To love oneself is to conquer all

Women’s Appreciation Month and it is the philanthropic thing to do — to show the woman in your life how much you appreciate her. The woman I appreciate is the one staring back at me in the mirror.

Now, before you all think that I’m wasting ink and paper to show a cocky side that I do not exemplify, there are numerous reasons why I give thanks to myself.

For starters, I believe the true essence of this column is that I’m writing from the mind and heart, not a piece of paper. I thought it would be scripted if I jotted down why I appreciate myself.

I pat myself on the back for the reason that although I am a 24-year-old junior still in college, I remain here because I have a goal to reach. I sat out an entire year from school due to deaths in my family, which affected me emotionally and intellectually.
I wanted to quit school completely, but before my grandmother passed away, she told me, “I want you to be the woman I raised you to be.”

The feeling I have at this second is both bitter and sweet as the tears fall from my eyes. I cry and smile at the same time because I had to grow up quicker than most individuals of my age.

My first job was at Burger King when I was 16 years old. Following that, I joined the military, so I paid bills long before I received a credit card in the mail at age 18 like most young adults.

Being 24 is not what makes me a woman who deserves appreciation. It is similar to what the song says, “She Got Her Own.”

So many women are quick to yell, “I’m grown!” or would like to spell out the “I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T” song by Webbie, but what is behind it? I’m not a woman because I work two jobs, pay my own bills, and own a house. What makes me a woman is that I’m doing this on my own. Literally.

I was emancipated two years ago from my mother due to me not living what she said was “a Christian life.” I can live with that because I’m serving one Man, not one individual.
During my 24 years, my father has never taken care of me. Sad, right? It gets better. Or should I say sadder? He lives less than 200 feet away from me and has not asked me one time about my collegiate life.

If you think that’s dead beat (chuckles), I’ve paid my tuition since I’ve been at Grambling and never asked that sperm donor for a penny.

It amuses me how fellow friends and associates whine and complain because mom and dad will not get them this or that, and I’m thinking, “You have no idea how good you have it.”

I wish I had a parent who provided for me, at least, in the smallest aspect. I prayed that a parent of mine would call on my birthday or to just hear my voice.

If you were to judge a book by its cover, then you would automatically think that I embody strength. I possess that attribute for this reason: I’m striving for success and I am dedicated to conquer all obstacles.

What motivates me to stay determined to walk across that stage is the fact that once the degree is attained, I can truly say that I did it all by myself.

Candice Dixson is a junior mass communication major from San Diego, Calif.