This I Believe

Sandy - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on January 20, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that every situation in my life, no matter now dismal, has been is an opportunity to discover what I am made of, to dig deep inside to the core of my being, to achieve goals beyond what I think I am capable of, beyond my wildest imagination. I believe that with a little effort, I can find a positive in every negative.

I grew up in the average American family in a small, remote, town in Arizona. We moved from Chicago, away from all extended family. Growing up in isolation was depressing and caused me to become very introverted. I found solace in academics and excelled, earning a Presidential scholarship to Arizona State University. Lacking in social skills and confidence and looking for an escape, I married rather than continue my education. We moved to San Antonio away from all family. The marriage produced two wonderful sons, but failed miserably. I then found myself at what was the lowest point in my life. I felt like a failure, had no money, and one friend. I have always been an eternal optimist who takes action when the chips are down, so I obtained a full-time job and started my new life.

This path has been filled with rich experiences and rewarding moments. I have four beautiful, healthy children, and we are a very close family. Family comes first. We take care of each other and focus on giving to strengthen our team. I have also progressed in my career and am continuing my education. I obtained two professional certifications and proceeded to enroll in college, where I am working to obtain my bachelor’s degree in management. I have gone from struggling to support my family to enjoying the fruits of my labor and not having to worry about what we are going to eat or how I am going to pay the bills. The path I have chosen has not been all smooth— I have battled physical ailments, and near death experiences (nearly getting hit head on by a car going the wrong way on the freeway and, most recently, a carbon monoxide leak in my house on Christmas Eve 2007). These times have been reminders that life is fragile and have served to fine tune the focus of what is important to me. I am self-reliant and have made myself into someone I actually like by starting with nothing and digging way down deep inside to find strength, determination, and the will-power to create a great life, setting and achieving my goals and dreams.

I have a mantra that I embrace and use to encourage others: “It’s not how we start out but how we end up.” I believe that everything I need to succeed is found in who I am and will become. I am not just looking at the goal, but closing my eyes, taking deep breaths, focusing on the positive and completely enjoying the journey along the way.