Hi FIYA Fighters,
It’s been a little while since you’ve heard from me or seen anything regarding FIYA. Almost 2 years actually. So where have I been?! I don’t really know how to be anything but honest. So here goes…I love FIYA. I love what it represents, I love the community it creates, I love the hope and energy it evokes in me and all of you. But with all of the goodness, FIYA has been so complicated for me. There is a really deep and sometimes painful side that I just couldn’t ignore any longer. I worked really hard for three years in therapy to get to a new normal after Jonathan’s passing. Once I got there in my personal life, and then in my professional life, I did not want anything to rock this new, comfortable boat I was finally on. FIYA was a constant reminder of hard things, some that were familiar and some that were so foreign to me. Hearing stories of people fighting or experiencing difficult things was a familiar pain that I knew, but quite honestly wanted to avoid. But that goes against everything FIYA stands for, so how could I run FIYA without this heartbeat? Then there’s the whole business side, which is the foreign part. Literally, how do I run FIYA? How do I promote and grow this business? How do I break down barriers and create a new marketplace in such a big industry? How do I navigate an industry I know absolutely nothing about? You see, lots of boat rocking! It actually feels more like capsizing than rocking! In order for me to find out the answers, it requires me to step out and risk failing, risk learning hard lessons, risk messing up this beautiful legacy my husband left behind. But most importantly for me, it means losing that comfortable place I have made a really nice home in. The place I craved and fought to have for so many years. Author, Bob Goff, describes what I did next as having ‘turtled.’ I retreated to my shell, kept my head, hands and feet inside my safe new home, and I slowly distanced myself from this thing that rattled my world too much.
But here’s the thing…that comfortable place I was living in was getting extremely small and really stagnant. There was no growth there. I was merely existing day after day, and I could have stayed there forever.
But I was slowly becoming uncomfortable in my comfort.
Strange how that happens, right? About 10 months ago, I started to feel it in my soul that things needed to get uncomfortable. I needed to make some big changes in every area of my life, which is terrifying and exciting all at the same time. I realized that every day I don’t pursue this, is a day I will never get back. We all have days like this (or years in my case), but I have learned we can’t lament over lost time, we can only pick up and move forward. These two years have not been wasted; they have been a necessary setback. I needed to enjoy this comfortableness in my life, but I also needed to challenge it so that I can continue to grow into the person I’m meant to be and into the place I’m meant to go. These moments (setbacks, failures) in life can only define our lives if we give them permission to, so I’ve decided I’m not going to give these years permission to define my life or FIYA. This setback and every one I’ve encountered along the way has built character, taught lessons, encouraged growth, and tested my faith to the limit. No one wants to go through life with hardships, especially while we’re in it, but I think if we’re all honest, we wouldn’t want to go through life without them. We wouldn’t be who we are. We wouldn’t be encouraged to grow if we weren’t tired of staring at the brick wall in front of us or having the doors slammed in our face. We are better for our setbacks and our failures, if we allow ourselves to be. I’m tired of being comfortable.
I’m ready to rock the boat even if it throws me off and capsizes.
Over the last 2 years, the dream of FIYA just would not die. It would not go away. I still wake up and think about what FIYA could become. I think about the people we can help, the hope we can bring, and the light we can shine in dark moments. Despite any effort of my own, the shirts are still selling, the community is still here, and the stories of the people fighting are still coming in. The impact of what FIYA is and what it stands for is still being felt. FIYA won’t let me quit, and I’m ready to surrender.
So, what does this mean?
Well, it means breathing new life into FIYA. Going all in and giving it all the attention it needs and deserves.
-New Products coming this fall!
-New Inventory early next year
-New social media community group
-More social media presence
-New Podcast...coming very soon!
Why share all of this?!
Because 1. accountability, 2. I know I am not the only person who is fighting this battle of pursuing hard things. I know at least one person reading this can relate on some level. Maybe you’re trying to start a business also, or maybe you’re needing to get uncomfortable in some way in your own life. Taking steps to make things happen is hard, but there is beauty in the journey that you don’t want to miss. Every win, every setback, every impossible feat is paving the way for our story. When I think about my story, the pain, the trauma, God’s goodness and at times, what feels like His absence, I think about how I can use it to help others. How my story gives me access to empathy I didn’t have and to a world I didn’t know. How can I waste that opportunity just to be comfortable? I don’t know why this is my story, I don’t know why I have been given this dream, but I’m ready to find out. This is truly my love letter to FIYA and subsequently to all of you, I will not quit you, I will not give up on you when things get hard. I’m pushing through. I’m extremely uncomfortable and comfortable is nowhere on the horizon.
So I know you’re just waiting to hear what you can do too, right?! 😉 First, if you’re the praying type, pray for me and the FIYA team. We have so. much. to. do. Share FIYA. Like our page. Join our group. Like and share our posts. Talk about it with others, where it’s applicable of course! Don’t be a weirdo. 😉 And when someone asks what is FIYA, here’s how you can answer…
FIYA is about seeing someone as they are, not as they've been diagnosed. It’s about standing together as fighters even when our battles may be very different. It’s about providing hope and normalcy to people who may have forgotten what’s it like to have them. FIYA starts with a shirt and ends with a story.