Dear Future Husband,
You should know about this day. Why Sweet Sister and I celebrate. The events that happened propelled changes in my life that landed me where I am now…
It happened four years ago today. April 18, 2013.
I had a stroke. At 37.
Sweet Sister and I were together on the day of The Episode. It was a Thursday and we had gone shopping and out to eat and were on our way to Target when everything stopped. My brain went into slow motion and it suddenly felt like it was filled with thick, sloppy mud and I couldn’t speak. I also lost the ability to move my arms and legs which was evident when we arrived at the emergency room and I face planted on the cement trying to get out of the car. It took Sweet Sister a minute to convince the staff that I wasn’t drunk or high and that they needed to help me right away before she lost her shit. And then they wheeled me away.
I was in and out of consciousness for the next 45 minutes and when I came to there was a sweet, young male nurse cleaning me up and wiping my mouth. And I growled at him. I looked over at my sister and she jumped up and told him she had it from here. She then told me I would apologize but oh my head. And could I please get some water over here?! And why does it feel like I’m talking in slow motion? And WHAT was that? Now there are words that I can’t say correctly?! NO. NO. NO. What the hell just happened?
Sweet Sister: Amy Lynne, everything is going to be alright. Calm down and quit scowling. You are going to be just fine.
Me: NOT IF I CAN’T TALK PROPERLY.
And there I sat for hours whispering and repeating words over and over to myself until I got the words right. Drove Sweet Sister crazy. But no way was I leaving there with special needs. Not now. Not this late in the game. I had to get it right.
I spent a few days in the hospital and had every test known to man kind. Except for the one where they wanted to inject dye into my brain. I said no to that one. In the end, the doctors didn’t have any answers for me. There was no reason for me to have had a stroke. I was healthy.
Except I wasn’t.
Well, physically maybe, but my mental game needed some work. I knew I hadn’t been living up to my full potential and I was completely bored with myself. I was ignoring the call to live greatly and it made me sick. Literally. The Episode forced me to slow down and take time off and think. And re-evaluate. And face my truths.
The biggest, hardest truth though, I had to say out loud. To my dad. My very own superhero. I couldn’t take over the family business. He had been grooming me for the last five years to take over his financial planning practice, but it just wasn’t it my future. I loved working with him and value the work he does, however, running numbers and talking about money day in and day out left me feeling empty. And it was time for me to live my purpose. On purpose.
Proclaiming to decide to go live out your purpose sounds so enlightened. But really. What does that even mean? I don’t think there is ever a straight answer. Instead it’s a willingness to let go and say yes to the unknown. I knew I wanted to have a positive impact and to help people in some way but for a long while I wasn’t sure how that was going to look. But there was another thought that kept creeping in, “What made me think I was special enough to go out and live greatly?” Honestly, because I just knew. It’s a whisper in your soul that refuses to be ignored until you get it right.
The opportunity found me when it was time. The journey of starting my business and helping others do the same has been such a ride. It’s been liberating and frustrating and exciting and hard. Very hard. But the rewards have been so sweet and I’m only getting started. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be an example of what’s possible.
So tonight and every April 18th to follow, I will meet up with Sweet Sister to celebrate life and success and the future. And we will cheers to the whispers that repeat until we get it right.