The events of the past two weeks have spanned from nervousness to rage, panic inducing to exhilarating, frustrating to inspiring. I have gone from feeling nervous about a presentation to feeling rage that it was canceled. A week later, I went from standing at the back of the room at a fundraiser to standing before the same room sharing my story in less than 10 minutes. A few nights later, I went from having a wonderful night to feeling cornered and frustrated in the same amount of time. Yet, what I have learned from this week is far more important than any single event or episode.
First, I have learned that, while I cannot control my initial emotional response to a situation, I can absolutely control my outward reaction. I can keep my cool and stay calm when all I want to do is scream in the face of injustice whether perceived or real. I may not be able to control my facial expressions (I have always had the worst poker face), and because of this others do know that I am not at all happy, but they won’t hear it from my lips until I’ve calmed down…well…unless I’m cornered and pushed into a response; but that’s just about anyone.
I have also learned that I am stronger than I give myself credit. I am more than capable of standing my ground without resorting to whatever ugliness I’m confronted with at that moment. I am able to maintain at least enough composure to remove myself from a situation until I’ve had a chance to calm down enough to handle it responsibly. Not only that, but I am comfortable standing up for others…more than comfortable, ready. I can overcome the fear of the moment to stand up and share my story with complete strangers…hell, with the world.
But, perhaps the most surprising thing I learned was just how many supporters there are out there. I knew my friends and family would have my back. What I didn’t know was just how many people in this world (literally) would have my back when I made my blog post. I am truly honored to know that there are people out of there who will take time out of their lives to show support and solidarity with someone they had never met. I wish I could thank each and every one of you, but this will have to suffice… Thank you!
As Chauncey and I move forward, there have been several non-profit agencies who have contacted me regarding speaking about this incident and about what Chauncey has done for me. I am honored! I promise I will do my utmost to ensure that I uphold all that each of you have inspired in me. Perhaps this happened for a reason; perhaps it’s time I stood up for more than just myself. Time will tell, but I will keep you posted!