As a child, I was groomed for academic excellence, my paternal great-grandmother was an educator for over 50 years and influenced my mother to become involved in the education system. I was expected to make great grades and go on to become scholar at a college or university. In spite of the fact that my mother was a single parent, she encourage and cultivated a love of education in her household, making sure that her children went to summer school each year to promote a successful school year . Though I had the ability to be an A student, I chose to succumb to the taunting of my peers and slacked off in school. This was very frustrating for my mother because she knew the potential that I had and she wanted me to be the best me that I could possibly be.
Since the second grade I’ve loved to write; I would sneak writing paper from my mother’s school supply closet to create make-shift story books and read them to my mother when I was done. This passion went on until I discovered that all of my other friends had other interests that seemed more fun than hiding in my room and using my imagination.
After a couple of years of not writing, I found my self trying to fill the void with the attention of boys. At the age of 13, I became a mother for the first time and couldn’t understand when my life took such a drastic turn. I blamed my mother, the man that molested me, even the girls who persuaded me to be like them.
My finger pointing went on for ten more years until I was summonsed to court for the custody of my eldest daughter by her father. I couldn’t grasp that each and every decision that I had made had led me to this particular experience. By following the crowd, I forfeited a life that could have been a little bit more promising for my self and my children.
For the past three years, I have decided to write more and to be more active in my community. It has not been a cake walk, but it is surely worth the effort to give it my best no matter what. Sometimes I still have difficulties with being different and wanting to be ‘normal’, but I am determined to live my life out loud without any regrets. I may have the ability to be a great leader and to do great things, but the things that I decide to do is really what matters.
Often times, when we are faced with the decision to be different, we run and cower because we don’t want to be ostracized or ridiculed. We feel like no one will accept us if we do not fit their mold of perfection. Once we realize that our choice to be different benefits everyone, there will be no stopping us.
Stay encouraged. Be YOU! It’s the best decision we will ever make.