I think there comes a time in everybody's life where they think, “How the _____ did I get here?” It is particularly disheartening when you think you have been doing everything right or when you know the hand you were dealt was stacked against you the whole time. I have asked myself the “How the ____” question a lot through out my life. And, there are instances where I know in my heart that I did everything “right”. There are also instances where I was put into a tough situations. In either case, I could have handled it in a way that (in the long run) I would not have been proud of myself, but it would have been easier to say or do something potentially damaging.
Rough patches seem to be a common theme in my life: from my birth to my current situation. It is not always easy to stay positive or even want to continue working/moving forward with my head up. I find ways to push through my negative experiences, even when it feels like I am digging closer to rock bottom rather than climbing out. There have been times where I have felt all alone in whatever I was dealing with, and other times where I felt I had a huge army of support. In many of these situations, I believe that I cannot possibly be the only one who is dealing with this. There has to be someone else out there in a similar boat. Or maybe, if I am pioneering this problem, someone can learn from me or know that he/she is not alone.
One night a few months ago, I spontaneously asked a friend to meet me for dinner. He is a single dad having primary physical custody of two sons. I am a single mom of two daughters (my ex-husband and I have joint custody). Our kids were being kids, and we were talking about the struggles and stigmas of being divorced, single parenting, working full-time, etc. We manage to interject humor through out the conversation. We got on the subject of winning the lottery. My reply was something to the extent of I would buy a house (still in my community), travel during the summers, work part-time. He on the other hand, said that he would find away to give and work for the less fortunate. It was so touching, and says a lot about this man's character.
When we got home, I got the girls and myself to bed, and continued to think about what he said. I felt sort of selfish in my response of only doing for my daughters and myself. I thought about the struggles and injustices we discussed earlier in the night. I thought about how far I had come in my journey, and the times I felt discouraged. In the times of discouragement, I couldn't find the resources I needed to get me through. I had this friend and a few others point me in a few directions, but it took a lot of work for me to unearth the tools and resources I needed to get me on the path I wanted to be on. In that moment, I knew I had to do something. Something to help people who can relate to my story.