Thursday, December 20, 2012

On the Eighth Day of Christmas... I Give you Hope

It has been an awesome day. I woke to a hot cup of coffee and a"guest" blog post written been my oldest daughter Cierra that brought me to tears. For so many years I felt like being a single mom practically her whole life would leave her scarred, empty in some way and messed up because she did not have the "dad" that little girls need. That is what you learn, that is what statistics say, and well... who was I to think my situation would be any different? Much of her life I was so busy working that I felt like I missed everything. I did miss a lot, but luckily, by the time she entered high school I was able to get involved with her activities in ROTC, and I knew that although I could never make up for time lost, I could be there in some of the most difficult years a child faces, and that was what I did. As you can see, if you read last night's blog... or any of the others where I mention her accomplishments, she turned out pretty amazing, so I guess I did not "conform" in that department either. Rules are made to be broken, records are out there to break, and determination in making something happen leaves the sky as your limit.

So... on the eighth day of Christmas, this blogger brings to you, hope... in a world that seems to have very little anymore; especially lately.

Have you ever felt defeated? Like you have tried so hard to accomplish something only to hit repeated dead ends, obstacles that reproduce and patches of ice even on sunny days? Congrats! You have experienced life, and chances are you are living it better than people around you despite the hiccups because I bet you have taken a few chances; the key to a fulfilling life. Playing it safe is, well... boring and although you may feel comfy and cozy all snug as a bug with a steady paycheck and a predictable future, chances are that one day you will look back on life with regrets or a few "what if's" because you did not put your dreams into motion. Now, I am not saying go out, quit your job and put your family in jeopardy to fulfill your dreams of being a rock star, what I am saying is that you have to LIVE to live and sometimes that means keeping your dreams alive along side your everyday life. Living is not always achieving what you are after, sometimes it's just doing all that you can to make it happen regardless if you ever get there. Although I hate the word "try" you must first "try" if you ever "will"; it's the first step.

So... what happens when you fall on your face into the mud? You bathe... and perhaps next time wear different shoes. It's okay to fail... in fact it is necessary to fail if you hope to succeed. Hope is a word that many people have forgotten because we live in a world where news is all bad news, "economy" is a buzz word, failed systems are the headlines of every paper and hope seems out of reach. Newsflash... HOPE is always in reach, along with FAITH and COURAGE. Nobody can take those things from you unless you let them; remember that and keep it tucked in your pocket for rainy days when lightning strikes and makes your hair stand up.

There were many times in life when I wanted to give up, but I knew I couldn't because if I did, I would  never know what I could have done if I kept going. I put my mind to work, picked my crushed heart up off the floor several times and RAN faster and harder the next go-round. That finish line is in view, I am accomplishing something big... I feel it in every bone, and lately it is being validated by other people who are reading my book and becoming inspired by it.

This afternoon, I got an email from my sixth grade teacher who happened to be the very woman who inspired my writing eons ago. She taught me how to express myself through words, to use my "visual" mind to capture the emotional and mindful thoughts that were bottled up inside of me. Through Facebook, I have been able to reconnect with this teacher after roughly 26 years and I sent her a book for Christmas. She received and read it today and wrote me an email describing what she thought of it. I was brought to tears once again, because to me... it was my first REAL review. She did not go through  any of the events with me, as many of my friends who have read it have, she only knew me as  a student many moons ago in a sixth grade classroom, and she is an avid reader a lover of poetry, and literary guru. Her review was golden and surreal and most of all encouraging. I have not yet gotten her permission to share it in  it's entirety but I will share a small excerpt in this blog that literally blew me away, as I feel she would not mind being in this context. It gave me HOPE that I can do this writing thing... that my dream of being a writer may not be as far fetched as some may have thought (including me.) When your hopes are validated by actions and outcomes, the journey is that much sweeter. Here is a small excerpt from her beautiful message to me.

"You certainly have a story to tell, struggles no adult could have handled, observations and perception absolutely nobody would have caught, and a way of conveying that is unique and totally without imitation. I want everybody to read your book: Everybody needs to have their lives changed like reading your book is changing me. I saw you as you were but now you are able to articulate where you came from and where you now are and are going. Keep writing, Shelley, because the world needs you."

I hope that you find HOPE in whatever it is you wish to achieve, and I encourage you as I always do and always will to NEVER give up on ayour dreams!

If you would like to purchase a copy of my book, click either of the links below

**On my Website**

**On Amazon**