One night I lay in a homeless shelter- lost, hurt, alone, angry, afraid, bitter, and very uncertain about my future.
All things aside, deep within me still burned a 🔥fire of determination to rise and become something bigger and better than the current circumstances I found myself in.
I was determined that this reality would be temporary. It would not and could not be my ultimate truth.
Thoughts were loud and rampant in my mind- refusing to be another young woman statistic on food stamps and in government housing.
Late at night, I laid there wide awake, usually with 😢tears rolling down my cheeks- searching for answers- feeling helpless, not knowing what the correct answer would or could be.
During the day, I would have conversations with some of the other women that shared the shelter with me. The saddest part was that many of them were there for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th time. They were in a 🌀cycle.
During my alone time, I would question- How? How does the cycle get broken?
I was so determined to pull myself up by myself- with only days remaining in my stay at the homeless shelter- soon I would be asked to leave- exiting to the streets.
One night I remember deciding that I would visit a United States Army Recruiter’s office the next day. I remember standing outside of the door so afraid.
More than once, I thought about walking away. However, I truly wanted to change my life and the future of my children’s life more.
So, I found the courage to pull the handle and entered.
I was so disgusted with the cycle that I found myself in.
I knew deep within myself that something had to change, and it needed to be radical.
Ya, know, during those moments, I was more afraid of things staying the same than doing what was necessary to change them.
The fear of the unknown had to be better than my present circumstances.
I remember questioning my sanity⁉️Troops were actively deploying to combat zones. This was active wartime. 😢People were dying.
My recruiter was open and honest and discussed that it was very likely that I should also mentally prepare to go.
As a young girl in her early 20’s, a mother of two- I recall wrestling with the idea of leaving America to travel to a very unknown and hostile land in Afghanistan.
I remember wrestling with the concept of potentially not coming back.
Man, it felt like a lot to wrap my mind around during that time in my life.
I remember asking myself how I would like to be remembered and playing a mental game of would you rather?
I knew I did not want to be remembered in the condition I had currently found myself in.
I told myself at the very least I had the opportunity to be remembered for bravery, for choosing not to settle, for reaching deep with determination to make something more of my life.
A mess is what I currently had. My life reflected that. I was broken, depressed, angry, and sad with the world.
Hell-bent on change- I said, yes, to leave the homeless shelter. I accepted the challenge of shipping off to 🇺🇸 United States Army Boot Camp- so desperate to prove myself- so desperate to break the cycle- so desperate to create a new life.
In October 2008, I stood at a crossroads. I said yes, to a new beginning. I said yes, to what I am certain has helped shape and make the mother, wife, mentor, and businesswoman you see today.
And if you are still here and reading this-
I hope through sharing this story and my experience that I can leave this with you-
Listen, we can not always help the hand we are dealt in life.
But it sure is our responsibility to play the hell out of that hand we have.
My life began to change the instant I began to evaluate & ask myself- How am I at cause for where I am today?
🌟You are capable.
🌷 God has a plan for you.
☝️Say, yes- even afraid.