In Fall of 2013 I had it all as a student. I was walking into my Senior year in college, I was a paid intern for a local NBA team and I was prepared to leave behind the college life and step into the adult world. Little did I know that my whole life would be turned upside down and everything that I had would slip away so fast.
As the days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, I never really stopped to notice that my priorities were all in the wrong places. I started to focus solely on my fitness and my internship, but neglected my education and my walk with God. I lied and told everyone that I was excited to graduate and that everything was looking good for me, but I knew that I was missing class and turning in assignments late. As the end of the semester started to get closer, I saw my walk with God take a major shift because I no longer leaned on Him and felt that I was okay with life and where I wanted to be.
In my first semester of senior year, not only was I not doing so well for myself, but I neglected a big part of my life and I paid the price for it because this was also the semester I was disqualified from college. This part of my life I kept from everyone and lied to God, myself, and my family and friends. I learned through the years that as much as I was ashamed of my past I knew that If I ever wanted to get back and face it all over again, I would need to come clean with everything in order for my heart and shame to be set free.
The year I was disqualified financially, I had a lot going on personally in my life that I failed to acknowledge, and it later affected my education and myself. My mom and dad were going through a rough patch, and as much as I love my parents, it was hard for me to hear one of my parent constantly talking about how they were done and going to leave. I used college and my internship as an escape to get away from everything that was really going on. Financially, I had no money, and in no way was I capable of supporting myself. With little money I made, I knew I couldn’t afford the college dorms or off campus housing. I briefly commuted from Bakersfield, and commuting in the winter over the grapevine can be challenging. On top of all this I was in an on again off again relationship were all I kept hearing was “You decided to leave me for your education.” That was hard on me mentally, and I figured if I didn’t have to face anything that I would be okay.
I know that for my family who is reading this that I let you down the most, because I literally lied to you all these years. Don’t think that I don’t feel bad because I do, and I know I also lied to God and I lied to myself the most. I always told myself that everything was going to be alright and I was 100% wrong. Over time I went into a depression and at one point I literally tried to run away from my past by moving states. Most importantly, I was showing my beautiful nieces and nephew that it was okay to run away from your past and to lie when it’s not. Those precious babes all looked up to me and know that I am here for them no matter what. I also knew that I needed to change... and I did. I knew that I had to get my life with God right in order for me to be free of the guilt and the shame I put on my family and myself.
I know that I messed up big time, and everything that I had that was going good for me I neglected and lost it all. I also know that my comeback is even better then where I was before. I can honestly say that I look at my past and can say I learned to forgive myself, because I can’t live in the past and I definitely can’t live worrying about what others may say or think about me. The fact remains is that in the time I was away from college and I grew more in my struggles then I ever have before. I learned that I couldn’t do this alone and I needed to lean on God for strength and guidance. I also learned that as much as I love money, I needed to go back and face all my fears and failures because I am a lot stronger than I think I am. Even though my nieces ask me even today “Why do you need to go back to Northridge,” I know that I am doing this for them. By me getting an education, I am letting my nieces and nephew know that failure is not an option and education is the key to life. I know that I am going to hit bumps along the way to walking across the stage but I will not let those bumps keep me from striving to greatness.To my family and my beautiful nieces and nephew,I owe you guys an apology.Just know that I am back stronger than ever and won’t stop until I walk across the stage and finish. I know through the years of me being home I learned a lot from you all and I grew deeper in my relationship with you personally than I ever have before in my life. To my brother and sisters, I’ve learned more about each of you in my time of struggle then I ever knew growing up with you. Mom and Dadjust know that as much as you two may drive me insane I know that you only ever wanted the best for me and you continued to show me your love no matter what failures I may face.Now to myself, just remember that God has your back and even though you may have walked away from Him, he has and will never walk away from you and will always be here for you. Remember to continue your education and continue just being you because you are beautiful inside and out and no one can ever take that away from you.As you enter into your Senior year again at Northridgejust know that the important things is that you came back and you refuse to let failure win.