At 15 years old, she left Jamaica and went to America with the simple hopes of making a better life for herself.
Two months in, New York proved that it was not going to do her any special favors. The bipolar weather didn’t care that she was from sunny Jamaica, high school kids didn’t hear or care about the beauty of her accent when they laughed at her and no one cared that she wanted to follow her dreams and one day become a nurse.
In an overcrowded city filled with people, she felt isolated and alone. But, she was determined to make ‘it’. She comforted herself by pasting quotes on her window pane like Gabrielle Union in Being Mary-Jane.
She got a job in a department store, and began saving for college. When she finally had enough money to start, she became pregnant.
To make matters worse, the child’s father moved away and a family member told her there was not enough room in the house for her and a baby to stay.
She was asked to leave.
Pregnant and abandoned, she went to live in a homeless shelter.
Terry was despondent. But, she was raised by a grandmother who taught her how to pray. She believed God would see her through and she was adamant that she wouldn’t give up on her dreams.
With limited cash in hand, and a baby on her hip, she moved to Florida with hopes of starting over.
She got a job as a nursing assistant, found a suitable daycare for her baby and enrolled in night school.
Two days in, she realized she didn’t understand anything that her teachers were doing.
She became frustrated, but she was not daunted.
She decided to seek help from a friend.
One week later, she was still not making headway. Her friend told her:
“Girl, if you can’t understand these simple concepts, you will never become a nurse. If I were you, I would drop out of school.”
She dropped out of school.
Terry packed her bags and moved back to NYC. There, she got another job working as a nursing assistant. But, she was unhappy. Bills were starting to pile up. She was on the single moms’ team and she was not living her dream.
She hid her distress in food and soon she ballooned to over 250 lbs.
Just as she was losing hope, fate stepped in.
People at work were amazed at how good she was with the patients. They told her:
“You should become a nurse.”
She made excuses:
“I have no time,” she said, “plus, my daughter needs me.”
One day, an older nurse came to her.
“Listen,” she said. “I think you need to go back to school. You would make an excellent nurse.”
“I can’t go back to school because I am not smart enough.”
The nurse looked at her befuddled.
“Are you crazy?” She asked. “I have a cousin who is as dumb as a skunk and she is a LPN (license practical nurse). If she can do it, you can do it.”
To further prove her point, the nurse called her dumb cousin who left her job and came to convince Terry to go back to school.
That was all the motivation she needed.
She decided to get rid of her self-limiting beliefs and take control of her life.
She enrolled in college, started her weight loss journey and in 2010 graduated from Nassau Community College with a degree in nursing.
Today, she stands the proud mother of a daughter on the Honor Roll, she just bought her first home and she’s at her ideal weight.
It doesn’t stop there, she’s now back in school doing her Master’s degree.
And, the minute Terry decided to love herself enough to live her best life, more love found her.
She’s engaged to be married next year.
Terry`s story is one of trial and triumph. It proves that you can live your best life if you believe yourself worthy and if you actively work to create change.
I leave you with the following words:
You owe it to yourself to live a fulfilled life. You owe it to yourself to make your life count, and to inspire those around you. Remember, you will never leave where you are until you decide where you would rather be.
Go forth and do great things. May all your dreams and wishes come true.
Join me next time when I go back to telling tales of living in a foreign land. I’ll share some stories of Jamaicans who are jaminating Japan.
Keep liking, keep sharing, and keep commenting and as per usual:
Live, Love and Laugh a lot!
A Piece Of Mine © 2016
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