Great Story: It’s Personal

Great Stories are written by Guiding Ohio Online AmeriCorps Members about their service.

There comes a time in our lives where we feel stuck or fearful of change.  Sometimes, there comes an opportunity that seems to have the light that we’ve been searching for; a small light that gives just enough in your direction that when benefiting the pros and cons, it’s enough to get you there, to your beginning. 

We are who are circumstances allow us to become.   When the struggles of life seem to outweigh the positives, it’s in that moment when you begin to understand that change is on the horizon, and just as the sun, it will progress and shed light all around you.

At 36 years old, I found myself starting over, again.  Not having much for a beginning and with a five year old son, making this step has been a profound one.  It took years just to get myself to take one, small, progressive step; but making it through that first one has begun a spiraling of good new things to come.  There is no direct or specific order of events, no one thing that led to another thing…there was only a beginning and that first step was AmeriCorps.

I am not sharing this personal evolution to win over the hearts of the audience as a victim or the poor protagonist.  It’s quite the opposite.  Since my service began in 2014, I have been able to become more independent than I’ve been in a very long time. I am able to be a positive role model for my son.  I am moving into an apartment of my own, I have my own vehicle, I am in graduate school, I work freelance for a local newspaper, I have the flexibility to be a constant for my son and as his mother.  I am re-entering the adult world by being able to begin again.  None of these things would have happened for me if it weren’t for AmeriCorps.  I seemingly have married into a thriving and committed community and network of people across the state.  It’s not the relationship I’ve dreamed of since childhood, but it is the best relationship I have established for myself thus far. 

-By Kristi Tullis