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Blog Series: The Many Faces of Perseverance Featuring Ricki Miles

The Many Faces Of Perseverance Blog Series. I thought it would be nice to take the filter out of our daily lives and to be able to relate to many different people about struggles that we each face. I am learning everyday to embrace the struggles we go through, instead of fearing them. I am learning that everything we go through is putting us on our path and helping us grow. I am learning that even when its uncomfortable and hard that we are learning so much about ourselves and that our struggles are shaping us into a better version of ourselves. I hope you gain guidance, inspiration, and support from this series – Alexa

Ricki, what made you want to share your story?

I am sharing my story in hopes to inspire and motivate others. To show that there is always a light, even in the darkness. That who you are and who you want to be is determined only by you and not by other individuals or circumstances you’ve been given. I hope by sharing my story, others will be encouraged to share theirs and to see the strengths in their weaknesses.

Growing up in a broken household would be considered an understatement in regard to my upbringing. An important word in that sentence is “household”. You must have a household to grow up in for it to be broken. I did not have a home that I could call “mine”. After moving out of my father’s house. when I was ten years old, my brothers and I lived with our grandparents in a home that was shared with several other family members. A day came and we had to make the painful decision to live apart from one another. Things were hard growing up. Jumping from friend’s house to friend’s house and living with relatives and familiar faces throughout my teenage years. I got an apartment with a friend senior year of high school and was attempting to learn about adulthood. Trying to figure out how to move in the right direction, how to hide my pain of abandonment, how to be the big sister that my brothers needed, the list goes on. Ultimately, I was trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life, and that was my biggest challenge.

And it STILL is.

When you grow up in a semi-small town, where everyone knows everyone (or at least think they know everyone), it’s easy for people to see the person you WANT to project yourself as. I knew I didn’t come from much and that I was not going to easily fit in with the “cool” kids because we didn’t have much in common, so I made it my priority to be involved in as much school curriculum as possible to become known. I was voted Most School Spirited, played sports, was on the year book committee, was on both homecoming and prom court, became prom queen, and was the Class President that gave the final farewell speech at graduation. I was “Ricki Miles” the one who had it all figured out. My image was so important to me that it consumed my life. I felt like I always had something to prove and that I had to try so much harder than everyone else around me to be successful.

Listen to me,  I WAS MISERABLE !!! And at one point, I was depressed.

There was a time I was suicidal and couldn’t get the courage to tell those who surrounded me. I was this person that everyone “thought” I was, when in reality, I was worrying myself sick trying to make a name for myself in fear that I would end up another stereotypical statistic. I didn’t want to be like my parents, (As an adult I love my parents and have accepted the people they are and have chosen to love them above everything else) the thought of ending up where they did or making the same decisions as they did terrified me. Accepting adversity is hard. Based off my childhood, I had a 9% chance of attending college and practically have no chance of graduating within the four years after being accepted. So what I am telling you is, my struggle didn’t end after high school. I stepped into college fall of 2014 having the same mindset as I did previously. Where am I going to fit in, what do I have to do to prove myself, make sure you don’t let your siblings down, are you being there for your family often enough, are you being a good example, make sure you get into grad school, find a good paying job, learn time management, and most importantly, KEEP YOUR IMAGE UP.  Make sure that no matter how hard things are for you and no matter how bad you’re struggling with yourself, don’t let anyone know!! Don’t show weakness.

You know what I finally came to accept? At times, I fail at EVERY SINGLE ONE of those things I listed above. I’ve learned that I am going to make mistakes, big ones and little ones but they do not define me.. I will disappoint myself and others but that does not mean I AM a disappointment. I will struggle and will need to ask for help. I will fall and need to get back up. Listen, I WILL FAIL, but I will persevere. I am not always going to get it right and I may wander on the way. But I found Christ and I have found I am the only one who gets to determine how my future unfolds, not my childhood.  I AM WONDERFULLY AND BEAUTIFULLY MADE by our Father so that I can live and spread the faith and to explain how I fought adversity and learned to love myself, to encourage others they can do it to.

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