Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Inspired by Accident

Time on my Side

Last week, I took a train ride from the western suburbs to the city of Chicago for an interview.  During my ride, I found myself looking at updates of my connections on LinkedIn when I came across an article about the new president of Seton Hall University.   The story was commented on someone I went to college with briefly, Christine.  I clicked on her profile to see what she was doing for a career and I found she had written a book called, "Willing my Way Back."

I really do not read many books, I do not own a tablet and while I enjoy reading historical novels, I never finish anything because I get bored way too easily.  I was interested in finding out what Christine endured that she had to "Will her way Back" so I searched for the book on the play store of my phone.

I began to read the book and in the first few pages learned that several years back, Christine went into the hospital with a migraine and a few days later was heading into surgery to  remove a brain tumor.I went to college with Christine and while she is a couple years older than me, we interacted at Fraternity/Sorority functions and FBNC related events. I spent quite a bit of time with the other members of my fraternity and as a result, knew Christine.  As the President of the sorority, Christine's leadership and outside the box thinking projected to her chapter.  My learning, that after many years of not knowing she had any  issues, potentially endured and survived a brain tumor peeked my interest.in the book.  After reading several pages, google books yelled at me that my preview was over so I purchased the book and continued reading it until I arrived in city.

Christine told her story how she went from a migraine, to a brain tumor diagnosis, into surgery, to an actual finding of a blood clot, to not being able to follow conversations or do daily things again, simple things, that she learned as a child, like how to bathe.  The story intertwines emails written by his sister to her family with updates about her condition and their replies as she does not have a full memory of the events. I got about 1/2 way through the book on the way  to my interview.  

I attended my interview and then on the way back home on the express train, decided to continue to read the story.  I did not expect to finish it on that train ride but an accident between a train and a car caused a 30 minute train ride to become a 1.5 hour train ride (thankfully the stupid lady who went too far on the tracks and her dog were okay, her car...not so much!.  As a result, I finished her book.

Thankfully, Christine has fully recovered and has been fully healthy for over a decade.  Her inspirational story reminded me that life is WAY TOO SHORT and WAY TOO UNPREDICTABLE.  She inspired me to look forward in life and not backward, she inspired me to keep  plugging away and apply to more jobs so that more opportunity could present itself.  After finishing her story, I reached out to her and told her the story of how I found her story, how it inspired me and I requested her permission to share it with my audience (all 1 of you). She sent me the below reply:

"Of course, you are welcome to write about it on your blog.  I didn’t know you had one; I’ll have to check it out.  Hope the interview was a huge success!"
Sweet - 2 readers!

I realized that while I was reading her story that had I not gone off Facebook and spent more time networking and trying to connect with people on a more professional basis, I would not have found Christine's story.   There are things I miss about Facebook, like making fun of people or complaining in a social form in more than 140 characters but I definitely have a ton of extra time, time I can use to read a book, 75 pages on my phone or 1000 pages on my phone.  If anything, Christine taught me that you can do anything if you work hard enough to reach your goal, overcome your fears and  inspire others by example!

So check out Christine Emmerich's book, "Willing my Way Back" - it is a quick, short read and one that should inspire you to achieve even the simplest of tasks in life.

Danny

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