Dreams really can come true
When hard work, goal setting and a little opportunity all come together.
I have had a pinch-me kind of year and being able to deliver a TEDx talk on a subject so close to my heart was a highlight I couldn’t have imagined it just a few years ago.
You see it wasn’t all that long ago I was in the confusing world of knowing that there was something deeply wrong within yet not knowing how to move forward. My life was spiraling and I needed help. I’m the first to admit I sure made some poor choices to help things along the way, I knew there was “more” going on with how I was responding to life and circumstances. Things weren’t right and there was something very broken deep within.
It was a long difficult journey out of the deep pit I was in and having undiagnosed Bipolar disorder wasn’t exactly on the list of things I was expecting to experience. Fast forward several years to the End of September when I woke up to a social media post about TEDx coming right to my town of Newmarket and the inaugural topic was to be on mental health… Actually go back to 2014 when I did my very first vision board and I put doing a TED talk on that. I had no idea why or even what I wanted to share with the world but when I saw that Social post that morning in September, I knew immediately I wanted to share my story of recovery from the debilitating effects of mental illness to being able to “do what I can’t help but do”, which for me includes traveling to the ends of the earth, both Antarctica and the Arctic, as a photographer and guide, and to help others reach for their potential in life.
Preparing this talk, writing the “thought modules” that would make up the 18 minutes of my TEDx experience really brought me back to those overwhelming moments when the world just didn’t make sense, then, just as quickly, I was brought back to the now of it all and I was washed with a cascade of gratitude for where the journey has led me. I remembered the day many years ago when I pulled an encouragement card from a little deck of business card sized encouragements my wife had. The one I pulled was a scripture from the book of Jeremiah. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
As I was going through the hard times, it was hard to believe that what I was experiencing would somehow lead to not just a reasonable outcome, but that years later I would look back and see just how far the journey has taken me. It was hard work. I had to do a lot of personal work, I had to change how I framed my perception of the world around me, I made plans, set goals and day by day applied the energy I had available to the pursuit of a new normal. Sometimes there was very little energy in the tank, but I kept putting one foot in front of the other. As I became healthier, I also noticed the more I pushed toward my goals the more opportunities began to present themselves. None of this was overnight, but it happened, and now I can see that yes, that scripture card message was being fulfilled in my own life. I am indeed one of the most fortunate people in the world.
The video of my talk is still being produced and I’ll be sure to share it when it’s ready.
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