Thoughts on Perseverance: From Leanne

August 17, 2022

Meet Leanne | Ms. September 2017   |   Diagnosed at 37 (1997), re-diagnosed at 44

What is your story which will be told when you are gone?

Everyone has a story. We carry our stories inside us because sometimes we feel like no one cares. After all, we are just ordinary humans, doing ordinary stuff. What could possibly be so interesting about our lives that others would want to read about them?

Human beings are incredible in their determination to survive and thrive in the face of daunting obstacles. Your life is full of stories like this. You have survived really hard times. You have great challenges that seemed insurmountable when you first faced them.

We have all faced things we did not want to face. We have tried and failed. We have let people down. We have picked ourselves back up and taken another step forward. When we were knocked down, we got back up again.

You have changed in ways that were nearly imperceptible as it was happening. Or, the changes came like a tidal wave sweeping you along in its violence and delivering you on shore as a different person. You have grown. You have learned valuable lessons. Others need to hear those stories.

When you share the ways you have struggled, and you are willing to show your soft underbelly to others, you show them that it’s okay to talk about the things we all hold inside for fear that others will judge us. We are afraid that no one will understand. Suddenly, because you had the courage to share your story, we see that it’s okay to be imperfect, to make mistakes, to struggle, to be human.

We all need to sit around the fire together, warming ourselves and telling our stories. It is when we gather at the proverbial campfire that we discover that we are all the same. It is what connects us all — this human experience of bloody failures and glorious victories. Make sure the story you leave behind is truthful and genuine like you. Make it impactful. Make it powerful. Make it rememberable.

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