At last, it is time to discuss the meaningful experience in my life that turned me into the man I am today. Why do the toughest things life throws at us have the ability to empower us? Well, the truth is, growth can’t happen without going through various obstacles. These very obstacles are what help mold us into a better version of ourselves. The reason these things can empower us correlates with our ability to demonstrate resilience. Resiliency is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. I finally understand that our toughest moments in life can also show to be the most meaningful experiences. It was April 2016, in Tampa, Florida. I can still hear my mother sobbing on the phone as she told me my great grandmother in Barbados passed away. My heart broke into a million pieces that day; she was the rock of our family. Six long years passed since I last saw her at this point. After pulling myself together, arrangements were made to go to Barbados and say goodbye. The most meaningful experience in my life was going back to Barbados when my great grandmother passed away. This led me down the path that I am currently on in life.
My return to Barbados was beyond bittersweet. I had vim due to being back on the island for the first time in six years, but the circumstances dampened things. I needed alone time to process everything and to be able to hear myself think. The beach seemed like the perfect setting. I asked myself, “How can I continue to make her proud and let her legacy live on through me?” I thought about her passion to help people and how she always told me to go to school and get a good education. As my eyes looked out in the distance, I knew I wanted to go back to school for myself and her. Let’s fast forward a bit to the funeral. The church was packed with people, and there were even masses of people outside who came to show their respects. My great grandmother was well known in the community and impacted so many people in a positively. This was the first time I truly thought about my impact and what I wanted to give to the world. With my initial thoughts of going back to school, all this further confirmed I was going to be someone who makes a difference.
Any complacency that I had previously was completely eradicated. I was determined to create a life for myself where I could have a purpose and create time freedom. If I had more freedom, I wouldn’t have missed the birthday parties for her over her last few years. I just knew that when I got back to the U.S. I had to make changes. When I returned, I decided to sublease my apartment and move back to Orlando to be with my Grandmother. She took our loss the hardest because this was her mother. I planned to work and save up money and figure out my next step. Physical therapy had been on my radar previously. As I researched it, I saw the word “doctor.” My eyes lit up, not only was I first generation but I also could potentially become a doctor. This is a milestone that no one has ever achieved in my family. I thought, “What better way to make her proud and honor my great grandmother than this?” I stopped feeling sorry for myself and playing the victim. A new fire had been lit inside of my soul and my new guardian angel was the match that sparked it.
There is no doubt that in my granny’s death, I learned resiliency and found a new life. A life where I began to believe in myself wholeheartedly. I believed I had to invest in myself to become more influential and live with more purpose. Because of her, I found my inner strength and courage. Hence, my blog and podcast “Bourne Winner” and the “Rooted Deep Podcast” were created to help inspire people and make the world a better place like she did. In addition, my confidence grew and allowed me to seek growth and gain membership in the Pre-PT Grind Success Program, Smart Success PT, and become an NPTE intern for Dr. Kyle Rice’s PT Hustle. My experience will make me a better PT student and clinician in the future for various reasons. The opportunities I have, allow me to be well rounded. I’m learning communication and interpersonal skills from Smart Success PT and Pre-PT Grind. Also, I’m learning other valuable tools such as marketing and insurance. In the words of Zoe Skylar, “For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So, collapse. Crumble. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.” Long live Eudora. This is for you.