The Spirit of Trying

MJ (Mary Jo) - Louisville, Kentucky
Entered on March 23, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65

For This I Believe …

I believe in the spirit of trying. When I was 22 my husband of 3 years told me he wanted a divorce. We had a 2 year old daughter and I was devastated, this was not how I had envisioned my life. Growing up I dreamt of getting a college degree, having a career, marrying someone who would be my best friend and having 3 kids. None of this was happening. It may sound trivial now, but this was my dream.

Fortunately I had a good paying job that could support me and my daughter while I tried to put our lives back together. My grandparents had emigrated from Italy to provide a better life for their children and grandchildren so I felt compelled to pursue one piece of my dream, a college degree and I went back to school at night. Through a lengthy search I finally decided I wanted to obtain my degree in Food Science at Ohio State. Starting from scratch on this new dream meant moving to a new city, knowing no one and not having a guaranteed job. I was scared to make the change. One day while contemplating whether I should make this leap of faith in myself I read something that has changed my perspective on life, “SUCCESS – If you have tried to do something and failed you are vastly better off than if you have tried to do nothing and succeeded” (Anonymous). At that point I decided even if things didn’t work out as I planned I knew I had to try.

The transition to my new dreams has been a rocky road. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my journey. When I started out I was still young and thought that once I had my degree all of my new dreams would fall into place. I would get my perfect job; I would marry my best friend, and have more kids. I did receive my Bachelors in Food Science from Ohio State, but all the other things I had planned did not quickly fall into place.

Over the years I‘ve learned that I would never get everything I wanted exactly the way I wanted it. But I also realized the core of my being had become that I always tried, sometimes I achieved my goals sometimes I had to change course and try something new. I have received so many blessings in this journey of trying. Through the years I have had wonderful friends, family and coworkers who have supported and helped me, but others who have hampered my way or hurt me. I have had fantastic opportunities and setbacks. However, I feel if I had not tried I may not have seen my daughter grow into a beautiful, independent mother with two great kids. I may not have been blessed with so many supportive, helpful relationships or my biggest joy, marrying a man who has become my best friend.

In this time of great difficulties in the US and throughout the world I remain hopeful. If our first course does not work, then we will try another and another…, because I believe humankinds true success remains in our spirit of trying.