You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but remember you must give an account to God for everything you do. -Ecclesiastes 11:9
On March 22, 2014, I joined hundreds of others in Washington, D.C. for the National Walk for Epilepsy. OH-EM-GEE – I had no words. I was very excited for a vacation, a break from every day life, no doctor visits, no work, not too many worries other than a fever that tried to creep up on me but I had no clue the joy I would feel that day!
My team for the walk consisted of myself, my cousin Knigea, one of my best-friends Lauren and her cousin Keisha. Oh and big shout out to my virtual walkers who signed up and could not physically be there! While we dashed to each booth collecting goodies, I ecstatically searched for my other epilepsy advocates and dear friends 🙂 Of course the first person I spotted was my other bestie Tiffany of The Epilepsy Network And her hubby Chris ..The smiles that came across both of our faces were absolutely priceless. As if we don’t talk every single day or random videos every other day. We immediately sent a video to the rest of our purple ladies waiting to hear from us! After a few omg’s and hey where you get that?! Here comes Natalie of Angels of Epilepsy! Talk about the excitement growing!! Her silly self couldn’t keep it together! Few pics of everybody and the Washington Monument ..Let’s get this party started ..oh wait here comes Jewell of Live Out Loud 4 Epilepsy!! See the only way this raising awareness thing works, is if we support each other! We all have our own businesses and brand but we also support each other. We join together for the common cause. We all live with epilepsy and want the same thing..A CURE!!
When I say I was totally in my element! After a while I forgot it was even a walk lol I just knew I was there with family and friends, experiencing a place I never been before. It was a very humbling experience. I knew in that moment it was confirmation that I’m doing exactly what I was gifted to do. To be a voice for people who feel they don’t have a voice. To be support to raise awareness. After it was all over I went back to the hotel and just relaxed! My body knows when it had enough and my meds as well starts to make me feel weird but I was safe and on cloud 9 doing what I’m so passionate about. Took a moment to say thank you Lord for all of this. That day felt like a dream, bam it happened so fast!
Telling my mom all about it, I realized I was truly glowing. I’m really starting to feel happiness on the inside and not just faking it on the outside. For much of my life I gave so much to make sure everyone else was happy or had what their heart desired. I let people walk all over me in regards to my feelings and just accepted it all. But I had to wake up and realize, Whitney it’s time you make YOU happy and if anybody feels that’s selfish then what about the years and times you made it all about them? I would seriously feel guilty for even smiling when someone I care about was going through so much. But since building my relationship with God, I know I got my own loads to carry. I can no longer fight everyone else’s battles. Yes, I’m always available for support or advice but I can’t fix it or be held accountable for not fixing everyone else’s mess. I have a really big heart and may be why so many people feel an ease when talking to me. I am thankful for the many people who have entered my life over the years and years to come. A lot of people say they are not open to making new friends at this point in life but be careful because God uses people to bring you to different levels. Don’t block your blessings being “content”.
The days when I start to feel guilty for being happy I listen to my favorite song by India.Arie “I Choose”. “I was always too concerned bout what everybody would think, but I can’t live for everybody, I gotta live my life for me. So today I decided to let it all go, I’m dropping these bags and making room for my joy! I choose, to be the best that I can be, I choose to be authentic in everything, my past don’t dictate who I am. I’ve put myself in so many chaotic circumstances but by the grace of God I’ve been given so many second chances.”
At the end of the day I am forever grateful for every experience in my life. The good, the bad, the triumphs, the failures. The true friendships, the false ones, the bad break ups. The love of my life. Everything you endure in life is a blessing or a lesson but in each blessing there is still a lesson. Don’t miss it. Don’t forget to thank God for everything you have, it would not be possible without him.
So who’s ready for D.C. 2015?! I AM! #TEAMCHANGINGFOCUS