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Life is hard, and I’ve lived a hard life. It’s been many years since I was evicted and had to rebuild from scratch. I was in my twenties and making dumb decisions that cost me a lot. I had a kid, a re-possessed car, and no job. Thank God for friends who took me in and allowed me to find my way, but even then, it was a very hard road to recovery.

Each day, I got up and did my morning ritual. I walked to the local Rec Center, three miles away, and sat in the computer lab, submitting job applications. My goal was always 20 a day. And if I wasn’t in the computer lab, I was at social services trying to get benefits for myself and my son to get the basic things we needed, from food stamps to medical care. I did what I could to ensure our basic needs were met. Hours spent sitting in waiting rooms trying to get on waiting lists or schedule assistance appointments. I learned respect for families struggling at or below the poverty level. These were hours spent out of work trying to facilitate renewals and other guidelines if you needed these benefits to survive. Requirements were strict, the lists were long, and resources were slim.

During that time, I also had to accumulate volunteer hours at the Rec Center to ensure I could keep my benefits since I struggled to find work. I had to submit timesheets to the County with signatures to show that I was a contributing member of society. I also went to the career resource center, found a free Administrative Certification, and registered for that. Social Services was gracious enough to provide me with bus tokens so I could make it to my classes. It was the first time in a long time that I felt like I was moving in the right direction and getting some semblance of who I once was.

After submitting numerous job applications for a year, I was contacted by a temp agency that offered me a position at a local property management company. It was a relatively local commute via bus and train from Falls Church, VA, to Alexandria, VA, so I accepted the position. This was the start of my 15-year journey in property management, where I learned many things and improved my quality of life tremendously.

I share this story today because I want someone to know that it can improve and opportunities come your way. I failed and won only because I never gave up. I am grateful for my failures because they taught me how to appreciate the smallest wins. I no longer take things for granted and live in the moment, embracing everything in and around me. I thank God for the strength he afforded me during one of the roughest times in my life, and I am glad for the lessons I learned.

And do I still make mistakes? Yes. Am I, or do I dare to be perfect? No. I am still learning and growing, but I am stronger, know my value, and don’t let the words or actions of others deter me from my greatness. I consistently believe in myself, my skills, and my talents and press forward with energy and enthusiasm for what is to come.

My affirmations for today are “I am happy with who I am” and “I am blessed for all I have. " What I share in closing is to create your affirmations and keep them close to you on your journey. Live your life on purpose and on your path to greatness.

Have a prosperous and blessed day.

Your Positive Advancement Family

Be Bold. Be Brave. Believe.

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