It’s times like these I sit here and am grateful I have been through hardship, heartbreak and turmoil because I can stand here today and thank God for the person I have become. A strong, independent woman who if she has to can walk a life in her own shoes knowing I have the power, mind and strength to believe I am worth the life I have been given.
Sometimes Life can deal us a bad hand. It’s up to us as to how we play it.
While on active duty stationed with 15th Military Intelligence Battalion in Fort Hood Texas, I had my first taste of being on welfare through the WIC program. A single mother working full time for her country with a newborn. It was a scary experience. I was 19 years old and realized that my life had permanently changed. Now I had a helpless baby to take care of and I was barely out of diapers myself. But I knew what my responsibilities were and I knew I had to take care of this child to the best of my ability. I loved her even before she was born.
My mother, God bless her, wanted to take my daughter home while I continued serving. I felt it was my responsibility to care for her, show her how much I loved her, sacrifice for her. Due to constantly being in the field I felt it was necessary to take a hardship discharge. In retrospect I realize I was doing myself and my daughter a disservice by leaving. Though I struggled with my pay I did not have to rely on anything but my wits and my inner strength to get us through. I should have stayed in, I could have retired at 37. Leaving active duty is truly one of my greatest regrets.
However, with that being said, we are all set on a path of our own making. God helps those who helps themselves and early on I realized that I needed to blaze a trail. I went to college, worked two jobs and pursued my double Masters’. It was a very difficult journey. I did not receive one cent of child support ; and, my daughter and I learned to take care of each other. We did face some difficult times but the love was always there and I had someone who loved me unconditionally.
Through the years I faced heartache, illness, betrayal, and despair. But I kept my goals in sight. I kept moving forward. I was not going to let anything beat me, bring me down.
Just because you make some poor choices in your life, or you were placed in a situation of your own making doesn’t mean you have the right to give up. You find a way to fulfill your dreams, to keep that fire burning. Everyone has a sob story to tell. Find a way to stand out and claim this life in a way, that when you look back, you know you gave it your best shot.