Pete’s the one who’s up front, on stage, on a podcast or God forbid, the ever feared, video.
I am not.
The idea of this podcast came from Pete, my enneagram 3 who loves a challenge and isn’t afraid to jump in headfirst and fully dressed to go for it.
Me, however, I process. I plan and I hide. I let him do the talking, the meet and greets, and the mixers. I’ll look forward to hearing all about the night. Who he met, what was said, and what new and exciting friendships, partners or opportunities that came about. I’ll be excited and I’ll be the first to cheer him on.
So, the podcast? The Not So Perfect Plan? He came home after the first time he’d shared our story of adoption in a room of a couple hundred people, and I knew he was up to something. After he told me about what had happened, my eyes went big. Big, not out of excitement but fear.
You want to do what?
You want me to speak where?
You want me to tell what?
The idea was great. It was needed and I would be the first to subscribe I thought, but then I realized he was serious. That he already had people asking to hear more. My eyes were big and my heart was in my stomach.
I let it go for a while. I would brush it off when he mentioned someone else who asked about us to speak or an event for women he was “pimping” me out to. But after a while, I couldn’t dodge the passion that was stirring and building in his heart.
And I knew.
I knew it was a responsibility. That it was an honor to not only have survived some deep valleys but to have come out on the other side with a story. With a beam of light and a heart with hope.
I’m not going to lie and say my life has been the hardest or that the cards I’ve been dealt have been the worst because I hear stories every week about people who have felt heartbreak like I couldn’t fathom, have dealt with physical pain that is in comprehensible or have seen challenges I wouldn’t dare wish on an enemy.
Life is hard. And yes, I’ve experienced my share of heartache, pain and challenges. And when I look at where I am today, at the age of forty-one, while not always a fairytale, I can’t help but feel gratitude.
I’m still here.
I have a husband and four kids whom are my whole world.
And my body is capable of getting out of bed, picking my babies up, running into a grocery store and working out with my husband.
Life is good.
But it wasn’t always the case.
There were days and months that were filled with tears and sadness over losing a child. There were mornings when my body was incapable of getting out of bed or combing my own hair. There were moments when hopping out of the car to run in for a gallon of milk felt like facing Mt. Everest. And the idea of working out? Ha. What a joke.
Life is hard.
It is messy and it’s unfair.
But it was mine.
And it’s yours.
And it’s the only one we get.
And it was and is up to me and you to decide how we’ll face it.
That’s when I knew.
It’s our responsibility to share our stories. To show people that they aren’t alone. That there are others everywhere, next door, behind the print in these self-help and motivational books, on the screen and on the stages who have been in our shoes. Who have heard the devastating news from a boss, a spouse, a child or a doctor. Who have lost something or someone, who have fought a battle of mental illness or addiction, or who have felt as if there were no hope.
And maybe, just maybe it’s not for nothing.
Getting a diagnosis at twenty years old that would impact the rest of my life was a ticket to be angry. But somehow, while I haven’t loved the illness or the challenges and pain that have come with it, I knew somewhere deep inside me, that one day, I would know. That one day there would be a reason or a purpose. That it wasn’t for nothing. It wasn’t a punishment or a prison sentence. That if parents who have lost a child to a horrific act of violence or a mother who losses her husband and three children in a car accident can take the worst pain they have ever felt and turn it into something positive. Then so could I. And so can you.
So here I am.
I’m speaking into a microphone and typing words that one, ten, maybe a hundred or a thousand people will hear and see, and I’m telling them about my story. I’m bringing others who have faced times in their lives when the plan they had set or envisioned didn’t go as designed, yet they continued. They shifted or changed course. They stood back up and they did something. The decided and they moved.
So here I am.
I’m putting myself out there. I’m opening up about the hardest times in my life and doing what I’ve received from so many stories I’ve read online or heard on TV. I’m offering hope. A small glimmer of light each week to that person who may need it.
So here I am.
I’m jumping in. I’m taking a risk. I’m deciding that the pain I’ve felt, the loss I’ve experienced and the challenges I’ve faced weren’t for nothing.
Here I am.
And I hope you’ll join me on this new adventure.