“2014 was embarrassing” as one of my friends put it. I mean flat out embarrassing in every sense of the word. Everything that once made sense, didn’t. Everything I had, I lost. And everything I believed, I questioned.
For starter’s, I started the year laid off…kinda. And then I wasn’t. And then I was again. Then I got a new job, but quit it to accept a better job that I lost soon after. So I was unemployed for 3 months, three longggg months. But very few people knew that and hardly anyone could tell. And that didn’t make sense to me. Here I was college educated, skilled in various areas, and applying to jobs that I knew “weren’t for me”. This can’t be life.
And then I fell in love. You see it happened on accident. Or on purpose. Or by divine order, you know what, I don’t really know how it happened, I’m just glad that it did. We didn’t meet by bumping carts at the supermarket or casually at a party. We just…did.
Our first date: We met. We talked. We ate. We went to the movies. We snuck and saw another movie. It was 1am and we departed.
The next morning he called and asked “So what are we doing today?” We haven’t separated since.
None of that made sense to me. You see before I start dating someone, I like to pick their brain a little bit, find out if we’re apart of any of the same circles, etc. But that never happened. Because this, he, it, was all…different. It felt right, and that made sense enough for us to be together. But…it was embarrassing.
You see my previous relationship was fostered around me being very, very, very unhappy. But I didn’t realize how unhappy I was until I had already allowed him to become the sole source of my personal happiness. So I was skeptical. I didn’t believe that true love existed. And I was jaded.
So much so that once I was in my current relationship, my boyfriend single handedly became my peace, my happiness and my best friend. And sadly…I didn’t really know how to respond to that. There were times when I pushed him away out of fear of doing something to damage the relationship. How backwards right?
And then I suddenly started to feel weird. I legit felt my body changing without really knowing that my body was changing. I was pregnant. I didn’t have a job, my lease at my apartment was about to be up, my car was getting on my nerves and I wasn’t married. We hadn’t been together “that” long and did I mention I didn’t have a job? I was EMBARRASSED.
This wasn’t in my plans, I wasn’t prepared and I had no idea how I was going to eat the next day, let alone how I was going to take care of a baby. So I didn’t tell anyone. You see, I knew what my options were: I could go against my morals and beliefs and get an abortion OR I could keep the baby and pray that God would equip me with everything I needed to make this work. I obviously chose the later of the two. Mainly because I’m an adult, and adults don’t get abortions, kids do. Any time you lay down to engage in intercourse, you know pregnancy is a possibility. Birth control or not. So in the event that you do become pregnant, getting an abortion just shows a heightened sense of irresponsibility. I wasn’t raped, I wasn’t forced, and I knew what could happen. And it did; It happened. I was scared, terrified and I cried about my situation almost every day. I was tired. Drained. Physically and Emotionally. It had gotten so bad that I had to ask my friends who would call to check on me, to stop asking me “how are you doing?”, because the answer was always the same: bad.
I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I knew I wouldn’t be in this situation for ever. I knew this was God’s way of preparing me for something greater. And I knew that he was only testing my faith. Some test I passed, others I failed. Part of me wanted to give up. But there was another part of me that knew that everything I’ve ever experienced in my life wasn’t for me. Every blessing or pain that I ever received, wasn’t for me; It was for the betterment of other people. I feel like God puts me through certain things just so that I can show others that greater is coming.
And Greater WAS Coming. I wasn’t sure when or how it would come, but I knew that it would. It had gotten to a point where I would have to choose between putting gas in my car or eating. And considering the fact that as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I was sick for the following two months and keeping food down was a daily struggle, the choice wasn’t hard. I made sure that I found a way to have gas in my car to get me back and forth to church every week, sometimes twice a week for Sunday service and Tuesday Bible Study. And any money I had left over I would pay my tithes with, regardless of how small the amount was. You reap what you sow right?
Anyway, I found out I was pregnant on a Saturday and spent the rest of my weekend, staying up until 2 or 3 am filling out job applications. Monday morning I got a call for a job interview, a week later I had the job. In the midst of coming to grips with the fact that there was a life growing inside of me, I knew time was of the essence. I mean…I could have sat around hoping that a better situation fell into my lap, but that’s not how I operate. I’m a workaholic and I’m always 2 steps ahead of the game. Whenever something goes wrong I whisper to myself “When in doubt, figure it out,” other times it’s “When in doubt, Google and find out.” (Same difference, but you catch my drift lol.)
So that’s what I did: I figured it out. I was still scared, still miserable and still afraid to ask for help. I’ve never had to ask for help in the past so despite my circumstances, I still figured I didn’t need to. Oh how I was wrong.
Someone very close to me didn’t support my decision to keep the baby. They told me I wasn’t ready, I was too young and I should wait. So every conversation with them was a never ending battle. Every time we spoke, I felt like I had to defend my decision to accept the responsibility of my actions. It was almost as if I had to convince them, and myself, on why this was the best decision to me. And I never thought I’d say this but, I’m grateful for those arguments. All of those tears, headaches and feelings of regret helped me develop a plan of how to make this work.
As a result, I moved back home with my parents, enrolled in Grad school, made some changes to the way my company operated and made payment arrangements to pay off my past due, “irresponsible college student” debts. My goal has always been to be in a financial situation that will allow me to go to “work by choice”, by the time I turn 27 and at some point I lost sight of that.
I figured if I moved back in with my parents, I’d save that $900 a month that I typically spent on rent and bills to put towards building my credit score back up. I enrolled in Grad school because simply put, I wanted to make more money. I changed the way my company operated because with a child on the way, I didn’t want my new role as “mom” to affect the time commitment I had, to put towards helping the company grow. So I rearranged a few things and developed a team that is just as committed to the company’s mission as I am, that way in case of my absence, the show will still go on. And I decided to start paying my debts off, not because it’s the responsible thing to do, but more specifically so that banks would automatically approve me for the business loans I need to take my business to the next level. Banks look at your personal credit before they look at the business’s portfolio. And the last thing I wanted was to be denied due to my personal negligence. So I updated my life plan to revolve around my unborn child. I realized that everything I did moving forward would have a direct impact on the life I was able to create for my him or her.
I guess the moral of the story is…life is what you make of it. Bad things only happen when you choose not to see the good in the situation. I didn’t view anything that happened to me last year as “good” for a while. But eventually I saw that light at the end of the tunnel and it came right when I didn’t even know I needed it to. I’m better now. So much better. And for the first time in a while…I am actually able to smile without pretending to be okay. So if I can do it, so can the next person.
Regardless of what you’re going through, remember to view life as Glass Half Full, Never Empty. You’re closer to your breakthrough than you know. So here is my year in review, bold, upfront and honest. I’m not perfect nor do I aim to be. I just aim to be me, genuinely and wholeheartedly.
Wishing you all nothing but the ABSOLUTE best in 2015!!
P.S. I’m still the same girl, although my dress may fit a little differently