Change the world, bit by bit.
Change the world, bit by bit.

One of my favorite Friday routines is going to Starbucks, ordering a Venti non-fat latte, buying the New York Times, and actually having the time to read the paper while drinking my coffee. My reality is running into Starbucks, impatiently standing in line to order and then wait for my latte, while stuffing the paper into my overfilled purse while running out the door, all the while clinging onto my coveted ritual and trying to make to work at a respectable time.

On one particular Friday several years ago, this was my routine. Already late for work and impatiently waiting in line, my paper perusing was abruptly halted when the words, “kick ass soul searching” jumped off the paper. I sat down, read the review of the then, newly released book, “The Fire Starter Sessions” by Danielle LaPorte, and enjoyed my latte.

Four hours later, I was standing in line at Barnes and Noble with a brand-new, hard-covered book in my hand. By Sunday morning, I finished the book but had no idea how the hell I would actually use any of the insightful information.

Fast forward to March of 2013 when I ordered the “Desire Map Book” and booked a flight to spend a Desire Mapping week-end with a kindred spirit. An April “girls week-end” was planned. Together, yet individually, we were going to each define our Core Desired Feelings over a week-end of lightheartedness laughter all the while enjoying good food, good wine, and good company. I mean, defining my Core Desired Feelings? How hard is that?

It’s hard. It’s kick-ass hard. Instead of the lighthearted week-end filled with laughter, it was more like a self-directed therapy session during which I tried to figure out what makes me tick, once and for all. As expected, the food was great, the wine was plentiful and the company was charming but we ended the week-end feeling drained, confused, and unsure of next steps.

On that Monday morning, as my fellow Desire Mapper and I were rehashing how unexpectedly difficult it was work through the exercises, we heard about the Boston Marathon bombing. Awestruck in realizing that Boston was only several hours from where I stood and unsure of what was actually happening, we started hearing news reports of people losing limbs and seeing their images stream across the newsreels.

Thirteen days later, I was in Boston meeting with several of those people. Why? Because I am a person who has survived the traumatic amputation of my left leg. And because I wanted to help. I had to help.

Nine months and another trip to Boston later, I am starting to see the big picture. With what started in Starbucks and ended with two Danielle LaPorte books later, I see the big picture of me; my life; and what I am supposed to do with it. The confusion that clouded my thinking after first reading the “Fire Starter Sessions” and completing the “Desire Mapping” exercises has been replaced with almost crystal-clear clarity.

I am here to do my small part to change the world. I have always known that but have more recently embraced it. And with the non-coincidental meetings, reunions, and emails that I received on December 31, 2013, I know that 2014 is the year to act.

Tomorrow is the first Friday of 2014. I think I’ll go to Starbucks. And for the rest of the time, I’ll strive to be confidently tenacious; adored; resplendent; ebullient; fulfilled; and limitless.

Would it be too forthright to just say that I love the reporter who wrote this piece? Shortly after a local news station ran a story about me being a fashion guru to women with limb loss, I got a call from a reporter at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
He said: “So, I see that Fox 9 News did a nice piece on you”.
I replied: “Why yes, thank you, they did”. (All the while recalling how awkward the interview had been).
He said: “We want to know you. And we want to tell more of your story. Are you interested?”
To which I said: “Yes. Hell yes!” Okay, maybe I refrained from the latter.
Days later, we sat in my living room on a sunny Friday morning. Me on the sofa. He on the beige chair across from me. And with the steno pad in hand, he said, “We all felt like we wanted to help when we heard about Boston and the people who were hurt from the bombings. We didn’t know how to help but you did. How did you do that?”
Laughing I said, “I’m persistent. I don’t take no for answers and when the doors started to open, I diplomatically got in the doors. Not for the notoriety but rather, because I’ve been the one in the headlines. I’ve been the news story and I know what it’s like to have everyone asking me questions the answers to which I am clueless.”
The interview was easy. The tone was light. And within moments, the reporter saw that my message is real and my
Motive is altruistic. He saw me. And that’s what he wrote.