A Tale of Adversity Overcome and Growth Realized
Above all else, I am human. And like many others, I have a narrative of my own which has been colored with both adventures and adversity. This is a tale of the most recent chapter of my life.
Nearly five years ago, in late 2015, my life changed dramatically when during the height of my collegiate undergraduate years, I was unexpectedly diagnosed with a chronic neurological sleep condition called Narcolepsy. I struggled to stay on track while balancing a rigorous course load and extracurricular involvement, managing a nonprofit organization that I founded at my university, keeping up with social involvement, and learning how to navigate life with all of the changes and complications that my disease introduced. My academic career would be derailed and every aspect of my life would be drastically impacted.
Two years later, in 2017, I hit rock bottom. I spent the years prior to diagnosis searching for answers and time after receiving one trying to determine what it all meant. As I continued working hard to complete school with the added complexity of illness, my 2016-2017 year would be especially difficult. Several close friends of mine passed away within a short period of time…and then directly before the end of what became a second attempt at my senior year of schooling, I received an erroneous diagnosis with a terminal cancer. I not only failed to graduate on time from my university, but then also spiraled into a tumultuous season where I was riddled with anxiety, depression, insecurity, and an overwhelming sense of being completely lost.
During the last couple of years, between 2017 an early 2019, I continued to spin my wheels in the mud , unable to reconcile with the unfortunate unfolding of events. I spent a lot of time grieving and feeling sorry for myself, asking God and the universe “why”? Unfortunately, this meant that I wasn’t focused on moving forward. It took me several failed professional pursuits and multiple wasted opportunities to recognize that I really needed to change my perspective. I had to stop blaming myself for getting sick, had to stop worrying so much about what other people were thinking about me, and had to relearn how to love and believe in myself once more. This took time and a lot of wrestling and it wasn’t easy at all, although it was more than worth it.
So now what?
Presently, I am pleased to say that I have emerged from my storm of shadows. It really took me until early 2019 to finally get out of that funk. I have spent time dedicated to reflection, self-care, healing, and recovering from the past. I have now been able to get my chronic illness to a managed status which allows me to carry out each day, I have been able to process all of the significant life changes that so heavily impacted me; and I have been able to refocus my energy so that I can move forward- with purpose! I am also proudly soon to finish my undergraduate degree and plan to attend graduate school!
I really had to search for and rediscover myself, rediscover my sense of purpose, and stop the floundering and faltering. And guess what? I see that the difference in how I was carrying myself in those dark times versus how I carry myself now- it is night and day! Thus, I have chosen the title of my business endeavors appropriately (With Purpose, Forward). As I reach for my goals, continue to strive for balance and normalcy in my life, and as I charge forward in all of my many (many) pursuits, I do so with tenacity, purpose, and intent. This is in my opinion the best way to navigate life in such a way as to be able to see and recognize all of the beauty and the blessings; and to take advantage of all the amazing opportunities to learn and grow and engage the world and its people.
To be continued...
Here on WithPurposeForward.Org you will find my handmade Jewelry, and a preview my Blog- as you are reading now. I have my hand in quite a few pots right now as I figure out paying for graduate education, and have transformed myself into somewhat of a jack of all trades.
As a Disclaimer, this site will continue to be under construction as I grow my businesses and expand. I will do my best to keep it clear and user friendly for all. I would also love to hear from you- with any questions and comments you might have. I do look forward to working with you and maybe even collaborating in some way.