Thursday, January 17, 2008

How it all Began:

You guys are going to get the full, unedited version of this story. The "REAL" story, not the abridged 'professional' version.


In early 2006, I experienced an especially difficult event that dramatically changed my perspective on life.  I had been in a job that I was very unhappy at and had been there for 3.5 years at this point. My mom got sick in January of 2006 and passed away in February just before her 64th birthday. I wasn't ready for that (like we are ever really ready for it).


I will admit that the months that followed were likely the beginning of a depression for me and I thank God that I emerged from it quite quickly as it's quite a scary place.  Every day I said to myself "there must me more to life then this". Life couldn't just be about going to a job I hated (yes I hated it and I don't hate many things). I didn't want just another job and had no motivation to look for one. I was searching….. searching for my purpose in life.


On Wed May 24 I watched the finale of American Idol. I usually watched the show every year but in all honesty I never watched all episodes. I usually missed some along the way. I started following the show at the end of season 1 and watched most of season 2, didn't really care for season 3, then watched probably 70% of season 4 and 5. However I was watching the final show from season 5. Out of the 5 seasons I had 2 favourites, Clay Aiken from season 2 and Chris Daughtry from season 5. Honestly I was very upset when Chris was booted out of season 5 so I'm kinda surprised that even cared enough to watch the final show. I'm very glad I did because that very next day was the turning point in my life. I hadn't seen Clay Aiken since season 2 and I was happy when then brought him out for the finale of season 5 during those 'awards' they were doing. I found it quite entertaining and boy had that boy changed in 3 years. Little did I know that 2 minutes of a show would somehow spark the events that would take place in the days following.


Anyways, it's pretty amazing when life takes a total turn and you can actually pin point when it happened and how. Not that it makes any sense but at least I know when these life changing moments happened for me so I can share them with all of you.


So, on with the story. That very next day I woke up with those same depressing feelings and searching for my 'WHY' in life. What was I here for? What was I to do with my time here on earth? Too many questions without answers. Have you ever woken up with a song in your head that you find yourself singing all day? Usually it's one that you don't really like but none the less it happens to people all the time. For me on that Thursday morning it wasn't a song, it was Clay Aiken talking to me. This is what he said…….


"It's important that I make a difference in some way. It's not necessarily about how I make a difference but I want to make sure that I do." - this was something he had said early in season 2 of Idol 3 ½ years before.


Over and over again, all day long and then the next day and the day after. It was like that song that never ends.... he wouldn't get out of my head. In order to stop this voice I decided I would listen to him and go find out what it was that he did to make a difference. I very quickly found The Bubel/Aiken Foundation and the work they were doing with Children with and without disabilities. What the Foundation was doing was amazing and make total sense to me. I wouldn't have thought for a minute that expecting ALL children to be able to play and enjoy life together would have been such a challenge.  To be honest I hadn't noticed before and was quite shocked to find out just how often children weren't included in simple things like summer camp.


Moving on……


OK so can you picture it…… slightly depressed, lost woman searching for her purpose, going to a job she hated every day and now on top of everything else I felt like I had become a stalker looking into what Clay Aiken had done with his life. Looking back, it was quite funny.


So now on Friday June 2 I was sitting outside at my van during lunch, listening to Clay read me his book (I got it on CD to listen to it on the way to work) and I was crying. I looked up into the beautiful blue sky and I said "OK GOD, I get it, I'm supposed to do something with my life. I just don't know what you're trying to tell me. I need a sign of some sort, something, anything".


Note to Self: Be careful what you ask for.


Not more than one and a half hours later I was laid off the job I loved so much (NOT!) and I was given a severance package that allowed me to take some time off and figure out my life. WHAT A GREAT GIFT FROM GOD. Must have been from Him cause I asked for something. Talk about a sign. It still gives me shivers when I share this story. I'm amazed at the turn of events in such a short period of time.


So after much soul searching, questioning, research, planning, and lots of faith I started Scrapping 4 Inclusion. Putting scrapbooking with the Foundation just make perfect sense for me.


Now 1 ½ years later I'm working with the Foundation helping to include children with disabilities into LIFE! I'm working with some great people and we are all getting to scrapbook our way to making a difference. I've never enjoyed life like I do now and it's all because I was strong enough to listen to Clay talk to me. God picked him to send me the message, who knows why, who really cares..... I listened and that's all that matters.


I know, WOW! that's quite a story. Makes you shake your head sometimes. It still amazes me when I look back at things and realize just how I got to where I am today. Faith is a very important thing. Faith in yourself, Faith in God, Faith in the world and people around us…..I have always felt that everything that happens in life, happens for a reason even the bad stuff. Life's up and downs put you where you need to be the next day. You need to have strength and faith.  Sometimes you just need to close your eyes and move forward. I'm very thankful every single day that I followed where I was being led to, even if it didn't make sense to me. Maybe, just maybe it's not supposed to make logical sense.

1 comment:

Diane (MamaDNC) said...

Laurie, this is great! Already knowing part of your story just made this concept of your blog even more peronal to me. I wish you everything you ask be careful what you ask for! Hehe!

I look forward to working with you and hoping to build a great friendship too.

Diane (Scrapn.Grammie)


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