As I sit here with a fever and in a lot of pain from an infection under my forearm, I’m tempted to feel discouraged and sad. However, I am upbeat and positive. I drank a glass of orange juice, and focused on the natural Florida-grown taste it has, the vitamins and minerals it contains, and how sweet it tastes. This allows me to deal with any pain or annoyances, such as fevers. I focus on the good things that count in life, more than I have ever before.

My roommate has taught me this. Years ago, before I met her, I was depressed, and negative about a lot of things in life. I had long hair, didn’t take care myself, didn’t care what others thought of me, pierced my ears with no abandon, listened to hateful music, and dressed like a bum. The only food I was interested in was junk food. My dad didn’t teach me a lot of the important things in life as he was too busy with his new business, and my mom was too busy trying to get her life in order. I had to teach myself everything the hard way, but on the way I developed bad habits and neglected a lot of things in life, such as my own personal and spiritual growth.

My roommate is always positive, and when she isn’t, she fights it and forces the negativity out by sheer will. She has taught me how the business world works and thinks, how to deal with situations I have control or no control over, and how to be a better man. She has taught me how to appreciate good food, even healthy ones, and take better care of myself and my home. I learned that the most important thing in life is to be happy and have fun, even if that means being poor and getting by on a day-to-day basis. She has taught me to be ambitious if I want to be, and humble if I have to be.

One might think she mothers me, but she doesn’t. She is a friend. I was a boy, needing to become a man, and she just showed me the path. I had to walk it. She is the perfect woman, and only because I think so. That’s why I’m glad we’re good friends. I’m by no means perfect due to her teachings, but I’m working my way one step a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, it was built brick by brick.