I pull back the curtain a pinch and peer through, there are so many of you out there. When my name is called it is with great trepidation that I step out on the world stage and stand before you. My name is Cindy Peckham, and although I am shaking on the inside, and sweating, my voice does not quiver and I present to you as calm. Thank you for coming here today, I carry on, and for taking the time to truly try and hear what I have to say. Inside my mind is spiralling with at least one thousand negative thoughts because I am sure that you are sitting there waiting to catch me in a mistake and use it against me. I am waiting to see disinterest, or boredom and then have you walk out, waiting for you to scowl, raise an eyebrow, clear your throat, or do anything that I may interpret as negative and affirm my often flawed perception of myself so I can run off the stage and say AHA! I knew it. But it doesn’t happen, or it does, and I am so distracted by my inner dialogue I have missed it. As I relax I drop what I know to be bombs, I tell you I have a mental illness, I came from a dysfunctional family, have experienced my share of trauma, and was a teenage single mom.
I wait for the judgement, but you are a polite audience with poker faces.
I go on to tell you that try as I might I was just not able to fulfill the statistics that were laid before me as my path. I could not follow down that road though I tried for a time, as a high school drop out, as a promiscuous young teen, and through unhealthy relationships. Instead I skipped high school and chose to attend a community college and earn a diploma. I volunteered my time. I earned professional credentials and obtained a coveted white collar job. I raised my daughter, without the support financially or otherwise of her father. I became estranged from my family for a period of ten years. I was lonely. I was angry. I was sad. I was fiercely independent. I was super woman and the sky was the limit.
But to quote an old book, no tree grows to the sky, and I was no exception. In my desire to not be a statistic I became obsessed with perfection along the way and this obsession drove me into the ground eventually. I burnt out. Landed on sick leave. I have been inching my way back ever since.
It has not been an easy climb, I have had a taste of my own mortality, in the form of a DVT that became a PE, for those of you not familiar with that it is a pulmonary embolism which is a blood clot that travels to the lung. Then the big C, which left me without a major organ and life dependent on medication. I have also had a few head injuries to contend with. Such is life.
Fortunately for me a necessary part of my journey was to not only learn about but also come to terms with the depths of my depravity.
When I was eighteen I came to a deep understanding that all people are capable of heinous acts, but also too of greatness. I truly believed any one of us, given the right factors, could be a serial killer, or a prophet. But what it really came down to was choice. Not everyone agrees, but for me it was an epiphany. Every epiphany in my life has been this way. Humbling, and incredibly liberating at the same time. When I was in my early twenties I developed a core belief that all human beings had an incredible amount of power to tap into that could see them through anything, they just needed someone to believe in them. Those beliefs still resonate for me, perhaps with a little less ideology since I see now that people make choices based on the opportunities placed in front of them and based on the knowledge they have of the world. I also see that sometimes being aware of ones rights and opportunities does not equate to the ability or power to make them reality. There are real obstacles in this world.
Learn I have, and grown. And now aside from taking the very best care of myself that I can, and enjoying my time on this earth, my one true desire is to help others. I am a philosopher, but I like to think with a healthy sense of reality. I am legally minded, and obsessed with equality, not of the sexes, but of any area where I see injustice, regardless of sex, race, religious affiliation etc. I have a tendency to look at the big picture and see all sides of an argument. I am often found on the side of the underdog, but I am no bleeding heart. I believe in personal accountability and responsibility.
I hope to leave a legacy behind. I am still defining what exactly that legacy will be but I know it involves empowering others to rise up. I don’t purport that I have all the answers or that I have my shit together. In fact by societies standards I am an under achiever on many fronts. I have never been married, never owned a home or major assets and I was well, well, into adulthood before I was legally allowed to drive on my own, among other things. So how is it that I can hold my head up when I am amongst you? Well part of it is faking it until you make it. I also wage war against myself on a an almost daily basis, or rather against my illness and the negative thoughts it produces. I have redefined my definitions of success. Most importantly I have weighed and measured myself and found myself to be okay, with absolute room to improve and grow.
I hope I will grow and develop every day for the rest of my life for the day I stop growing is the day I am ready to pass on, and I guarantee my readiness for that is not coming any time soon. I am not an open book but I do believe in transparency, and honesty, and behaving with integrity. I have learned to allow myself, and others to be real and I try to put that out there in society in various layers.
I know that I have a lot to contribute to this world, alone, and collaboratively because many drops make an ocean.
This post is hyper me focused as that is what an About Me page is for but I cannot do it for another second. I hope you feel you know me better.
If you have any comments or questions about me, the content of this blog, or why the sky is blue please fill out a contact form and I will do my best to respond as quickly as possible.