As a cancer survivor (and having two recurrences), growing up in an alcoholic and abusive home, having had two fibrous tumors removed from my chest wall, spending 18 months to lose 90 pounds, and living with a rather severe anxiety and panic disorder, life hasn't always been easy for me. However, that gave me no reason to quit. That wasn't an option. Not every day is easy, and some days are extremely difficult, but it's all about moving forward and not looking back. There will always be hiccups, bumps, twists, and turns, but you have to navigate them and handle them because they are a part of life. But I am not quitting! My attitude in facing all of this has been Langston Hughes' poem "Mother to Son", where she offers him advice about life: "Don't you sit down 'cause you knows it's kinda hard...you's just got to keep climbin'..."
My next personal target is to land that overseas job I've been a candidate for. I've been fighting hard and doing all that I can for this position. It'll involve moving away from family and friends and living in Saudi Arabia for two years, but it'll give me an opportunity to use my teaching skills to provide services for students are aren't as privileged as those I teach now. Of course, it does mean taking a leave of absence from my current position, leaving students and colleagues I love, and experiencing a culture I know very little about, but it's something I need to do for me. "