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Abrupt Changes

Abrupt Changes

Life On Track
Then the Surprises Begin

Being derailed has new implications for me these days. Before it was about me - my story to hide or share at my discretion. Now that the entire world is in total turmoil, I no longer feel it is appropriate to elaborate on my journey at this time. I will tell you that the initial disruption in my life plan was on September 15, 2008, at 1:00 pm. How can I be this specific? The date is indisputable but the time? Unless the clock was incorrect, then the time is correctly ingrained into my memory. 

I was at the gym swimming laps attempting not to think about the project on my desk. Instinctually I looked up to check the time. A silent alarm: 1:00 pm. Immediately I knew something was wrong - but what? It was not until days later I even began to comprehend the situation. What may have been obvious to others was not to me.

My life was on track. I was in the midst of transitioning my business. Soon I would complete my Executive MBA and my buying trip to Indonesia was scheduled. I was looking forward to implementing new dreams. BOOM: a hemorrhagic stroke. While I may have been derailed, I did not question what would be next. I was neither frightened, nor did I consider postponing my plans. Certainly after intensive therapy, all would be back on schedule.

Almost twelve years later and many different types of therapies throughout the years, I am still not "back on track." I am creating new routes and new dreams. My move to Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2014 allowed me to seek out intriguing people, product and places.

Years before the coronavirus (COVID-19) took over the world my interests were shifting and I was constantly questioning what would be next. While I am still questioning and still seeking..... I continue "To Do." 

While my life will never be the same, neither will our world. We all are making abrupt changes and are living in uncertain times. Yes, we may be sad and even cry as we attempt to make sense out of a senseless situation. I often live in the unknown, which can be both uncomfortable and at the same time invigorating. Some day I will elaborate on my journey. Now is not the time.

Even in light of our unsettling global predicament and with a broken heart for so many lives affected, I will continue to explore new possibilities. My path is uncertain and dreams may be crushed. In any case I will continue step by step to discover new tracks leading to opportunities not yet unveiled: if derailed, I will embrace the surprises and continue to question - Now What?

  • Post author
    Debra Levine

Comments on this post (11)

  • Apr 11, 2020

    I am doing zoom meetings with my kids. Is this possible to do with you? I will email link and perhaps tomorrow or Sunday? All of my phone contacts were lost in an update that I did not catch.

    — Leslie labess

  • Apr 10, 2020

    Thank you for your story !
    It’s always uncomfortable to be in the unknown I guess we must learn to live that way ….
    Happy Passover
    It was nice to have met you in Chiangmai

    — Marta

  • Apr 10, 2020

    Thank you for sharing your story. You have wonderful way of expressing yourself and I appreciate the authenticity. You are a brave and courageous spirit with a strong curiosity to keep exploring new adventures despite your obstacles. You inspire so many. Love you, Carolyn

    — Carolyn

  • Apr 10, 2020

    Very poignant! Loved reading this Debra. If anything you are a warrior. This Covid crisis seems to loom over us all but still doesn’t diminish all the strides you’ve made and will continue to. Your struggle is still real but more than that is your empathy and compassion for others. With everything going on in your life you have more concern for the poor, the hungry and underprivileged. You are a gem.

    — Beth

  • Apr 09, 2020

    Thanx for sharing – again I love ur writing it touches and open eyes xo

    — Traci Morachnick

  • Apr 09, 2020

    Thank you for sharing this, so many of our journeys have taken unexpected turns. Our dreams don’t really matter, this is a myth we perpetrate on children. It’s our process and our response, the beauty is in the struggle and the challenges. So many ways to express this from
    James Stockdales paradox of brutal realism to the simple
    credo of “embrace the suck”

    — Doug Simon

  • Apr 09, 2020

    I know your story; more deeply perhaps than your well-written, provocative synopsis lets on. I imagine opening a dictionary, looking up the word “battler” and finding your name boldly inscribed on the page because I know you.

    Life is hard. No one tells us that as children, especially those of us lucky enough to have been raised in America. No one tells us this and that is exactly what we need to hear so when calamity strikes, we are not surprised by its expediency, but surprised by its delay. But life is hard, harsh, mercilessly cruel and unfair and yet, we cling to it and beg for more of it. The wonder isn’t that people can be cruel and murderous, the wonder is that we are ALL not cruel and merciless. It’s a miracle really.

    What now indeed. We persevere. For what else can we do? It’s in our DNA to overcome…some of us more than others and you, dear Debra will persevere. The world is tragic and cold to our pleas for justice and mercy, we know this from Torah don’t we? But we soldier on. What now? Lift someone else up who has not yet lifted themselves. Be the sheepdog of your flock. Walk with God. -E

    — Eduardo

  • Apr 09, 2020

    Debra,, You are a gifted writer and an extraordinary woman with an adventurous spirit like no one! Your words are captivating. Thank you for sharing your journey with such honesty and vulnerability. Your openness and positivity in the face of challenges and disappointments is a true inspiration, and so uplifting in these unprecedented times. I love you, dear cousin.

    — Nan Levy

  • Apr 09, 2020

    Debra, this is outstanding writing! You captured the current situation and shared your amazing response. You’re a very strong woman and I know you’ll get through all of this with grace. Thank you for sharing with us. Love, Julie

    — Julie Hastings

  • Apr 09, 2020

    What an amazing piece you wrote! I love you and respect you and you give me inspiration
    You are so missed and hope you come for a visit soon! Stay well…. ❤️😘❤️😚🙏❤️

    — Norie

  • Apr 09, 2020

    Debra—This is the best piece I have read since this whole thing started. I am so tired of the platitudes. You are one strong, resilient badass. And I don’t throw around that word.

    I am Natalie’s friend; I met you in Boston. Keep on keepin’ on.

    Jamie Thornton

    — Jamie Thornton

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