In November of 2002 I had a little girl, Kaitlyn Sue Faith Edwards. I had struggled for years with her father who was an addict and very - let's say - "not nice." I was weak. This is not to say that those who stay in abusive relationships are weak, but I was. I knew better than to stay in a situation that was so damaging to my body, soul, and spirit but I did. I was afraid to leave - as if somehow it could get worse . . .it could not.
On the morning of Katie's 6 week check up, her dad refused to get up and help. I had worked pretty hard to get things ready. All the bags, myself, and Katie, very careful not to disturb him. 20 minutes before I needed to leave, I woke him up, or attempted to. He didn't budge. Finally I yelled up the steps that I was leaving. A fan, yes a plug in the wall, standing fan came flying down the stairs.
Those of you who know me are probably very confused that I allowed myself to live through a season like this but wait for it, here comes the epiphany . . .
The fan hit the wall, inches from me, leaving a dent. Suddenly, I wasn't mad. I wasn't sad. I WOKE UP. Right then. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. I looked at Katie in the car seat - roughly 7 lbs of motivation, and I said very calmly, we're done. I picked her up, her bags, and took a clock off the wall and didn't look back.
For 4 years Katie and I lived "poor." I use that term loosely because although we didn't have much money, life was SO GOOD. We lived at my parents for a while, which was hard because my father and I have very similar - sarcastic - strong personalities BUT it was so much better than where I came from I didn't mind. After about 6 months, we lived in a trailer my grandfather gave me. It was old - 1979 ya'll. It had plastic on the windows and when the wind blew I heard it move the blinds in the dining room.
We ate mac and cheese and cereal most days. We watched Dora the Explorer at 6:00 am like it was our job. My grandfather would randomly leave toilet paper and other necessities on the front porch and fill my car up at Go Mart every 3 days.
I worked 3 jobs (one selling brakes at Advanced Auto Parts) while I finished my teaching degree and when I did, Katie went across that stage with me. At the time I had $25 in my bank account and it felt GREAT!!!!
Living poor made me strong. It made me life smart. There is no possible way I would have figured out how to start a business, quit my full time teaching job, grow a business, get weddings across and out of this country, make more money in a month than I used to make in a year, had I not lived poor.
If you are in that "trailer" stage of your life. GIRL, it's coming. You CAN change that situation if you want to! Anything is possible!!! If you are poor in the bank account, it's ok. This is NOT the end. Hear me shouting from my tiny corner desk - "YOU CAN DO THIS." Whether it's finishing a degree, starting a business, or leaving a crappy relationship, you CAN do this.