Updated: Mar 6
It is difficult to follow the success of my first ever contributors blog post. PLEASE! Go check out, “Finding the Needle of Success in A Haystack of Failure” by Christian Downs. His story of transformation is amazing, and his post is now the most-read post on this blog and I couldn’t be prouder.
Do you ever stop and think to yourself, “I can not believe this is my life. How is this my life?” If you do not think this, then you may not be living life to the fullest or may need to take on a different perspective or remember where you came from and how far you’ve gotten. All of which I have done in the past couple of days.
Friday, I could not stop thinking about how crazy it is that this is my life. Friday, in my global health class, I learned about the socio-economic conditions of the poor and overall world health. I learned that there are people in Haiti living with no toilet and that there are people living with no toothbrush. But then again, the definition of poverty changes from country to country. And none the less, every version of server poverty is a version of someone living in conditions that are not conducive to success. There are people in the United States, one of the richest country’s in the world, living paycheck to paycheck and unsure of where their next meal will come from and then it all comes full circle.
When I was a kid, I remember the constant feelings of fear, panic and stress. Fear of not having a home, or lights. Panic of the knowledge that the gas dial is on empty, and we may not make it to school. Stress thinking about not making it to school for lunch, the only meal that made me feel full. Those are the feelings often associated with those living in poverty around the world.
I was that poor kid. And all a sudden I find myself going to a school I never thought I’d be able to afford. I find myself in a warm bed. I find myself not stressing over the electricity. I find a fridge and pantry full of food. And I find myself smiling. I find myself without panic. I find myself secure.
My husband took me out on Friday night to celebrate our anniversary, and he took me to the fanciest place I’ve ever eaten at. It was beautiful, and every bite of food was pure bliss. I cried over dessert because I never thought in a billion years I’d be where I am. I never thought I’d actually escaped severe poverty. Sure one can dream, but it doesn’t mean dreams come true. But all of a sudden, mine have come true.
Every day is a day where I wake in disbelief as to what my life has become. I live every day more grateful than the last. I live every day with the constant memory of poverty, and therefore, I am humbled, and continue to be driven by it. I hope one day to help the problem. To lift people out of the cycle, that I have escaped. And therefore, I’d like to announce that I have every intention of running for president in 2036. I know it seems far away, but time travels quickly and therefore I am ever so conscious of the importance of planning.
I’m going to run. I’m going to run, and my goal in running is not to take a side or assimilate to one political party. My goal in running is to speak to those who need hope. I hope to utilize my story, (which is not done being told) to help those in the depths and pits of despair. I do not want to just elicit hope but I want to act. Act in hope. I will never be complacent with the status quo. Change must come and I hope that can start with me.
I am already in action. I spoke with state senators and delegates last month on the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant, and continue to be vocal. I am ready for whatever comes my way on the journey to the election and hope you will stick around to see me make it. Live to the fullest, always remember where you’ve been, and always show empathy. This recipe will allow you to think the following:
“I can not believe this is my life. How is this my life?”
Song: Stand Up (From Harriet) By Cynthia Erivo