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Turning Tides

Rianna Garcia | La Mirada, CA

My name is Rianna Garcia and I am a mother. Right now I am 22 years old and I’m still trying to figure things out. I can’t tell you where I’ll be exactly in ten or even five years from now but I can tell you that I’ll be happy. I’ll be looking at the bright side of life and doing things to make my child’s life better. If there is one sentence to describe my life right now it would be, “My life didn’t go exactly as planned and that’s okay.”

When I hear the word “courage” I don’t exactly think of myself. I am simply a mother of a beautiful four-month-old little girl named Ava Kaelani. So how courageous can I really be? I’ve never loved someone as much in my entire life as much as I love her, and I never realized how much courage I had until someone else pointed it out. In fact, I never thought of myself as brave or anything like that. I just viewed myself as someone who was doing what she had to do to get to where she wanted to be. 

"When I hear the word 'courage' I don't exactly think of myself. I am simply a mother."

Before I had my daughter, I was a full time student, I was working as a caregiver for an elderly man, and during the summer I was a lifeguard. I had my life planned out and thought that I would be in a completely different place than where I am now. But I realize now that I am right where I am supposed to be. When I found out I was pregnant I felt like the world as I knew it was ending. I thought my life was over and I thought that because of this unplanned event that I wasn't going to be able to live my life. The truth is, having my daughter is really what gave me life. I realized that courage grows from your spirit. It moves and flows through you without realizing it but when you look at it in hindsight its totally clear. Being able to take a different path than what I had planned took guts. I chose to take a path that was going to take more energy, more patience, and more questions than I had ever imagined. During those 9 months of pregnancy I learned valuable life lessons, like not to sweat the small stuff and to enjoy every moment that I face.

"Courage grows from your spirit. It moves and flows through you without realizing it, but when you look at it in hindsight its totally clear."

Although the path I chose isn't for everyone, it was the best decision I could've made for myself. I'm molding a young mind to be a thinker, creator, and a peacemaker, just an overall amazing human being. It can get hectic sometimes, but I wouldn't trade my happiness for anyone or anything. Making the most out of life is what we should choose to focus on. Making ourselves happy in the long run is the best way to live. Giving birth to my daughter is what really saved me from myself. I wasn’t a self-destructing person, but at times I wasn’t always doing the right thing. Now that I have someone constantly observing me and learning directly from me, I know that I have to be a good example. My daughter saved me. How I can repay her is being the best mother, friend, fiancé, and person I can be. It's not hard to take on big tasks, or even seemingly impossible ones like being a mother at 22 - it just takes courage. Being courageous is a way of life and you’ll never know how brave you are, or can be, until you look back on your life and say to your self, “Wow. I really did that.”

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