"When the distractions are gone, you can realize your unlimited potential." - Russell Simmons

Part of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is redefining the future. It's amazing; what seemed important then, is no longer important to me now. Debunking people’s opinions of me when they clearly have such a low opinion of themselves, is not my job or anyone else’s job. Finding validation to sustain yourself can only be found within ONESELF. And seeking it out via negative or drastic measures will most definitely NOT get you the validation that will sustain you, I can assure you that.

I’m all about making lemonade out of my lemons, these days. I wouldn't say I've gone mad (like some would like to believe) but rather I’m having a normal reaction to an abnormal event in my life. And to be perfectly honest, I'm going about it the best way I know how. With this new chapter has come encouragement by family members, friends and even strangers to find a new direction in my life. I have taken on this challenge full heartedly and with much faith and hope.

So many people in my life have inspired me, to keep going, to keep dreaming and to keep moving forward. I’m humbled by their encouragement and faith as these are people that have experienced far more traumatic things than I could even fathom (you know who you are). Their stories have shown me that pain or loss (in any form) is not endless and it will eventually ease. It is ultimately impossible to undo what has happened BUT….with the right attitude, right reactions and the right people surrounding you - life can be good again, in time.

Everyday you have a choice; to take a chance and to continue the path of least resistance and to continue moving forward. Building stability within creates a light that fuels life. Regardless of what others throw at you or what they say remember that you are in control over what gets inside- and what lives within.

I have so much to be grateful for in my life. The act of forgiveness is one that I will continue to practice and hopefully master. As it’s the one way that I know that I can truly relinquish all control that any one person may have or have had over me. Some days I’ll slip. And that’s ok. I’m learning to forgive ‘myself' in those instances, as well.

I feel more positive and more empowered today than I have on any other day since I started this new chapter in my life. And if my strategy for maintaining my happiness doesn’t work in this chapter, no sweat- I’ll learn from the experience and try again in the next.

Getting back to my roots, reconnecting with where I'm from and trusting in myself and my choices again has been the ultimate key. The endless amounts of inspiration I have been shown from witnessing and learning of others’ struggles has been the catalyst to the hope that I am given on a daily basis.

Inspiration truly is everywhere.