Day 109: paying it forward

This year I had to cancel and pass the torch of my baby – Speak to Me: A Pole Benefit for Autism. After three years and $7000 donated, it was time to walk away from the stress. I learned a lot about my self and my capabilities in organizing and maintaining the benefit. I learned that I am, indeed, capable of rallying people together for positive change. I am, indeed, a compassionate and passionate person with a purpose. I am a good communicator, organizer, and creator. I’m also able to shoulder a large amount of responsibility and maintain composure under pressure. I also learned when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.

One of the greatest things about the benefit was meeting so many amazing people. Generous, caring, talented people. In the pole community, when you meet people at shows and competitions, you become friends and fellow supporters. You are immediately a part of a large community that loves, supports, and accepts you for everything that you are, were and aspire to be. You immediately have a large, crazy family with an endless number of passions and abilities. The best part is that they’re all willing to share their talents with one another.

After I started the benefit, a lot of people came to me with questions about how to do it, what I did, etc. Just like everyone else, I am out there to help others and share information. I love to help others reach their goals and make their visions in to a reality. I’m not stingy with any information or resources – what’s the fun in that? You like what someone does and want to do it yourself? Dope! Let’s do it! How can I help?

One of the people who came to me was Jess. A sweet lady who had the idea to do a pole benefit to raise awareness of mental illness. As a person who battles anxiety and depression, her cause hit home. No matter what her passion was, I would have helped – but there’s more drive when it’s something that is near and dear to your heart. Shortly after, Jess created Pole Through: Art for Awareness. A pole benefit for mental illness.

I have had the good fortune of developing relationships and friendships over the years with a number of truly wonderful people. These people have been a huge part of the STM success as performers, behind the scenes workers, and raffle prize donators. When STM17 fell through, I still had some prizes left over. Most of them got sent back or away, but there was one leftover – an amazing pair of Aura Heels. The owners of Aura Heels have become some of my biggest supporters in life and otherwise and said that I could still gift the pair to a person of my choosing.

There was one person that came to my mind: Jess. A person who is just as passionate about mental illness as I am about disabilities, who has dedicated her life to awareness and helping others… there was no doubt in my mind as to who has earned and deserved such a wonderful gift. I was beyond happy to share this gift with her. ; )

It feels good to pay it forward. I was very blessed and fortunate for the few years STM was a part of my life. I’m so very glad to share that joy and happiness with another person, particularly one who is so dedicated and passionate. If you’re going to be in the Chicagoland area in January, I highly recommend supporting Jess, her show, and Mental Illness Awareness.

Sisters helping sisters. That’s what we do ; )

I hope everyone experiences some joy today. I hope that you take a quick moment to brighten someone’s day – even in the smallest of ways. Say something encouraging, post a silly meme, get someone’s coffee, let someone go ahead of you in line, be NICE, anything really – it can make a world of difference. Truly.

I’m a big believer in the more good you put out in to the world, it will come back to you. This was exemplified to the max earlier this year when I had my meltdown. Having others come to my aid and rescue was tremendous. The encouraging messages, the reaching out – truly touched my heart. It made me recognize how blessed and loved I am.

You know, the other day, Kevin and I were fairly social. It made me realize how off the path I got. I used to be hyper social. I’d talk to everyone, go out, hang out, message – all the freaking time…. Then I was in a relationship which caused me to become isolated. I stopped talking to everyone. For a year after the relationship ended, I became a hermit. Why? Because he would go where I was. He would ask everyone about me… so I hid. If I wasn’t out, he couldn’t be where I was. Then I had a falling out with my dance studio and didn’t even have that. I haven’t been to a dance class in about two years. That was one of the biggest driving forces of my dance – the people.

I miss being social and seeing people – hanging out, talking, just living. I miss seeing everyone’s faces. It’s something I need to get better at, for sure. I know everyone’s there – it’s just going to take some rebuilding. That’s okay.

Allright, that’s a lot of writing for today. Time to grab some lunch and do some more behavior analysis research and potentially submit for joining the local school board. We shall see.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.


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