The Power of 10

This year is a milestone year in many ways for me and the number ten appears to bee a significant one. Why is that, you might ask? It all boils down to two things—ten years ago I graduated high school and ten years ago I began working at my current employer, Kohl’s. In retrospect I have to admit that the girl I was ten years ago and the woman I am today appear to be polar opposites.

When I was eighteen I was cocky, somewhat obnoxious, and desperate for friends no matter how toxic those friendships could be. Ten years later approaching the end of my twenties I must admit that I am actually more socially awkward and starting to like myself as a person more. The person I am today has been shaped by the events of the past ten years and I feel like 2008 was an entire lifetime ago in terms of personal growth and maturity.

I wish that I could tell that eighteen-year-old that sometimes not fitting in is okay and that you don’t have to try so hard to make friends. I look at that girl in pictures and see someone who was trying too hard to be cool when in reality it was all an act. I see myself today and know that I am more self-assured and comfortable with the core group of people that I surround myself with.

I know much more about life and adulting then I did ten years ago. I pay a lot of my own bills, have my own dental and vision insurance, know how to save and budget my money, and have even paid off one of my student loans. Success for me comes in increments due to the fact that I have a nonverbal learning disability and a chromosomal abnormality.

This nonverbal learning disability affects every aspect of my life including my visual-spatial skills, my ability to navigate spaces, my coping mechanisms, and my ability to develop a social life. The only friends I have are my family members and my co-workers. I have no friends my own age and the only friends close to my age are online and live far away from me.

Despite all of this I must admit that I am very fortunate in the life that I have. I have a supportive and loving family who provides support and encouragement and can take me to all of the places I need to or want to go to. I literally work five minutes away from my house in a store where I am loved and respected by co-workers, managers, and supervisors. I have been the recipient of accolades from customers and my employer including winning associate of the month twice in my ten-year tenure at my store. Did I ever anticipate this ten years ago when I first started working there? No, I must admit that I did not. I had unrealistic aspirations that I was going to go away to college after two years of community college. I now realize that this would have been a mistake because I am in no way, shape, or form prepared for independent living.

When I look at my high school classmates on social media, I see engagements, weddings, children, expensive vacations, and their own homes. Do I want that kind of life? I do not because I like the feeling of being able to live my life on my own terms. I am still a person in a cycle of growth and learning and living a life where I am not judged or ridiculed for any flaws that I may have. I am no longer that young girl starving for attention; instead, I am a woman who knows that attention is earned by the successes in one’s personal and professional lives. I may not work in a job where I am utilizing the skills I learned in college but I am working towards a goal of finding that right job. Right now, I am in a good place where I do not have nasty supervisors and managers and know that I can always address any issues that I have at work with them and have them resolved in a manner where I am not degraded or reprimanded by anyone.

The power of ten is that it is an impactful number. It represents overcoming challenges both personally and professionally and continually learning the skills that I need to succeed in all aspects of my life. It means that I have accumulated a wealth of experiences and wisdom that I can transfer to my next employer whenever that may be. I look at the stressful work lives of my family and am slowly realizing that I have a job that overall is not overly stressful; instead, it is a routine job where I know what to do and how to proactively resolve any issues that I may encounter. It is a job where I am valued and constantly reminded of that by co-workers and upper management. Life is a series of changes and challenges but for now my life is one that is fulfilling, educational, enriching, and so many other positive descriptors. A decade is a long time and I hope that the next decade brings even greater rewards and accomplishments in my life and the lives of my family members.image1v2


Christmas Blessings

Christmas is coming and I’m filled with good cheer

Thinking of all of the blessings I’ve had this year

Life hasn’t always been easy

Things haven’t been in my control

But when I truly reflect

I realize what my blessings are

My family and friends

My life and opportunities

Things have never been this way before

Christmas blessings like presents fade

But relationships have no end

Will life always be like this

No one can tell

But blessings will always be there

Fighting for you till the end

Never letting you go

And keeping you from

Losing all control

Yes, these blessings

Are incredible

Can’t thank my Lord enough

For the blessings he has bestowed upon me

I pray every night

And hope

That against all odds

Everyone will have a shot

At having Christmas blessings of their own

Getting Older

Getting older isn’t easy

Like chasing dreams that seem impossible

Life is moving too fast

I’m just trying to catch up

I wish I could turn back time and rewind

To the days when everything was easy

Things sometimes seem so hard

I wish for good things to come

Getting older is so hard

With each passing day I wonder

If I’m doing enough to make my life

As great as it could be

So grateful though to have my family

Constantly at my side

With them as my support

Getting older will be easier

Because I know I have people

There for me and ready

To be the comfort I need

In my most trying times

Your life can change in the blink of an eye…

This was first published on Blogcritics:

Lauren Scruggs’s Still LoLo is quite an inspirational and moving memoir. In the aftermath of a terrible life-altering accident, Lauren and her family managed to maintain their faith in God and know that he is still there looking after the family. Lauren’s story is sad at times but also radiates positivity when you see how supportive her family is of her and her actions.

The memoir emphasizes the fact that even when confronted with great disability, there is still a chance to have strong ability. Lauren was badly injured in an accident where she was walking off a plane and walked into the still spinning propeller. She fractured part of her skull, had major damage to her left eye, and had her left hand severed. It was a horrific accident that changed her life forever.

Before the accident she had been a vibrant, energetic, and passionate journalist who had created her own lifestyle magazine with a friend from college, LoLo Magazine. Her parents had divorced when she was only four which certainly impacted her and her identical twin sister, Brittany. They remarried when the sisters were eleven, which was the answer to their fervent prayers, and any hard feelings their parents held towards one another seemed to have been resolved. The sisters had attended the same college although Lauren had been indecisive about what she wanted to do with her life and had spent one spring interning in the fashion industry, which helped to grow her passion for style and beauty.

After the accident when she was lucid enough to realize what had happened to her, she went through a very dark period where she struggled to deal with the pain of losing her eye and hand and having the left side of her face scarred. Her parents, sister, and friends were tremendously helpful to her during her recovery, and with time she learned that she would still be able to do many of the activities she had been involved in before the accident.

This book proved to be a beautifully written story of faith, hope, and love–and shows that even in the darkest of times there is still a light at the end of the tunnel. Though the accident changed the Scruggs family, it also brought them closer together as they encouraged and supported Lauren through every step of her journey to recovery.