The next chapter
Sometimes the events in our lives don’t transition or flow smoothly to the next stage as previous ones do. Life gives us lessons we need to learn and we may not be ready to go to the next step until we “get it”. I’ve had several of these transition points in my life and I’ll admit some of them took me longer to get through than others. I’ve had to change majors, jobs, living arrangements, life directions and it’s not until the last few years I’ve really grown to like change. I really used to resist it when I was younger though. I think part of my problem was I was afraid to change because I feared the next point I was headed towards wasn’t going to be as good as where I was. Really didn’t look forward to the future as I recall, kind of a dismal way to go through things as a kid and then into my adult life.
Luckily I was able to learn that the next chapter usually contained things I didn’t even see or imagine possible. That’s the cool part about life, the wonderful surprises. I had made new friends (Hi Berni!), learned new skills (my theater background) and sometimes got new rewards (still miss that Toyota Celica GT). By embracing change and ambiguity I was able to jump into new roles in various jobs and not be held back by my own analysis paralysis. I love learning now.
I will share that there have been a few times in my life that I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the next chapter. One of the lessons I needed to learn was finding a sense of direction, and that is not always easy. One of my weaknesses in the past was needing all of the information at hand to make the most accurate, calculated decision. If I didn’t have that I felt like I couldn’t move forward on something (like a job change, education opportunity, or community partnership) and when you don’t move you are stagnant. When things are stagnant for a while then that can spell trouble. For me, when I got stagnant I had fought bouts of depression and some of them were pretty intense.
I recall that there is a sense of hopelessness that seems to feel like you’re roped in and the more you wallow in it the more seductive it becomes until you believe that there are no options. I’ve learned my patterns and triggers and luckily know what that veil of illusion feels like. And since I know that dance it can’t get the best of me anymore. I’ve made it through some pretty dark, toxic times but am happy to be here to experience everyone and everything I do. I think one of the keys is finding an outlet for the emotions and energy so that one can heal and balance. For me things like cross country running, theater, weight training, and meditation can all be great outlets for me to stay out of a funk.
That’s why I when I came across the organization Strong Inside Out I really saw the light of what Amy Clover is doing. When I read her story I could relate to what she had gone through. But I was incredibly inspired by the efforts to give back and help raise awareness of what depression can do. I was fortunate enough to be able to have connected with Strong Inside Out and am happy to help host one of her 30X30 projects in Milwaukee on Saturday April 6th. I encourage you to look at what Amy has done and support her efforts in raising awareness and funds on her national tour. All proceeds benefit the organization To Write Love on Her Arms. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions too!
Thank you Amy for being a great example to all of us in what kind of potential we can bring to life, I appreciate your efforts and for affecting the world around you in a healthy, positive manner. Most of all, thank you for being here to teach the lessons you’ve learned. I know that there is probably someone that needs to hear what you have to say.by