It’s that easy?
Some people say that in order to get over the past, you have to leave it behind. At this moment, I don’t want to get over the past few months of my life. Since September, I have experienced moments that I hope to never forget .. there were also a select few that I may be traumatized by forever. :)I have the honor of co-leading one of LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute)’s road teams – Team #1 (The A-Team) to be exact, with Kent. I started training for this position in November 2006, and may I just say that at times, no amount of “training” could have ever prepared me for everything that you encounter on the road. Experience is your best teacher, however, I like to be prepared as much as possible and always know what’s going on – some may even call me a control freak at times. Being on the road has calmed me down some, but I will be the first to admit that I have much to learn!For the 2007/2008 Fall semester of touring, The A-Team was comprised of the band ‘Hundredfold’ from Winnipeg, Manitoba and three of our School of Leadership students (Ali, Erika & Kimmie) as well as Kent and I. This was the very first year that I shared my story consistently in our presentation, and this allowed for a lot more opportunity to talk to students – which, the entire team would agree, is the best part of the road experience! As crazy and fun-filled as the road is, parts of it can become monotonous. After sitting backstage for 3 months, I can pretty much repeat word for word the entire show – and, after sharing my personal story almost every day, I begin to wonder if it has any affect on the people hearing it. I talk about my family’s struggle with Depression and suicide and how it affected my life and the choices I’ve made.However, something amazing started to happen, right at the beginning of the year. Students would start to come up to me after the show and share their past or present struggles. Why is this amazing, you ask? Because it showed me that it doesn’t matter our race, religion, or region, we share the same struggles. It showed me that we ARE able to rise above our present circumstances, to push past lies and walls that people build around us. We may slip up and make mistakes, but strength and courage is found in getting up and not allowing self pity to hold us down. You may be thinking “blah blah blah, I’ve heard this all before .. ” but there’s something powerful about sitting down with someone you’ve never met before and feeling their pain as they pour their heart out – it changes you. I have been changed and beyond that, challenged. Challenged to not look back, to never give up. So thank you to all of the students and teachers that found me after our presentation or sent emails. Your courage was not lost!In September, a student gave me a poem that she had written for a friend, and I’d like to share it with you.Throughout the ages, life’s been roughBut for teens, it’s just too toughThinking you found love, when it’s only hateTrying to fix it, when it’s just too lateFeeling like you only bring people painFeeling like you’re the only one to blameDepression grows, and gets too strongAnd suicide’s been on your mind too longSeeing the hurt in your friend’s eyesOnly opinion, feels like suicide.I try showing you that I careAnd that I’ll always be thereBut your mind is already madeAnd from this life, you just want to fade.Fade out of memories and out of lifeYou take one last look at the knife. Maybe if you heard what I wanted to sayIt wouldn’t have had to end that wayFor the next month, all I do is cryAnd ask why you committed suicide.Now a couple years have gone and pastBut your memory will always last.-poem written by Brittini Christine OgdenThis poem ends on a sad note, however, I am happy to report that this poem, written by a student getting her feelings out on paper to a friend going through troubled times, helped revive a friendship and possibly save a life. A great example of how simple it is to change a life. -Tinafaye