Please be aware that this content discusses the subject of death, which may be a trigger for some people.
As many of you know, I recently experienced the unexpected loss of my young, 25-year-old brother, Alex. Since then, I haven’t felt much like writing. And, if I’m being completely honest, there were days that I didn’t feel much like living.
Today, I’m in a more peaceful state; filled with hope and a sense of purpose. This road hasn’t been easy and it’s not over. To some extent, I know I will always mourn the loss of my brother. I will always notice his absence at holidays, think of calling him and then remember he’s gone, relive the dreadful days that followed his death.
When he died, I felt like a part of me died too. And, I wondered if I would always feel this death within myself. What I’ve come to realize in the last few weeks is that this part of me can heal. It’s not that I will ever be exactly the same again, but I will be whole again.
So, I’m writing to you today to let you know that I will be back to writing again soon. I have so much to share – so many experiences – and I believe that every experience deserves to have its story told.
In the past year, I feel like I’ve consumed a lifetime’s worth of experiences. I began a career path in consulting, completed yoga training and started teaching yoga, lost my grandfather, wrote my dissertation, survived an attack, defended my dissertation and graduated, started a different career path as a full time faculty member, lost my brother, went to India – and that’s not even all of it.
I’m not the same person I was one year ago and I’m okay with that. So much has changed, it’s hard to imagine being that person anymore — it’s as if it’s hard to reconcile those two halves of myself as part of the same identity. I have more peace, more confidence, more assurance of my purpose, more empathy, more compassion; I don’t want to go back. I’m grateful for my experiences because they’ve shaped me into the person I’m becoming.
I recently shared this quote with one of my yoga classes and it’s becoming a sort of mantra for me:
“If you are grateful for where you are,
you gotta respect the road that got you there.”
I will leave you with this thought today, but know that I will be back soon with many stories to tell.
In the meantime and as promised, here is the link my dissertation free of charge (though you shouldn’t feel an obligation to read it – do what you wish!): “I Will Be the Leader”… If you just want to skip ahead to the stories, go straight to Chapter 4, which starts on page 73 (page 87 of the pdf).
Yellow Butterfly, Photo by José Ignacio García Zajaczkowski on Unsplash