There is always a beginning and an end to everything. A beginning and end of the many stages of our lives. The stages that we go through to get to the next thing. For me these stages were never so defined. I kind of just bumped and rolled and tripped my way through. I survived because I had the nerve not to quit. I survived because I didn’t know any better. I learned at an early stage in my life, as I was on my own at 14, to always work hard.

I watched a cousin of mine work hard and her bosses loved her for that. They loved her and I wanted that too. I wanted to be loved even if it was from a boss. She worked hard and she always had work. I learned from that and so that’s what I did. I wasn’t that great in the beginning but I took it to a level that worked for me.

Not only did I work hard but I worked at restaurants so that I wouldn’t go hungry. I wouldn’t starve if I worked with food in some way shape or form. I would get paid and still get a meal and be able to get through school somehow. I had hoped anyway.

The end of the first stage of my life I would say was between 8 and 9 years old. It was the end of my childhood. The drinking ramped up in the house and my mom confessed to me the secret of my father. My real father. She ran away from home one day and took me with her. On bicycles we rode to a mans house. She never told me until we got back home that day that this was my real dad and I was never to tell anyone. That was our secret and nobody was ever to know. Childhood ends here at 9 years old there were now adult expectations laid upon me.

Stage 2 the ugly torrential teen years I was on my own and trying to survive and not starve and or be killed. That ended when I turned 22 and I learned how to travel. I learned that there was a world out there without turmoil and grief and destruction of everything that I held dear. I learned how to fall in love and to send love packin when it cheated on me.

Stage 3 started and continued til I hit 28 and I found a bigger part of the world and that ended my life at 29. Stage 4 I regrouped and survived a near death experience and found that I had a right to be where I wanted to be and that I belonged in the world just as much as the next guy. It didn’t matter where I came from or what I knew. I had the right to break free and travel and work hard just like anyone else. I was good enough.

End stage 4 and begin stage 5 a crossroads. Why am I really here? To continue to bounce around the world aimlessly? No I survived all of the mess I came from so that I could help others pull themselves out of their way. I want to help people find their own value, just like I found mine. I’m here to help shine a little light. I’m here because I chose to stick it out and learn that I matter and that I can make a difference even if nobody ever thought I could.

I got an education later in life. Not a fancy one but its a piece of paper that says, Ha! she finally sat her ass down in a class room and shut her mouth long enough to learn something from a book. Fucking algebra again! I got through it though. Not in a way that most did, but I got through it.

Here in stage 5 at 48 years old,  I feel something new coming. I am kind of excited and nervous all at the same time. I cant imagine whats next. Maybe real love, real unconditional love. I am ready and I will take my chances. I am prepared to move forward just as fearless as before and receive all that is good for me and my soul. I am here now walking the way toward the next good thing.