Today is my birthday. I'm 42 years old today, yet I feel like I'm at least 72 years old. I awoke to sharp stabbing pains in my lower stomach, thanks to IBS. I thought I may pass out from the sharp pain. I have a few times in the past. Waking with the pain today has left me feeling exhausted and sad, and I guess I'd have to say kind of hopeless. I don't know how else to describe it. I'm weak and I'm shaky. I just feel kind of completely defeated today.
I so badly had hoped for enough money by now to present a seminar. The lack of funding help just proves to me how much these seminars are truly needed. If every day people had even an inkling of how much real, physical pain people like me live with, they'd give up a large coffee from a specialty shop to make even a $5 donation. People that aren't suffering though, just don't get it. I can't be mad at people for not understanding how important these seminars are, and how important it is to bring awareness for more research, because if I wasn't afflicted myself, I wouldn't get it either.
I sit around, and chide myself about the fact that I'm not just independently wealthy. If I was, then I'd never ask for a drop of help. I'd fly across the country presenting one seminar after another, and making donations to research myself. Again, I have no one to blame except for myself that I'm not independently wealthy. I come from a middle class family, and grew up with my parents always telling me that I could be and do anything in life that I wanted to. I could have gone to college and made something of myself. Instead, I chose to graduate a year early from high school, so that I could get married. I was still 17 when I married. Five months later, I found myself pregnant with my first child, Nichole.
Nichole is making the life for herself, that I wish I'd have been smart enough to make for myself. She's now in the graduate program at DU, and is going to continue on her education to get her PhD. She'd posted a status on facebook today, that she'd received a copy of a final report that she helped to complete the research on. She said seeing her name as a research contributor to this report, alongside two top PhD economists, reminded her why she's put in so much work. She also has landed a job while she's in grad school as a portfolio manager for GSA, starting out at $50,000 a year. -Not too shabby for still being in school. This doesn't even touch on the fact that she's also a teachers assistant in the economics department at DU and even has her own office and office hours on campus.
It's too late for me to look back and see what I should have done in my life when I was young enough to grab the world by the horns. That won't help me a bit here in today. At this point, all I can do is take a deep breath, look forward, and keep taking baby steps until I get to where I want to go. Nichole is my inspiration in all of this. Like I'd said, I was raised in a middle class family, but where I didn't get a college education, and neither did Nikki's father, she was raised in poverty. The fact that she hasn't let that stop her, she's worked and put herself through college and now grad school, is a huge inspiration to me. If my own daughter can beat the odds, and obtain exactly what she wants out of life, then how in the world can I just lay down and quit? I can't. I may never, ever, reach my goal. I may not be a big activist and advocate, that people recognize my name. I may never be able to make a living as an advocate and motivational speaker. What I will promise you though, is that I won't ever stop trying. Sure, I have days where I feel like giving up. I have days where I tell myself that I was dumb to even try and think I could do this. I allow myself to feel sad for a time, then I pull myself up again by the boot straps, and I send out another email. I make another awareness photo and share it. I come make a post on this blog.
Even if I never, ever reach my goal, I will die knowing that I did the best I could and that I never gave up. It's embarrassing to me, to ask for donations. That's one of the reasons I made one of my photos/sayings into a key chain and am holding a fundraiser selling the key chains. It makes me feel a tad bit better knowing that someone is going to get something tangible out of their donation to my cause. Embarrassed or not though, I know that I'm not asking and doing this just for myself. I'm also doing it for the approximate 116 million of us that suffer from some sort of chronic pain condition here in the U.S. With that said, my key chain fundraiser is going on through November 24th. If you'd share about it through your social media networks, I'd be forever grateful. I'm trying so hard to get at least 50 of them ordered. With an order of 50, I get the back side of the key chains printed for free. The link to the fundraiser is here: Key Chain Fundraiser. If you'd rather make a straight up donation, the link to my GoFundMe account is here: GoFundMe Account.
Here's a photo of my inspiration to succeed. My beautiful, successful daughter, Nikki.