I'll never forget the day I found out I was pregnant. It was Cinco de Mayo'. I was 3 weeks away from my 21st birthday ( I'd planned to use my girlfriend's I.D to get into the local bar), and 2 weeks away from my 3 month study abroad program in Costa Rico. I always joke about this, but maybe I should've enjoyed my last night of having absolutely no care in the world and took the test on the 6th. Besides, we all know drinking while pregnant doesn't count unless you know you're pregnant. Right? LOL. But seriously,  not to sound cliche or anything, but  after the moment I peed on a stick in my boyfriend's dorm room , and saw that little plus sign, everything changed. Never for a minute did I question what I was going to do.  I was a mother. It was no longer about just me. I was responsible for a little human. 

 "I only have 1 more year of school" , I thought to myself. In my mind,  I'd graduate, find a "good job" (whatever that means), move out of my parents house and make it happen.  See back then, I thought college graduation was the last due I had to pay before becoming a real life successful adult. Adding a baby into the equation just made me want to do it even more. I wasn't afraid to become a mother but I was afraid to become one of those stories - you know where a young  woman get's pregnant in college, has to drop out to raise her baby , never goes back ... never fulfills her dreams, has  resentment , regret ..etc etc.  I wasn't here for that so I went hard. I took extra classes in the summer just in case anything went wrong. I knew that come May ,whatever it took I was walking across that stage with my baby in the audience. ..and I did. 

Having him motivated me in ways that I didn't expect. He motivated me to be really honest with myself- to challenge myself to be the best person I can be..to raise my standards...to find my purpose and to stand in it. Motherhood challenges me daily to continue on the journey to loving myself so that I can teach him how to do the same. 

Graduation was a big deal for me until I graduated and I realized that now I was in the REAL WORLD, not  the "real world" I made up in my mind prior...the one where I'd be making 60k straight off the bat ..where I'd marry my "baby's daddy" ..have some more babies perfectly spaced (2 years apart) and be done by 30 on the road to happily ever after. (I mean, I did everything right aside from  having a baby at 21 out of wedlock.)  This place didn't give a damn whether you just pushed out a 10 pound baby and managed to write a 60 page thesis a week later. Getting my degree did one thing for me in the real world...it  was proof that my baby wasn't a hinderance. He was my reason. From the day I found out that he was on his way, to this very moment, he is the only reason I ever need to PUSH.  Had I gotten that piece of paper without him on my hip, I'm not sure that I'd fully understand what I'm truly capable of.  Ironically,  my purpose doesn't require a degree , however it requires all of the strength I had to muster up to get it. 

Thank you to my boy for being more of a blessing than I ever could've imagined...to my mom for teaching me every single day what unconditional love looks like ,  to my family and friends for all of the love and support., and to his father , for always being there. 

<3 Chris