I had the chance to revisit my 19 year old mind this week with a reconnection that happened because of this crazy social media world. I have journals, but the chance to look back on a letter I wrote to someone else about life in that season, my sophomore year of college, was even more special. Hard to believe that I have two kids now that are living that life and older than me at the time I wrote those words. As a writer, a chance to look back on what I wrote is one of the greatest gifts you could give me. In fact, it’s the reason I started my blog… so that I could give myself and my kids that experience in the future, see the road we all traveled from my view, and hopefully learn some things along the way. The writing skills at 19 weren’t what jumped out at me though, it was the the story, it’s always the story. And my greatest realization as I read the screen shot of that letter on my Iphone, was how simple life was back then. The pace, the innocent things that caused the right amount of stress, like a final project deadline, the memory of keeping one room organized and going to bed with all of the laundry done and things in their place. The art of the letter…write, seal, stamp, send off with the hope that it will be received, and then wait to see if someone would take the time to write you back is all history now, but talk about delayed gratification in the best way.
There have been more stories in the mental health space this week, we’ve lost yet another NCAA athlete to suicide, I didn’t know her, but saying her name out loud, Sarah Shultze, brings chills to my skin. She is the third athlete in a little over a month to take her own life. I’ve never been to that dark place in my mind, but it’s scary and heartbreaking every time I try to contemplate it. As someone who has battled anxiety and a dysregulated nervous system most of my life without the words or realization of what was going on inside me, I can connect intimately to the story of human struggle. My lens is that of a mom, coach, athlete, and writer who wants to create calm and connection through these stories from the highs and lows of life. The through line this week was a glimpse of life circa 1994 and the reality of what I live today with my own kids at that same stage. There are so many differences in how we live from then to now, but the things that ground us stay the same. These are some thoughts that bring more peace to my mind:
In the course of a little over a week we've gone from Division I Volleyball highs and lows, IEP meetings with the most brilliant team at Hermosa Valley School who care so deeply it brings tears to my eyes, incredible connections and stories on ‘What I Meant to Say’, and watching my kids surrender to what is and enjoy their lives. Even with my body still compromised from this ankle reconstruction, nothing brings me more joy. We are so much more than what any one moment brings, but the chance to look back this week was a gift that I am grateful for. Presence is key, but perspective is the gift that helps us see where we want to grow and BE BETTER. When we choose the right one, we have the energy to tell the story we are meant to tell. If you ever need help reframing that perspective, I’m here, reach out, the world is safer than it feels sometimes. Your life is meant to tell a beautiful story of joy and resilience, and there is always a supporting cast who helps make that happen. Trust it, believe in it, and surrender to the beauty that is this imperfect life because the only thing I can tell you for sure is that you are enough today, and whether it's a high or a low right now, it will to change.
With love and optimism,
***IF YOU NEED IMMEDIATE HELP CALL The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
In addition, 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. While some areas may be currently able to connect to the Lifeline by dialing 988, this dialing code will be available to everyone across the United States starting on July 16, 2022.