CH. 1 “ADVERSITY”
noun: adversity; plural noun: adversities
difficulties; misfortune."resilience in the face of adversity"
synonyms: misfortune, ill luck, bad luck, trouble, difficulty, hardship, distress, disaster, suffering, affliction, sorrow, misery, tribulation, woe, pain, trauma; More
To sum it up, the SH*T that happens to you. You are left to decide how you respond to it. After all, that is what life is summed up to be. A series of “unfortunate” events where depending on how you choose to respond…that determines the outcome. Fortunately, I wasn’t always this wise. I was naive and I learned the hard way. The adversity I had been dealt with began in my toddler years. I was raised by a single mother and came from a “broken home”. I already had the odds against me. My dad was briefly around my childhood years, he came in doses. He missed a lot of milestone events and broke many promises. I began to work at the age of 14 to help my mom out with expenses. I left my hometown at age 18 and moved 4 hours away to go to school. My parents did not help me with anything. I was scared to death but I took the chance. I did not want to have the odds ruin my chances of a bright future.
I’m 24 years young and I’m proud of the ADVERSITY that I have faced in a short amount of time. It makes you develop a thick skin and realize how AMAZING life really is. I unlocked the cheat codes to this game called “Life” just about a year ago.
I was in my last semester of college, working full time as a cocktail waitress at a fine dining steakhouse and as heartbroken as it gets. BUT there was something I always had; hope. Hope that there HAD to be something amazing waiting for me. I went about every day thinking... something greater than I could imagine at the time, would be at the end of the tunnel. Trusting the unknown future was something I had to practice doing. I knew that the most successful people usually had the hardest stories (or at least my favorite MC's did).
One evening I got home from an 8 hour day of school, I was exhausted from working all weekend, heartbroken after a break-up and feeling stagnant. I remember sitting on my couch sobbing until I had no tears left to cry (literally). It had become a routine. There wasn’t a day I didn’t cry. I would cry at work, in my car, in public places, it was all I knew. I kept my tough-girl front since I was 4 hours away from my family and I just had one semester left…JUST 1 MORE before graduation. I couldn’t continue to play the victim. I would ask God “Why me?”. That popular ole question, I always asked God repeatedly since I was extremely UNHAPPY. Every night I prayed that he would help me and lead me to where I could be happy. That night before bed as I washed my smeared mascara off my face I realized I was tired of looking at my face with my eyes red, swollen and full of tears. What are you doing Andrea? It wasn’t the externalities that were making me suffer, it was ME. I was repeatedly hurting myself but continuing to soak into my negative thoughts.
The next day I woke up I gave myself a pep talk. I bought a journal and began to write in it every day. I started to list at least 10 things I was grateful for that day. “My mom, my warm bed, my job, the ability to get an education, being able to financially take care of myself, family, friends, etc…” That day I realized I had MORE than most and I was choosing to bring myself down each day, but why? I began reading self-help books and became more comfortable with my adversity. I was making the choice to
DO SOMETHING about it, rather than sit and weep. I changed my thoughts each day and any negative thought, I quickly blew off. I began realizing that each time an unforeseen circumstance was thrown my way…Something great always came after it. I changed my mind set that day. Your thoughts DO become your reality. Every morning after finishing my gratitude list, I started writing affirmations in the present tense; “I am successful, I am happy, I am important, I am resilient” and so on…you get the point. Today, I am in awe of what I have turned my life around to. I graduated college, I accepted my first “big girl job” offer days before graduation, and I am able to travel as I always dreamed of.
What I am trying to say here is….It doesn’t MATTER what cards you have been dealt with. It's how you choose to RESPOND. Pain makes you stronger, it makes you wiser, and it makes you resilient A.K.A "A Badass". When things don’t go the way you planned and you’re thrown a curve ball, adjust your “catch”. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, believe that life works in YOUR favor. No matter the good or bad, it’s going to lead to your happiness. I’ll leave you with a daily affirmation that I say each day. “All things lead to my success, wealth and happiness”.
As the great Rumi says;
“Live life as if it is rigged in your favor”