I have been finding recently that I often have much more strength within me than I think I have. I recently went on an adventure to Mt. Kilimanjaro and, despite some pretty nasty altitude sickness, miraculously made it to the top by focusing on finding just enough strength for one step at a time. But I couldn't have done it alone, either. My teammates and our guides and porters helped carry my physical and emotional burdens, loaning me some of their own strength to get to the top. For my birthday, a good friend of mine gifted me a Giving Keys necklace with the word "strength," to remind me to tap into my reserve of strength when I feel discouraged, but also to lean on others when I need to. I had the necklace for less than a week when I met someone at a volunteer event whose friend Val was going to have a bone marrow transplant the next day. According to my new friend, Val "is a fighter, a rockstar, a girl boss, a leader.
She taught me the ropes to my first job out of college and she inspires me to keep pushing each and every day. The woman that sends you a gift when you start a new job, even when that means you left her company and her team. She is a warrior." I've never met Val, but she seemed to embody the type of kindness and selflessness that allows you to be strong for others, and I thought there would be no better way to encourage her in her own time of need by passing along a reminder of the strength she already has in her.