This past year has come with so many changes for me. Some of those changes were positive, but there was an overwhelming amount of tragedy, confusion, and depression. There were so many life changing events that took place that I could not help but look introspectively at my own life.
My husband started his own business this year. While it is has been an exciting ride for the both of us, there have been ups and downs that have left us up late at night worrying about the next day. At one point in time we thought that he was going to lose the business that he had worked so hard to build in such a short time period. His dedication and fortitude inspired me to go out on a limb myself and finally work towards the goals and dreams that were in my heart. I rushed to my laptop and began to brainstorm. I had a voice that needed to be heard, but I was afraid that I wouldn’t be embraced with the open arms that I had dreamed about. With my hands shaking, I walked out onto that ledge and started a blog to showcase my business writing skills. There was only one way to see if I had what it took, and that was to put myself out there. I would never be able to begin a new career as a writer if I kept everything inside. A big part of me felt that I wasn’t ready yet; but how would I begin my journey if no one knew about it. It was time to stop playing around and pull that trigger!
About a month later, I got one of those phone calls that you see in movies. It was my best friend of 27 years telling me that her father was dying of Cancer. It was almost surreal. She and I had grown up together, and her dad was our ultimate hero. He was as healthy as a horse, and had a work ethic that would put any good man to shame. It was unbelievable to me that once again Cancer had found another person that I loved. Two weeks after I found out about his illness he died. I will never forget the day. I was coming out of a play with a group of friends, when I got her message. Suddenly the hundreds of people in the packed lobby began to stand still. This was not a conversation that I thought she and I would be having at this early into our adult lives. You were supposed to lose your parents when you got old; they weren’t supposed to die until they were old and grey, and being pushed in a wheelchair. But here she was about to bury her father, and there I was trying to figure out how to console her. Three weeks after that, her younger brother passed as well. After I spent a week at home moping around in my pajamas and crying all day, I signed up to volunteer as the PR Chair for my local Relay For Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. I decided that I was tired of losing people to Cancer, and I wasn’t going to take it lying down. I am now making it my mission to do whatever I can to educate people and help fight against the silent killer.
I think of my friend’s father very often. At first it was every day, then weekly, then bi-weekly. These days I’m back to thinking about him weekly. I think of the life he lived, and the amount of things he got accomplished in his short time on earth. He made such an impact on his friends and family without any inclination that his life would be as short as it was. So now I feel the push that I needed to work harder on my dreams. I stop giving myself excuses about why I’m not ready, or why I should rethink the next step. There is no time like the present to live out loud. I’ve started my mission to share my voice with the world one written word at a time. I vowed to myself this year that I will make my mark on the world as a writer. I will share whatever is in my heart, no matter how scary it will be. And I will embrace the criticism that I receive and continue to move forward. If I reach just one person with just one measly paragraph, then I’ve done well. You never know what a person may be dealing with on the inside, and you’ll never know if you can help them unless you open your mouth. So for 2011 my life online and offline will be bigger and better. My blog will change dramatically, the topics will be more heartwarming, and my life as a volunteer and social philanthropist will finally blossom. What will you do in 2011?
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network blogging program, for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here