In the last few weeks I have been paying attention to everything around me, whether it be negative or positive. We try to see the best in everyone when really, we’re blind. People are out to protect themselves no matter who it hurts. We believe family should always come first, even when they prove that to be wrong. Is blood really thicker than water? Water is all around us, but we can’t bleed forever. I am tired of bleeding for people who would rather see me fail. I am human and I have made many mistakes in my life, but who hasn’t? When someone recognizes the mistakes, they have made and work on being a better person, why do we throw the past in their face? What makes one person better than the next? We all live a different life that no one except ourselves can see, who are we to judge any other when we should be judging ourselves? I have watched families that were so close, fall apart. I have watched sisters torn apart by pride, I have seen brothers and sisters torn apart because of violence and friends turn into enemies over small disagreements. Our pride has become our weakness and we’re losing the people closest to us because of it. What do we have to be proud of when we lost the ones who were always proud of us? I have watched strangers become friends over simple conversation, I have watched children stand up for those whom couldn’t stand up for themselves. Who have we become when children and young adults have more compassion than the people who were meant to guide them? Families are falling apart, and no one cares. I never thought I would see the day that my own family would fall apart. All I have in this world are my children, and I am okay with that. Do I wish things were different? Absolutely, but you can’t change the thoughts and actions of others, you can only change yourself. I have felt the pain of betrayal, although I was partly to blame. I have felt regret over something that once motivated me to be better. I have felt proud when someone was inspired by my story, only to be torn down by people who do not know me. Everyone has the right to an opinion, and I knew I would be judged by some for someone I used to be. I have felt hate from people who once believed in me, and I have felt love from people who barely know me. I used to care how people viewed me until I realized that the only one whose opinion mattered were the two boys who call me mom. I am not a perfect mother, but I get up everyday and try to be better than the person I was yesterday. I am not proud of the woman I see when I look in the mirror, but I admire the woman who has hit rock bottom and rose above when the world tried to keep her down. When the family I once admired became the reason I started to drown, I decided the only thing I could do was swim away. I chose to let the opinions of others dictate who I was to suppose to be, instead of letting myself decide who I knew I should be. When I watched the world burn around me, I knew I had to burn in order to grow. I cannot speak for anyone other than myself, but I am done letting my pride determine my fate. Judge me, hate me, believe in me, love me, view me however you would like, I am not here to care how you see me, I am who I need to be at this moment and I’m okay with that.