Through the struggle, find strength

Latoya Fondren

Latoya Fondren

Life has its moments and through my adversity, I’ve learned many valuable lessons being a young adult growing up and having to figure out how to pay the “big bills” in order to sustain a living. My mother warned me that once I turned eighteen I was going to be financially cut off, and from that point on, I mentally prepared myself for the challenges ahead. Some people would say that’s unfair, but my mother was raised to believe the notion that in order for one to know how to survive in this world, you must be cut off from the nest. She did the best she could to teach me, even if it seemed to be tough love. At a young age I felt as if I had to grow up faster than others.

I made decisions that the average eighteen year old didn’t, and I utilized the tools that my mother gave me to execute my plans. I struggled during those times where I had to choose between studying for a very important test or going to bed early enough to make it to my 6 hour work shift the next day. I was a part-time barista at Starbucks in downtown Chicago. It was challenging to start my 4:30 a.m Monday through Friday shift while maintaining a full-time student status. I struggled with the thought of having to do everything independently and realizing this is what becoming an adult is like. My daily routine consisted of serving 50 to 100 customers of specially made drinks while trying to recite my study notes in my head for that major test after my work shift.

I knew what my priorities were, but sometimes I felt overwhelmed and anguished while running in the dark of the early morning hours for the bus. I also struggled to sit in class and concentrate after a long shift, but I was determined to overcome and persevere. Once I changed my mindset, I began to see things differently and my focus shifted towards working hard and staying above waters. I can’t help but think about the struggle and how it has shaped me into the strong human being that I am today. If I could maintain working and attending school, than you can do it too. We all have struggles, but what makes us stronger is how we deal with our struggles and carry on knowing that everything will be okay.

What makes the struggle so beautiful? Love: It makes the struggle beautiful because no matter what happens in life there will never be a limitation of loving and being loved. Love carries on and grace carries us through because no matter how frustrated we become with life the creator will always have a guiding hand over you. Persistence: It enables you to keep pushing no matter how tough the other side of the wall is. Tears: It replenishes the mind, body and soul. It causes you to get back up when you’ve fallen down. Lessons: Lessons in life will ALWAYS TEACH LIFE. Your experiences will teach you more about yourself and the beauty of the struggle than anything else. Strength: What makes you weak WILL make you stronger and this will cause you to handle your situations head on. Challenges: When you have your mind set on something, even when the task seems impossible challenges guarantee you will succeed. Challenges tend to make your skin crawl and it makes you uncomfortable, but your circumstances will begin to shift once you begin executing the challenge.

The struggles define us to be greater than our failures and more aware of the idea that this life isn’t perfect. We must be willing to accept the beauty of the struggle the same as we accept the beauty of nature and all of its creation. You can fall a million times but the greatest asset about the struggle in life is that you are destined to get right back up.