I sit here at 2:30am in my children’s home classroom located in the basement- Yep the unfinished non-matched furniture of a classroom. Warm coffee with a three second pour of creamer in my cup (the cup a hand-me-down from my mother), snuggled on my feet is my dog, an Australian Shepherd(not originally our family pet). I sit here awake wondering, do you know that YOU are important? YOU are enough in this world!
What defines us as people? Is it our physical characteristics, amount of money in the bank or retirement, the cars we drive, the structures we chose for a home? I like to think all of these things in fact do not define us. What defines a person is not a material…it is the story YOU have created!
Lets start from the beginning
A baby is born into this world. What defines that child? Their looks? I heard so many times from other mothers, “wow that baby is cute”, “whoa look at that babies head of hair”, “Hopefully that baby grows into their face”, etc. Right out of the womb, someone else is defining who we are by our physical attributes. Let’s change the constant need to define a living life. Instead, “that baby” has already begun to tell their story before they even entered this world. Open your eyes to the story they have told from inside the womb.
“Johnny, don’t touch that”, “Johnny, you are so ridiculous”, “Johnny, you don’t get candy”, “Johnny you cannot stay up 10 more minutes”, “Johnny, get down from there you will get hurt”. These are 5 things that I have personally said to at least one of my children at some point in their life. I defined my children without purposefully doing so. I defined them as the naughty child, the annoying child, the unhealthy child, the reckless child, the wild child. All in the words that I used. Think of the mental health toll that would take on a child’s mind if we constantly made negative remarks. Instead of saying no, say YES! “Johnny you can look with your eyes”, “Johnny you have a wonderful vocabulary”, “Johnny, half an apple and then a piece of candy”, “Johnny you can stay up 10 more minutes, but lets brush your teeth now”, “Johnny, please place your feet on the floor”. You want a kinder world, you want to help build your child’s story-the story that defines them, then you need to plant the right kind of seeds.
It is not the house that I live in that defines who I am. It is not the neighborhood I live in that defines me. It is the not the 14 year old mini van that I drive that defines me. It is not the clothing that I buy that defines me. It is not the career that defines me. It is my story. It is the decisions I made and the outcomes I drove that defines me. Since when in society did it become okay to judge others? Since when did our society decide that other people get to decide who we are as a person?
Who defines you?
YOU! YOU get to define yourself. YOU get to make your story! YOU get to tell your story. YOU DO YOUR THING IN LIFE! Don’t let anyone make YOU feel less than what YOU are. YOU went through that hard situation and made it out alive. YOU loved yourself enough to wake up everyday! YOU get to choose your happiness. YOU don’t have to explain to the nay-sayers one damn word as to why YOU live life the way YOU do. Make YOUR story, I bet my ass off your story is the most unique yet! Stand out and be YOU! Need I tell the ones in the back louder…YOU ARE ENOUGH!
- I was a 19 year old single pregnant woman. I raised my son as a single mom and went to college while working a full time job. I went on to start two small businesses…that wasn’t easy and still isn’t. I married the love of my life. I am raising three beautiful children. I am happy with who I am. I am happy with the place we call home. I am happy to spend each day with my children…even the hard days. Had I not been that 19 year old single pregnant woman, I don’t know that I would have found MY happiness. My journey isn’t your typical “as seen on TV” journey. That is okay, it has made me who I am today! Again, it is MY story, MY journey, MY joy!
- I leave you with my favorite quote: Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are your seeds. YOU can grow flowers or YOU can grow weeds.