It’s completely surreal to find myself typing my first blog on my new website for my newly formed Not-for-Profit organization. I’ve either completely lost my mind, or I’m about to embark on an amazing new journey. I’m not gonna lie….I’m terrified. Probably not as terrified as my family (see: Mom’s lost her mind). You see, I had a great career in Sales Leadership for the last 20 years. I learned a TON. I never worried about money. However, I always seemed to find myself in a fog, professionally unfulfilled and lacking that spark and passion for my work. My work lacked purpose. Sure, I served a purpose to the people who needed or wanted the product I sold, but that’s not what I mean. My heart wasn’t in it. If there’s one thing I have learned about myself in the 40 (something) years I’ve been on this earth, it’s that when my heart isn’t in something, I might as well not do it at all.
I consider myself to have an entrepreneurial spirit, which basically means I’m a good idea person. I’m creative, and I am constantly coming up with ideas. In my mind, I’ve created over 300 successful businesses that would likely take the world by storm if I ever actually brought them to fruition. But alas, I’m also quite risk adverse. Not a great combo when you’re abandoning your stable 9-5 and trying to launch a new idea. *sigh*
If you know me, you probably know my mom died when I was 16. It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me to this day. Smack dab in the middle of figuring out who I was and who I wanted to be, I lost my person. My Mom was the person who was showing me who I COULD be. This is not to take anything away from my Dad. He’s the best. If you know him, you know I’m right. He did all the right things, said all the right things, but he had one fatal flaw…..he wasn’t my Mom. My Mom was gone, and no one could replace her. I didn’t realize then that what I experienced at the age of 16 was THE most disruptive experience that a child could go through and that it put me at risk for a billion things, including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, dependence on drugs or alcohol, suicidal thoughts or worse yet suicide completion, disrupted development, failed relationships, mental health issues, job instability, failure at school, poor health, inadequate coping abilities, neurobiological disorders, psychological disorders, tendency toward abuse, poor self-esteem, lack of self-confidence *GASP*….need I go on?
With luck and a decent support system, I thankfully only experienced a few of those outcomes. But what happens when there isn’t an amazing Dad there to pick up the pieces or a support system in place to embrace that child, both physically and emotionally to say “It’s going to be ok. You are going to be ok.”? With all the stressors on our youth today, we MUST focus our efforts on prevention and we MUST provide resources to our kids that lessen those risk factors before they become more than just potential threats. That’s our purpose. That’s our mission. We’ve GOT THIS.
I have no idea where this journey will take us, but I’m really excited to find out. This concept has garnered more support than I ever dreamed possible and I have THE MOST amazing support system (yes, I’m looking at you). All I know is that after 30 years, I finally figured out who I am and found my purpose in the worst thing that ever happened to me. Huh.