My life has been an interesting ride so far. Although I am the one controlling the direction, it feels like a roller coaster most days. The years have flipped by so fast; I can’t begin to imagine where the time has gone. This year has been a big year: I celebrated a milestone with my son, I am finally engaged to be married to a guy who is loving and supportive, and in two more months I will receive my Master’s degree. My life is finally how I had always pictured it….I just had to adjust my efforts and the time frame.
I am one of the statistics of the nineties. Fifteen and in an abusive relationship; sixteen and pregnant; seventeen and married; and a few years later, a single young mother struggling to make ends meet.
I look back at the road I’ve traveled and I feel tremendous pride. They tried to put a label on me. They tried to make me a number. Each time they tried to tell me what I would be, I tried to show them they were wrong. My only regret is it: took longer than I thought it would.
I have tried to teach my son all the things I’ve thought were important. Honesty, integrity, courtesy, compassion, perseverance, and that an education is the most important thing you can do for yourself. Set your goals and never let anything get in the way. Hold your anger, don’t say or do anything you will regret. The young man that I have raised is an amazing guy. I see some things that are clearly me in him. I see my values and my behavior embedded in who he is. Some of them good, some of them I wish he hadn’t picked up. He also has traits all of his own. He is now trying to start his own little business. Something that I thought carried too much risk.
The road to where we are today was a long up-hill climb. Sometimes, I would feel too tired to continue the fight toward the better, brighter days. It often felt like a losing battle. I would feel overwhelmed and sit down and cry. So many times I didn’t have the strength within me to move forward. Many days it felt like the whole world was against me. Those were the days I found my strength in child who depended on me for everything.