts things into perspective. Every day I learn something new, I appreciate life more and I grow increasingly more excited about my future; a future I once feared. I’ve obtained a Bachelor’s Degree and am on track to begin graduate school in the Fall when at one time, graduating high school was a dream I wasn’t sure I could achieve. I wasn’t supposed to make it through high school, I wasn’t supposed to succeed, I wanted to become something great but I seriously doubted by capability to make myself proud.
I’ve encountered people on my journey who had only negative things to say. People who felt that it was their duty to bring me down, further than I already brought myself. People who wanted to slow my progress or hinder my confidence. Those people thankfully are no longer in my life. They’re no longer in my life because I deserve better. I’ve worked tirelessly to get where I am and anyone unwilling to support and love me doesn’t get the pleasure of being allowed to say they know me.
I’ve also met even more people who have supported, loved and encouraged me. Without them, I don’t think I could have done it. I used to believed I could skate through life alone and I’ve come to realize that’s not true. We all need people. Good people. Genuine people. People who love you when everyone else is leaving you because you’ve become “too much.” Those are the people to give 110% too. A lesson that took me far too long to learn.
If you’re reading this and you’re in a position where you aren’t “supposed” to succeed, but you want to, and you know you can; I’m telling you, you can. I support you. I’m here for you. I’m proud of you. I’ll never stop rooting for you. And through the powers of social media you can always reach out to me if you need someone to be there for you.
If you’re reading this and you’re one of those people who helped me success. Thank you. I owe you more than I’ll ever be able to repay, just know, you have my heart forever. I love you.
If you’re reading this and you were one of those people who hindered my success. Voluntarily or involuntarily. Thank you. I love you. Because of you, I have thick skin, and I know now, I can make it through anything.