I came to the United States as an immigrant in 1995. I was 12 years old at the time. The catalyst to the whole event was that our house burned down leaving us homeless. At the time, my dad was already working in the US, and so he made arrangements for us to move to Florida.
The transition was a complex one, leaving everything I had known behind.
I have worked pretty much my entire life. I began sanding wooden furniture at the age of 6 to help my grandma who was paid by the piece. She worked for a factory in the Philippines at the time.
When we moved to the United States, I pretty much worked along side my parents in various jobs to make ends meet.
At 17, I began working as a hostess at a Japanese restaurant. I started college to become a nurse and took on a second job working for a construction company during the day.
When I finished my college I passed the NCLEX and became a Registered Nurse and was hired by Shands Hospital.
Eventually, I moved on to work as a GI nurse at a surgery center.
While my career progressed steadily, I struggled in relationships. I felt like I couldn’t be happy in a relationship. I supposed it was because I couldn’t find the “right person.”
It all came to a head when I experienced a breakup that left me spiraling downwards. I remember going to Books a Million and buying 7ish books about healing your heart.
I’ll never forget what the cashier told me as I was leaving the checkout area. She said, “I wish you luck.”
I was searching to understand what was happening.
Fast forward a few years. I got married, got divorced. Nothing had changed.
It wasn’t until I got married for the second time (to Paul) that I realized I was experiencing the same issues that I had experienced in all of my previous relationships.
Like a good detective, I did the process of elimination and came to the conclusion that there was one common denominator with all these guys… It was ME!
I realized that our marriage was headed for the same ending as my previous relationships.
Like any good human, I asked God for help… I asked him to give me a sign.
I saw a post on FaceBook from one of the doctors that I worked with. He was inviting people to an evening session to learn about a program for self awareness.
Unfortunately, I ended up in the wrong session, so I had to go to 2 different sessions. The second session, my husband joined me.
It went horribly sideways in the beginning. During the session, people were invited to share what “wasn’t working” in their lives. Paul decided to share about our relationship. I was a minority female in the room of mostly men.
When Paul complained about the relationship, all of the guys chimed in agreeing with him.
I wanted to kill him. Thank God, the leader saw what was going on and redirected the conversation away from Paul’s complaints about me and moved him towards what he was contributing to the situation.
The leader’s name was Kim. I remember when she looked at me, it was the first time I felt like I mattered.
We went ahead and went to the seminar which was a weekend and evening session.
It ended up being a pivotal moment in my life.
From then on I realized that there was so much to learn, so much to discover about who I am, and why I am the way I am.
It gave me an opportunity to erase the chalk board to some degree and rewrite the story… rewrite my story.
The question only becomes, “Who do I want to be?” And the action becomes, what must I do now?
My hope now is that the feeling that Kim gave me by looking at me with that “You Matter” look, I will be properly equipped to give to you in whatever form, you need to experience it.
If you are here and have made it all the way to this sentence, I congratulate you (many quit way early), but you are willing to go the distance to know what is like to be handed the keys to unlocking your potential and opening up endless possibilities for your life.