“Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.”
-Christine Todd Whitman
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to help. It didn’t matter who needed it or what it involved, I just wanted to be useful. Maybe that is why I picked a career in medicine. What better choice for an occupation than to take care of people all day who need it? Yet, even spending my days taking care of other peoples needs and having the occasional opportunity to help save a life were not enough to calm the feeling of needing to do more to make a difference.
I have never been quite sure of what type of difference I’m supposed to be making in this word exactly, but what I do know is I wake up every morning with a burning need to do more. After the abuse, I channelled a lot of this energy into raising money and awareness for victims of domestic violence through CT-ALIVE and the Running for Color Purple Campaign. While working with CT-ALIVE has given me an opportunity to do some good, I still feel like it’s not enough. I don’t want to just raise money for victims of violence, I want to interact with them and give them hope. More than that, I want to prevent women from becoming victims. This has lead to me really evaluate what I want to do with this blog and my life.
I have the luxury with my current job of having 4 days off from work a week. That gives me plenty of time to work with for accomplishing my other goals and dreams. I know I want to make a difference in the world, and I specifically know I want to make a difference for victims of domestic violence. What I need to workout is a game plan. My work with CT-ALIVE and this blog have been a good start, but I think it’s time to branch out. For starters, I have been putting more energy into my blogging and have recently begun putting myself out there. I joined Team Tough Chik, which I am actually pretty excited about, and have also applied to be an ambassador for Fitfluential and RunKeeper. I think all of these offer a great opportunity to get my message out there as well as get connected to companies I already utilize and believe in.
The other thing I am looking to accomplish is to put together a talk/program about dating and domestic violence that I can give at local colleges. I met my abuser in college and knew nothing about domestic violence or the warning signs at the time. If I can share my story and prevent young women from walking blindly into a dangerous situation, then I will have accomplished something truly fulfilling. I think educating the masses about the myths and misconceptions of domestic violence is essential erasing the stigma of abuse and preventing more victims. Abuse thrives in silence, and my goal is to shine a spot light on it and open some dialogue.
Therefore, dating/domestic violence awareness talk has been added to my list of short term goals, along with improving my swimming and cycling, and training for a Half Ironman. While these things may seem completely unrelated, for me, training and abuse are closely related. After all, training for races is what made me feel empowered after abuse. Gaining strength and endurance helped me build my confidence and feel safe again. Plus, pushing myself through training and exercise while overcoming my past abuse is what I started this blog about in the first place. Although at most times this blog is more about kicking ass than dealing with abuse, the history of abuse is part of who I am and what drives me to be a better, stronger, smarter woman.
If I am able to complete the Half Ironman, and someday a full Ironman, it will be at least in part due to the strength I’ve gained from my past experience with domestic violence. It will also serve as a further example that anything is possible in life even after abuse. My ultimate long term goal is to write a book about my experience with overcoming abuse. I think finishing a full Ironman beforehand would make the message even more powerful… Not to say that if I never get to the point of doing an Ironman that I wouldn’t still write one, but wouldn’t it be awesome if I could?
In the meantime, I will get back to swim classes and spinning… and maybe writing a talk. 🙂