I’ve been asked many times throughout my life where my inspiration comes from or what inspires me. I think that has changed over time and sometimes depends upon the situations or circumstances I encounter. However, I always come back to the strongest form of inspiration I have had over the last twenty-eight years, and that inspiration comes from my children.

I think that when we are all young, we develop a picture of what our lives are supposed to look like. Some of that is developed by our family and friends, and some of it is developed by the world we live in. Many of us go to school and try to figure out “what we want to be when we grow up.” We all have our initial ideas of what that looks like and the path we need to take to get there. For many women, that may include going to college, getting married, and having kids. I can tell you that my vision of my life now is far different than what I had envisioned at a young age. I did not plan to start a family at the age of twenty but that is exactly what happened. I had my first daughter at twenty and welcomed my second daughter at twenty-two. I knew I always wanted to be a mom, but not necessarily as early as that. I am a strong believer that what is meant to happen in your life will happen—whether you are “ready” for that or not.

I was blessed with two beautiful daughters and though it was not as I had planned; I could not have been happier. It ended up being myself and my girls on our own for many years. Once again, my path did not flow as I had originally intended it to but instead, taking detours and curves that I had not anticipated or chosen. There were many tough days where I found myself wondering how I would overcome obstacles but each and every day that I felt I had absolutely nothing left to give or push forward, I found my inspiration in my daughters. 

I was not able to achieve one of my early goals of completing my undergraduate degree because my focus had shifted to motherhood. My priority became my daughters and getting us through every day, facing every challenge and making each day better than the last.

Fast forward to 2014, I remarried and had my son. Meanwhile, my daughters were 19 and 17, one completing her first semester of her freshman year of college, the other completing her first semester of her senior year in high school. I was overwhelmed with joy to welcome my son and learn all that being a “boy mom” would bring me. I had not progressed in my career as much as I would have hoped, and I had the realization that my college degree was still very important to me. I felt that it would also allow me to show my daughters that no matter what difficulties or obstacles I had faced in that area of my life, I could still accomplish that goal as a full-time mom, full-time employee, and all of the other responsibilities I had at that time. So, I enrolled at Western Governors University at the same time I was expecting my son. 

Over the next five years, I worked full-time while being a full-time mother AND a full-time student. Around the time I was wrapping up my studies for my undergraduate degree in Business Management, we also welcomed my youngest daughter to our family in April of 2018. Although it took longer than I had initially planned, I completed my degree in Business Management in February of 2019. I cannot begin to explain the feeling of pride and accomplishment after completing my last exam for my degree. Not only did my children inspire me to accomplish a goal I had set when I was 18, I also realized that having my son and youngest daughter many years later made my degree mean so much more to me. They also inspired me to take the next step towards obtaining a Master’s in Business Administration. Though I have a couple of courses remaining to complete that goal, they inspired me to aim higher and propel myself further than I could have dreamed.

On each and every day that I found myself questioning whether I could do it all or meet all of the needs and expectations that my everyday life demanded of me, my children reminded me that no matter how tough it may be, I could do anything because I had their love and support. I wanted to be an inspiration to them to show them that everything they dream of is entirely possible when they work hard, despite circumstances or situations they may encounter in their lives. They inspire me to turn every bad day into the best day and use that to power myself forward and never give up.

Here I am today, in a job I love, with children I absolutely adore who have far exceeded any goals they have set for themselves and continue to crush anything they pursue in their lives—and I could not begin to describe the immense joy that brings me every day. They have surpassed any hopes and dreams I have held for them. I believe we have inspired each other and will always continue to inspire each other.  I don’t know if they truly know how much of an inspiration they are to me, but I try to remind them as often as I can that I would not be who I am today without them.

I am excited to welcome, any day now, my first grandchild and I hope that our inspiration grows through them. I am beyond blessed and truly thankful for all the detours and curves of my life path because it has turned out far better than I could have ever imagined when I was young. I hope that anyone who reads this can find inspiration during their great days and not-so-great days, whatever that may be. Never give up; find what inspires you to get up every day to face anything that comes your way because even if it wasn’t part of the original plan, I’ve found that it is even more beautiful and amazing than anything you could have imagined.