Chapter 11 of 12. this year is going out with a bang, you can almost feel in the air. Whether it be from the buzz of a possible vaccine, or finally certifying the election results, we are ready to collectively move on as a country and people. I know personally, im over it already, the winter is looking brutal weather wise which means being inside even more. It’s a catch-22 because honestly we have been isolated for far too long at this point, we are hoping to reunite with loved ones before the year is out. No promises clearly, but we can lean into the fact that this, wont be our forever. My generation can say, we have survived a global pandemic, and while it’s still far from being over, strides are finally being made towards a vaccine. 2021, is in fact the year that we are starting over. I have been waiting patiently for things to fall into place this year, and they are in fact doing that, surprisngly before my own timeline. The one thing that I have truly taken away from this year is, you can start over as many times as you need to, we have had a pause button in effect for the past 10 months.
Life has effectively changed for all of us, it’s all how you used this to your advantage or not. I am not saying that you necessarily have to, most of us have been shell shocked on how this virus, brought us to our knees. Things that we once considered small, inconsequential, like not wearing a mask 24/7, well became our everyday reality. As a front line worker, I can tell you, nothing feels better than the first breath of fresh air after your shift. Never again will most of us take for granted the opportunity to smile at someone, to hug or laugh in a close proximity. Six feet distance, will be a long term fixture in our minds and life, and we will slowly begin to soften the restrictions. While the “new normal” we are facing isn’t yet crossed the threshold, it will eventually, and hopefully we as a nation are prepared for it.
Enough doom and gloom though, the whole point of this post is to promote new beginnings. I am going into next year feeling the best I have felt in a very long time. Granted my health has had a few hiccups this year, but for the most part on the road to recovery! Besides physical, mentally I think has been the biggest reset for all of us, and that has been the most important breakthrough of this year. I mean the year of alone, turned into being surrounded by love, support and growth. Most of all I can finally discuss what I have been doing overall. I have talked about this several times in my blog and podcast. About a month ago, I decided to write a proposal to administration where I work. It was typed up on my IPAD, which I carried like a treasure, until I could talk to someone about it. Finally I approached the COO about sitting down for 10 mins to glance at my Idea, she agreed. On a rainy Friday, I got to give a presentation, and waited with nervousness. She looked at me and with admiration, said this has to happen. I literally sat there in shock with tears. Since then, it was presented to her boss, and I have met with Director of Organizational Culture and Engagement with the company. When we met, she put on a presentation of what has been changing in the company over the past year, and we brainstormed for over an hr. The end result was an open ended invite, to join a community and help its growth, as well as planting the seeds for my own idea.
The idea I have Created is the formation of a female empowerment group, it is something that I have been thinking about for years, but now more than ever is needed. The pandemic has created a need for us to try and connect on a different level, the need for having that support system is so needed. Its also time for us to bridge that gap between ourselves and leadership, that has lead to issues, and leveled off with mixed feelings. Some of what I had highlighted was compassion fatigue, being completely burn out and a check in system, especially for those who work and are parents. With that and a pilot mentor system, I believe that we can work back into feeling on equal ground. It wont be upper and lower management issues, it becomes a “We instead of Me”. I know when I lost my mentor at work, I didn’t know where to turn and that is another reason why my career development was stalled. The purpose of the company is growth, expanding on the skill set we have and shattering that glass ceiling that looms overhead. Unfortunately in many cases, we get comfortable or just feel stuck, no true sense of direction. That saying “create a life that you don’t have to wake up from”, seemed like a pipe dream. I am here to say that its not, if both sides are willing to put the work in, and come to a mutual agreement. While that may not happen overnight it is something that can be a reality in time, everything is a learning process.
It’s a major part of the not so secret idea of starting over, to pick up the pen and rewrite your story. Being present in a world where most things change on the daily and being able to react on the fly, is impressive. To re create that daily is near impossible, but its the chance to start over again is. When we falter, don’t see as failure, you are being tested and prepared for something so much more and beyond our wildest dreams. Never did I think that the girl who started her adult career at Subway, would have her own company and be the face of her own brand. More importantly, representing a large demographic that goes ignored due to the stigma. Having a mental illness or anxiety disorder isn’t the problem, its the reaction of those who don’t understand and aren’t educated on the subject. I am proof that you can come back from the darkest places, the absolute brink and survive it all. In the realization that not everyone gets that chance, I created all of this and the forthcoming group. If resources are a major part of why people can’t or will not seek services, then you need to make them available to those in dire need. I can remember my own last panic attack very vividly, the absolute paralyzing fear, and thinking is this the end? It wasn’t of course, but with the chemicals and adrenaline running wild, I had to focus on calming myself down. That’s where the grounding techniques I have been taught, come into direct use. “I am safe, I am okay” has been uttered more than once by me in the past year. I will never ever be ashamed to share this, I use it as an example of my work in progress status. Reach out to people, go on a walk, dance it out, but please don’t ever suppress what you feel inside. You are a child of the Universe, created from love and you deserve the best that life has to offer you, good, bad and the ugly.
In closing as I prepare for the next year, and fresh starts I know everything this year was meant to happen. If the pandemic didn’t happen, if my hands didn’t fail me, where would I be? Still stuck, not knowing what I was capable of, searching for my true calling. Instead I found my calling, myself and rediscovered what love really feels like. The process has not always been easy, I have cried many tears this year, I have gotten on my knees and prayed for guidance, and most of all I didn’t stop believing in myself or any of this. There were moments, when I suffered from writer’s block or drew a blank for a podcast, but then I would say, tell them what is in your heart. That is one thing that during this whole process, has healed almost fully, thawed from the wall of protection of the last 5 years. Its been a long, winding road by to myself, but rather than be upset or resentful, I have chosen to forgive those events, they were catalyst I needed to experience. Lean into the new, the different and unexpected, if this year is any indication that’s a reminder. Finally, always surround yourself with your own “Dream Team”, because without them I wouldn’t be here in this position. Remember most off as December comes screeching into view, the holidays make their rounds, take a moment breathe and begin again.