May 7th saw me at a meeting at our local YWCA’s women’s center. It was an introduction to the Bridge program; which is a mash up of a bunch of different programs that work for single mom’s trying to get back into the work force and reign in some stability for their family. We were informed that this program came from Boston and that it was what “worked” in the past, so I wanted to check it out and see if it would meet my needs. There’s a great chance it will as I am now currently back on the job hunting line looking for something more stable other than my current job. (Which I may add is only part time currently) I need a job that works around my life, not my life around my job.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Nancy Regan was our guest speaker there. My uncle James Smith and Nancy’s father Gerald were friends for years, so I was quite happy to gab with Nancy and I noticed that there was that small possibility that she didn’t recall just quite who I was. (But hey that’s OK) she meets 1000’s of people a year so I won’t hold it against her. .. besides when I 1st met her it was YEARS ago and we were both much younger.
I met Nancy again years later not long after I had taken on a temporary spot babysitting Nick, a youngster of one of Nancy’s co-workers whom I knew from Alma (Westville area) as we grew up there together. I remember when I saw Nancy again (and now that she was on television), how she seemed no more sure of herself than Starr and this is what made her “Normal” to me. (Most TV personalities seem to have this “I’m important” sense of being. Which I might ad is annoying)
I think there were a few people who were thrown off to realize that I knew Nancy at all outside of her TV roll, not that my knowledge of who she is in any depth is important, she was and still is an acquaintance to my family.
SO last night when she said she wasn’t “Ever really that confident while on TV” and she was “nervous and stressed” I was actually NOT surprised to hear it. I think my peers however were and it was still quite nice to see her again and learn that she had all this wonderful insight to this new program for the Women’s YWCA; she shared her own experiences which I believe helped the others who came to look into the program understand what it entailed in a better perspective. The Bridge program offers to single moms in the local community a chance to find work that is somewhat tailored to their needs. It teaches them money management and gives incentives to continue on with many of the challenges they will face before they reach their goals. Many of the goals set are smaller ones so many don’t feel overwhelmed with the new changes.
One of the first things I noticed on this program was how the “Bridge” wanted to ensure that their participants are emotionally secured. (Stress and fear will kill off any attempts at success if it’s too much to handle) I’m really happy to see that this is one of the many things listed. I just hope there are jobs out there that will cater to those who deal with depression and or stress related issues as THAT alone is a HUGE reason why many single mom’s don’t bother seeking work in any form because you can’t take a day off “due to stress” and many managers/owners don’t seem to get it. One day maybe they will, when the stigma of mental health is better understood within our society, till then more and more women will need programs like this one to aid them in finding that security and confidence in order to move forward.
As Nancy said, We’re our own station and we need to learn how to tune out the bad and “turn the volume down.” Doing this will give us a chance to stop self ridiculing, to think about “adding a comma to statements such as” …. “Gosh you’re a dork today… BUT,….” and to learn to love ourselves. THIS last one is a HUGE deal to me and is one thing I’m ALWAYS telling my friends to do. Something I hear all the time is “There’s something missing, I have a void.” 90% of the time, that Void” has NOTHING to do with loving themselves, but being validated in “love” from a partner…
Teaching my friends to love themselves 1st… it VERY hard to do… and partners, or spouses…Well many of them leave… Why? Because to them you’re not “enough” a judgement; Nancy pointed out; that we ALL do to ourselves. A judgement I no longer allow rule my life, besides I’m not a damn car in need of validation. I AM enough, without someone in my life to prove it. I am looking forward to learning more about this program and I am hoping to put some insight into this program as well that can be used in the future. I believe everyone’s personal experiences can always be used to teach the next set of peers who do not believe that they can do this. It just takes time and a little love… from yourself. ❤
Sylvia "AJ" White