Life carries with it highs and lows. I often think of “Maslow’s Hiearchy of Needs”. The first rung is referring to your basic needs. Just when things seem to be going good and I advance to the second rung I find that my “basic needs” need a little readjustment. This led me to develop “The Self-Improvement Project”. Armed with a pen and a notebook I wrote down the things that I needed to change. The duration was to be one year and the goal was to see a dramatic difference at the end of that year. I needed to focus on myself to be better for my myself and my children. To do this I decided to refrain from any romantic involvement during this year. Relationships just complicated things for me.
I then put all my worries into an invisible balloon, visualizing each one as I put it in, blew up my balloon, and released it into the atmosphere, letting go of all the negativity that was pulling me down. This is the first step. By letting go of the bad I was freeing up room to let in some positivity.
Letters to those who have somehow let me down in life were written, but never sent. They were for my eyes only, but I said what needed to be said. I also wrote letters of appreciation to those who had changed my life for the better. I did send these out. I needed to say thank you for the things they had done for me unselfishly and I had taken for granted. I was so consumed with myself and I was uncomfortable letting them know how knowing them had impacted my life, so this was actually very hard for me to do. Some letters were returned, my grandmother even hung hers on her refrigerator, but others went unanswered. I guess I had just burnt too many bridges to this point. I used people to get ahead in my life and now I was paying the price.
I didn’t mean to hurt people. I was very young, single, and had three children to take care of on my own. Money was tight. Many people had looked out for us. I came to expect it.
I had also ballooned up to my highest weight. I was unhealthy. I consumed every bit of information I could get my hands on to lose weight and get in shape. My mood began to improve, not to mention my self-esteem. I weighed myself every single day, watched what I ate, and walked with my kids twice a day. My relationship with my kids began to improve. When I got asked out I told them the truth. I told them about my plan. I’m not sure they believed me. But I stuck to what I believed in. By the end of the year I lost thirty-six pounds. And I was at my goal weight. Anyone who has ever had a weight problem knows the kind of accomplishment I had made. I suddenly felt like I could do anything.
Strapped with a new confidence and in my best health since having children, I switched jobs, naming my own hours and pay rate. I found myself in the position of making more money than I had ever made in my life. I decided to buy a house and finally set the foundation for myself and my children. No more moving, no more switching schools, I built a foundation that we could build on. My mom always said “Everything always works out for you”. No, mom, I make things happen.