Sometimes, I look back at my past, the things we didn't have, the lessons that I was never taught.
And I get depressed.
I think about how ill-equipped I was in life, how many years were wasted that I can never get back, squandered talent, squandered time...
And cue pity party of one.
Then, I look at pictures like this:
All I knew was that I had my own pool.
It didn't matter that it was plastic and cheap and that we lived in the hood.
I had a pool.
I can't remember if any other kids had a pool.
Corinne had a pool.
As the years have gone by, every dream board, vision board, and dream book that I have had has had a pool.
I had one house with a pool in just about every room!
But, I look at this picture of me, of Coco.
Little, happy Coco.
And all it took was a plastic pool from the Dollar Store.
I know now that it is less about the pool and more about how good I'd feel having the pool, like it would mean that I was no longer that poor, ghetto girl that I was over twenty years ago.
Now, here I am.
Despite life having taken me in different directions, I somehow landed in the EXACT apartment that I lived in when I was the proud owner of this pool.
I spent a lifetime running from this girl.
Life spent its time trying to break this girl.
But, it wasn't until I stopped running that I could begin to see the beauty in these concrete walls and doo doo brown borders.
And even be grateful.
Because the woman that I am today is the result of me coming full circle and getting back to me.
I started thinking about all the pressure that we put on ourselves.
We look to certain goals as a benchmark of worthiness.
Does owning a pool mean that I am valuable and not owning one mean that I am worthless??
With so many people holding this view as the truth, what hope do we hold out for future generations?
Instead of measuring self worth in terms of position, power, and possessions, why not let it be an internal sense of satisfaction, peace, and joy?
No, my past does not dictate my future, but sometimes, how I view my past is a matter of perspective.
I challenge you to find the beauty and joy within you.