Perceptions are your Reality

When I was a little girl, I never imagined my life would be what it is today. I am a blessed woman in many ways.  My life is not perfect, but it’s pretty darn good. It hasn’t always been this way.  It took me some time to get to this point. It was not always rainbows and unicorns and happiness in my heart. There were times of uncertainty, times of sadness, confusion, delusions and pain. Still today, I face these things from time to time. I realized a long time ago that all of these things help me be strong. All the things we experience in life help shape the people we become, and they build our character.  I know that sounds so cliché, but it is somewhat the truth. I say it is somewhat the truth because it is our perceptions that create our realities. It’s not only those situations, tragedies, or challenges in our lives that shape who we are, but it’s how we choose to perceive those things we experience. As I have gone through life, I could have chosen many times to be bitter or angry or even embrace the victim mentality. However, I know and realized early in my life that doing so would eat me alive and diminish the light that lived inside of me.
As a little girl, I experienced what many other children face on the daily. My parents were splitting up, and they divorced when I was seven-years-old. This was a hard time for me. My dad was my world, and I was scared at the thought of him not being around every day. When I was with him, I felt like I could conquer the world. I remember climbing on the roof and hollering at my dad below. I would shout to him to catch me as I jumped off of the roof.  I got such a kick out of this. I could do this over and over again knowing that my “PA” was there to catch me. My dad and my Tata Longo built the very first house we lived in. It was surrounded by dirt fields close to South Mountain on Desert Drive South.  Growing up, we made homemade bases and would play baseball and kickball in these fields. I have many amazing memories of that home. Even still to this day I drive past, and I can still envision me jumping off the roof and riding bikes.  It’s like I can still hear the laughter and feel the love that I remember feeling living there as a child.

My life was uprooted as my parents were splitting up, and we moved to North Phoenix. I was seven-years-old, and I was confused that I didn’t get to say goodbye to my friends from what I can remember. Coming from the Southside, I was used to being around people who looked like me. The North side was not like this at all. I am not sure why they decided to move to this side of town, but it wasn’t but a few months after moving into our new house that my dad moved out. It was one of the saddest days of my childhood. New surroundings, new people, new friends, new school, new house, and a new family set up that I was not fond of. I was a little girl who suddenly became unsure of myself and everything around me. I didn’t understand. It made me angry. It made me cry. I did not know what assimilation was, but as I reflect, I know that I was attempting to assimilate with the other kids. I knew I was different, and I felt it. I would bring a chorizo and egg burrito for lunch while the other kids had fancy sandwiches or other lunches that didn’t look like mine. They would look at my food and make rude remarks. I felt embarrassed in a way that I didn’t “fit in”. Thank God I had a strong mother who encouraged me and spoke life into me. She would always say “different is good”. During  this transitional period in my life, my mom encouraged me to have a strong relationship with my dad.  Looking back I see how this has helped me in many areas of my life. It is important that children have positive relationships with their parents regardless of the situation. I am happy my mother and father understood this concept.  Many times, parents try to drive distance between the other parent and their child resulting in only hurting their child more in the long run.  Children are used as a weapon to cause division. To this day, I thank my mother who encouraged me to stay close to my dad. I also thank my dad for being there when we needed him, and he is still there to this very day.

At the end of the day, it is our perceptions that create our reality. I could have believed I was not good enough because I felt different. I could have believed that my dad did not love me, I could have believed that he left me, but as I grew I knew these thoughts would consume my energy and kill my spirit. I chose to believe that maybe my mother and father were not the perfect match, but I was blessed with great parents. For that, I am forever grateful!

Today, I embrace being different. I embrace myself and differences when I feel I “don’t fit in”. I don’t want to “fit in” anymore. I don’t want to conform. I don’t care if I’m not part of the cool club. I like being different, and it doesn’t make me uncomfy anymore. There are many other things that are far too important. Life may not always work out the way you want. Life may throw you a curve ball or fast ball every now and again. Remember to stay positive in life. Choose the perceptions you hold in your mind and your heart. Changing these for the positive can change your life forever. Be inspired today, and stay encouraged.  Encourage someone else today.  Remember your worth and all that you stand for.

#vamonos #LETS GO!

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