Danielle McIverVeterinary Practice Consultant, VP Ltd., Owner/Operator of Gleam Event Management and The Peterborough PAWtacular
Danielle's Story :
I’m standing on the ledge of a 200 foot rock wall. I’ve dreamt of this. Imagined how badass I was going to be when I finally did it. I went for all the most intense features, with the
mentality of “go big or go home”! Ankles instead of stomach? Check. All the way to the water? Check. I was feeling confident. Getting excited! Now, I am standing here at the edge. I start thinking about a rough past few years. I think about every time I have done something just to please someone else. I think about the times I felt manipulated into thinking I was doing something for me but it was really the opposite. I think about how stuck I felt these past few months. I take a step closer, my bungee cord rattling against the narrow board I am now standing on. I had decided this was the way I was going to let go of some of the negativity I was holding onto. I was going to prove to myself that I was in control of my own life and jump (a big jump!) into this new phase. In fact, I was beginning to even think I may just backflip off this precipice and really feel the liberation!! Let’s do this!
I take a deep breath and look down at my surroundings. I thought I would feel an exhilaration or heart pounding adrenaline. I thought I would hear champion songs in my head like “Eye of The Tiger” or “Feels Like Teen Spirit”, but as I stand there looking at the 200ft below me, all that my head was thinking now was, “You crazy idiot! Why on earth are you jumping off a
mountain?!”. I kind of wanted to walk back the other way, tell them I had a change of heart or that I wasn’t ready for this kind of bold statement. But I don’t walk away from a challenge. I don’t
walk away from an opportunity to push my limits. So, I jumped. And…. I was definitely not the girl flipping backwards, giving a peace gesture to the camera. It was loud – partly because of the speed and the wind in your ear – partly cause of my screams. It was scary as hell! AND I was not as graceful as I would have liked. Broken screams and flailing limps wasn’t the image I
had originally conjured up, but hey! Maybe this was even better. I conquered a fear I didn’t even know I had. Surprising yourself in new and unexpected ways is an amazing part of life I will welcome and embrace any time.
So, full transparency – I struggled with writing this. How I should start it, how I end it, what part of “me” I would share with whomever should read this. Do I share my personal values? Will that give people who don’t know me a better insight? Should I talk about my childhood, or how I was motivated to start my own company, or how I lasted 18 years in the veterinary industry and I am still loving every minute? Summing yourself up is just so complex!
We all have multiple dimensions to our personality. Some we know and understand. Some that are only known by the people around us. And some that no one know and are still waiting to be discovered or to be developed.
These dimensions are formed from our experiences. Mine, were not always shiny and happy, and there is a dark side to my story in addition to the bright side. And even though the dark sides could be frustrating, scary and a little daunting at times, I can now appreciate that they too contributed to who I am. How I matured quicker than the average. How I became a brutally honest friend. How I became stronger and developed a thicker skin. And why I have no room in my life for people who are going to quit or give up without even trying.
My experiences, both bright and dark, allowed me to climb my way up in an industry I love; they gave me the confidence to tell the world who I was at the age of 12; they motivated me to start my own business and give back to an awesome community; they allowed me to be raw and show my vulnerable side to a supportive partner in life; and they gave me a lot of teachings of right and wrong that I can pass onto my two little dudes at home.
I like the me I am now. I welcome the fact that I still don’t know myself one hundred percent, because I am pretty aware of the fact that I will be ever changing and constantly finding new things that move me, that motivate me and that inspire me. What’s the fun in always knowing what’s around the next corner?
If there is one thing that I want people to take from this, it’s that life is not always shiny and perfect. It’s ok to not always feel bubbly and positive. It’s ok to say NO. Or, to say YES and put yourself first once in a while! It’s ok to challenge yourself and push your own limits. And it’s ok if you wanna stay in with a glass of wine in your sweats and just binge watch your favorite show! Never let anyone else make your choices for you or call the shots. And even though you will fail sometimes and experience some ugliness in life, there’s a whole lot a bloody beauty waiting for you too!
When I took the leap off my mountain, it was a defining moment for me. It was my way of becoming “unstuck”. So, if anyone else is going through sometime similar and you aren’t sure how to move forward from it, sometimes you just have to find your mountain – and let go!