The Journey: Keep pushing my friends. Semper Fi!

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By Samantha Brazie, Special to The Paper

No one wants to be a quitter. I doubt many people wake up in the morning and think, “What will I quit today?”

Inadvertently, all of us quit things that are good for us and continue to do things that don’t work in one way or another.

Last week, my son left for Marine boot camp. He has struggled most of his life with behavioral and self-control issues.

So much so that he was close to being in jail and my husband and I had to come up with all kinds of creative ways to help him without enabling his behavior. Some worked, some didn’t. I honestly didn’t know what his life would turn out to be, but as most kids with behavioral issues, he is brilliant, and I knew he could do whatever he wanted if he could just get control over his emotions.

I grew up a Navy brat and my husband was in the Army so our household was more strict (but thankfully, fairly balanced) than a lot of families. But I truly believe that in his instance, if it wasn’t, he would have gotten into a lot more trouble than he did.

With all of that being said, anyone that has a child that goes into the military understands the nerve wracking send off, the pep talks with him/her and with ourselves. He spent months going to PT and getting ready for this mentally and I know he can do it. I have obviously spent a lot of time thinking about him and sending as many prayers and good vibes his way as a mother can.

I have learned a very important lesson this past week that I hope to never forget. My son is always encouraging me in my Journey. He never waivers and says I am his inspiration. However, I am so proud of him that words can’t describe it. If after all that he’s been through, he can do this – I can be better. I can accomplish, embrace and conquer anything I put my mind to – and so can you.

The thing is, if he quits boot camp and says he wants to come home, he can never go back. He will not be allowed in the Marines again. But we can always start again. Start today. Start over. It doesn’t matter what you are struggling with, you can do it. If you fall, get back up. You can ALWAYS get back up. When your mind goes to a negative place, put yourself in a positive situation where you know you can get back into controlling your headspace and focus on that.

He has also confirmed something I’ve always known – our behaviors and habits are a product of what we choose to focus on. We can change anything we want. We can be anyone we want to be. We just have to make daily, conscious choices to be that person. Since I don’t know when I will talk to him, I will be sending letters to him as much as I possibly can throughout these thirteen weeks, and my columns as he really enjoys them. I want him to know how proud I am of him in as many ways as I can and I am going to keep doing my best to make him proud of me.

Keep pushing, my friends. Semper Fi!

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