“Well-behaved women seldom make history!” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
To that I say…A – M – E – N! And while I’m throwing down some of my favorite quotes, here’s a few more:
“No one can make your feel inferior without your consent.”
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right for you’ll be criticized for it anyway.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.” Coco Chanel
“When there is no struggle, there is no strength.” Oprah
WHY ALL THE QUOTES??? Because I did it! 8 months ago I didn’t know what the cards held in store for me. 6 months ago I decided I was going to be a TEDx speaker. 4 months ago, I applied and was accepted. And this past Saturday, I stood up in front of a sold-out crowd and shared my most personal story to a room full of strangers. All rooting for me! And I CRUSHED IT! Boom!
Believe me, telling your most inner secrets in a legendary theatre is not the easiest but I knew it needed to be told. I knew that this moment was going to change my life. This journey has not only reconfirmed what I already knew; that mental health continues to be stigmatized, that it needs reform, and that it’s already beginning to happen in our city, right now. This journey not only opened new doors, it blew a hole into the side of the building.
5 new opportunities appeared on the horizon within 48 hours of the event. 3 major announcements are on their way. I cannot believe the blessings that have come my way. All because I have the ability to say “I’M NOT ASHAMED.” I know this is a rarity. I know that many of my fellow mental health sufferers don’t feel this way – they just can’t get up and announce it to a room full of people or even one person. I know many of them struggle to face the day. To all of you, I say this. I have been there. I know how it feels. It sucks but it can and it will get better! I didn’t believe it either.
I chose to turn my story into a crusade for people like me. I have experienced discrimination in the worst way. I have experienced misunderstanding, lack of support, and flat out negativity. I have had people I believe loved and supported me walk away or worse, throw me away. And now, here I stand proud as can be with my head held high for I finally got the last laugh.