Motivate Me Mondays: Overcoming your struggles

‘The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.”

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

It is not secret that in live we sometimes struggle but it is all about how you overcome the struggles you are faced with. Often time we are ready to give up before actually finding a way to make things better for ourselves. Sometimes we bring things on ourselves based off how we speak about the current situations we find ourselves in, in life. We also seem to forget that what you deal with can be worse, someone else would trade their life for yours with no hesitation. It is important to remember to not allow yourself to stay down for too long. Deal with it, pick yourself up, come up with a  plan, figure things out, and accept the blessings along the way. This is exactly what Joia did and she was willing to share her experience with others, here is her story:

Who is Joia Swanson? Tell a little bit about yourself

I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, and a person with a big heart and desire to please others. I used to think that having these types of qualities would lead to me never being happy, but so far I have learned that they have also been my biggest blessings in molding me into the woman I am, and still becoming today. Ive learned to embody the sensitivity and heart that I have for people in everything that I do.
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How old were you when you had your son?

I was 19 and a sophomore in college when I found out that I was pregnant with my munchkin. I was on the track team and never imagined my life with a kid, and as cliché as it sounds I definitely couldn’t imagine my life without him now.  He is the epitome of love for myself and my family.
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How did you and your husband meet?

I met my husband when I worked for a call center in Hampton after a horrible break up with my sons father. I found out my sons father was cheating, and my husband was there to comfort me just as my friend and was willing to wait for me to be ready to be in a relationship; no pressure, just a natural progression of love and friendship and he is also awesome with Jaylen. He grew up with a step father and was very sensitive to the fact that being a father is a journey that he doesn’t take lightly. Being married has come with many challenges, he is the biggest teddy bear yet one of the strongest people I have ever met. He loves hard and fierce just like everything else he does in life, and he is a pusher, he has never let me quit on anything , and that was such an important quality that I admired about him when we first got together because my self-confidence was in the trash. He was very reassuring verbally with his intentions, and his love and he followed through on everything, and that consistency was what eventually won my heart over. He showed me that true love looks nothing like I thought it would because he is definitely not my “type” but the Lord knew exactly what I needed when he sent him to me.
How has your relationship with your husband and your marriage helped you on your journey of becoming a better woman? Did this help you change your outlook on men and relationships?

My relationship with my husband has really been about learning. Learning acceptance, forgiveness, picking your battles, and prioritizing relationships. These are things I can carry over into my everyday life, that have helped me push myself to become a better woman which in turn makes me a better wife. My husband is a pusher, he had a rough time growing up, and he has always had that “go get what you want” mentality. I have had the mentality but never quite as much drive as I do now which happened once I got with him. I see him working hard to follow his dreams and support our family and it makes me want to work just as hard if not harder to keep up. We push each other and support each other in weaknesses and strengths; it is an amazing balancing act, and I am so grateful to have him to lean on. So far through our relationship and and marriage he has helped me see that I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for, and with the right support and encouragement I can do anything I put my mind to.
Being loved correctly has changed my outlook on relationships. It has shown me that effort, and consistency go a long way into breaking down barriers that we’re around my heart and allow to me to be vulnerable and rest in my femininity in a way I didn’t know was possible. I didn’t know that men were capable of such compassion and drive, while still maintaining a masculine vibe and being true to their selfs. He is a great example of the type of man i would like my son to be as well. My dad has always been my example of what a man should be and he is the sweetest man alive, and also very soft hearted. My husband has shown me that you can have that soft heart, and not give people the ability to push you around without loosing out on being your truest self.
God keeps me motivated, on the days when i want to give up on myself he definitely gives me strength. My husband and family are a great support system as well, but i always know i can lean on the lord for strength and guidance.
What else keeps you motivated ?

My faith, my husband, my son, and my family keep me motivated I have an amazing support system.
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What is one thing you have accomplished in life so far that you are most proud of?

I am most proud of starting my own business. I have taken the leap of faith and partnered with Mary Kay I am now an independent beauty consultant. I really want the flexibility to be able to support my family, to be able to work my own hours, and to be my own boss. I never felt like I was built to work for anyone else and I also want to show others how to achieve their dreams especially women with children.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?

In the next 5 years I see myself with at least two more children living somewhere close to the beach and making sure that I travel at least 3 to 4 times a year with my family exposing them to the culture and different parts of the world
What are 2-3 goals that you would like to accomplish ?

Things that I am going to accomplish specifically in the next two to five years would be trying to becoming a millionaire; I want to be a national sales director which is one of the highest honors in the Mary Kay business. I want to open my women’s shelter specifically for single moms I would also like to finish my master’s degree
What are some things that you have achieved that make you proud ?

Something that has made me proud would definitely be my son. I wanted to make sure that he grew up to be a productive member of society and even though he is five and a handful he definitely knows how to behave in has a very caring heart for people all of his teachers all of his friends his karate instructors say how big of a hard he has how awesome he is with his friends how polite he is house mannered and that makes me very proud something else that I’m also very proud of is sharing financial literacy with people my age I realize that something that we are very lacking in in general and in the black community so everything that I’m learn I make sure that information is shared whether it’s just with family and friends or their ladies I come in contact with or my Mary Kay Associates because that is something that you can steadily improve on and always grow in. I am also very proud of my marriage, I know as a semi newlywed we’ve only been married a year and a half that is really hard to say but I’m proud of the fact that we still stick by each other through everything and we have been through just about all of it from custody battles with my ex to being separated more than we’re apart to having jobs and not having jobs and just being really supportive of each other no matter what I think that’s strength will carry us through for the next 40 50 year however many years God blesses us with.
How would you define success ?

I think the way that success is defined is a very personal measure for each person. For example, I am trying to improve my health and fitness so for me a successful day is if my jeans fit better and I felt better about myself in general just for exercising; that was a very small success in a larger picture. Success could be getting out of bed in the morning for someone if you’re depressed or making sure that your children are taken care of so success is going to look different in the eyes of each person so you have to personally define success for yourself. I would say it’s the daily wins that you give yourself whether that is self-care or making sure that you are advocating for yourself or opening your mouth when you hear something that you don’t like because it’s very hard for us, especially as women and as nurturers who care about people, to make sure that our needs are also taken care of so I would say success is putting your self care first so you are the best version of yourself which will then allow you to take care of others.
What advice can you provide for someone who may be on the same or somewhat similar path that you were on before being kicked out of school ?

The best advice I would give for anyone in my particular situation especially someone who gets pregnant young. Find a support system, find your tribe, find a group of people to surround you, to uplift you, to encourage you, and to hold you accountable. If it was not for my immediate family, my husband, and my son looking up to me everyday and the group of ladies that I call my friends, I don’t think I would be as successful as I am now. I’m not a millionaire, I’m not even a thousand-are but I am on my way and making steady progress everyday. Don’t give up, if you believe it you can achieve it. Make sure you set goals for yourself and make them happen, find the way to achieve those goals even if it’s a small goal, achieve that goal, move on to the next bigger goal, and keep building on those goals and count every goal as a success. Count every step to that goal as a success because you are steadily making progress towards what you want your life to look like and that is something no one can take away from you, that progress and that passion and that drive then dig into it and remember to re motivate yourself and take care of yourself in everything that you do and you can be the best mother the best wife the best coach the best teacher the best the best version of Who You Are
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