Introducing next…..


Introducing MaryAnne Moore Scherer, certified nurse midwife, former middle/high school science teacher and a badass friend who kept me fixed with Starbucks when I was hospitalized.  (She saved a lot of lives for sure).  Like many of my friends, she inspires me and makes me grateful to be in the world.

Me:  Positive/defining moment in your life?

MaryAnne:  My positive and challenging life changing event is really captured in one moment. Ray’s birth changed my life. I was horribly mis-managed during my labor and delivery which led me out of the classroom and into midwifery school. I went through postpartum depression, anxiety, and a massive panic attack in the classroom about two years after he was born (undiagnosed postpartum depression/anxiety), left teaching, and decided to pursue this career (that could be an entire other blog in itself). Although his birth and the first few years were extremely challenging- did I mention that my father was hospitalized for major dementia when Ray was 4 months old and died 5 years later–being his mom has made me a better human than I ever would have been without him.

 

Me:  What’s the meaning of life in your opinion?

 

MaryAnne:  The meaning of life—- I think you make the best of out the random chaos in the universe that is thrown your way. Be kind to others (even if they are asshats to you–there is usually a reason why) and choose your family wisely.

 

Me:  What keeps you moving forward?

MaryAnne:  what keeps me breathing in and out? It seems really cliche, but it is that kid of mine. I want him to be a more well-adjusted person than I was/am— and I want to see how that all plays out. Also- I am really stubborn, so I just keep fighting since it is in my nature.

Thank you MaryAnne.  For agreeing to this project, for sharing openly what I know was painful.  Thank you for your friendship and for providing me with Kleenex when I could not stop weeping for joy, for pride and the impending unknown on 8th grade completion night.  Thank you eternally for your gifts of Starbucks!!!

 

Advertisements

Introducing……


I thought it might be interesting to share the perspectives of some of my friends and readers.  I want to inspire and I have decided to lean on some other experience and wisdom.

I would like to introduce guest blogger Millie who inspires me by impacting people with her passion.  I know her courageous honesty will change many lives.  Introducing Millie:

Hi, All. I am a Tennessee girl living in Mississippi. (Hey ya’ll!) I am an accountant. (Lord, help me) It is how I pay my bills. I have two teenagers (Lord, help me) a boy and a girl. One is a boy scout and the other is a cheerleader. I’ll let you decide which is which. As a hobby, I am a newly certified Harley Davidson Rider Coach. It is how I give back and how I find purpose these days.

I fell in love at an early age and married at nineteen. My passionate and selfless nature was used against me and led to a breakdown of personal boundaries. Boundaries that should have protected my soul were overrun, deemed contrary and outright sinful to our union of marriage.

Over-time my husband weakened me, molded me and changed me repeatedly. I never knew where I stood with him. I only knew he stood a head taller than I ever would. I could never measure up. I could not be perfect enough. My voice had no value to him. He was controlling of all aspects of our life, treated me like a child, was manipulative with his affection, and used isolation and religious doctrine to keep me in check. I blamed myself.

A little less than two years ago, I came very close to taking my own life. I thought the world would be a better place without me. I thought my children would be better off without me.

I got help. Thank, God. Many suffering from depression feel that they are meant to suffer alone. Don’t, don’t be afraid to ask for help. With much counseling and self-evaluation, I began to understand that I had been a victim of abuse. The spirited little girl inside of me had been silenced too long. I came out of that breakdown to declare, “No More!”

I separated from my husband of twenty-one years and began the long trek of healing. Six months after the breakdown, I was maintaining my health but I was not healing, yet. It was as if I had died. Which really, I had. Life had broken me and the pieces were not going to be put back the same way. I still grieved for the little girl inside. She was no longer silenced but she was struggling to find her voice. This was when a girlfriend asked me to take the Harley Academy Basic Rider Course with her. I thought, “Yeah, that will be fun,” and agreed to go.

The first night of the class the instructors asked the students, “Why are you here?” When it was my turn to answer, I said, “I’m just here for her,” and motioned to my friend. The instructors could have discounted me then and there. They could have rolled their eyes and thought to each other, “This one will be the first to wash out.” But they didn’t. They treated me with dignity and respect while challenging me to excel. I pulled up my big girl panties and finished the class with a feeling of confidence and positive self-worth that I had not felt in a long time.

Upon completion of the class, my instructors encouraged me to pursue rider coach training. I remember laughing. When they asked why I was laughing, I told them, “My daughter asked me before this class if I was going to buy a motorcycle and I told her, ‘No, baby. I’m just going with Ginger so she will not have to take the class alone.” I paused, still smiling, and said to them, “I guess I need to buy a motorcycle.”

A few months passed until I saved up enough money to purchase my first motorcycle. And Oh, can I tell you, it was pure freedom! The little blond accountant was riding a Harley. The Vance and Hines pipes announced my entrance at work before I even made it in the parking lot.

Eight months later, I completed the MSF basic rider skills coach training. One year from the time of my own basic rider skills course, I completed the Harley Rider Academy Coach training. I also reached a personal milestone by riding my bike to the Harley training in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was a nineteen-hundred-mile round trip. I made the trip alone.

Up to this point, I think what made me put one foot in front of the other each day was anger. Yeah, after twenty-one years of changing who I was to be loved, only to find out there was nothing wrong with me in the first place, made me a little pissed (just saying). Please understand: The anger, which helped me build walls against further hurt might keep out the bad but, unfortunately, it also keeps out the good. Anger was a coping mechanism that worked for me but is unhealthy if carried long term.

I have always been a compassionate person; putting others before myself. Many would consider this a weakness and the source of my abuse. Yes, it was used against me as a measure of control but I have learned that what the world calls weak is truly my strength. Now that I understand personal boundaries are healthy and necessary, I can use my compassionate nature to its fullest.

Coaching for me is not just about helping people learn basic motorcycle riding skills but is more about helping the student build confidence in themselves. I do not take this lightly. Some that come to a class are, as I was, at a life changing point.

My healing is ongoing. I have days when the past will not let me alone and I struggle to even get out of the bed. My early coping mechanism of anger turned to bitterness. (Still trying to nip that one and I am succeeding for the most part.)

I have started a blog, ImJustHereforHer.com, where I share more of my ongoing story. If you are or know of someone who is a victim of this type of abuse, take heart. God has shown me that His promises are real. There is beauty from ashes. There is joy after mourning. There is peace, wonderful peace to all who seek it. He does not allow pain without causing something new to be born. And God’s love for us is true and pure and without blemish.

Friends who know what I have been through have called me courageous. If being courageous means I was pushed off the cliff’s edge but then, I found my wings then, yes, I guess I am.

Don’t have a good Day…


Have a day that makes a difference.  I have been caught in the whirlwind of the experience I refer to as my life.  I’m not good with rollercoasters (as some of you may recall from my un-released would have been chart buster “Rollercoaster”) and yet I find myself, not unlike all of us, caught in the ups and downs of life.  The last month has been jammed with trainings in which I was the one trying to stretch others to realize their impact on the world to trainings in which I am the stretched.  I have not been this exhausted physically and mentally since…well, since my last day of school.  I happen to love it!  Except for the part where I have no time (I mean zero) to do the things which recharge me.  I have not thought more than briefly about my blog, I haven’t sat under the stars, I’ve not been camping for weeks (I promised this would be my summer of only tents) and writing this tonight, being awake after 9:00 is a luxury.

But I needed to write and remind myself, and you who read my intellectual puke, that, WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  Whether you teach, are a healer, drive trucks, or sell insurance.  Embrace your divinity and your force in the world.  We matter.  With all of the legitimized hate that has crept out from under the double-wides, goodness and compassion prevail.

My field trainer had me sobbing on Saturday, in a good way.  She saw past the mask I put on  to portray someone in control.  She appeared not to notice the elaborate armor that I wear to protect myself from possible harm.  This young, competent, confident old soul essentially called me out on my limiting beliefs.  She saw me.  It scared me.  What scared me was not that she called me out.  What scared me was the passion with which she cared enough to be brutally honest.  In an outwardly appearing boring job such as selling insurance, she reminded me this:  Absolutely everything we do is a chance to give love.  I am humbled by those people who have figured that secret out, especially the 20 somethings.  Maybe it’s not too late for us.

“There is magic everywhere all the time and when you’re having a hard time seeing it it’s usually because you’ve already decided that if it really was magic, it’d look like something else.”  Brian Andreas

Good night, give love in what you do.  Don’t have a nice day.  Have a day that makes a difference!  You can do it.  It’s why you are here.  Kim

I have seen this place before….I recognize it all to well


The beginning of a song I wrote a lifetime ago.

I have seen this place before, I recognize it all too well, standing on the edge of life I look into the depths of hell…No one here is gonna save me from my self…

I don’t know why this song has reared its head.  I think I wrote this about 25 years ago as I tried to figure out my course, my path, my true north.  I had just come out to the world (and to myself) and begun to realize the wonders of the world at my fingertips.  It’s still a little personal to share with my diverse group of friends and readers.  Suffice to say, I felt alive but scared shitless.  I knew  then that my life (as I knew it) was destined to be changed forever.  I want to reach back to that younger self and say, don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember, it’s all small…except for the big stuff.  But that will be too obvious to miss.

So the song was about facing fears, (about the small stuff) and embracing imperfections which, as it turns out, are imperfectly perfect.

So I sit here tonight, in early August, without the angst of impending back to school too early doom.   Dreading the end of summer and returning to school only to get older and become a teacher…that irony is not lost on me.  As I walked away from my (short in comparison to many) teaching career last spring/early summer, I have only briefly experienced regret when paying full price for my prescriptions necessary to prevent further possible strokes.  Beyond that I have mostly been living joyfully.

Part of that joy rests fully on the unbelievable opportunity to consult for Harley-Davidson as a trainer.  I am humbly cognizant of the fact that I get to do what I do purely as a result of being at the right place at the right time.  I refuse to diminish my further my skills as a facilitator however.  I may have lucked into the opportunity but my abilities and talents kept me moving forward.  In either case, I am humbly grateful that I get to travel the country, meeting new people, seeing new places, and creating ripples in the lives of others and in the world.  Very grateful.

This past weekend, as I sat in airports waiting for connecting flights and rehashing the last days of training, I realized for the 155th time (give or take a hundred) that I was living a fantasy life where I get to see the world (okay, I’ll count the flatlands of Indian) and stay in great hotels, eat outstanding meals on someone else’s dime.  And there are hundreds lined up to take my place.  Not today suckers!!!

There are other things I realize too.  When I first started training, I would be consumed by sadness when the trainings were over.   I know now that I fell in love with the people I met, over and over and saying goodbye was hard.  I still fall in love with people.  Not romantically (in general) but platonically in love because we’re living the same experience.  I have learned to embrace the sweetness of the leaving though.  I know I will see my tribe again, and if I don’t,  it wasn’t meant to continue.  How can I explain the shared journey?  If you have experienced this personally, I don’t need to explain.  There are fellow travelers that come in and out of our lives.  Some will stay longer than others.  The length of time we travel together is not as important as the experiences shared along the way.

Perhaps I am missing the company of my Kiehl’s family.  Even as I write this they are riding as a family through the mid section of the country, raising money and holy hell no doubt.  The Universe gifted me with the chance to become as one with people I would otherwise not ever have broken bread with.  Of course, me being me, I fell in love with all of this group of marvelous people out to rid the world of bad.  I love them still and have pangs of sorrow and envy as they spend sacred time together on another ride through life.  Yet I am with them as they have been with me despite separation of time and distance.   And I confess unabashedly, I have loved.

Most likely my current melancholy is rooted in feeling as if I have missed out on loving as of late.  That, my reader/friends, is a blatant lie.  I continue to fall in love with the souls I meet, the strangers I cross paths with, and that love encourages me, sustains me and, tonight, as I sit pondering the vastness of it all (philosophical over achiever that I am) I want nothing more than to reach out and love more.

I thank the universe that love rather than dread is what I contemplate on this beautiful late summer night, the cacophony of summer resonating around me.  I am not going back to school!!!  I can embrace the onset of fall and the impending changing of seasons.  I can anticipate, enjoy and slide happily into the next season.

No one here has got to save me from myself.