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Finding Inspiration in a Pile of Papers

There it was buried beneath a pile of magazines and papers I had vowed to go through this weekend.

As a graduate of The College of Charleston, I receive the magazine publication on a regular basis.  This morning, in a total clean-out mood, I picked it up and flipped through the pages while standing above the rest of the pile of stuff that needed to be sorted.  Nearly ten minutes later, I realized I was engrossed in an article inside the magazine that I could not pull my eyes away from.  It was the story of a young college student and equestrian named Amber Dorn who is now finding her way after complications from a tragic fall from a horse that left her with partial hearing loss, a stroke, eye issues, bilateral broken collarbones and nerve damage to her face.

The article first caught my attention because like Amber, I love horses.  She’s a jumper.  I play polo.  There is a powerful understanding among people who know and understand horses.

I tried to imagine being a college student again on break and ready to return to school when something like this sidelines you, literally falling on your face.  It instantly took me back to my days in college when life seemed so carefree.  Each day bringing a new experience- a new sense of adventure- a new joy.  I do not know Amber personally,  but reading her story stopped me in my tracks.  She could have died.  I’m sure she asked “Why me?” She could have given up, but she didn’t.  So how does a young woman like her keep going?  Amber looks at it this way saying, “It was both a blessing and a curse because I understand so intimately how and why everything was the way it was…It doesn’t make life any better on bad days, but I definitely can’t be mad at the world because it’s unfair.  I know exactly why it’s going on, and it’s not unfair at all.”  Read her story here.

Like Amber, chances are you too have experienced life altering moments.  As for me, my big jolting life moment did not affect my hearing or my eyesight or even the nerves in my face, but it did paralyze me emotionally in ways that I am still trying to work through.  I know it shouldn’t.  I know I am stronger than the experience.  In fact, someone once said to me “The past is like a old recording.  It says the same exact damn thing over and over.  Let it go.”  It is so true.  We all have to keep moving forward, but like many of us, myself included, we sometimes forget those words of wisdom.

For me, hidden in the middle of pile of papers was my reminder today from a beautiful, strong, insightful stranger who gently spoke to me as I stood barefoot in my pajamas on a cool Saturday California morning that we are not what happens to us.  There is magic in every moment- in good and bad times.  We have to trust the path.  We have to be kind to ourselves, and know the choices we make along the way were chosen for some bigger life lesson.  Amber is not looking back and if you are reading this Amber, please know that you helped remind me today in looking forward, we move forward.

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