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"Strength is often found most in the hardest times..."

 Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My Sweet Bailey, 
I hope your view of your Mother is that of a strong, confident woman who has stubbornly shown you how women can achieve whatever they want to. This is not a letter to you about feminism, or equality, or anything else socially or politically driven, sometimes I think those things put an added pressure on us all, men, women, adult and child alike.
Instead, this is a letter to you to tell you that although I hope to be a strong role model throughout your life, sometimes I am weak. Hopefully I keep that from you and you will grow to be confident and self assured, but also kind, and compassionate. But you should know there are some days when I am, frankly, an emotionally mess. I have worked my way from a single teenage mom, who was a waitress and begged to work every free hour she had to take care of your brother..... to working in a office environment as a Secretary for the last 8 years. I take pride in knowing that I have never been handed anything in my life...I have worked and worked hard for everything that we have. 
As I sit here and type this, I find myself in a gray area again. I don't know which way my life is going. Change is in the air. I am searching for another job....and to some that seems so trivial to worry about...but for me, Its a shake up in the foundation that I have worked so hard to lay for our family for so many years. I do not have a college degree. I do not have much experience in many fields....and I do not qualify for many of the jobs available on the market. I feel like I am once again back to square 1...wondering where this wind of change will take me. 
This pressure sometimes gets to me. I know what I am good at. I know what I am passionate about....but I also know that although I love these things, it will not give me the security I need to raise you and your brother and afford me with the benefits I need to take care of myself in the future. 
Your dad and I are very lucky, we get to spend a lot of time with you even when we are working. I was hired at my current job because of my knowledge, experience and based on merit. My worries are based on my own insecurities.  While I work my full time job, I also have a part time job. That is where my passion truly lies. In helping people....In seeing their eyes light up with absolute joy of realizing they can do the impossible. And while I am off making this dream of mine come true....your grandparents are a God send. You see, I have had so many people that have helped in this area of my life. I will never be able to repay the gratitude I feel for these family members and friends. They know who they are. I am beyond blessed that you have such a close relationships with your Grandparents and other close family members that live near by. Do I still feel guilty for the efforts your Grandparents need to make so we can thrive in our chosen work fields? Yes of course I do, I can only hope they know how appreciated it is and how much of a difference it makes. It has enabled us to get where we are and carry on providing you and your brother with a certain quality of life. Do I still feel the pressure of our heavy workload? Of course, but I count my lucky stars that we have the opportunities that we do. 
So which side is the lie? Is the happy highlights a myth? Or is the self doubt, struggles and hard work the illusion? The truth is, they’re both my reality. The self doubt sometimes keeps me grounded. The precious moments I share on social media keep me motivated and the struggles remind me it’s all worth it. 
The definition of a strong, confident person does not mean one that never doubts themselves, it doesn’t mean someone who never has a bad day or find their choices difficult. Strength is often found most in the hardest times. Someone who has constant success or continual highs has no need for strength. Someone who has never had bad times, has never needed to overcome them. As your Mother, I will fight to my last breath to keep you safe and give you and your brother as idyllic a childhood as I can but the truth is, as you grow up, the lows will be just as important as your highs for getting you where you need to be.
So I hope the view of your Mother is that of a strong and confident woman. I will be sure to tell you about each and every person that has helped me along...... But for you, my highlights reel will be accompanied by at least a sneak peek of the backstage pass, the parts you can learn from, the bits that could give you strength. The struggles that so many like to keep hidden. I'm sure there will be some days when you will feel weak, when you will question if you are making the right decisions, you will probably even have seasons in life where change blows in like a hurricane; in those days I want you walk the course with a understanding that you are not walking that path alone....that your mother has often felt that way in so many steps of life. But she wasn't a quitter and neither are you.  So my beautiful girl, in your weakest days, remember that you are strong. In your most insecure days, remember that you are confident. Remember these things when you can’t remember why you’re doing whatever your doing, and know that through all of it, you are unquestionably, and unchangingly loved.
All my love,


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