I found myself!

I’m going to go back as far as 3 years ago. I was feeling lost (like most times) and desperate for something else out of life. I couldn’t understand why I felt so empty and dissatisfied with the life I was leading. Although, I was actively engaged in church; volunteering; bible studies 2 nights a week; school part time and working full time graveyard shift. I was still empty.  I was drowning in the needs and wants of my family and putting my own needs aside. I entrusted in a friend how badly I would do anything to move to TX. I didn’t know what area I’d move to, the only somewhat familiar city was San Antonio, TX; where I currently have family. But, I wanted to be away from all family members. I wanted to be alone and by myself without feeling like I was carrying a burden on my shoulders. All my life I’ve been a worry warrior always doing for others and putting my needs and desires on the back burner. Well, I was tired of it. Although, I didn’t express this openly except to the woman whom was my mentor back in the day. She encouraged me to try and apply at TWU and pray that I would be accepted. I was very hesitant about being accepted. But, two months later I received the acceptance letter and was being accepted into the school with a 3.0 GPA. I was ECSTATIC!! Never in my right mind did I think I would be at a University level, but here I was and my acceptance letter. Time came around to share with my dad that I was accepted and that I would be moving in August. He wasn’t happy for the news nor did he congratulate me of my acceptance. This was HUGE to me!! I mean coming from my background this was a huge milestone in my life. I was 29 years old and a freshman at a University! I kind of got bummed that I was so old, but then again, I lived my life in reserve; by getting married at a young age and doing the wifely thing and having things not work out and again feeling lost and helpless with my life.

 But then I met my mentor. I was training her at work and we got to know each other on a personal level and she became my life coach, per say. She prayed over me on a daily basis. Any who, back to school. I had a meeting with an Adviser and a tour of the campus. That summer of 2010 my family and I came out to San Antonio to my baby cousin’s high school graduation. I asked my father to lend me the expo and he said I needed to figure out another way to get to Denton; that he wouldn’t lend me his car. So I tried getting a flight and even taking the train but there was all these time constraints and not working out with the schedule I needed to keep for the next day with the Adviser. So, I rented a car. Of course my father was upset that I’d actually found a solution and he actually prayed out loud that I didn’t get the rental, but much to his dismay the guy at Enterprise helped me out. I explained the situation and he got me hooked up. It was 10pm the night before the drive to Denton and I was feeling super proud of myself for finding a solution (like always) I’m pretty resourceful and don’t take no for an answer at all. I always try and find a yes in every situation. So I try and sleep and all I can think about is TWU and Denton and being far from my family. I got up at 230am, showered, dressed and hit the road. At this time, I had my puppy tun-tun whom was only 2 months old and still feeding him solution and my dad said I needed to take him with me, well, I didn’t want to but I did. He rode with me – that’s why I think Tun-Tun is so darn faithful. Back to the story, I arrived to Denton exactly at 830am; it was a 6 hour drive. I went and got breakfast and waited patiently for 930am to roll around and it finally did.

I had so many questions scrambled in my head to ask my advisor and things regarding financial aid what I needed to do, bring, show proof of….oh so so many things and yet again I felt empty because my family has never been there for me to celebrate the milestones of my life, but I guess you kind of get used to it. So 330pm comes around and I’m on my way back to San Antonio, I actually took a 2 hour nap by the park next to campus because I was exhausted and I hadn’t slept the night before because of all the anxiety I was facing. I get to San Antonio and my dad is pissed the Fuck off with me for no reason other than me wanting a better future for myself. I ignored him, best thing to do when he has his phases of jealousy.

Well I didn’t tell them anything about my trip other than everything went well. It was itching him to know exactly what went down, but I was not going to share all the positive and encouraging support I received from school. So I kept it to myself.

 We head back to Cali and he tries to make short talk, but I aint having it.

August comes around and I start selling every piece of furniture, stove, refrigerator, items I no longer needed to raise money for my trip. I cash out my retirement fund but had to wait 30 days before I could receive it. With my sales and saving a lil money here and there I had 3000$ enough to get an apartment and hold me out for 2 months. Well, again, I put my family’s needs first and set myself on the back burner. My family needed financial help and I literally spent all my money from my sales on them except for 200$ the day I left California I only had $200 in my pocket enough for only gas to get me to San Antonio because I was going to spend 2 weeks with family there and then head out to Denton. Well, the day I left my dad was pissed and gave me $60 dollars and my mom packed some snacks, water & juice. I used to own a 2007 Toyota corolla that I worked so hard to obtain – and it was jammed packed with over 150 books that I own, my clothes and my desktop oh yea and my two dogs, Cocoa and Tuntun.

I leave California about 4pm and drove 30 hours straight without stopping except for gas and the potty for the dogs and myself. 30 hours on the highway by myself and the little belongings that I had. When I get to Arizona I get anxiety and start to doubt that I’d made the right decision. I almost came back home, but I kept driving forward; which forward was the only way. On occasions I got the phone call from my parents. I arrived in San Antonio around midnight of the next day, exhausted and sleepy. I didn’t even stop to sleep anywhere except at a rest area I took a 20 minute nap but felt uncomfortable because it was really dark and the dogs kept barking. So I got up and drove off.

I spent two weeks in San Antonio soaking up the sun and chillin’ with my family. The day came when I had to depart and head out to Denton. Granted I had no funds except like 140$ left in my pocket. I had found an apartment and arranged to move in a day before orientation. Well I arrive to Denton exactly at 530pm before the apartment complex closes and the manager was actually waiting for me so I signed the lease get the keys and start unloading my car. A neighbor was nice enough to help me, any who. I didn’t give one cent, I hadn’t mentioned anything about the rent or deposit because I needed to buy time in order to get my retirement fund which was about 6000$ I had saved in 3 years through my employer – not bad kiddo! Ja! So a week goes by and the manager finally calls me and says she hadn’t realized that I hadn’t given her the deposit and rent and I said oh my word I hadn’t either. That there was a God thing. So I wait two more days and I get my retirement fund and pay them the deposit and rent.

Time has gone by and I’ve gone through some highs and lows. I couldn’t find a job for almost a fucking year and not even part time at that. I had to pay out of pocket for my tuition until I went to the Vice President of Student Life and sobbed my story to her in parts because I couldn’t take the stress anymore and the doubts that ran through my head that maybe I’d made a huge mistake. But, I didn’t. I was just facing trials and tribulations, God had to make sure I was worthy of His blessings.

Ms. Quinones gets me some help and two grants which waived the out of state tuition and I get about 8k in refunds which holds me up for another six months. By this time I’d found a part time job being an assistant to the Executive Director at a counseling center; that job is what saved me. Well the month of May comes around and I lose my car because I hadn’t paid it in three months – I was up to date with everything else but I sacrificed my car because I would’ve preferred to pay electricity rather than a car note. On Cinco de Mayo as soon as I get home from work a tow truck pulls up and takes my car. The guy was nice enough to let me take my things out, but I left a Light Purple Care Bear in the back seat which I’ve had since 1989 and I lost it. I think I was more hurt about my care bear than my car. A car is something replaceable but something from your childhood isn’t.

Here we are three years later working 2 full time jobs and going to school full time. And I have my own car again. Yay!

I share this because I want people to know that no matter what you’re faced with, you can rise above it all by being persistent and keeping your eyes on the prize, in my case my prize is my degree. And no matter how many times I’ve moved for whatever reason, the material things I’ve lost I haven’t lost myself. I actually found myself and have been humbled by God in accepting what He gives me. I hope you find my journey encouraging in some way.

 Love & Light!

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