I am Relevant! (A personal journey)

After the storm

I am relevant! I am alive! Staying positive through all this craziness called “LIFE” is very hard to do. However, it is possible. Everything is possible. You just have to keep the FAITH!

Punch your fears in the face

Punch your fears in the face

Very few know my life story. This is me attempting to punch my fears in the face by sharing a little. Do I struggle with making it in this world? Is it hard to show your vulnerabilities?  Absolutely, yes I do and yes it is. However, my firm belief is that life is a gift from GOD. With COVID-19 on a roller coaster ride and currently surging, no one truly knows the outcome of the life they are given. Thus far, God has blessed me. I can only refuse to give up and to NOT give in to the demands of this ever-changing world. You just have to believe you are relevant enough to exist in this world.

Can I overcome life’s obstacles?

I have overcome so many things in life, just as many of you have done. It is not for me to say my life is any better or any worse than any other. We all go through trials and tribulations and it is our own resilience that drives us to overcome. I continue to remind myself that I am not a judge or jury and can not sit in judgment of others. Each person carries their own regrets from any unresolved issues. It is a matter of whether you learn or have learned from those regrets and problems faced over your lifespan. Can we find a way to overcome ignorance to enhance our human nature and avoid giving in to stigmatisms? I can honestly say I have no regrets in life. For each problem was outweighed by goodness, mercy, and forgiveness.

“As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.” –Dr. Steve Maraboli

Adopted at birth and then returned to the custody of the state at 15. Essentially given up twice. But internally, I found strength in myself. It took me a while to learn about FAITH. To learn about God walking beside me as I faltered. I blamed myself for so much. Constant berating of unworthiness as a child can lead to dissent and the inability to function on a perceived “normal” level. Don’t get me wrong. My childhood wasn’t totally terrible. I do remember some brief moments of laughter when my sisters and brother were nearby.  (“step” sisters and brothers are just as equal as real sisters and brothers in my humble opinion.)

I redirected my brain and forced it to excel in school. Totally engrossing myself in books and grades, I tried to get the attention I needed through being “smart”.  Forming a rebellious attitude against my parents by NOT succumbing to their criticisms was self-taught. My adopted parents truly should not have been parents. All children have a rebellious period. However, most rebel negatively. But, I dug deep and rebelled to find positive things. Only God could have helped me do that as I found myself all alone in a group home in my teenage years. I eventually wound up in a group home that truly believed in the children they served. Praise God for that blessing.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” — Helen Keller

Childhood molestation and twice raped caused me to have many social inadequacies. The anger, contemptuous thoughts, and pain running through my mind was overwhelming.  Just breathing brings on a new meaning when you look at life from this perspective. First, this is an example that life may seem hopeless. Trust me when I say suicide crossed my mind on a couple of occasions. How do you lift yourself off the ground? How do you live on?  After all, how could I let anyone get close enough? With multiple religious teachings and social workers, you find a way to keep pushing forward. Digging deep within myself, I was able to feel the rays of sunshine on my face. God held my hand when no one else could.

Second, a feeling of loneliness can overpower you. As a child, you just want to be loved. And when that love never shows up, life can become a downward spiral. You must find a new “family” to work within and find a way to feel the love. Introverted, I still needed to live and work in a society that wasn’t going to slow down for Lil O’ Me.  Adopting an attitude of positivity gave me strength. The strength to believe I was worthy. Learning to trust other people again was my biggest obstacle. Many adults in my childhood years were able to manipulate my insecurities and I could not/did not know how to avoid it. Learning to trust in me, myself, and I probably was/is the most promising lesson learned.

Can I Inspire others?

There are many things that I am skipping. After all, my whole life story is not so important. What is important is to learn, grow, and to help others.  Lashana N Gardner promotes the belief that you are not created to just sit back and watch everyone else’s dreams come true. She believes you should punch your fears in the face.  This is me punching fear in the face by sharing what I keep intimately safe. Stepping forward is my way of helping myself and others adapt and overcome. This is me helping myself to grow and thrive in a roundabout way.

the word "inspire"

Inspire word

My military career has taught me many life lessons. With nowhere to go, I joined the military quickly after I graduated high school and it was truly a man’s world. “The good ole boys” ruled. Seven years of active duty and another almost 15 in the Army National Guard demanded many new principles to adopt in my mind. Women were secondary and pushed to the back of the pack. Many units were not allowed to have women. I struggled to find my footing and gain control of my abilities as a woman and as a soldier. I struggled to believe that “I could” succeed and move up the ranks. Many times I had to take a step backward in order to march forward by two steps.

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” — Albert Einstein

My fortitude and determination drove me to stay the course. I demanded more of myself than I ever knew I could. No matter which way the winds blew or the military posts assigned to, my drive to persevere was in control. Mind over matter, no pain – no gain, was ever-present on a daily basis. There were many obstacles and many things that tested my faith. A 100-mile road march (Nijmegen) with a 35-pound ruck and full battle gear through Germany and Belgium can toughen you up physically. But, without the mental fortitude to push through the pain and blisters, I probably would have quit. It didn’t hurt that the scenic views, people, and the sheer beauty of the country gave me a positive attitude.

Trying not to judge people by their actions is a hard task. After all, actions speak louder than words, or so they say. The first two-week training exercise I did as a first sergeant with a new unit was eventful. I had to prove I was capable to lead. So I walked around for 10 days with a severely sprained ankle (even the bottom of my foot was black and blue). I just couldn’t go down. I was afraid they would see me as weak. Yes, it is human to have a weakness or two. Surprisingly, I had not figured that out yet.

“To hurt is as human as to breathe.” — J.K. Rowling

Sometimes, as we can all attest to, words are just as powerful and can feel like a powerful punch in the face. Many times I have opened my mouth and I should have inserted my foot before I spoke. But, when I hurt someone else with my words, I find myself really upset and unsure of how to fix the problem. My only explanation is that God stays with me. He never leaves my side. And it is through him, I find the strength to try to repair my words with actions.

I am a retired first sergeant and am a person who has learned the value of hard work. The core values of the military still stay with me today. I aim to inspire others. I completed my bachelor’s degree at age 49. I asked my kids to complete college and so, I had to do the same. Again, actions speak many words. Thus, the lesson learned is that it is okay to show vulnerabilities and weaknesses.

How did I Persevere?

“You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.— Dale Carnegie

Today, it’s a whole new world as the military has adapted to the ever-changing needs of ALL soldiers to fight as ONE. The perception that females can not hold their own has somehow diminished with the demand for equality.  The first female green beret, the first female fighter pilot, to the first females to get through the Army ranger course; generational gaps are closing, and acknowledging women as a whole is becoming prevalent in today’s world. There are so many issues relevant in today’s world and we must accept that everyone is trying to fit in and find their place in this world.

It is so important to push through the negativity and find a way to bring hope and prosperity to those seeking redemption and retaliation. Whether it is an internal struggle within oneself or a demand for the rights of others, we must promise a better day tomorrow. It took years of trying to find the right guidance and people that would hold me up. I had to learn to adopt an attitude of positivity. In so doing, I have managed to stay married for over twenty-seven years and we have four children. We adopted our fourth and youngest child. It was our way of giving to someone who was in need.

“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move on.”– Tupac Shakur

Like most families, we have had our ups and downs. We have lost a home through bankruptcy, survived off peanut butter & jelly, ramen noodles, and stuffed ourselves into a 3 bedroom 1000 sq ft home for over three years. Going from 3000 sq ft to 1000 sq ft was not easy, believe me. We have experienced the loss of family, friends, and pets. All while raising 4 kids and trying to teach them the value of putting your best foot forward, no matter what. That is why giving back is so important. I firmly believe if you can’t help someone else in life, then your life will have no meaning and you too will become lost.

“No Legacy is so rich as honesty”  William Shakespeare

I have been burned many times but I remain committed to the meaning behind the word “HONOR”.  As a small business owner, my company is always looking for growth. Searching for Realtors with the same core values is not so easy. But I have learned the easy road is not always the best road. I have no interest in lining my pockets off the hard work of others.  My interest solely lies in building a better business that creates loyalty, mentorship, and a spirit of community service that helps others.

Resale inventory is at an all-time low and many investors are struggling to receive rent payments. Homeowners are refinancing their homes to get what equity they have, just to feed their families. With the surging of the coronavirus, the housing market still remains intact. Just last week, over one million new cases of unemployment were filed. Over 50 million have filed for unemployment over the course of this pandemic.

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you … never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn”. –Harriet Beecher Stowe

I am pushing forward. I have worked hard over the last two and a half years to build a foundation based on honesty and integrity. Life will test your pride and your mental fortitude. Turns out, I am no different than the many of you that strive to overcome and succeed. We are all here for a reason. God and my family are my reasons. I may not go to church every Sunday, but I stand by my FAITH that there is someone out there with higher powers. Someone that can be the judge and jury so I don’t have to carry that burden.

My life has purpose and meaning and revolves around helping others. Reach out if you need help. If you want to help, donate to our GoFundMe project to help feed the hungry. We can’t all work for a company that relies on perfecting outstanding service. But, if you have diverse ideas and relevant standards of practice then please reach out and join our team. If you are looking to hire an inspirational speaker with no speaking experience, by all means, convince me to take that step. At H & I Real Estate, LLC. we take pride in professionalism and work hard to provide the best service to our customers. After all, we are ALL relevant, individually, and collectively. You just have to believe!

typewriter with words typed

don’t give up

About the Author

I have been a Realtor in Central Florida since 2006. I live and work in Polk County. I am a straightforward person who refuses to cut corners and places emphasis on honesty and integrity in the home buying and selling process. I firmly believe that it is my duty to serve others and to use my negotiating skills to obtain the best price for the sale of any home. I will take disciplined initiative in all aspects of any transaction, invests timeless effort to build a strong and lasting relationship with all clients, and streamline all aspects of the real estate processes with exceptional skill and diligence. I take pride in professionalism and continue to educate myself and adapt to the ever changing conditions of the real estate market.

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