August 30th, 2015. My whole world was to change. Necessarily. Up until that point, I had lived my whole life in Portland, Maine. I love Portland. I, probably biasedly believe, that New England in general offers this immense sense of comfort and ease. So although still considered “New England”, moving to Boston from Maine, was a big deal to me. But I was more than ready and it was more than needed.
I was in a really low spot in my life. I was miserable and suffering with debilitating anxiety induced from an unhealthy lifestyle & relationships that yielded physical and mental health issues. Once you delve relatively far into that lifestyle, it’s actually super difficult to get out of. Your perception is your reality and if you continually and persistently expose yourself to negative situations and people every day, you’re naturally going to suffer in differentiating ways. What’s the definition of insanity? I did the same things, with the same group of people, day in and day out. It’s like treading water. Stagnancy sucks; even if you knowingly and continuously choose it. But even though I was hurting, change is hard. But, “What hurts more, The pain of hard work or the pain of regret?” 🙂
During this 2 year cycle prior to the above listed date, I would travel weekly, alone, to Boston from Maine, for Celtics games. As mentioned in prior blogs, they genuinely helped me get through this super trying time in my life. I would go to the Garden and just be surrounded but this inexplicable, positive energy that I craved. I needed it. That natural and fulfilling vibe is the most amazing positivity there is. That unification of everyone in the same building, perpetuating the same positive light is incomprehensible. I wasn’t being judged for anything other than being a Celtics fan. I was surround by happiness. Then I would leave the games and dreadfully drive back to Maine. Looking back, I’m not sure what kept me in that rut for so long. Why I didn’t do anything about it long before it got so bad. But when you’re in a situation, you can’t see the light through the trees. I guess it’s all a part of learning, growing and attaining independence and birthing resiliency.
I had exhausted my BA in Psychology and did every job I could possibly do over 10 years without getting a Masters degree. I find the system super skewed. We are told to adhere to a certain path and if we don’t fit that mold or stay on that path, shit gets hard for you. As it did me. “Go to college” , “Get a degree” , “Put yourself 50k in debt” , “Then, go spend your life working to pay off that debt”. It’s insane to me. I’ve never been one to fit the mold and do what I’m told to do. Ask my Momma.
That being said, the only reason I did go to college was because at 17 I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Funny because that still hasn’t changed. My sister has always been the 4.0 scholar student. Whereas I had to try really damn hard to get good grades. She’s 5 years older than me and has a dual teaching certificate in general and special ed, a BA in English and a Masters in Special Education. She was the head teacher in an Autism preschool when I was that lost 17 year old and suggested I come substitute there one day. And as cliche as this sounds, the rest is history.
I fell in love. These kids. Their light. Their positivity. They melted my heart. I went on to get my Ed Tech III state certification so I could work in the classroom regularly. I went to college solely to study children’s psychology so I could work with children with developmental delays, such as Autism. I established an extensive résumé in that field over the next 10 years. But come to no surprise, it doesn’t pay enough to sustain this generations highly demanding lifestyle. So I found income in less fulfilling environments such as bars and night clubs. It drained me.
I needed a change. I knew I had to be surrounded by the two things that filled my well the most. Children and basketball. Nearing my threshold of just not being able to take it anymore, I went to get my hair done mid-August of 2015, in Maine. My hair stylist (whom I had been seeing for 5 years) asked me if I cheated on her as my hair was shorter and she thought I went to see someone else. I was appalled! I’d never cheat on her. Loyalty with your stylist is huge. After adamantly denying such a strong accusation, she stated it was induced by stress and anxiety. I was literally losing my hair. I knew at that point I needed to do something. It was affecting me physically. My hair was Lebroning and I wasn’t about to sit around and go bald. She stated that a friend of hers was a live in nanny in FL and I should check that path out, as she knew me well. I didn’t even know that was a job. I went home and researched it in Boston and applied. The next morning, I got an interview. Two weeks later I moved to Boston. First thing I did was buy Cs season tickets.
It is possible. To find what you love and do it for work. I’m in such a healthy, happy place in my life right now. I’m surrounded by love and abundant positivity. I’m independently running a large household and raising 2 children (the boy with special needs), that I adore and they continue to challenge me in healthy ways. Make me want to be a better person every day and teach them things that I’ve had to go real low in my life to learn. But that resilience I attained wouldn’t have derived from any other situation I feel. I’m proud of anyone that can come out of those shituations and blossom. I emphasize with you, deeply.
This whole story leads to this. To present day. Where I’m strong enough to try something and if I fail, I know I’ll be okay because I know I got through all that other stuff and I’m still kickin. So here is my next step. Unifying my 2 passions. I feel if you establish any type of large audience on social media, and you don’t do anything positive with said audience, then you’re doing an injustice. This world desperately needs positivity. If I can change even one persons life, I’ll be content. As I’ve mentioned in other blogs, I have decided to pool all of my resources I’ve accrued through social media connections, and hold a day camp for children with special needs. It will be held April 7th at 11am- 3pm, at the Boston Sports Club where the Boston Celtics Practice facility is (Waltham MA). I have free food donations. Free tees being made for the camp (love you Sullys Brand), the program director of the court loved my idea so much so that he’s granting me access to the court for free. I have several volunteers coming to help “coach” and organize activities with me. I (hopefully) have some special guests coming to help, too. It’s 100% donation based and all proceeds go to the Autism Speaks organization. I have entitled this camp Boston Speaks and even if only 2 children come, as long as they have an amazing day, I will be more than happy. Anything really is possible. Only one standing in your way, is you.