I Wanted to be the First

Ever since I was little, I always had a dream about being first. Not just first place, but the first female in history to accomplish something amazing.

In school when I learned about astronauts, I decided that I would work hard to become the first female astronaut. But the space program accepted its first female astronaut, a teacher named Sally Ride. My dreams of being the first were crushed by the time I was in third grade.

Then I decided I wanted to be the first female supreme court judge. And then along comes Sandra Day O’Connor to ruin those dreams.

If I had stayed true to my roots, I possibly could have found my place in history as the first female “something.” Both my parents were racers. Mom raced go-carts. Dad moved from motorcycles to go-carts to super-modifieds to stock cars. I could have potentially been the first female NASCAR driver had I followed through and followed the footsteps of my parental influence.

But my journey was one of firsts I didn’t anticipate. Instead of some grand place in a history book, my “firsts” have been family firsts.

None of my grandparents or parents had a four-year college degree. I was the first to accomplish earning a bachelor’s degree.

When I was born, I made five generations (barely missing both sides of the family by a few months). I was the first to have their firstborn after the age of 25 (I was 31).

I was the first in the family to give birth to a child with special needs.

I have been the first in my family to testify in front of legislators to advocate for those without a voice.

And I am the the first in my family to adopt a child.

If I look at my life through a negative lens, I would see a lot of things I never would have wished for or asked for (with the exception of earning my degree). But life doesn’t happen TO you … it’s WHAT YOU DO with what happens to you. It’s choosing to find purpose in your journey. I’ve come to learn that we are not promised an easy life, but a life of purpose.

I could choose to lay in bed every day and feel sorry for myself about all the bad things that have happened to me. But I choose to see my life through a positive lens. I choose to use my big mouth for good. I choose to overcome the difficulties in life and move on to the next chapter. I hope my next first will be just as wonderful to celebrate.

Kodi is a native of the Wild West and has moved around since her college days, where she met her husband, Brad. She graduated with honors from Wichita State University with a Bachelor’s in Sports Administration, and minors in both Marketing and Communications, just a two classes shy of a double degree. She married her husband in July of 2000. She has had professional experiences in sports management, corporate incentive travel, event planning, marketing and media strategy, social media and SEO, media sales management, creative directing, business consulting and most recently ministry. She works full time at Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge. She is an avid disabilities advocate, and mom to a terminally-ill medically fragile, technology dependent miracle boy, Braden who is 10. Kodi began her blogging journey at his birth, when they were unexpectedly thrust into the special needs life, sharing their journey with others facing the same road at “Braden Mark Wilson’s Blog: Living with Leigh’s Disease.” She and Brad adopted a beautiful racially mixed daughter at birth, Laila (1). Kodi loves to cook, grill and smoke everything (especially bacon) and has published a cookbook as a fundraiser for her son’s medical fund. She loves the Olympics and all things patriotic.

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