It’s already been a week since I stood in front of a group of teens. Correction, 3 groups of +/- 60 teens. In this last week I barely had the time to reflect what that day meant. I’m on a constant high for a couple of months now. My pain level has lowered significantly to “acceptable” while my energy level skyrocketed with every new possibility on my path. I even managed to pass for my driver’s license after 3,5 years of no driving.
The only way for me to reflect all this, is to write. It’s my zen to settle down and to accept all that is coming on my path. To read my own thoughts and to remember the past. Sit still and realize:
This is my life!
In December 2012 I left my psychologists office after a therapy session for the last time. I was red-hot, blazing and waddling on my two crutches to wait on my ride home. My therapist had asked me what I wanted to do with my future. I honestly didn’t know yet. Seven moths prior I laid in a hospital bed not knowing what had happened to me and now I had to tell what my future would bring. All I knew, was where I came from and that I had a long long road to go. I was scared. I was determined. And I knew people where surprised how far I already had managed to come in such short time. I also knew I had a lot more in me that I needed to “let out.” So my reply “I want to become a speaker. Inspire people to rise above themselves.” It was maybe a bit early to start at such a level but I didn’t get the reply I hoped for or deserved either. After multiple physical therapist and nurses had told me how they admired my will and strength, my psychologist thought differently. As a cancer survivor he might have known something that I didn’t or maybe he wanted to motivate me or maybe he just didn’t believe in me like I did. His reply “Why? What did you achieve? You haven’t succeeded in anything yet.”
Back then, these words hit hard. Now I look back and see them as motivation. I realized there and then that I had to rise higher above myself and anybody else to reach the goal I had just set in his office. This is where the settings in my head shifted. Not one moment did I think I was going to proof him wrong. I was going to proof myself right. He had made a crucial point.
January 2013 I had a severe depression hanging over my mood. I found myself crying on the floor of my shower with such a heavy heart that it scared me. I had a tremendous and beautiful December month behind me. Back to work for the first time since the accident, selling fireworks, seeing friends all jolly and hugging every single one of them. Christmas spend between friends was the best Christmas-y feeling I ever had. I was alive and I realized it between all these wonderful people who embraced me back into their lives. But then came January. The emptiness after all the festivities gave my feelings all the space to take control and I lost myself in my sorrows.
Picking myself up from that bathroom floor took more guts and strength than everything I had done before. Again. Debbie wasn’t there anymore. I had to do it by myself. All the physical pain from the month before, that I’d bitten through, had dried up my strength and had made me so weak I could only fight with my head. If there was one thing I am scared for, it’s to be weak. To not be able to help myself. To help others. Being mentally despaired is much worse than not being able to control your physical body. When your mind works against you, you lose control over your whole life.
I picked myself up to never let myself down to that ground again (except the two times I tripped over my own feet.) I found my strength in the disbelieve of my psychologist. How was I going to proof my worth lying on the ground? I found determination in the voices of my physical therapist(s.) Who I had to proof right for giving me so much of their knowledge and patience. I found faith in my friends who showed me I was loved and welcome in their lives. How was I able to ever love them back if I kept doubting if I deserved any love at all? Here I began with recycle life.
I stood in front of three groups with 60 first-year students. These young teens were just starting a new chapter in their lives. The Nilda Pinto SBO gave me the chance to encourage them to grab the chance they were getting. I got the chance to tell them to forgive themselves, accept themselves, and take responsibility for their actions. For their island, their world. Our future. I got the chance to redeem myself on my way to the man I want to become. Opening Levi Silvanie show, getting the cover on GO WEEKLY, winning JCI IOBA Aspiring Young Creative Entrepreneur Award, it doesn’t mean anything if I can’t use it to empower the ones around me. I can’t fill my pockets and leave others hungry behind. It is however a step closer to where I want to get. I’m aiming to open hearts and set smiles. I see all those kids and their teachers got to me as I got to them. I am the man who got up from that bathroom floor and I wasn’t to proud to tell them about it. But I told them how I changed my settings.
To all present that Monday August 10 2015, you are the beginning of (again) a new change.
Change your personal settings and inspire! Everyday. Again and again.
Choose to let go of what’s not meant to be, become who you want to be!
Music of Choice: Sheryl Crow – Run, Baby, Run
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