>>Focus On Yourself; [Insert Miracle Here]

Everyone knows that a lot can change in a year. A lot more can change in two years. I never expected my life to do a complete 180 in such a short amount ov time… or ever, for that matter. I guess that’s what happens when you decide to start living for yourself -or your kids- and no one else.

It all started with putting an end to an unhealthy relationship. My ex and I had split for the last time. I had a baby with him, only one month old at the time, and we had just had our last fight. I drew the line when he broke my phone, kicked the front door in and was screaming at me, while my son was laying in my arms, crying. Why he did such a thing does not matter. His mood would flip like a switch for no reason so it’s hard to keep track.

I immediately packed some essentials for my son and took him to my grandparent‘s house. I was moving back in with them, once again. This time was going to be the last time because I was determined to get back on my feet and build a life for myself and my son, dependent on absolutely no one. Not like I depended on my ex anyway. He barely worked part time at a fast food restaurant and was flakier than a Pillsbury biscuit. I should say that, moving forward, I refuse to build a life with someone who does nothing but tear down my foundation.

Shortly after moving in with my grandparents, I enrolled in summer classes for Collision Repair & Refinishing and Automotive Service. I had 5 months to save what I could. A couple months creeped by and I had gotten a message from this random guy on Facebook. Still not interested in dating, I didn’t take him seriously. That is, until I learned that this guy was not going to give up on me.

When I finally decided to let my guard down, our relationship formed and it grew into something serious fairly quick. The skepticism I initially felt with this man evaporated. He was the polar opposite ov my ex. Calm, true to his word, persistent, caring, and even paid for our dates! He is “the one”, but for how long?

Summer came and I started school. My first Collision Repair instructor was arrested three weeks in and was replaced with someone who never taught the subject to college students before. When I got my job at the body shop working as a detailer in September, I eventually just dropped school. I learned more in one week at the shop than I did in the 7 months I took classes. Wasting time and money at that point.

I was promoted to Paint Prepper at the shop and literally, a day later, I was sent back to washing cars. Business was dying and the painters didn’t need my help anymore It was a fight for everyone to stay busy. The bright side is that I managed to stay employed and buy a house in 2020, a couple months after COVID-19 hit and the lockdowns began. That right there was a miracle in itself. Mr. Right and I got engaged in September and married 6 months after that, bringing us back to March again. Now, a new promotion is in the works for me. The Technician Development Program that I’ll be starting in May. All because I reached out to my boss’s boss [someone who gets shit done] and expressed interest in learning more. I wanted to learn auto body. I pushed for it… and I got it.

I still can’t believe that in just 2 years, I went from a broken-hearted single mom, who had given up on love and didn’t know which direction to take in life career-wise, living at home again… to a happily married mom (& step mom) with her very own house, and finally doing exactly what I was hoping to do a little over 2 years ago. I’m finally going to be an auto body technician! This total 180 didn’t happen overnight, but it did come pretty quick considering all that has happened. Great things happen when you put your foot down and make changes.

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- A.S.H. <3