When I was young I thought love was about loving someone else. But then I grew older and realized that love was not just about someone else. It was about loving me too.
I was married, divorced, and raising four children alone by the age of twenty-six. What the heck was I gonna do with my life now? What was my next step? These are some of the questions I asked as I found myself sitting on the floor of my living room. I had recently been let go of my job as an Administrative Assistant in a Detroit area high school. My ex-husband had not kept his part of our divorce agreement to continue the mortgage payments on our home and I was stuck... No money, no family support, and nowhere to turn. I had to figure something out and quick!
My ex-husband was not in favor of me working or continuing my education, even though I had other plans for my life. I always wanted to finish college. When my oldest daughter was three and my oldest son was one, I was told in a roundabout way that working and going to college wasn't something a mother should do. I felt bad but in the back of my mind, I thought that's what a good parent should do--work and educate themselves to provide a good stable environment for their family. I was wrong, I guess.
I needed the courage to move on. Well, now that I was divorced, there were things that needed to change. After two years of trying to rediscover myself, I enrolled in college to finish taking my associate's degree courses. My goal was to become a teacher, to help the youth by teaching and mentoring them. During that time, I began the process of accepting myself the way God had created me--flaws and all. I began wearing my hair in natural styles, like braids and an afro. I wore African skirts and jewelry and embraced my culture with hanging pictures on the wall that showed my culture of black men and women in African garments. Yes, my ex-husband was black, but I had to fit his mold of what he wanted me to be and how he wanted me to look as his wife. Now I was free to be me. Fully me. I was learning who I was and happy to be back in school.
2. Learning to Love Again
In my second semester of college, I met a man that was insistent on talking to me during our class. He was nice and we eventually became study partners. After a while, he wanted to date, but I told him I wasn't ready. My mind was focused on raising my children and finishing school. Well, let's just say he waited for me. He taught me how to let down my walls, and to trust in love again. He always looked at me with endearment and showed me that he was real. I slowly introduced him to my family and to my children. It was nice to allow myself to feel love again and to be loved. He proposed to me one year later. Presently, we celebrated our ten-year wedding anniversary on May 22, 2020. He has never stopped loving me and he has kept his word on showing me what true love feels like. He waited patiently for me in 2008 and continues to fight to keep our marriage together by sticking by my side during the rough times. Marriage is not easy, but this time, I have someone willing to weather the storms with me.
My road to self-discover was and still is a process. I practice it every day. I say positive affirmations and I spend time with myself to love on myself. I set goals and I stick to them, I do things that satisfy me and bring true meaning to my life. I was once just a wife and mother in my eyes. Now, I'm much more...
3. Going after my dreams
I continued my educational journey when I graduated in 2010 with my Associate of Arts degree. I went on to Grand Canyon University and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, and I graduated with honors from Southern New Hampshire University in 2019. I received a Master of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in fiction. I'm now enrolled at Murray State University taking Ph.D. courses in English Pedagogy and Technology Writing. I am a part of the National Council of Teachers of English, The National Society of Leadership and Success, and the National English Honor Society. I am sharing all this to say that I had to start all over again. I had to go through some trials and tribulations. I had to endure and forgive myself for the place that I was once in. And most of all, I had to allow myself the chance to be free of the pain, the abuse, and the suffering that I had endured in my life. I had to forgive and let go...
Against all odds, I became a teacher and a mentor for young girls and women. I lived my dream and became a self-published author in 2014. I am the founder of Discovering Beautiful Minds, which helps writers publish their manuscripts. I learned to live freely. I learned to enjoy life. And most of all I learned to love myself first. I enjoy my family, my career, and helping other women discover their self-worth. I enjoy traveling across the world and living my life with purpose.
5 Life Tips towards finding self-worth
Forgive others and forgive yourself. This will release you from being bound to any hurt and pain that you have experienced. This will allow you to go after your dreams and live your life to the fullest.
This is a form of meditation and will allow you to release your thoughts on paper. Sometimes you may not be willing to share your experiences with others and you may not feel comfortable speaking to a counselor. However, journaling is the first step that you can take if speaking to a counselor is not viable.
3. Speak to a Counselor
When you are ready, I implore you to speak to a counselor so that you can have someone that doesn't have a biased opinion of you and will listen without judgment. Speaking to a professional is a healthy form of release to help you overcome your pain.
Self-care comes in many different forms. It's not just about pampering yourself. It's about learning to spend time with yourself. It's about saying "no" to others when you need to relax. We sometimes feel that we have to say "yes" every time someone needs us to do something. Listen, don't feel guilty if you don't have a reason for saying "no". "You are" a good enough reason to say "no". Other forms of self-care are meditation, finding a hobby, reading, writing, knitting, going for a walk or jogging, etc. Remember, self-care is all about you.
5. Do What Makes You Happy
setting goals such as going back to school, completing something you never finished, changing or starting a new career, joining a club or organization that speaks to your heart, volunteering your time by giving back to a cause that you feel gives you purpose, etc. Whatever you choose, do what makes you happy.
This list is not in order, nor is it complete. There are countless things that you can do to help you on your road of self-discovery.
To all my ladies who have needed a little nudge in finding themselves or rediscovering themselves, I want to encourage you today. There is hope. There is a life of peace that you can live. I am rooting for you and I know that you too can accomplish your dreams. Your life is full of purpose and you are unique. You can achieve anything you set your mind to do.
"You're never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream." ~C.S.Lewis
Go after your dreams, ladies!
If you are interested in becoming a published author, Discovering Beautiful Minds can help you achieve your dreams. You can contact me or set up a free one-hour consultation from my website below. I will be happy to go over your plans and assist you in getting your book published.
I write contemporary women's fiction and realistic fiction. Through my writing, I hope to spread the message of forgiveness, healing, finding your self-worth, and bring a change to women's inequality. My writing reflects my feministic views and how I view the society we live in today. I utilize my writing platform to bring a voice to the continual fight for equality for women.
Be on the lookout for my next novel, My Life Without You, which is a contemporary women's fiction novel. Also, I'm working on a memoir that will speak to women about how I overcame struggles such as physical and sexual abuse. Telling my story has helped so many women, and after many requests for me to catalog my life in a book, I decided to publish my memoir at the end of 2020. There is also a self-help book that is in the works for 2021.
To keep up-to-date with my writing journey, you can subscribe to my newsletters on my author website:
~Adrienne L. Edwards
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