September 8, 2014
I have succumbed to Apathy. Just like the Yin and the Yang, there must be darkness and light. The darkness is drowning the light.
I miss the light.
I want to dream again. I want to live the dream. I want to have hope. I want to smile. I want to laugh. I want to love. I want to shed tears of joy, not sorrow. I want my heart to be free. I want my mind to be free to dream.
These words were written three years ago. But to understand those moments, let me take you back to the beginning.
The Beginning of My EV Story
I was an imaginative child full of creativity and energy who saw the world through idealistic eyes. I look at my young son and recognize the child that was once me; so full of exploration and wonder, questioning everything around me. I grew up in the damaged anthracite coal mining regions of eastern Pennsylvania wanting to be a scientist from a young age. My dreams were of paleontology and finding dinosaur bones in the waste rock piles behind my house. I didn’t know the geologic formations that I was digging through predated the dinosaurs by millions of years; it didn’t matter; I was a dreamer
My passion for saving the environment resulted in many early accomplishments. I founded the first environmental group. It was 1990 and I was the only environmentally driven vegetarian in my all Catholic High School. I was confident that my fight would save humanity from environmental plunder. If given the opportunity, I would have gladly burned my bra or organize a giant sit-in or walk-out if forced to dissect a skinned cat in high school biology. Fortunately for my bra, my carefully written manifesto to the school principal proved successful, and I was spared from all the smoke.
My Environmental Disillusionment
I naturally excelled in the math and sciences prompting me to pursue degrees in engineering and earth science. Of course, this trajectory was not linear and there were many diversions and hurdles. Nevertheless, I entered the environmental industry hell bent on making a difference in the world.
It didn’t take long for me to become disillusioned.
The environmental industry is exactly that, it is an industry. I often compare the environmental industry to a sports league. To simplify, you have the government team, the industry team, and the non-profit environmentalist team. I was a first draft pick for the industry team, but was later traded to the government team. There were lots of games played. Sometimes I was on the winning team, other times I was on the losing team. It just depended on what team I was playing for and who had the best players. And the rules of game were always politics and economics.
My ideal of saving humanity from environmental disaster was shattered. No matter what team I was playing for, I always felt like I was playing for the wrong team. As far as I could tell, there was no right team.
My Battles with Personal Vitality
I was “chubby” and was acutely aware of my less than perfect physique. So, I started a very early career of anorexia, bulimia, and fad dieting at the young age of 11.
In my twenties, the battle became more personal. I became very ill with Crohn’s Disease. Shortly after my Crohn’s Diagnosis, with a compromised immune system, I was diagnosed with high grade cervical dysplasia, the early stages of cervical cancer. In the end, I rose above my diagnosis and began to manage my health naturally. It continues to be a battle, a battle I have been fighting for twenty years.
In my thirties, I became a mom and shortly thereafter, became a single mom. I am a fulltime working single professional mom who is still learning how to balance a very demanding career while not sacrificing my most important role in life, being a mother to an exceptional son.
Now, in my 40’s, learning from all my battles with love, health, and life, I continue to move forward.
More Bitter than Sweet
Up to this point, the synopsis of my life is very positive and upbeat because my outward personality is very outgoing and energetic. But, that is what I project; it’s not always what’s in my head.
Four years ago, I was consumed by depression. Many factors led up to this point including a divorce, bankruptcy, legal battles, becoming a single mom, moving to a new town, a new job, and entering into a new unhealthy relationship. At the time, I didn’t realize that I was sliding into depression. I was able to change certain aspects of my life, seek counseling, end my unhealthy relationship, and regain my mental health. I am very aware of my inner struggles and my propensity for depression. Through self-analysis, I realize I have always suffered from depression. I still struggle and the long cold winters of the great white north have been very hard on my mental stability. I am working on ways to manage that aspect of my mental health too.
Moving My EV Story Forward
I spent a life battling body image, fad diets, unhealthy relationships, and my health. I have been my worst enemy. My goal is to become my greatest advocate and bring peace within myself. It is my greatest battle and failure is not an option. I am a role model to my impressionable son and I want him to experience a strong, healthy, self-confident mother who will shape his choices and relationships throughout his life.
July 18, 2017
I am moving forward. I have found a path.
I see the light.
I am dreaming again. I am living the dream. I have hope. I smile. I laugh. I love. I am shedding tears of joy. My heart is becoming free. My mind is free to dream.
I created Experimental Vitality for myself. I created it to bring back my light, to find my ultimate state of living. But, I quickly realized it wasn’t just about me. It’s about all us. It’s about our community, our society, and our environment. Experimental Vitality is my journey, but it can’t be done alone. I need others to join me. Experimental Vitality needs to be our journey, our quest.
EV = Experimental Vitality