Every experience that I have ever had the pleasure or pain of living has made me into the woman I am today.
The teenage parents.
The first 17 years of my life in the projects.
The substance abuse in my family.
The violence I witnessed against all of the women I loved.
The heartbreak of feeling rejected.
The disappointment of the ones who should have cared about me the most, caring less.
The kidney failure.
The uncontrollable weight gain (and the gain I caused myself.)
I used to look at the difficult stuff in total disdain. I would often ask,
“what is this?”
If I had my way, I would pick away at the difficult things leaving only the things that came easy.
I hated it. About 75% of my life I could have lived without. That says a lot about who I used to be.
As I grew forward, I began to admire other people’s stories of success. I was particularly attracted to the stories from the underdogs, the firsts, the misfits, and the forgotten few.
Stories of people, who had the deck stacked against them, that created beautiful + meaningful + soul stirring lives for themselves, inspired me to the fullest.
Then one day, I made the connection.
I realized that what I admired in others, I hated about myself.
I was an underdog, I was a first in many instances, and I felt forgotten. But, with grace, I was in the middle of creating a beautiful + meaningful + soul stirring life of my own.
At 10 years old, I made some serious decisions that changed the course of my life. I looked at what I hated about my life and intentionally created the opposite. It was a survival mechanism and it worked to protect my ten-year-old-self.
But, about 12 years ago, I saw my life in an entirely different light. I saw my life and my own story as an opportunity. I saw it as an opportunity to create my own story of success.
Because of that shift in perspective, I was able to change my view and imagine a greater vision. My vision included a life outside of the projects, a college degree and career. My vision gave me the courage to pursue a second career as songwriter, to build a family that wasn’t broken.
I still struggle. Much of my story is unwritten, some of the pain is still there, some people still need to be forgiven. I still need to get over some of my own mess.
But it’s my story- and I learned to be grateful for it.
We all have a story.
Some of it we like. Some of it we grew to hate.
What I finally realized is this:
It’s not about the story. It’s about the person you become because of it.
Because of my story, I have learned compassion for other people who have had a rough start. I feel the pain of addiction. I understand how fragile a child can be, and how much care needs to go into being a parent. I have learned to hustle. I have a hard time giving up. I have learned to forgive myself.
What if we saw every single experience in our lives as wonderful opportunities to be better?
Changing your perspective of a difficult circumstance doesn’t excuse it. It allows you to control how you experience it.
So finally, after some serious heart work, I have learned to look for the opportunity to grow through the difficulty.
Written and loved on by Nakeia Homer