momentum \mō-ˈmen-təm, mə-\ (n.) strength or force gained by motion or a series of events

And what a series of unfortunate events. There’s a great deal of pressure on this first blog post. It’s new, it’s public, and it’s authentic. This all terrifies me. Vulnerability is one of my greatest fears, and yet I am opening myself up to the public to be judged. I don’t know what it will create, but I’m forcing myself to open up to whatever it may be.

For now, I feel the most appropriate place to begin is with the singular event that hurled my life into the direction that it has been heading for the last three years. (Hello there, Momentum!). It all started with a very expensive consultation with the only (and “best”) TMJ specialist in my region of Southeast Tennessee. My jaw had been giving me trouble for years, my headaches were building, and I found that it was difficult to distinguish whether the increasing headaches were from the stress of college or my jaw. My mom felt it was best to invest in the consultation fee of the aforementioned doctor because my headaches were accompanied with absurdly long naps. Several months and several thousands of dollars later we discovered that the small cushions that lie between the “hinges” of your jaw had slid into a pocket behind said “hinges.” Basically my bones had been grinding on one another for years (insert raunchy hip hop music video here). That’s right, years of popping, locking, and grinding had left my jaw brittle and arthritic (although the rest of me keep rocking until I’m 90). And can we talk about the fact that my damaged muscles, joints, and jaw aren’t covered by dental or medical insurance?! No, not for now – I’ll save that rant for later (for the sake of keeping up the momentum and whatnot). After phase one of treatment, the doctor determined the continuity of my headaches must be the result of something else and referred me to a sleep specialist.

Now enters the abhorrent sleep doctor. After a series of very annoying tests, I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy – the neurological disorder/autoimmune disease that most people don’t understand or deduce to laziness. I’ll get into all that lovely jazz in another post – I mustn’t sacrifice my momentum. After this event in my life, my health plummeted and continued to waver until about sixth months ago. Before my health stabilized (only as far as Narcolepsy is concerned – that’s right, there is much more fun ahead!) I lost three family members, began a career teaching, and got married. What a bittersweet three years it has been – and I’m still riding on the waves of the moment of that one very expensive consultation.

I have yet to decide how much I am willing to share on this blog, but I’m very adamant about being entirely authentic – it’s cheaper than a therapist. There are some people in my life that might disagree or dislike the choices I may or may not make in the posts to come, and that’s okay. I’ve learned that in this world you’re always going to offend someone regardless of how hard you try not to. Since writing is my passion, and also my therapy, I’m making the decision to continue with the momentum and invite others to experience it with me. As a teacher, I feel that the following are some of the most important life skills I can model for my students: embrace your authentic self, own the choices you make, and follow momentum past any resistance that tries to keep you stuck in the past. I may falter – I’m human – but with the love and support God has blessed me with, I’m pushing forward toward greater things.

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis


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