when i was younger, my fingers, arms and legs were long. for those who know me now, i know this is difficult to believe. i was skinny, slender. my mom used to comment, melyssa is going to look like whitney houston when she grows up. well, i grew up, but i don't look anything like whitney. she was beautiful. i filled out and stopped growing up. she became extraordinary; i remain ordinary. our lives vastly different, but us both struggling as professional women in our respective industries.

i don't condone drug use nor do i make excuses for it. but life is hard. and we all find ways, sometimes unhealthy, to cope. the lives our mothers hope for us change. i am sure cissy houston wished for a healthy daughter with a joy-filled life. i know my mom hoped for marital bliss and children for me, but i did not attain that (yet). i look at my friends from high school who have lost loved ones too soon, struggle with weight, careers and life in general. our mothers (and fathers) probably hoped for different paths.

but we cannot live in the past. we must press forward and use it for a better future. we must make the best of the life we've been given. in every struggle, there are hidden blessings. and my prayer is that all those close to me seek the light because one spark of light cancels the darkness.

be strong, friends. you do have much to live for!

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