May 5th marks my four year anniversary of freedom. Now, I could say that it was just about being officially divorced from a toxic relationship, but the freedom I received was from a much bigger cause. It was the day that I officially decided to break my deadly addiction, and I started Chasing Stormi LLC to hold myself accountable during my journey.
As I reflect back on the last four years I can tell you that I’m honestly not doing exactly what I started out to, but I have been put on a more defining path. Although I haven’t traveled nearly as much as I had intended, and occasionally I have allowed life to interrupt my goals from time to time, I can tell you that I have still learned more than I could have ever imagined even in the very short years of being on this journey.
Sometimes you wake up and realize that you’re still not exactly where you would like to be in life. Maybe you’re turning 40, working in a warehouse part-time, and still struggling to make ends meet. Maybe you’ve set goals for the New Year that you find are already being postponed due to random circumstances. It would be easy to throw in the towel, or blame the Universal Intelligence for your downfall. It would be easy to accept defeat, and give up on your dreams. But we were not built to accept “easy”. If we were, we’d be able to just coast through life, without growth, simply accepting what’s given to us without challenges, and settling for mediocre. But we can’t. It’s not coded in our DNA to accept “easy” or “mediocre”. Why? We are Storm Chasers. And despite what’s thrown at us, we were designed to just keep going. No matter how much we might desire to give up, it’s not in our blood to do so. So as Jo Dee Messina so gracefully sings:
"It’s almost like the hard times circle ‘round. A couple drops and they all start coming down. Yeah, I might feel defeated, And I might hang my head. I might be barely breathing, but I’m not dead. Tomorrow’s another day, and I’m thirsty anyway, so bring on the rain."
Yes, bring on the rain, because rain is our expertise. Lace up those running shoes, and prepare to run. It’s only March, and we’ve got a lot more lives to change before the end of the year. It's okay to struggle. We're masters at it. However, if you think that you're capable of just giving up all together, know right now that you are not. I know. I've tried. If the path was easy, everyone would be on it. But they aren't. You are. So take a breathe, adjust your sails, and SOAR!
When I was a kid, we actually looked forward to playing outside. You just always made sure to be home before the street lights came on in order to avoid the wrath of your parents. An Apple computer wasn’t flat. It was the size of a carryon suitcase, had a black screen with a green blinking cursor, and you could only play Number Munchers and Oregon Trail on it where everyone in your group died of the plague or from starvation because you couldn’t shoot squirrels and deer good enough to survive. You took keyboarding classes with cardboard coverings so you learned how to type, because Google wasn’t there to do it for you. Floppy disks were actually floppy. Then the hard disks got renamed inappropriately, and you sat anxiously waiting to that horrible fax dial up screaming from your computer until you finally heard those three blessed words…”You’ve got mail”.
You always made sure that you had enough change so that you could use a thing called a payphone to call and let someone know you were ready to be picked up. If you had a pager, you were either in the medical field or considered a drug dealer according to your mother. When you were grounded, you were actually sent to your room where there were no computers, TVs, cellphones, gaming systems, or anything else. You actually had to spend time reflecting on what you did wrong so you could make better choices next time. And disrespecting an adult carried consequences and was not accepted on any level.
You looked forward to chicken nugget day at school and roadkill pizza Fridays. And despite the only option for your mashed potatoes was a gravy that glowed yellow like the nuclear power plant on the Simpsons, it beat eating the lettuce and carrots that was considered your “salad” that you drowned in ranch dressing to make it edible. You actually had a thing called recess where you got to go outside to run off your craziness from sitting still for so long, because back then the school district believed in supporting the sanity of your teacher more than a standardized test. You also had things like art and music just as much as you had gym. You also learned how to read and spell all on your own, and write in the lost form of language known as cursive. It was CRAZY!
Book reports meant you had to use a card catalog at the library to find your needed books, and you had to use index cards to write down your references and quotes that you would put in your paper. Then when you finally typed your report on paper that had thin green stripes throughout it, you had the privilege of tearing off the edges without tearing the whole report to avoid listening to the printer scream loudly as it printed every letter for a second time. Luckily, reports were a lot shorter back then.
Movies were$3 which made the AMC movie ticket books the best Christmas gift ever, and I witnessed the extreme upset when gas bravely rose above the blessed 99 cents at Quick Trip. $15 actually filled your tank instead of wondering if you would get even a ¼ of a tank. Kid’s meals had glass collectable cups of your favorite cartoon and movie characters, toys that were worth something, and Hardee’s bravely gave kids 45 records that you could listen to the story of Gizmo as you followed with the book that was included. Cutting music involved running a cassette tape all day trying to catch your favorite song on the radio, and then using the pause, play, and stop button to cut out the commercials so you could have the most epic car tape for those long road trips. You watched movies on VHS tapes, and set it to record your favorite shows to playback later because DVR wasn’t even a thought at the time.
Despite being a generation that saw the Internet come to life with so much other technical advances, we were blessed with the greatest gift of all. Decompression. Despite if you were bullied at school, at home, or at your favorite after school activity, we had the opportunity to get to turn it off at some point during the day. Sadly, the younger generations have lost this gift due to social media and constant connectivity through cell phones, tablets, laptops and more. This is the biggest reason why I am working on getting a summer camp to help kids decompress and learn to handle bullying without taking their own lives. We have all been bullied at one point or another in our lives. Some of us still even face bullying into our adulthood. It is a disease that will never be eliminated, but at least we were given tools to help us manage it better. We remember a time when cell phones didn’t live our lives for us. We learned from physical books and not ipads and laptops. We had the ability to catch our breath without being constantly bombarded on multiple 24/7 social media platforms. There were consequences to our words, and we were less vicious because our bullying was face to face so we didn’t have the protection of hiding behind a computer screen to prevent us from getting punched in the face.
So if you want to #BeTheChange to help people that didn’t get to grow up as well as we did, please subscribe to this website and learn how you can help to build a world where hurtful words don’t have power over how we feel about ourselves.
I’m not sure when it became acceptable for a child to lie and try to destroy an adult’s life by reporting them for abuse when they had never been touched, simply because they were told they couldn’t go to school looking like a hooker and was forced to dress like the lady they should aspire to always be. Or when kids started the great runaway routine by using Snapchat just because they didn’t like what a parent or family member said to them. Never mind the massive increase of child trafficking currently, or the fact that it simply destroys their loved ones hearts not knowing if they’re safe. When did it suddenly become okay for a child to not only bully other children, but bully their own parents making them feel helpless for fear of losing them all together? When did they simply just stop caring how their actions affected other people?
Today’s world saddens me greatly and makes my heart ache daily, and I absolutely hate it sometimes. Although I know some really amazing kids and adults that are doing so many great things, there's still enough bad that is outweighing any good being done. I was so excited to be asked from a former student to teach her a solo for a spring performance. My heart swelled! I had not been able to teach in YEARS! I couldn’t wait to get started immediately! However, through communicating through the teacher, mother, and daughter I quickly had to make a very difficult choice. You see, the daughter misinterpreted the requirements. When the mother tried to assist, the daughter lashed out like no other. This is not the first time nor I’m afraid to be the last. Although the mother was going out of her way to help the daughter, by simply telling her that she had misinterpreted the information, suddenly the mother was being bullied even worse then I witness the kids do to each other daily.
So I made the choice to sacrifice my own happiness of teaching again in order to prove that bullying would never be accepted in my book in an attempt to be a part of the solution and not the problem. Of course another family member just gave in and gave the daughter what she wanted instead of holding her accountable for her actions, therefore, only teaching the child that if she’s nasty enough to the world they will eventually give in and let her have whatever she wanted.
I do not claim to be any kind of a child psychologist, but I can tell you that I have seen the ending of this story all too often. That child eventually grows up and becomes an adult. Most of the time they don’t “grow out of it” as some people will claim. They just simply continue to terrorize the world until they forever get whatever they want. But how does that help society as a whole? I personally get told "no" constantly, and it makes me a better person for it. Mostly because I find other ways to achieve my goals and get the satisfaction of proving people wrong. However, I never do it in a malicious way to harm others.
So how do we stop this vicious cycle that is causing our suicide rate to exceed limits like never before? I personally am taking steps to build a safe place for those that suffer from bullying at any age. I will continue to tell those kids “no”, because even if they do think they know everything already they have no freaking clue. I was that kid. We all were at one point in our lives. But there were plenty of people that stepped into my life and taught me to have Style, Class, & a little bit of Sass instead in order to get what I wanted while gaining respect in the process. They told me what I didn't want to hear more often then not. They weren't always right, but their intentions were in the right place. I rarely got what I wanted handed to me, and now I have great pride in getting things for myself on a regular basis. I may not always agree with those that disagree with me, but I respect them for their point of views and honesty. So why have so many people given up on what has proven to work for centuries beyond our years? When did we decide to just take the easy way out and give into our bullies instead of fighting like hell to put a stop to them?
Because bullies don't stop. Why would they when it's easy, convenient, and works so well for them? When have you ever changed willingly without being forced to because there was no other way? Just think. What would happen if we stopped giving in to the bullies of today? Would they not be forced to find another way to get what they want if we didn't allow their bullying to have any power over us? Wouldn’t you rather be a part of the solution instead of the problem?
*** If you feel like you are being bullied in anyway, whether from friends, family members, coworkers, or strangers, please seek help. There’s no shame in asking for help to live a better and healthier life. Be the Change that this world so desperately needs by stomping out bullying. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) today.
While watching a Hallmark Christmas movie with my mother, they were trying to come up with reasons why they preferred to be single and not in a relationship. After the list included dancing around naked at 2am, not having to sacrifice doing what you want to do for someone else's selfish needs, and others were said I exclaimed, "EXACTLY! This is why I'm still single!"
My mother responded with her usual, "Single and lonely." And with those three short words suddenly I found myself very irritated to the core. Not because of the specific comment. Let's face it. It's not the only time I have been told that single equaled lonely. It was the fact that even after 39 years, this woman continued to know absolutely nothing about her own daughter.
So many people I cross paths with usually give me the look of horror followed by a pity glance, pat on the hand, and some ridiculous comment like, "You'll find someone eventually dear. Don't lose hope." I'm sorry, what? Since when did not having a man equaled losing all hope in life and one's self? Oh yeah...since the beginning of time. (She says rolling her eyes sarcastically)....
Unfortunately for most, even with a new year there lacks a new perspective on life. You see, I am quite content being alone. I'm an amazing date, I make myself laugh into tears, and I never get tired of being with me. I wake up content and go to bed content, because since starting Chasing Stormi almost five years ago I have learned the most important lesson I could ever learn in a lifetime: I am enough. I know exactly what I am worth and what I deserve. I'm just not willing to settle for second best or even 137th best just to "not be single anymore". This tends to blow people's mind, which is hilarious to me, but it's a matter of perspective to be honest. Old perspectives, however, continue to outweigh the new.
Some people are lucky to find their soulmates early in life, marry their high school sweethearts, and then die together like in The Notebook. Others find them a little later in life, and that's okay too. Some people would rather being in a relationship, even if it's the worst fit possible just to not be alone. Others are titled "People Pleasers" that don't care who they're with as long as they're making people happy. Much like Julia Robert's character in The Runaway Bride, they find themselves not knowing how they like their own eggs. Sadly, not all of us wise up to actually run when we're standing at the alter and end up signing the paperwork anyway, just accepting that we will never be able to tell someone how to cook our own darn eggs. The majority of the population typically falls into one of these four categories.
Some people, however, are put on a different destiny path. It can contain a lot of heartache, loss of identity and self worth, depression, and even worse. Then one day they're forced to face their true destiny, which is to use all of these crazy life experiences and help others that are suffering. To let them know not only that they are not alone, but help them see just how valuable they are. It's not a destiny path that many are strong enough to go down, or that others understand while standing on the outside. But just because someone's perspective of you or your life choices doesn't make sense to them doesn't make it any less right for you. After all, it's your destiny path and not theirs.
Either way, my perspective has adjusting for 2019. I'm just fine being "lonely", because being "lonely" means I am not settling for less than I deserve. That's not to say that someone won't join me on my journey down the road. It just means that unworthy freeloaders will have to find another ride to ride. This one is closed until you prove you're worth me and my precious time. I will continue to be proud of how far I have come from eating everyone's version of eggs, and finally knowing exactly how I want mine. I'm making sure I get them ordered that way too. It has not just been in the dating arena either that these changes have been witnessed. There's nothing wrong with wanting a better job that allows you to work smarter and not harder while still covering your bills on a single income. There's also nothing wrong with remaining distant from very toxic people, even if they are blood or not.
I realized on a recent visit that no matter how much other people continue to stay the same, I have not. I am forever growing. 2018 may have not been the best year for me. Neither was 2017 to be honest. However, realizing your true worth and the true power you hold is the key to having the greatest year of success. I have witnessed first-hand just how far I have personally gone, and I haven't even started yet! So good-bye 2018, cause this girl is about to take 2019 by storm!
The hardships of the holidays does not discriminate by gender, age, race, or any other characteristic that helps to define who you are. It simply hits and takes names as it goes. Maybe you miss someone that helped to make you a little more whole while you watch other loved ones enjoy life around them. Maybe finances has you working multiple jobs, lacking sleep, energy, and quite frankly sanity. Maybe you are losing your home, job, facing sickness, battling life altering events, or even a combination of all of these.
It may seem easy for others to say, “Keep your chin up!” Or even the simple, “You’ve got this!” They can’t possibly know what you’re going through after all. You might even find yourself getting frustrated with loved ones or even strangers that try to help you focus on just getting through one day at a time. However, this is not just a season of giving and reflecting. Winter may come and cause the vegetation in your area to die, but that does not mean this is the time to stop growing. If given the opportunity, I’d bet you would be surprised to find out exactly how much your cheerleaders in your life are truly suffering.
I know it’s hard for some not to get irritated by the earlier and earlier arrival of Christmas in the retail world. I’m pretty sure Halloween and Thanksgiving still are listed on the calendar to arrive first. It’s hard not to miss those that can’t celebrate with us in the present. It’s hard to not stress about coming up with the extra money in order to buy those perfect gifts for our perfect someone. It’s hard not to stress about not making ends meet for yet another month and counting. It’s hard not to get sucked into the constant negativity of the media, the lack of sun and vitamin D, and the lack of warmth in general. (Unless you’re already hiding in warmer climates of course…)
Life is hard. If it were easy, well, then most people wouldn’t have something to complain about. However, those same people wouldn’t be growing either. Just because the foliage has come to a halt does not mean you have to. So I give you this challenge for the next 30 days….
My answer is yes. More than you can imagine! So take the next 30 days as an opportunity to not only grow in the dead of winter, but to help others not only survive but also thrive. Don’t be afraid to document your journey below!
Some people are experts at painting the perfect picture. Whether it is a pitch for a product, a job that promises the world you’ve always wanted to live in, or a relationship with what seems to be your true prince charming. However, we must listen to our inner intuition when the painting starts to collect a lot of holes. Much like the paintings in a museum, they become a lot less valuable with tears and holes, and are usually rejected for long-term use. Now some people are excellent at trying to repaint the picture to cover up the holes, however, the holes still remain, thus the picture still holding no true value. So when your inner intuition starts pointing out the holes, it’s imperative that we listen. Because no matter how many times the painting is repainted, the holes make it worthless giving you two options…1. Try to ignore the holes and continue to believe the painting still holds value until everything crashes in front of us when it’s time to cash it in, or 2. Walk away.
If you choose the second option, then know there’s no need to beat yourself up. You should be proud that you listened to your inner intuition, and can now find a picture with the true value it should that is worth your time and effort. If you choose the first option, there’s no need to beat yourself up. Just know that you will be paying way more than the painted picture will ever be worth, and will never find true happiness with it or yourself and it will hurt more the longer you try to convince yourself there are no holes in the actual painting.
Someone recently told me that if there’s no true value in the reward, you will have no desire to work towards achieving it. This is very true, which is why it was so easy to walk away from the current picture that had nothing but holes in it to begin with. I just wanted it to be whole to help make my dreams a reality. However, I have to take the time to be proud of myself, because three years earlier I would have still been making myself sick trying to convince myself that I had to keep the repainted picture in order to survive. This time, although my future is still not set in stone, I am happier for knowing that whatever comes next is worth more than a picture full of holes no matter how good someone can paint it. For we are true Storm Chasers! And we never fully invest in a painting that doesn’t have a true value of anything less than ourselves!
I know, I know. I have failed us both. I let life get in the way of making time to write, and I have been regretting it the entire time. So despite still having to take one more class due to Park’s error, I was determined to take myself on Chasing Stormi Adventure as a graduation gift to myself. As you already know, I am not a fan of heights. However, the hidden Kansas City gem of Go Ape Adventures seemed like the perfect challenge to get me back on track.
Described best as a 2-3 hour exhilarating outdoor activity through the forest canopy of Swope Park, this high-ropes course included suspended obstacle courses with zip lines and all! I invited my partner in crime, Kisha, knowing a few things. This girl is up for any adventure, is in ridiculous shape (which I was not), and would be the perfect support system to keep me going. Besides, if I fell at any moment she would have to report it, mostly because I would be her ride home….ha!
So here I was, in no athletic shape whatsoever, about to take on the added challenge of being suspended in the trees with no net below. Oh wait, you also get to hook yourself up to each line before working your way across with no assistance. As Kisha was so kind to point out, “If you fall and die then it’s on you.” I said she was going to be a great support system, right?
This was the same girl that insisted we take the extreme course option whenever there was a choice, gracefully made it through like a ballerina showing no real struggle, and politely shook all of the ropes before it was my turn while laughing because she knew she was pushing my comfort level, but I still loved her anyway as she shouted, “Go big or go home!” because I knew she was right. Now before you get the wrong idea, I should also tell you that she spent a majority of the course telling me how proud of me she was, and dusted off as much of the forest off my back that she could from my poor zip line landings. Yes, this girl is my Storm Chasing Sister, and I will be forever in the debt of the Universal Intelligence that put her in my path.
During our 1 hour and 42 minute adventure, (I told you she was quick) I came to realize that following things:
I dare you to check out this hidden gem of KC. I dare you to push yourself to strategically get from one tree to another with simply ropes and possibly boards. I dare you to practice your company team building! I dare you to land perfectly from the freaking zip lines like Kisha could! I dare you to challenge yourself, so that if nothing else you can celebrate each little victory and see how far YOU have come.
No offense, but it is quite saddening that in an age with such advancement “being single on V-Day” is still considered the end of the world to most people, and I am not talking about all actual single people either. Is the world not negative and frustrating enough right now? Are you still missing the fact that you are worth so much more than nothing when you carry the label of being “single”?
Yesterday was International Day of Self Love. Yes, it’s a real holiday. You can check it out on Google. I’m not making this up! It just happens to get foreshadowed due to Valentine’s Day being the very next day. Much like those that have birthdays to celebrate around other massively commercialized holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s I suppose.
However, don’t fret that you didn’t get to celebrate, because whether you are single or not, Valentine’s Day is your day to continue on celebrating! Why? Because it is a day of celebrating LOVE! And who better to love and celebrate you than YOU! For you are a Storm Chaser, with a minimum bid of $1 million of self-worth.
Now, I realize that maybe this is a new concept for you. Maybe you have gotten sucked into the constant negativity of the world. Maybe you are not sure how one would celebrate their awesomeness on a day that focuses on couples only. Here is a list of 10 things to help you out a bit.
People will always judge others. They will always have something to say even if they have no clue what they are talking about. So why not determine what they talk about?
This life is about choices. You have the choice to considered this a day of sorrow and doom, and allow yourself to get sucked into the overwhelming negativity that this world has to offer. Or you can make a change for the better, and consider this day to be what it truly is supposed to be about. Love. Even if the only one you have to celebrate this holiday is you. The choice is yours Storm Chaser. What will it be?...
When I first read this, I knew I had to try it immediately! What a great way to start a new year off right! This is definitely NOT an activity to surpass! I reached out to Jenny to see if I could share it with my readers as well, because it's an experience not to be missed by my Storm Chasers. So here you go. Some of the best advice to get your 2018 started off right!
Things are intense astrologically, and you may have heard that Mercury is Retrograde, which scares the crap out of some people. It can cause technology issues and communications between people can seem upside down. Misunderstandings can happen. It is so big for some people, they won’t even sign a contact during that time. It’s over on the 23rd so you are good heading into 2018. The holiday season can be a joyful and happy time or an overwhelming and chaotic for others. This year has been intense with the politics, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and the #metoo movement. But all that aside, I want you to have the best 2018 ever and one way to use Mercury during it’s retrograde period is to clean up loose ends, finish projects, and you can look back on the past to see what you need to heal. Get your journal out. Try this out if you want to change or want some area of your life to change. Do this exercise even if you don’t believe astrology has any effect on your life, because any personal development, self-help, or work you do on yourself is ALWAYS a good idea.
Write a love letter to:
1. Your 2017 Self so far.
2. 2017 itself.
3. Right now.
4. Your 2018 Self.
5. 2018 itself.
It’s all energy. You will gain a-ha’s, awareness, intuition, and many gifts by tapping into both the past and the future while staying aligned and present in the NOW.
Do not fret and make this complicated. Just journal a flow from 2–3 sentences all the way to a page long for each one. Everyone is different.
For the past, the point is to see what you need to let go of, release, and forgive so you do not bring any shame, blame, guilt, fear, doubt, or limiting beliefs forward into the future. See the positive of your year and have gratitude for the lessons learned and the love and joy had.
Right now even if you are stressed, take a deep breath and write: “Dear Now, Thank you for my breath. I am happy to be alive in this body…” List even gratitude, appreciation, like, love, enjoyment of right now in your life.
Into the future, bless it, send love & light, prayers, good wishes, high vibes, goals, intentions, things you are excited about. Think about a clean slate on which to create. Instead of a “bucket” list, think “Bliss” list. What would bring you bliss?
What experiences would you like to have? Even ask: “How much fun can I have in 2018? What would bring me joy that I have not even thought of? How magical can my life feel? How many miracles can I see manifested easily in my life?”
Have fun with this. Play. This is self-care just like bubble baths are. Very important to nourish your body, mind, and soul. Mindset work and centered energy will make next year different. Look within. There is so much there.
Have a wonderful and magical 2018!
Wishing you a fired-up life,
Jenny G. Perry
Goddess Life Coach
Because Today I have Purpose.
Because Today I have Goals.
Because Today I have a Destiny to Fill
That makes my Soul whole.
Because I am a #StormChaser.
Because the Future was Shown to Me,
And I am More than Ready to Accept it.
Because I am Here to Help You #SurviveOurStorms.
Because Today I Cannot be Beat Down.
Because Today, I put my Tennis Shoes on.
Because Today, I’m Ready to Run.
Are You Ready?...
If Not, Do Not Worry.
I've got you.
I’m strong because I am a Storm Chaser.
I choose to love and appreciate myself and others for their awesomeness.
I choose not to give up.
I have days when I am weak and I may not even be able to put my running shoes on, but I refuse to stay weak and do nothing forever.
Life is meant to be lived.
Life is meant to be “uncomfortable.”
My fire to conquer my personal storms and help others love themselves gives me the strength to keep going.
I am strong because I have people who love and support me.
I’m strong because I am a fighter, and being super stubborn doesn’t hurt either. HA!
I am strong because I have a destiny that needs to be fulfilled.
I am strong because others need me, and I know my worth and what I deserve.
Fear can paralyze.
Fear can make you sick.
Fear can hold you in the past.
Fear can keep you comfortable.
But fear can also be…
An opportunity to grow.
An opportunity to tie your shoe laces.
An opportunity to run.
How will Fear control you today Storm Chaser?....
From the second we open our eyes to start our day, we have a choice.
A choice to get caught up in the stresses and negativity of life,
Or to be positive and make someone smile.
I don’t always make the right choice personally.
But today, I chose to smile and inspire.
And sing. And dance. And laugh. And play.
Because I am a Storm Chaser and this is what I was born for.
What do you choose to do today?...
When I first saw the Insane Inflatable Race in 2015, I signed up immediately. I knew it would be the perfect adventure for Chasing Stormi to tackle. I ended up having the summer flu that day, and missed the entire race.
It showed up on Facebook for the second time in 2016. I signed up again. In January, I fell down a flight of stairs, ended up in a boot, and had no option of getting in shape for the race. I began to think this race was cursed for me. I was frustrated. However, the boot finally came off, and I had a month to do what I could to prepare to be “insane.”
I went to 9Round Lenexa for help. Their whole workout concept had me hooked after my first free workout. Not only was I getting my butt kicked thoroughly, but I was having the time of my life doing it! I highly recommend you check them out.
My friend, James, and my favorite 13 year old, Breonna, were determined to keep me on track. They signed up for team Chasing Stormi so we could all be “insane” together. Breonna also went to 9Round with me. Mama Bear made us team shirts. I focused on not getting hurt before the race. James talked smack to make us all laugh.
Race day came. We were dressed and ready to tackle this storm! We got our numbers, I layered up in sunscreen, and my shoes were good to go. James and Breonna teased who would finish first. My main goal was to finish without passing out before I reached the finish line. We noticed that the obstacles were spread out and not one large obstacle. This turned out to be a good thing.
The horn blew, and we were off! Breonna took the lead. I was impressed at my ability to quickly climb the top of the first inflatable mountain. I knew I had 9Round to thank! James, being the awesome person he is, slowed down to keep me company at my slower pace. “No man left behind!” he said. “Oh I am not getting left anywhere,” I responded. I was finishing this thing no matter what!
Despite his entertainment of hiding to jump out and scare me, and pushing whatever obstacle he could in my path to slow me down, we still managed to catch up to Breonna all the same. She, too, slowed down so we could finish together. We may have been slower than some, but we were having the best time being “insane.”
The obstacles are no joke. They were spaced out so you could walk and collect your energy in between. I am pretty sure that my previous dancer grace had taken a vacation that day. However, I did not skip a single obstacle, no matter how many times I fell down, or how long it took me to complete it. James and Breonna cheered me on the whole way. James ran around to take pictures of me finishing, showing others of my accomplishment. Breonna cheered us both on all of the way to the very end. I was proud of my team. I was proud of myself. Just more proof that being “insane” is not a bad thing. This is a good thing since I earned that label very early in life….Ha!
Today, my fire gained fuel. I sat, with great pride and love, in the living room of the original Storm Chaser. I starred, in awe, at the beautiful face that held ornery eyes that would never age. Meet Nana. A woman that has greatly shaped me into the Storm Chaser I am today. She is the original.
A personal storm came out of nowhere when I was least expecting it. Right after graduation, I received a letter that would shatter the world as I knew it. A letter that stated I owed Park University over $1,000, and I was not allowed to get my grads or return to school until the balance was paid in full. I fell to the floor and cried. I was currently unemployed, and $1,000 plus dollars refused to fall from the sky all summer despite how hard I tried.
I have tried everything all summer long. Friends and family are trying to help, however, every time the money starts to collect “life happens.” My chest would ache where my heart seemed to no longer be located. I finally know what I want to be when I grow up! And now, I am at a standstill until life finally decides to give me a break.
Why $1,000 plus dollars? This is the really awesome part. When financial aid got split between two schools, I spent all semester talking to both Park and JCCC to make sure that everything was going like it should since I had never split between schools before. I was assured it was. The bill is for taking an extra class. My Park advisor enrolled me in an extra class that was not covered by financial aid, because she saw the amount going towards JCCC thinking it was still available for use. Now I am stuck with a very heavy bill.
Time is against me. Since May 25th, the storm came and swallowed my heart and soul whole. I haven’t felt this terrible since I was told I would never dance again. Something that had been a major part of my identity for the majority of my life was ripped away from me. Suddenly, I had become lost beyond words. All because of a single turn and a knee cap that wanted to go its own way. It was happening again. I was lost. Until two days ago.
The shell is different, but this sassy Storm Chaser arrived on Friday for the first time since I graduated. “Hello old friend,” I said smiling in the mirror. I am not sure why she is back right now when there are no answers or solutions in sight just yet, but I welcome her all the same. My shoes are still laced. I am still chasing the same storm. However, now I have heart and soul again and it feels so much better. I may or may not be able to return this Fall, but the fire has returned to fight the storm a lot better. We will see what the future holds. But today, this sassy Storm Chaser is here to rule, and hopefully is here to stay.
She laced up.
She faced the storm head on.
She conquered her struggles.
She stopped to enjoy the rain, then began to chase once more.
For she is a Storm Chaser, unstoppable and beautiful.
She is amazing beyond words, because she is You.
The storm is here.
The rain plummets the ground, and the sky erupts with light and sound. Life has you feeling like you're ready to drown.
Do you go hide under the covers until it is all done? Or do you grab your shoes, lace them up, and get ready to run?...
You are many things Storm Chaser….
You are NOT the following….
Stop focusing on what you are NOT, and focus on what you are meant to be. The positive force that comes to remove all negativity. A Storm Chaser. The best thing anyone could possibly want to be! Are your shoes laced up?....Because it is time to run once more. Let’s do this!
When you take medications that you can't live without, and it causes you to forever gain weight, it's a miracle if you can lose any weight at all. Although I am terrible and cheat more than I should, I have managed to lose 20 lbs. Good days or bad days, my laces are tied. I WILL keep chasing this storm to healthiness no matter how slow I run. For I am a Storm Chaser, and that's how we roll!
There are many things to celebrate tomorrow. It is the celebration of our great nation, and the freedom that we earned. It is a time to spend with family and friends, while enjoying the act of blowing things up. It is also a great day to celebrate YOUR freedom and independence. So go on girl! Go celebrate YOU!
Storms come in various degrees. Some storms are exciting. Some storms are annoying more than anything else. Other storms bring you to your knees. How are you supposed to get off your knees?
I realize this is easier said than done. Personally, I’m still repeating Step 5 at the moment. I know things are not easy right now. My own brain is protesting against me, making my body weak and unsteady to move. However, I am a Storm Chaser.
If life were meant to be easy, then I would never be satisfied. Boredom is not my style. Some days I am only able to get my shoes on with nothing more. Other days I am able to stand, and even breathe. Lately, I feel like I have not been able to get a foot slid before me in order to redo my laces.
There’s nothing wrong with being weak. There is nothing wrong with admitting it either. There also is nothing wrong with asking for help. However, no storm ever defines you. It only strengthens you, even if it doesn’t feel like in in the moment.
You are not only an amazing human being, but you are not alone. We are meant to struggle, because we are strong enough to handle it while helping others. So here goes….sliding one foot in front to tie my shoe laces again….
A girl just trying to find her way, stepping outside of her comfort zone, trying new things, and making new friends along the way!