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17 April 2011

My Road to Success

Mom&meBy Glenda Freeman

When reading the definition of success in The Concise Oxford Dictionary it is defined as, "the accomplishment of an aim; a favorable outcome (their efforts met with success)." My road to academic success has been a long and arduous journey. My first taste of college life was a complete disaster; I flunked out of college with a 1.5 grade point average. Upon leaving school, I enlisted in the United States Army and acquired many skills but most importantly gained belief within myself physically as well as academically. While in the military I was married and divorced, in the course of my marriage, I encountered domestic violence, and once again, it brought my self-esteem to an all time low.

It took many years to overcome the abuse that I endured, but I knew in order for me to be successful in life I must overcome and move on from the pain. From 1997 to 2002 I worked as a waitress at my mother’s restaurant, I knew that I was not able to face the outside world and being with my mother was my comfort zone. During my road to recovery from domestic violence, my mother was my savior and without her, I may not be here today.

I met my mother when I was 19 years old and that was not an easy process. The clashes between Asian and American cultures created some challenges between my mother and I, but with time, we learned to accept those differences and moved on to build a healthy mother and daughter relationship. Throughout the years my mother would always ask me, "When are you going to go back to school?" I never had an answer for her, because I was not sure what I wanted to do with my life and I did not want to fail again academically. I knew in order for me to successfully complete college I needed to have a goal and plan in mind.

In 2000, I left my mother’s restaurant and took a position as an Office Manager at an advertising agency. Working at the Richard’s Group I participated in different creative projects and enjoyed every aspect of the business. In 2002, I was laid off, due to 911 and I was not sure what direction I was going with my life. I met a neighbor of mine who had an art studio in her home and she invited me to come by and paint with her one-day. Now, I knew a little about art, at the age of, seven, I was to attend a special art school, but my father was in the military and he had orders for the Philippines.

While painting in her studio I found Glenda Freeman once again, it brought back memories of Sunday drives with my father. During one particular Sunday drive, my father asked me, "What do want to be when you grow up?" I responded to him an Artist. Being an Artist has been one of the most difficult professions I have ever chosen, but in so many ways the most rewarding. My mother has always supported me in all my endeavors, as long as I was happy that is all that mattered to her. From 2003-2006, I have received many achievements as an Artist, but I have always felt as if something was missing within my life. I have always had dreams of one day owning an art school and developing shelters for battered women, but I also knew in order to successfully accomplish these goals education is the key.

Since November 2007, I lost many people in my life that meant a great deal, my grandmother, grandfather, and a dear friend. The most significant loss that has affected me is the loss of mother from Pancreatic Cancer on July 3, 2008. There is not a day that goes by that I do not yearn for her, wishing she were still with me. My success in school is more than accomplishing my goals; it is also for my mother. My mother has inspired me in so many ways, she successful ran a restaurant for thirteen years with a sixth grade education, overcame alcohol and drug abuse, and survived Katrina.

With this newfound strength, I must focus on my studies to successfully accomplish my goals and attain what my mother always knew that I could accomplish. As I reflect back on my Artist Statement this one verse that holds true to my heart in everything that I do, "In the course of these painful changes, I have learned that the secret to successfully achieving a goal is perseverance. I continue along my journey knowing it is worth the risk and heartache, for one day it will all be rewarded." Learn and profit from the experiences in life.


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