My very first thought was I remember was the certainty of my insignificance. I always felt different and less than. The first time was at the age of 4 when I moved to Long Island in 1961. I remember the exact moment I felt less than and that belief continued for decades.

As I look back on my colorful life, every event and interaction, love and friendship, hurt and sadness provided an option. Any or all of these experiences  could be an excuse to feed the negative thinking that I actually believe I was born with. Or, I could use them as a reason – a reason to rise up, embrace whatever it is, and develop into someone I could never have otherwise become. For most of my life everything was an excuse because it was easier. More important, it was all I knew.  I had no idea there was another option.  Why should I have to put on my big girl panties given the life I have had to endure?

Alcoholic parents, two abusive marriages, three divorces, drug addiction, breast cancer, a 30+ year estranged relationship with my brother who died with no resolution… I can go on and on. These seemingly horrific circumstances were, in my mind, excuses for my poor behavior. Ultimately, they became the reasons that helped me become the woman I am today. (There are blog posts about each of these events.)

My professional success has proven to be one of the biggest blessings. I chose a sales career that was way outside my comfort zone. Through years of hard work, determination, and a bit of ego, I have risen to be the top producer globally in my company.

All of this has led me to expressing myself through the written and spoken word. My blog and my daily gratitude lists help me process my incredible life on a regular basis.

I may not be able to control all the circumstances in my life, but I can absolutely find  a way to elevate myself based on my attitude and how I choose to walk through them.