I have had the privilege to be able to live in multiple areas of the United States. I say a privilege because it has shown me many different types of lifestyles and how we are all different and yet the same. But that is for another story. Moving so many times was not easy but it is what I and my family had to do to get to where we wanted to be. Hence the title Life is What You Make It.

 Listen to those words closely, Life is What You Make It because too often times people get caught up in the lifestyle they are currently in and see no end in sight but I am here to tell you there is an end in sight if you only allow there to be an end.

 We do not have millions in the bank, we do not even have thousands in the bank at this moment in time, but we are doing okay as a middle-class family. I stay at home with our two children and we live in a four-bedroom home with two baths, a kitchen, a dining room, a living room, and a playroom. It sits on a 0.5-acre lot. We are considering closing in our garage and turning it into another room but for now, our house is wonderful for us, a family of four. Now, I do not tell you this to brag, but instead, I want you to read and take in this story then you will understand the title life is what you make it.

 As a child nobody including my mother, yes that is correct, my own mother, thought I would amount to anything in life. My parents divorced when I was 2 years old and my mother could only see my father in me and still to this day only sees my father in me. Anyway, I was not the straight-A student everybody wanted me to be. In fact, there were sometimes I was lucky to even make C’s in my classes but by the skid of my teeth, I managed to pass my courses with little to no help on the home front.

 Homelife was not the best growing up for me. In fact, I kind of enjoyed going to school just to get away from my home. The home was not a place that I liked to be at. When I was in the 6th-grade things really became worse. I was already taking care of my sister and myself when my step-dad was at work and now it gets worse. How you ask? Believe me, I did not expect what was coming next.

 My mom literally went psychotic and even checked herself into a mental institution, my step-dad took care of me until other arrangements were put into place for me because nobody wanted my dad to know mom was in the hospital because if he had found out then I would have wound up with him and while that probably would have been the best thing for me, no one looked out for me including me at the time.

 So, my mom’s in the hospital, my step-dad of 12 years just ups and leaves my life, and I am not allowed to tell my dad anything that is going on. I wind up staying at my grandfather’s house until mom gets out of the hospital where she comes and greets me like nothing ever happened.

 I tried moving with my dad but that was stopped when my mom told me if I moved with him she would put him in jail for back child support. In the meantime, my mom’s step-cousin comes to live with us and she was not very stable at the time put two unstable women in the same house and you get a psych ward literally in your own living room. So we go through this for a few months and then mom informs everybody that we are losing the house.

 That’s right my mom checked into the hospital, my step-dad left, bills were not paid because mom stopped working, and now we are losing the house. Somehow through all of this, my sister and I managed to keep our grades in good standings. I missed more school that year than I had ever missed before because mom would want me to stay at home with her to keep her company. My sister never had to miss but see I was the oldest so I was supposed to take care of my mom instead of going to school. I was in trouble with the truancy office and mom missed every meeting they assigned her.

 Then through all this craziness, my mom meets another man through the divorce group she had to attend for parents that are divorcing. Great place to meet a guy right? Well, he was not the nicest drunk around but mom did not care all she cared about was herself and her needs/wants. She is the type of person who needs a man. So they marry, divorce, marry again, and divorce again.

 After the second divorce, we moved in with my grandfather, moved out and in with my grandmother, then we moved back in with my grandfather where thankfully we stayed for a while.

 Then, like being married twice was not enough she started sneaking around and seeing that jerk again. Now we moved into an apartment with him yet again because the first two times were so successful that you divorced him both times. Anyway, I moved in with my dad basically at this point. I was at the end of the 8th-grade year.

 High school was great other than I really did not know how to socialize due to the fact I was not allowed to really socialize while living with my mom. Oh and let me add that because I lived with my dad I technically lived with my grandparents through high school cause my dad never did get his own place after he and mom divorced when I was two.

So, no you can see why people expected me to fail. Well, I am here to tell you that you can prove people wrong. I now have a bachelor's degree in science with a major in business administration and a concentration in healthcare administration. I am a stay at home mom and working on starting my master’s degree. I 100% supported our family financially when I had to because of a knee injury my husband had but can honestly say I am glad to be a stay-at-home mom at this time. You can do whatever you put your mind to no matter what type of background you come from. Remember to dream big and reach one dream at a time and you will be fine in life.

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