It has been a minute since I have written a personal blog so I wanted to just drop in and kind of decompress for a minute.
I feel like I have been really busy lately, but mostly it has been in my head. I have been busy with plans and ideas. I have been really excited about the year winding down and trying to make plans for the next year.
I am planning my very first public event this coming January! It is called Glittered in Goals. This event is going to be awesome. It is a networking event that will bring together like minded ladies of ALL ages (no really, whether you are 18 or 50…this is for you, too!). I just want to create an environment that promotes growth and productivity. Whether your goals are big or small, whether it is personal, professional, spiritual…this event is for you.
As I am thinking of my future goals and what I will have to do to make them happen…I am reminded of one of my greatest accomplishments – graduating college. Not simply because I graduated, but more-so because of what I had to endure to get to that stage.
This year in December marks 4 years since I graduated from the University of Houston.
Most of you see me with a smile on my face and probably assume I have never had a care in the world. If you know me personally, you know that is not true.
However, I am truly at peace in my heart at this point in my life. There were times just 4 short years ago (and even more recently) where I really did not know how I was going to make it. I did not know how I was going to be able to accomplish the goals that I had set. How could I do it? The odds were stacked against me and I was not in a position to make it.
College was quite the “experience” for me. My parents gave me an option to go. They never told me I HAD TO, because they have never been the type to force anything on me.
However, they have always pushed me to do my very best no matter what I did.
I decided that college was something I wanted to accomplish. It was a decision I made at my own free will. I wanted a degree. I wanted to be and feel successful.
There was a problem though. LIKE MOST OF US…I did not have any money for college – no savings account, no trust funds, no parents that could afford $5,000/semester, and no billionaire dead uncles that had written me into their will. Oh, and I also did not have the good-enough grades to get me a scholarship of any proportions. However, I still wanted to go to college anyway.
So, I started my journey at a community college. I did not gripe about it much openly, BUT I was hurt, to be honest. I felt like I DESERVED to go away to school like ALL of my best friends were doing. But, not me. I was the only one not moving away from home and I was the only one in my close circle that was going to community college. I was pissed, honestly. I was jealous. I just wanted to do what most kids want after high school…
go off and be grown.
Little did I know, I was about to be grown right where I was. At home.
I got to be at home right in the rut of some of the most TRYING times my family had to endure. From my mom’s illness getting worse (and us having no clue what was wrong) to my dad being laid off from his job (and me being the only one with a part-time job, having to try and help with bills while making less than $8/hour). We even lost the home that I had spent all of my high school years in (and had to go live with family).
My college experience was tough to say the least. I was taking on a FULL LOAD at home mentally, physically, and financially. I was also a FULL TIME student my entire college career. This was my choice, I did not want to be in school more than 4 years. Not that it is a problem, it just was not my goal.
I suffered through a silent depression. I battled an eating disorder. I was struggling to hold on to any ounce of confidence that I could. – my grades suffered.
Every semester it was the same questions. Where am I going to get the money to continue to be a FULL TIME STUDENT? Who’s going to help me? How am I going to graduate in 4 years like I planned? What is going to happen with my family? Is my mom going to be okay? I have to be strong for my sisters. Why is God allowing all this struggle?
God really came through and blessed me when I least expected it, but needed it most. He placed some special people in my life that literally gave me book money with no strings attached. The rest was out of my pockets. My very shallow pockets. After 5 semesters in community college and receiving my Associates degree, it was finally time to head to University of Houston in 2010. I was discouraged, but STILL determined. I had to prove to MYSELF that I could stick with this – even though nobody was forcing me to. I HAD TO DO THIS.
I am so thankful for the grants I was able to scrape together along the way. But, for the most part it was the same song and dance…it was really. really. REALLY. hard. I cried…a lot. I was even angry with God. I was going to the school I wanted, but I still was not able to enjoy it and participate in anything and get that “COLLEGE EXPERIENCE” I had been wanting. I had to go to work RIGHT after school. That left no time to really make friends or do much around campus. I was commuting 45 min – hour (both ways in traffic). I was proud of myself for sticking to my goals, but I was also feeling pretty pitiful.
Long story short…
After 2 years – 4 semesters – and not collecting any student loan debt – I finally was able to graduate and EARN my degree! With God and the SUPPORT of my loved ones…I accomplished my goal. It was the proudest moment of my life to graduate. I was not worried about this degree making me rich. To be honest, the struggle to get the degree is what made me rich…it made me rich with humility. It made me realize that there is nothing that God can not help me do. Not a single thing.
I CUT OUT SO MANY details, because you would be reading forever. Just know, this smile I wear on my face now is because GOD HAS BEEN SO GOOD to me. I truly believe that His mercies endure forever and his grace is new every single day. God answered my prayers for my goals. I am rich now – not in my money, but with a grateful heart. It runs over.
What I learned through my rough college experience is that I can do ANYTHING that I set my mind on doing. I truly feel that NOTHING formed against me shall prosper.
That is why I want to spend the rest of my life encouraging others to achieve their goals no matter what is stacked against them. God is greater and He wants us to succeed in this life. He wants us to live as a testimony of His goodness.
God did not want my experience to be like anyone else’s. He wanted it to be hard. He wanted to build my character. He wanted to make me struggle so that I could be a strong encourager after the fact.
No matter what you have going on in your life, I want to encourage you to remain #GLITTEREDinGoals so big and so bright that you can not HELP but PUSH to achieve them.
That is the reason behind the #GlitteredInGoals event that I am planning for January 7, 2017. I want you all to come out and decompress. Let’s talk about our visions and how HARD it can be to crush our goals. – But, let’s not stop there. Let’s help one another PLAN to be successful – let’s form solid relationships that will help push us through.
You can do whatever you set your mind to doing. Your path is not meant to look like everyone else’s. God is guiding you this way for a reason. You are #glitteredingoals.