Fact #1: I am not sharing my stories in a desperate attempt to be liked. In fact, I am quite okay with you not liking me. I like me--very much so. And truth be told, that is all that matters to me. But, on the other hand, if you do like me after reading my stories, than that is a wonderful bonus that I welcome with an open heart and a sincere thank you.
Fact #2: I do not share my stories to garner any type of sympathy. I am not a victim of my life. I have willingly chosen the path that I walk along and, with that, accept all the consequences that come my way. I take full responsibility and accept full accountability for my life. I love it and have no regrets, only blessings. I am not looking for anyone to pat me on the back, high-5 me or shake my hand. Nor would I expect anyone to pass judgement on me as no one has known the road I have taken to get to where I am today. We all have our crosses to bear and no one is perfect; let's not pretend otherwise.
I was asked to share my stories after giving an impassioned speech to the Upper Dublin Board on behalf of the NIS. My slant was to be that of a single, working mother. (Note: For those that may have issue with this term, that is your issue, not mine.) I was more than enthusiastic at this opportunity and jumped at this chance.
I know that there are many of you readers out there that are in similar positions as mine, that may at times feel conflicted in life and don't know how to communicate what you're feeling. I try to do that for you, and hope that we can relate on some level, or, at the very least, let you know you are not alone in your struggles. And I always try to put a positive perspective on whatever I may be going through because I am a woman of faith, one who strongly believes that life is a beautiful struggle. And that the only thing worth fighting for is the discovery of self.
I have willingly opened myself up to sharp criticism. I know this comes with the territory. But what we need to remember is the human component...the core: the heart. To judge someone is meaningless. At the end, you are not judging me, you are judging yourself. I am not perfect nor claim to be but I am okay with that. I am imperfectly perfect, a work in progress. Everyday I try to be a better person than the one I was the day before. I am spiritual, religious, faithful, reflective, respectful, compassionate, forgiving, empathetic and hopeful. I am inspired and inspirational. I am human.
Love me or hate me. The choice is yours. But I will go on, with or without your acceptance. Because I have my own, and that's all I need.