Creating a Future Unimaginable

Hi everyone!

It's been a little while since I last posted, almost two months actually. The busy season of holidays and family, combined with an unbelievably busy time at work and some unfortunate life events, has left me running short of time for much of anything! That said, one of my 2020 goals is to launch into a new realm of sharing about addiction, recovery and hope with the world.

So, instead of posting from the chronological timeline of my story tonight, I'm sharing instead about creating a future unimaginable, then and now.

As I walked out of treatment, on my way to a halfway house in Rochester, in the middle of January 2011, I had no idea that I was creating a future. You see, as wonderful as my experience at Fountain Centers was, I still didn't have the capacity to believe there was a different life out there. I had an experience full of grace, compassion and love in treatment, but that was in a setting that didn't allow me easy access to drugs and alcohol. While facing addiction is one of the hardest things I've ever done, it was easier to do in a safe, warm setting where the food was good and people were loving. I knew the real battle would begin out in the world.

What I remember more than anything about those early days is the desperation I felt. The desire to dive into recovery, into self-discovery, and into the fight for my life. As hard as it was to believe in a future worth living, I knew I had to try with everything I had. After all, six months of trying this recovery thing had to be better than the life I was living, or not living. So, I did just that. I woke up each day, thinking about how I could create a new life. A new job, school, new friends, mended relationships with family. That's what I wanted. The only question was how I'd get there.

Now, in 2020, while I'm much removed from the drug and drink, I can't help but relate to those days. Many of you who've known me over the years, know I have an extreme amount of passion for sharing my story, and more importantly, the hope of recovery and taking a chance. I don't have an exact number, but I have to imagine I've spoken around 100 times, to tens of thousands of people, and have reached even more through social media and now this blog. I say all that to say this - my biggest dream is to share my story, knowledge and passion with millions of people around the world.

This year, I begin moving faster toward that dream. I have plans. I have timelines. I also have a job, a family, a business, and life to manage. I often wonder if I should slow it all down and wait until life calms down some. That thought doesn't last long. You see, as humans, we mostly operate based on what will be, vs what is. None of us have any idea how long we'll be here. Now is always the time. So, now, I focus on my dream.

I've shared with some that I'll be part of the Night of Champions program, Avivo's annual fundraiser in February. So will Vikings legend Robert Smith. What an honor to share in company like that, and what an honor to present on behalf of such an incredible organization. Click here for more on the event and how you can be part of it!

I'm also planning for my first ever paid speaking gig, sometime this spring, halfway across the country. The path is being paved, and it's time to start moving. I was once a young kid willing to share my short story of hope with a small group of ten in a recovery meeting, six months sober. I only dreamed of sharing on big stages, delivering a message no one else would or could. And today, my world is turning into something I never imagined. Yes, I'm creating a future unimaginable. Just as I know now that I was then. And it all happened without knowing how.

The common theme - I continue to say yes, and I continue to strap on the boots, fighting each day for the humanity of those in need, and those not in need. Not waiting for my future, but creating it.

Next time, it's back to the story, one that will finish by summertime, and be followed by the beginning of my long dreamed of book.

Until then, remember to say yes, and remember to fight for those who can't fight for themselves.

Peace and love,

J

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