Feeding America

Getting Ahead

January 21, 2019

“I am a single mom of three children. I have had so many hard times in my past with situational choices that made me feel like I was stuck in a box with no one to help me get out of it. I was jumping from job to job, losing jobs because of personal issues that was happening, plus I would just blow my money that was in my pocket. When I got my taxes every year, it would be gone in one day on things that were just items I did not need but felt like I needed them. But what happened when the money was gone and the rent was due or light bill was due, the items I wanted went straight to the pawn shop because I needed to pay my bills.

It felt like I was not moving or going anywhere in my life. It was the hardest time of my life until one day my daughter’s Family Supporter at school asked me if I wanted to join a class called “Getting Ahead in a Just- Gettin’- by World.” I filled out the application and was accepted into the class.

In the beginning of this class I walked in without knowing what it was going to be like. I have learned a lot from taking this class, learning to have a better understanding of what, who, when, and where I as a person, or even a community, stand. When I entered the class I was in a bind and did not know where I was headed for my future or even my children’s future.

When I attended classes and met everyone who was in my class it was nice to see a small group just like me. People who were in an area of their lives in which they did not have the resources to get help or have the support of people in their inner circle of life. I learned a lot in this class. I learned that I am not the only one who is going through this situation in life. I also learned about budgeting my money, understanding how to start a budget and maintain it. I learned about how many places are out here that are trying to keep you where you are and not let you get ahead of it, they try to keep you in your box and make you still be where you started. I learned about how to talk to people in many ways to maintain a civil conversation with professional language. I learned about all the hidden rules of life.

I also learned about MYSELF… and to understand how to place each puzzle piece in the right place to fix what was missing. So, overall, I took the time to understand what the meaning of this class is about…. It IS FINDING YOURSELF AND LOOKING FROM THE OUTSIDE IN….

So, now that the class is coming to an end, I have truly looked at my life in a whole new way by taking myself and placing me beside myself to watch my life as it unfolds or how it unfolded in my past. You cannot keep looking from just your point of view because it’s all different

on the outside. Take a risk and place one foot outside of your box to take those baby steps to success. We all need positive support in our lives but we don’t seek help because we think we’ll be judged or placed in a negative situation. I took the time to step outside of me and look from another perspective. I looked at my life as a whole instead of looking at it in pieces.

This year is going to be a struggle to get ahead of where I was but I have a start right now. I am still a single mother of three wonderful children and I have a full-time job that I love and look forward to going to every day. I am stable with a home for my children. I am not going to lie or sugarcoat anything for anyone.  I still do struggle in life because I am just now overcoming my hardship in my life. I am what you call the working poor. I am still at the bottom but gaining in to the middle. I can say that I am stable and my children are happy.

When my taxes came in I spent them in the right places instead of the wrong places. Instead of going out to just blow it I told myself, “I must keep my house, my car, my lights, gas, water and mainly keep my children safe.” So, when I got my taxes I looked at my budget plan. I paid my rent for a year, I got a new car which was needed, I got all my utilities paid, paid off my couches, plus put some away for emergencies when needed. I did all that by taking the time to look at my life from the outside in and it helped me understand what I want my life to look like in the end. I took the challenge to step out just one foot – that is all it takes.

So, when you feel like you are nothing, always know that you are something and have a place to be in life. Right now your life is hard but you can take that step to make the change, you must want change to accept change. Never give up on the simple things and strive for the hardest ones that make you want to just give up. I hope the future GA Investigators take the one small challenge to just place one foot outside the box to help you see your life from the outside in…

My favorite quote now is, ‘Every inch will help you reach that mile, place one foot outside of your comfort zone to take a chance.’”

~ CMW,
Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’ By World investigator

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