I hopped out of bed this morning before my alarm as the sunlight crept into my room. The birds were chirping and I rushed to put my sneakers on to catch the last bit of the sunrise on my walk.
I opened my phone to put a song on and saw a text from my twin brother. A guy we went to high school with and a close friend of his, committed suicide last night. I immediately defaulted to the, ‘But I just talked to him’ mentality as he messaged me last week with kind words about my last blog post. He had just reached out to Jonathan days before about getting together and Jonathan invited him to come along to a Pride event in our hometown, but he never mentioned that him and his boyfriend had broken up. He never mentioned that he was hurting. That’s the part that always gets me. Jonathan is a licensed social worker. If he had asked for it, even hinted at it, Jonathan could of helped him.
I spent many days in New York coming home to our apartment after what I deemed to be a long day of work designing apps from a building in Flatiron on 5th Ave. Jonathan was talking to people all day. People who were hurting deeply. People who were dealing with drug addictions, abuse, grief, and many who were contemplating suicide. Jonathan was saving lives, I was designing interfaces.
In fact, my whole family has been in the business of saving lives. My dad started a small business to offer prepaid counseling services to people as an employee benefit through their company. My mom is a licensed social worker and professor of social work at a university. But me; I was different. I went to business school, I wanted to work in tech, I wanted to design apps. Though when I experienced my own mental health struggles, I took that business degree and married it to app design to create an app that would help others suffering. I started sharing quotes on Instagram, I eventually found the courage to start writing again, and like many things in life, I came full circle. Right back to the thing I tried to rebel against.
To end this stream of consciousness, I want to make a promise to myself and this community. My promise is to not only make you feel less alone in this world, but to support you in designing a life that you can thrive in. Because we all deserve to enjoy this life, we didn’t come here to suffer in silence.
Life by Design was born out of a need for my own self-healing after decades of unresolved illness. It wasn’t until finding the courage to look within that I discovered it was my own belief system holding me back from experiencing a truly thriving life. We all have access to that thriving life. We just need to rediscover our power and ignite the healing-self. Only then can we unapologetically live a life by our own design.