I had the pleasure of attending the BIAAZ Rays of Hope Conference in Phoenix, AZ a couple of weeks ago. It was one of the most enlightening, validating, joyous experiences that I have had. Don't get me wrong- the discussions hit close to home, and of course, as per my usual, I did not go the day without a couple of tears being shed. However, I did get to meet so many other wonderful men and women who truly understand the difficulties those with TBI face. I met caregivers, survivors, and community members who are advocates for those who at times cannot advocate for themselves. I met wonderful people, who all have their own stories. The one thing everyone had in common was that TBI has impacted all our lives in a meaningful way, and affected the way we think and act.
I have been discovering new parts of my personality now that I am at home, not working, and have time to. I have realized that the part of my personality that did not change was that I want to inspire and motivate. Attending this conference helped solidify those feelings, and I feel more motivated than ever to get it done. Of course, it will have to be at a pace I am comfortable with; I have learned that though I may want to get everything done now, my mind no longer works at that speed and I will need a bit slower pace. Regardless of how long it takes, I want to be the person I am beginning to see in the mirror.
There were many times that I would look in the mirror, and not recognize who it was staring back at me. For this reason, I often did not look in the mirror at all; I simply brushed my teeth and hair, got dressed, and headed out the door without so much of a glance to see how I looked, or worse, who I didn't know in the mirror. As I look now, I am starting to recognize myself more often. There are still those times that I do not want to look, or when I do, I have to stare until I can recognize myself; however, when I am recognizing who the woman in the mirror is, I am happy to see her, and I am starting to embrace her, rather than fighting to be who I was. I know the "me" of before is gone, and I am starting to make the room for the new "me".
Until later, which should be soon,
Be the reason someone chose not to give-up.
Photo credit to https://beacon.wharton.upenn.edu/entrepreneurship/2014/11/scale-your-mindset/