Every time I walk into a grocery store, no matter where it is in the world, the smell as I cross through the doors brings me right back to my days of working in one myself. Much of my high school and college downtime was spent earning money packing bags for customers, as a cashier or lastly stocking shelves overnight in the meat department. That was the most difficult venture in grocery I had, by far. I spent my days going to college classes and all night in the store, trying to make the money necessary to cover the difference that my student loans wouldn’t. I lived off two to three hours of sleep every day along with any caffeine jelly bean, 5-hour energy shot, Red Bull, and coffee to try to make it through.
I remember trying to cram for tests on my dorm room floor so I wouldn’t fall asleep, just to wake up, drool and all, half way through the exam and having to run across campus hoping the professor would have pity on me and allow me to try. As the semester began to come to a close I was failing most of my classes that I was working so hard to pay for. I simply couldn’t find the energy within myself or the time to get the work done or learn the material. I was physically and mentally exhausted and my dreams seemed like an impossible picture on a distant television screen.
My breaking moment was during a drive one afternoon where I dozed off. I woke up to horns honking and swerved back in my lane, but not before noticing that I was drifting head-on into an oncoming motorcycle and long line of cars. I was done, I was ready to pack up and give up. -
With a promise to my grandma to finish the school year, I quit the grocery store and began looking for any last-ditch effort to make it all work… that’s when new opportunities began to arise and I first began seeing some light within my dreams. -
Life isn’t easy and every day I’m still reminded of it. But your challenges and your struggles don’t define you, they only lay there to help shape you into the person your dreams need you to be.
You are worth it, your dreams are worth it and the life you aspire to live is worth it. The world needs what you have to offer, don’t let this moment hinder you from giving it.