Hardworking. Sincere. Honest. Original. Determined to succeed. These are a few words that describe me.
Where I’ve been and where I’m going.
Born into a humble, working-class family, I learned at an early age that money doesn’t grow on trees. I watched my mother budget and clip coupons out of an old record box and make grocery lists on the back of re-purposed junk mail. Her belief in living within your means while working 50 hour weeks in a factory, so that her two sons could have the best life possible, inspires me every day to always give my all, not make excuses, and pursue my dreams.
I am human. There have been times when I’ve failed and temporarily admitted defeat. During my senior year in high school, I dropped out for a few months, but found the strength and motivation to jump back in with the encouragement and support of my family. When I feel like I can’t go and want to give up, I remember how broken I felt a month after I dropped out of high school and how good it felt to work hard to make up those missed classes and graduate with my friends and class who I had spent years with. When I felt downtrodden and burnt out by my retail management career, I drew a line in the sand and went to college for the first time at age 32. While going back for my degrees has been the best decision I have ever made, I did make mistakes, like student loans and pricey online schools, but I have learned, and have a plan.
I have more hope that ever today. My grandmother was a strong, supportive, southern Christian woman, and although I don’t go to church regularly, I can remember how strong she was. Her spirit guides me to have patience with people I encounter, to love thy neighbor, to catch myself when I lose my temper and always forgive. Both my dad and step-dad taught me how to fix and build things, from sidewalks, to electric smokers, and two houses from the ground up. The best lesson from building a house is that once you dig and pour the concrete for the foundation, you have to keep going; you can’t stop. This can be related to setting a goal, telling others what you are about to achieve, and making sure you pull it off, regardless of any bumps and setbacks.