In her own words…
“I am pretty sure I am the poster child for looking beyond what is and imagining what could be. You see, I grew up in a podunk neighborhood with an abusive and alcoholic step-father. Mom filed a restraining order and walked away from the marriage.
The struggle to keep our household afloat was real. There were days when we had no electricity, no heat, and we ate sugar sandwiches (that’s pretty poor). If I paid attention to how grim things always looked, I would be having pity parties on the “regular”. Instead, I kept thinking about how things could be better.
I was the first in my family to attend college. There were no college savings or even a scholarship to cover expenses. I had three credit cards in rotation and borrowed from one to pay the minimum balance on the other, semester after semester. I was also put on academic probation because dealing with the stress of undergraduate life felt insurmountable. Giving up was not an option so I had a tape recording of affirmations constantly playing inside my mind “…You can. You can have better. You can do better. You will succeed”. On graduation day, I walked across the stage with a huge smile (and over $10,000 in credit card debt).
When I graduated with a degree in Computer Science, I looked forward to sitting alone in a corner and coding in various machine languages. One of the things I enjoyed most was creating solutions to business problems through code. The debt was paid off in three years and as destiny would have it, I found myself in a lucrative field before anyone knew it would be.
There’s a lot more I could say about the downside in my life’s journey, but why focus on that? The glass is refillable! Everyone and I do mean EVERYONE, is presented with opportunities that can help them grow, turn a corner, forge a new path, or get to the finish line! Sometimes the journey has bumps in the road, but that doesn’t define who you are. You are an overcomer. You were made to win. You have the power to succeed! And when you’ve done all that you can do, just stand and look in the bleachers. Family, friends, loved ones, and peers are there for you. They are cheering you on and they want the best for you! You are not alone!
Change the tape that plays in your head. Don’t let a setback keep you in the back. Be at the table with a sound voice. Own your actions and hold yourself accountable for being the best version of you. It is possible to have the life you want. See it in your mind and work towards achieving it. And when those tough moments come, feel the feeling and push through it! Don’t give up. You deserve the best and it’s yet to come.
Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!