Guest Blogger “She’s All That” CEO Conchetta Jones talks about five valuable life lessons.
Mother at 16. Wife at 17. Divorced at 22. I could have become a statistic. Live on welfare, handouts, more children, no hopes or dreams. Living a life of lack. You know what they said, “That’s a wasted life”, “She will amount to nothing” “She’ll have a house full of children” “What a waste” I knew some people whispered these things about me. What they thought would happen. How they had my life all figured out for me.
Well, I am glad to say that I proved them all wrong. I did amount to something. My son and I were not statistics. I did not have a house full of children. I only had the one, and he is a barber who owns his own barber shop with employees. He has two sons by the same woman, who is also his wife. And while my marriage to my son’s father did not last, and we divorced after five years, we have a great friendship and respect for each other today.
Being a teen mom was not easy. I missed out on a lot of fun teenage things. I missed my prom, class trip and graduation. I took the GED test instead of walking across the stage to receive my diploma. While my girlfriends were going to parties and pledging sororities, I was taking care of a child, and a husband. I entered the adult world pretty quickly. While they were giggling about their latest crush and hanging at the mall, I was learning how to run a household on $100 a week.
It wasn’t all bad, and I learned some valuable lessons from my life as a teen mom.
Lesson One – Don’t let people and their labels define you. Don’t accept their negative opinions, or their negative words as the truth. You don’t have to stay in the valley. Whatever is going on in your life that could be defined as negative, does not have to stay that way. If you don’t like the things that are happening, remember that it is your life. You are the author of it. If you don’t like the story that’s playing, write another one. Remove yourself from the negativity.
Lesson Two – Having goals are important to getting you where you want to go in life. Back then I didn’t know about affirmations and vision boards or S.M.A.R.T. goals. I did journal and I would write about all of the things I wanted to happen in my life. I would dream about all the things I wanted to do. I guess in a way I was affirming some stuff huh? It is so important to write out your goals, and the action steps that will get you to that goal. The Bible says to write the vision and make it plain. Vision Boards are great too. When you glance at your board it is a great motivator to what you want to see manifested in your life.
Lesson Three – Have a strong support system. My mom had always said that she was putting out any of her girls if they got pregnant. She didn’t. Though she was disappointed, she never made me feel bad or less than. She always told me that I could do anything I wanted to do. That I could be anything I wanted to be. Actually my whole family from my mom to my aunt (her sister) both of my grandmom’s, my cousins and my closest friends were there to help me. You must make sure that you have people around you who support you. They support the things you do, they don’t laugh at your dreams and they are willing to help you obtain them.
Lesson Four –Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. If there are things that you have been dreaming about doing, go for it. There will be some people who will doubt you. They may tease you, laugh at you, talk about you. You may lose friends. People that you thought were in your corner, you find they are not. It doesn’t matter. You get a tunnel vision about what you want and you follow your dreams. If you lose people, more will come. If you are afraid, do it anyway.
Lesson Five – Do not compare. Don’t waste your time or energy comparing where you are and what you have or have not accomplished to someone else. Comparing does no good and it makes you feel bad. Don’t compare and don’t compete. Do your thing and most of all…Do You!
As I look back over my life, being a teen mom made me stronger, it made me resilient, it made me flexible, It made me curious. I have a thirst for living life to the fullest because I had to put off doing things for so long. Like going to college. I just received my Bachelors Degree in 2010 and my Masters Degree in 2012. I often tease and say I got my degrees on the 30 year plan. It may have taken a long time, but I did it! That was one of my dreams, and now I can cross that off the list.
So when people say to me you need to slow down…I laugh and say No, you better catch up!
About Conchetta Jones
Conchetta A. Jones is the founder/CEO of “She’s All That!” a personal development and mentoring organization for girls in the 3rd-12th grades. She is also the Founder/Owner of She’s All That! Woman, a Lifestyle Coaching Company. A graduate of Governors State University she holds a Master’s Degree in Communication and Training. Conchetta is a Certified Overflow Life Coach, a Certified Consumer Wellness Advocate, a model, speaker and author. Her books “I’m Doing It!” and Dreamlife Journal, helps readers to work through their procrastination and begin to follow their dreams. Conchetta has had a very diversified career in her quest to follow her dreams. She has worked as a media specialist, reading teacher, an accounts receivable clerk and a model. She currently works as a Product Program Manager for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.
Conchetta serves as Vice President of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) Orland Park Chapter and is a member of the Leadership Team for the NAPW Chicago Chapter. She is also a board member and the Mentoring Chair for the Professional Women’s Network (PWN)
During her spare time, Conchetta loves to read, write and spend time with her family and friends.