I sat down this afternoon to write my story, driven by my need to share why Take Today means so much to me… but more about that later. My name is Colee. About a year and a half ago, I was “diagnosed” with anxiety and depression. I went through several therapists, medication changes, and lifestyle adaptations. I always thought if I had a “positive mindset” and a “strong backbone”, that I could combat whatever life threw at me; until I couldn’t get my ass out of bed, and I couldn’t find a single way to take on the day any longer. For a long-time I lived my life thinking it would go away, and refused to admit something was “wrong with me”. It wasn’t until I started working to find the motivation in each day that I began to get a little better. With everything around me seeming exteriorly so perfect, I knew I had to focus on finding my passion to satisfy something interior.
As a college grad working in a fulfilling special education job, I realized my passion for working with individuals with disabilities. I began to seek out similar opportunities and did my best to not let my anxiety and depression stop what I set out to do each day. I saw my diagnosis as a challenge to my dreams, not a barrier. So here I am, a little over a year into the future. Currently following the career path of my dreams at grad school in Milwaukee, and surrounded by some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met- Jenner being one of them. There are still difficulties and I fight everyday. I’m learning that’s okay. The difference now, however, is that I’m able to find inspiration in the day to day; just like the brand preaches. No matter how hard it can be to get myself to class some days, I have found myself being inspired by professor’s accounts of personal experience, by motivated classmates, and by the amazing individuals I’ll get the chance to work with someday. No matter how anxious I can be in a single moment, I seem to receive texts, calls, or experiences that hit me at just the right time, showing that motivation is there if we’re open to it. Everyone is battling their own battle, however perhaps what inspires me most is the unknown that can come from it. Although it is the unknown that often triggers some of the difficulty, it is also within the unknown of every single day that inspires me the most.
After I received my diagnoses, I wondered how many others experienced the same, if there was anyone who felt like me out there. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since carrying this title, it’s how many others carry it too. That’s where I’ve found the courage to write this story. It’s not easy, but if it means something to even one person, then I know it’s worth it; here’s what Take Today means to me. Take Today reminds me, even if in a miniscule way, that although sometimes I may feel like I don’t want to get out of bed ever, that I have the power to choose every day, not my anxiety and depression.
Further, Take Today means surrounding myself with beautiful people; people that I want to be like. I once heard a quote; “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The circle of who we choose to let into our life often determines how we end up viewing it (life that is). I think that’s why we’re drawn towards the beautiful people in our lives, because if they’re really as great as we see them, maybe we can be great too. I’m thankful to have such amazing people in my life, like Jenner and Chris, like my great friends and my family. We all have our top 5, our own circle of those around us; but remember that you’re also in so many other’s circles, whether you know it or not. Let them rub off on you in all the good ways and do the same for them. I’m far from perfect, broken even, but Take Today gives me the courage to wake up, get my ass out of bed, and work on that each day. Maybe if we can all start to Take Today in our own unique way, we’ll all raise our average, even just a little bit; and this world, slowly, can become a better place.
I suppose if I could distil the personal meaning of Take Today to one idea, to one “take-away” that I want you to gain from this long and poorly written story, it’s that no matter your position in life, whether you feel small and insignificant or big and mighty, it’s that you have the right to be happy, to have meaningful relationships, and to follow your dreams. Don’t let a “title” define you, and make the internal choice each day, to Take it.