The girls were lovely. I enjoyed the girl talk (I do so miss my girls), and I especially enjoyed all the hugs I was the lucky recipient of at the end. I found it hard to leave.
Thank you so much for having me today, and thank you for your sweet hugs. They made my day!
One of the things I hope you take with you after today is, of course, that anything is POSSIBLE. You each deserve to have the life you're willing to work for and dream of. Because we ALL deserve that. Don't ever let anybody tell you otherwise.
We all make mistakes. But a mistake doesn't have to define you for life.
Every day that you wake up, throw off your covers and put your feet on the floor is another opportunity to make choices that keep you on your desired path in life. And you never know what beautiful, spectacular sights await you around the next corner. You matter. Your future matters. I couldn't wait to meet you all today, and I hope to see you again, because you matter to me. So just stay on the road.
No one can force you to make the right choices. You have to want badly enough to do that for yourself. Sometimes we make the wrong choices out of spite. "I'll show them!" Right? We might manage to make someone else sad, but the only one you truly hurt is yourself.
My parents divorced when I was a freshman in high school, and I've had five stepparents since then. My dad has been divorced four times, and my mom is married for the third time. I had a lot of anger for a long time. But the truth is, my parents' choices didn't have to have a negative effect on my choices. Only I allowed them to do that when I decided to stop believing in anything. And at 45 years old, I got tired of being angry, and I started doing what I wanted to do for me.
You may not see a lot of diversity around you, or see yourself in many examples of success. But I want you to know that I didn't see examples of success I believed in for myself either, especially after I became a single mom--I thought my fate was sealed.
I no longer believe that was EVER true.
I didn't know other successful writers around me. So I took to the internet. I signed up for creative writing classes at the adult extension of the University of California in San Diego.
I started communicating with writers whose books I'd read, and I've met a few of them. That's what I needed to do. It made those writers feel more human to me. That showed me that if I'm willing to do the work, my dream of writing -- of finishing -- my own book someday IS possible.
WE are the only ones with the power to limit ourselves. And we give up that power to others far too often.
Also, remember how we talked about letting love in--and I'm talking about true appreciation, kindness, and support of your dreams and goals kind of love. Even if you don't feel loved every day, wherever you come across it, like from the wonderful staff and volunteers at the Boys & Girls Club, drink it in and believe that.
You girls are capable of anything. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it if you just believe and keep it in your mind. Like Miss Brown says, "Always ask yourself, 'is this going to help me achieve my goals, or does this have the potential to send me sailing off that cliff?'" (OK, the cliff part I added.)
Choose yourself, choose YOUR future. And be well.
Your new friend,
--Kim Jorgensen Gane
If you're lucky enough to be near Benton Harbor, MI, next week during their Clubs Week Celebration, please take the opportunity to tour the facilities of the Boys & Girls Club. "The interest and involvement by our community as a whole is critical to insuring the success of future generations." And the awesome kids there need and deserve your time and attention, too. If you or someone else you know would enjoy taking a guided tour next week, please RSVP to the attention of Kimberly McCoy with your choice of day and the number of guests who wish to attend.
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