Throughout our lifetime, we will all face rejections and drawbacks – it is inevitable and an integral part of the human experience. These hurdles could either make us or break us, and the outcome lies on whether we will let these challenges stop us in our tracks or if we will use them as a motivation to go on.
Rae Trujillo’s story is one example of the latter. In a Facebook post which has recently gone viral, she shared a story detailing all that she had to go through before she finally achieved her lifetime dream.
When Rae was growing up, the people that she expected would love and nurture her did the exact opposite – both of her parents were unsupportive, with her mom telling her that she was a “mistake” and her dad saying that she was “trash”. In school, her English teacher mocked her by saying that she will be “nothing but a high school drop out“.
When Rae turned 18, she became a single mom with a daughter and found herself “alone, hungry, and scared“. With another mouth to feed, she knew that she had to do something to take care of her child. Working at the home improvement store making $7 bucks an hour wasn’t making ends a meet, and it only left them sleeping in her truck. Faced with a lack of choice, she then turned to stripping.
She didn’t think that accepting this job would greatly affect her future employment options. Her history as a stripper created a vicious cycle of seemingly endless job rejections.
She always dreamt of becoming a firefighter and EMT ever since she was a child. But when she took a step towards that goal, the people involved weren’t as cooperative as she would have wanted.
“When I applied for the Fire Academy, they wanted my employment information. So, it was either explaining the ‘gap’ or tell them the truth. I did what I felt was right. I told the truth. The admin looked at my application, snickered and said ‘I’m sorry, there’s no way I can accept this.’ Then threw my application in the trash.”
After this rejection, the roadblocks weren’t over for Rae. Her former husband belittled her every chance that he got, telling her that she wasn’t intelligent enough to go to college. This only fueled her to prove him wrong and she went to college, where a professor squashed her ambition to become a welder.
But Rae was one tough girl. Even though it seems like the whole world was against her, she didn’t let her detractors keep her from becoming what she thought she was supposed to be. She made enough money and left stripping behind. After that, she bought an apartment and became a welder, which led to her becoming a tow truck driver.
Though it seems like she already had a lot on her plate, Rae didn’t give up her dream of becoming a firefighter and decided to give it a go one more time. She started hitting the gym, studied hard, and was finally accepted into the fire academy. Things began looking up and she soon got her EMT certification and moved to Colorado for a chance at a better job. Since then, she has never looked back.
“Although you may see an EMT uniform… I see the 6 months of working on an ALS ambulance. The 6 months I need to apply for one of the top paramedic programs in the country. But what you don’t see is the interview I have at the end of the week for the first fire department I’ll ever work for…. yes, this is the beginning. The beginning of an end to hard work, and the start of even more sacrifices I’ll have to make to be a firefighter/flight medic one day.”
Through perseverance and hard work, Rae was able to achieve her dreams despite the multiple roadblocks that she faced. But the number one thing that got Rae through all these trials was the fact that she believed in herself, even when no one else did.
“Point is, people will doubt you. Let them. Just don’t ever doubt yourself. So, save your fork… this is just the beginning.“
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