[THE FIRST STEP] Beginning

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Beginning is key.  The first step of any journey is often the most difficult.  Fear, self-doubt, challenges, and lack of support can keep us stuck, but once we begin, things shift.

I first applied to nursing school thirteen years ago.  At the time, I would have had fewer prerequisites to take, a strong support system, and could have had my doctorate by now.  I had survived ovarian cancer and felt an urgency to move forward, but my kids were still babies.  So, I chose to be with them.  I wanted to be with them.  I didn’t want to miss a step, or be of divided mind.  I was a single mom.  I worked while they slept and spent our days experiencing the world together.  It was a difficult, yet delicious time.

We have had many adventures since that time.  We have all grown.  I have no regrets.  My children gave me the opportunity to fully experience my childhood as well as theirs.  Now, as teenagers, their mommy has gone back to school.  My roles are many and varied, but the role of mommy remains in the forefront.

It was a difficult choice to finally dive back into school, take all my prerequisites, and apply to nursing school.  Creating a personal path when life is filled with uncertainties can deter us from committing to taking the first step on a new journey.  It takes courage and inspired action to begin.  Each beginning opens the door to a path of self-discovery and transformation.  Beginning can bring new confidence, revive inner passions and foster personal development and spiritual growth.  I am looking forward to savoring each step through my training. I know it will challenge me physically, emotionally and spiritually, but I don’t feel daunted as I step into uncharted waters.  I have gathered my courage, my patience and my faith in myself, my family, my classmates and my instructors and I take the first step.

I welcome the challenge and each day I choose the adventure over comfort and my path continues to be revealed.  Life is filled with uncertainties, obstacles, and challenges.  The “right time” may not exist.  Creating a path to the door where the first step lies is half the battle.  When you get to the precipice and look over the edge, what you see may frighten you.  There’s never a shortage of “what ifs.”  The leap of faith is often not a leap at all, but a step, in faith, towards a new beginning.

This entry was posted in Reflections, Uncategorized and tagged , , , by Heather Swift. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heather Swift

Heather “Swifty” Swift has been Kicking mAss since 1998. At 28 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a recently single mom with two small babies on her hip. After completing treatment with the thought that cancer was in her rear view mirror she worked, locally, as a volunteer for Ithaca Breast Cancer Alliance doing community outreach to be certain that no one faced cancer alone. In 2005, she had a secondary diagnosis of breast cancer and tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation, which only amped up her commitment to creating positive change and to becoming a strong and effective advocate for the young adult cancer community. Now, at age 42, Swifty, her partner, Brian, and her two teenage children work together locally, nationally and internationally to advocate for change. Swifty regularly meets with legislators to work towards tangible change in health care, legislation that addresses the needs of cancer patients, care-partners, and families. She works directly with clinicians, medical/nursing students, youth & college students, cancer support organizations and others to educate them about the special needs of young adults living with a cancer diagnosis. Swifty is passionate about providing support by connecting people living with cancer to resources, to other cancer survivors, and to mobilizing and training individuals and groups to find their inner advocate. Swifty currently works with a number of amazing, hand-selected organizations, which provide her with opportunities to educate, to advocate, and to change the conversation about cancer and to work to bring an end to the disease. A few include: LiveSTRONG, mAss Kickers, Imerman Angels, National Breast Cancer Coalition, Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, Dusty Showers & The Second Basemen, and Stupid Cancer. Swifty is an oncology nursing student in upstate New York, loves time with her family, paddling sports, and peanut butter. She is a Virgo, but not the really anal-retentive type. Her strange fascination with superheroes makes her popular in geek circles, but it can be endearing. Swifty will be riding a llama across Oregon in July of 2012 and really does believe we can achieve and end to cancer and in world peace. Motto: Never Give Up! Favorite quote: “Our own life has to be our message.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

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