Now that my story has been laid out so beautifully, I can see the details that make up the fabric of my life. I see the strength and courage it took for this little girl to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I see where she was misguided, yet still fought with everything she had to make it. But most importantly, I see that what she was once shamed about and considered negative by others—has become her strengths. 

Now, others admire those very same qualities in adult me.

Kids are under a lot of pressure to perform. It can be a challenge to say NO! to adults and those with more power and control. As a child, I knew I wanted something vastly different from what was put in my path. But I navigated a rocky landscape trying to shape myself and get where I wanted to go. And it was those very same obstacles I faced that enabled me to develop the traits that ultimately contributed to my success:

Being a loner taught me that I could be comfortable in my own company.

Being self-driven proved that I could and would make it on my own.  

Maintaining an inner discipline amongst the surrounding chaos strengthened the undefeatable skills I utilize today.

Being sexually promiscuous gifted me with a great appreciation of my sexuality.

Being a chameleon gave me the gift of walking in other people’s shoes.

Being a high school dropout proved that I don’t need someone else to teach me: I am an autodidact and can learn on my own.

Experiencing financial distress, purchasing clothes from thrift store shopping, and receiving hand-me-downs gave me a great appreciation for giving to others. 

Not being heard or seen taught me to stop and listen to people, and to appreciate that they too have struggles.

Being a mess and directionless resulted in the knowledge that I only need to plant a seed, not find the solution.

Being of my own will, I’ve learned that I cannot give life answers to others, but can offer them the opportunity to strengthen their own self-will.

Having to work and go to school full time has taught me that a structured and disciplined lifestyle works very well for me.

Not wanting to live any longer has given me the gift of appreciating the things I once took for granted: Sunlight, cool breezes, beautiful oceans.

Staying in defensive mode and functioning according to my environment taught me to turn inward and listen to my intuition.

Being misguided as a child taught me to sit in stillness and find my own answers.

Enduring sexual abuse taught me that I can do anything that is uncomfortable.

Running has taught me never to settle today.

What are the negative thoughts you have about yourself? How about negative things you’ve heard about yourself from others. I encourage you to turn those beliefs around and see how you can make them your biggest strengths.