Focus on the Good

posted in: Choose love | 25

Choose Love Series

 

 

I was 20 years old when I became a father. I was finishing up my sophomore year at the University of North Carolina, when my then girlfriend told me the news. Abortion was never an option and neither was skipping out on my responsibilities as a father and companion.

Neither of our parents were in a position to help us out financially. However, I was on scholarship and everyone encouraged me to finish school and earn my degree. I got a part time job and my girlfriend dropped out of college and began working full time at a bank nearby. I felt like such a loser. She had dreams too. I promised her that as soon I graduated she would be able to go back to school.

I graduated and was able to get a pretty decent job, but there was no way we could afford a baby, rent, full- time daycare, and a college tuition. She began to take a few online courses but we both knew a college degree was a long ways away.

She never said it, but I think she really despised the fact that I was able to graduate and through this whole experience she had to sacrifice so much more than I did. Or maybe I was just projecting my insecurities and regrets onto her.

A few years later I began to really hate my job. My company switched management and everything was different and so much more stressful. My new boss was a tyrant. He would require us to work longer hours, made up impossible to achieve deadlines, and basically just treated us all like crap. I would spend my free time searching for other jobs but I knew that I had a really good job (that others would be thrilled to have) and leaving was never really an option.

Everyday seemed more horrible than the last and I began to grow resentful. The only reason why I took that job in the first place was because I needed to make money fast. I needed a career that would provide for a family, not a job that I loved and was passionate about. I tried not to take my frustrations out on my family but I was so miserable and began to wonder what the point of any of this was. I would basically wake up, go to work, come home, watch a show, go to bed, and then wake up and repeat. Not only was this not the life I imagined, this wasn’t even a life I enjoyed.

My outlook on my life completely changed the day I received my first raise. The raise was big enough that my now wife could go back to school. The excitement she exuded when I shared the news with her, made my heart swell. I watched her get ready for her first day of school and I literally began to cry. At first I felt like it was like watching a completely different woman but then I realized that I was watching the woman I used to know. I knew she loved taking care of our daughter but she seemed so much happier that particular morning and she reminded me so much of that 19 year old girl I fell in love with. She was singing as she got them both ready for the day and smiling ear to ear. Her enthusiasm carried over to our daughter and we all left the house smiling that day.

Over the next few weeks I began to genuinely feel happier. I think I finally realized ‘the point of it all’. I loved being able to keep my promise to my wife. I loved that she was able to fulfill her dreams. I loved that I was able to provide for my family.

I didn’t love my job but I loved what it meant. I chose to focus on the good. To focus on all of the gifts and benefits that job gave me. I truly believe now, that happy people choose to be happy and that fulfilled people choose to notice their blessings that fulfill them.

Submitted by: Guest Poster

 

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25 Responses

  1. Sometimes life throws curve balls… they aren’t fun but when you can look back and find the positives of it all… or even better, find the positive IN the curve ball it makes life better! I’m glad it all worked well for you and you were able to see the positives. Also glad you decides abortion was not an option!

  2. I give you a boat-load of credit. Seriously. So many men (and women) choose to go the EASY route and just get RID of the situation. While I am all for PRO-CHOICE, I do think that abortion is the easy way out and not necessarily learning from your actions. Plus, I have heard —- having and raising your own children (while difficult at times) is a huge blessing!

  3. What an empowering and inspiring post! I know someone I am going to share this with who will in turn hopefully share it with the person who needs to hear it!

  4. I liked hearing that you worked through this and came out the other side. Life is constantly surprising us, and it is hard to know what is coming next. Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. What a great series. I think in the world we are living in right now, so much hurt, hate and trauma, these series are so important to share out into the social media world! WE need ALL THE GOOD on social media! Thank you for sharing this post. Very inspiring.

  6. I’m thankful that abortion was never an option. I love that you two have worked together to make your dreams come true. It sounds like you have the best of both worlds!

  7. Jenny Finney

    This is such a touching story and I’m so glad that it all worked out! It’s about the ‘big’ picture in the end. Sometimes, we have to go through tough situations, to come out better in the end. It’s hard to reflect on the ‘good’ of things, when life just isn’t perfect, such as a job you become to hate.

  8. Life always knows how to give us things, that at the moment, we aren’t grateful for. I love that you two gave it your all, and now can enjoy life to its fullest.

  9. This is beautiful. I absolutely believe in choosing happiness. Life isn’t always what we want it to be, but I love this story about making the difficult choices and putting in the work to strive for better.

  10. What an amazing story!! It’s so funny the joy one can have making another person happy. It’s such a great feeling! I hope the best for your family

  11. Thank you for sharing your story. Life certainly doesn’t always go the way we planned it but then again, it wouldn’t be as interesting if it did. I bet you wouldn’t change it for the world.

  12. Life is very unpredictable, but I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. Focusing on the good is a great way to think, even if you don’t always feel positive.

  13. That’s such a moving story. Fathers sacrifice a lot as well, it’s just a different form from what moms go through. I think it’s really sweet that he’s trying his best to provide for his family and keep them happy as well.

  14. It is so good to hear “from the other side.” I bet you were both unhappy and it was being felt by you for the both of you. I am so glad it all worked out and that college is what she hoped for!

  15. This is the sweetest story! You’re so right, with everything in life we can focus on what’s wrong, or we can focus on what’s right. I’ve also found that over the course of my 20-year career I’ve had good bosses, as well as bad ones. Whenever I encounter one that isn’t my favorite, I remind myself to give it a few years and they will have moved on. (ps: Good luck to your wife with her studies!)

  16. Thanks for the honesty. It is nice to hear the perspective you have after the fact. It changes so much when you can see the point.

  17. Life definitely takes us for a loop sometimes and we sometimes fall off the path and have to get back on. I became pregnant with my first child at age 19 as a sophomore in college. It was tough but my boyfriend (now late husband) was very supportive in making sure I finished and I worked full time as he did and we supported our child. It turned out great!

  18. Journa Ramirez

    LOVELY STORY. While reading this, I can’t help but smile. It’s really a great blessing to still focus on something good despite the disturbing chaos.

  19. Wow. What a powerful story. I am so proud of you for standing up and being a man in this situation. Despite the unorthodox situation, you chose to make the most of the situation. An education is important, and you would have been sacrificing so much more. Such a blessing to make a positive out of a negative.

  20. Powerful story, powerful actions. Life is HARD. It honestly doesn’t get easier, but it’s great to see people at least recognize the challenges and work really hard for the changes. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Sometimes when you are a situation you wish you could change, focusing on the good can make the bad seem better. But I also firmly believe you should be able to do what makes you happy, even if that means leaving a stable job. By focusing on the good of current situation, instead of the bad, you can bring good vibes your way to find a better situation.

  22. That’s a lovely story! Life could be hard but there’s also good that comes along with positive attitude. A good reminder to always foocus on the good.

  23. This is a very insightful post. Life really can be so erratic and so unpredictable but it just shows that we can weather it on. Great for you to get past through all of that. It’s a great read for my weekend <3

  24. What an amazing personal story. Definitely a great feel good story!

  25. What a lovely story. Best of luck to your girlfriend as she finishes her degree! You both have made so many sacrifies and I am sure your daughter will know that!

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