Twenty-three years after dropping out of high school, I finally enrolled in college. In between, I got married, worked as a waitress, had three children, and adopted a fourth. My first baby got cancer and had three serious operations between the ages of two and five. What she and the other kids in the hospital went through touched my heart, and I knew I wanted to help kids who were dealing with serious illnesses.
I had always thought that school was useless and that I didn’t have the smarts to finish, but I started to see that the only way I was going to make something of myself was to go to college.
When I was in my thirties, I got my GED and became a certified nursing assistant. A few years later, I took the big step and came to college. It was scary sitting in classes with people my daughter’s age. They had such young minds and it all came so natural to them.
One day while trying to do my math homework, I found myself saying, “I can’t do this. I’m too stupid.” Then I remembered my affirmation. We were reading On Course in my developmental English class, and the affirmation I wrote was, “I am a persistent, confident, hardworking woman, and I love to learn new things; I will be successful.” At that moment, I felt like a boulder had been lifted off my shoulders.
It took me four hours to finish that assignment, but I wouldn’t quit. I passed the next math test, and that made me feel more confident and work even harder.
I applied my affirmation qualities in English, too. I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn’t put it on paper. I’d write, revise, tear it up, and start all over. But I wouldn’t quit! I swear I worked more than one hundred hours on some of those essays, and pretty soon I started to turn my thoughts into what I really meant.
Sometimes it’s a real struggle to work thirty-five hours a week, raise my kids, and go to school, too. Then I think, “This is going to get me what I want in life.” I want to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, then go on for my RN degree and work in a hospital with those kids.
I keep my affirmation on my refrigerator so I see it every day. With my affirmation staring me in the face, it reminds me I’ve come this far, and I’m not going to give up now. I really am a persistent, confident, hardworking woman, and I do love to learn new things. I will be successful!