An Angel on the Road: My friend Lucy

“A real friend is one that walks in when the rest of the world walks out” Walter Winchell

Growing up in the late 70s or early 80s with a brother with disabilities was not easy.  It is never easy:  The world is just not made for people with disabilities.  But back then, this subject was taboo.  I still remember when I was a young kid, about 10 or 11 years old, and my parents went to see this highly renowned neurologist at a very famous institution in Buenos Aires.  When they came back, my father told me that there were basically told that since they already had two “normal” children, they should concentrate on raising them, and put the third one, my little brother with disabilities, in an institution.  I remember that my mother cried for days.

I started seeing the world in groups of people:  1) Those who had a passion for helping, the superheroes, like my brother’s speech teacher, Alicia,  one of the sweetest people on earth, or the “new” neurologist, the one who had the task of making my mother whole again, Dr. Roveta,  2) And those who  were angels on this journey, like my friend Lucy, who unbeknownst to her, became one of the most positive influences in my life.  Angels were those people who not only accepted me as I was, an insecure, self-doubting big sister, who up until then, did not know what all of this meant, but also catapulted me to look forward in full acceptance, love, and compassion.

This all goes back to when I was about 12 years old, and Lucy came to visit me at home.  Even though the circumstances or details of Lucy’s visit are a bit murky after so many years, this encounter which marked my life is still deep in my soul and is still a guide in my life.  I had been sick for a few days and had been absent from school.  To my surprise, towards the end of the week, Lucy and her mom came over to visit.  Neither Lucy nor her mom had ever been to my house.  She knew where I lived, but I had never invited her over.  Why?  Up until that moment, I kept conversations about my brother to a minimum.

My friend Lucy at Iguazu Falls, Argentina, in 2014.

Lucy knew about my middle brother, Hernan, but knew little to nothing about my youngest brother, Fernando.  I know she must have wondered, how is one of her brothers going to school with her, but the other one isn’t?  Up until that moment, I tried to limit those conversations that referred to my brother’s age in particular.  It was hurtful enough to hear my classmates talk about their little brothers or sisters calling their names, saying words, communicating, running, talking…..All those things were a struggle for my little brother.  He was a school-age little boy and he was still non-verbal.

But that day, as Lucy and her mom walked into my house, she was surprised, but not because of my brother, but because I hadn’t told her.  I hadn’t confided in her.  I hadn’t trusted her.  And to my bigger surprise, she was not angry with me.  She didn’t judge me.  She was, instead, full of compassion and love.  She made it clear, at her young age, right then and there, that she would never stop loving me and that she would always accept me.

Lucy with her husband, in 2017.

That was the first time that Lucy visited my home and met my little brother, but it was not the last time.  She continued to visit me and my family.  She continued to show me not only the humanity in her, but the humanity in my brother.  So what if he can’t talk?  We can help him get what he needs.  So what if he can’t run?  We run for him.  Lucy gave me hope.

Lucy was an angel on the journey, and still is.  I would go on to meet so many more angels and superheroes over the years, who helped me fight the villains out there and the doubts within me.  Do you have any superheroes or angels in your life?

If you want to share your stories of angels, superheroes, or villains on your journey, please leave us a comment!

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One Year of Freedom!

“Imagine yourself doing what you love, and loving what you do, being happy from the inside out, experiencing your dreams wide awake, being creative, being unique, being you—changing things to the way you know they can be—living the life you always imagined. “ My husband Chet, June 14, 2019.

Just like that, a year went by!  I can’t believe it has been a whole year!  I remember the months and days just before my final day, how difficult they were, how I counted the minutes until I no longer had to worry, until I could finally be myself.  What have I learned this year about leaving a toxic work environment, breaking free, and living the life of my dreams?  Tons!  Here are some of the most important aspects of being an entrepreneur that I can no longer live without. Hope it helps if you are thinking of making the jump!

I am free to create my own vision.  When I was an employee, I needed to run every project and every idea by someone else, often someone who did not have my best interest at heart.  So many good projects went down the drain just because someone did not find them interesting enough.  Most of the time, my boss was more preoccupied with covering her own back than she was about moving the community forward.  It was very frustrating to say the least.  Now, I get to execute every plan and work on every idea.  I get to work on my ideals!  Do I want to travel around the world to promote an inclusive practice?  I can do that.  Do I want to talk to a radio host?  I can do that.  There are no restraints to how much I can contribute to this world.

Dr. Klimek at the Facebook forum in Brooklyn, NY

I can work-from-anywhere.  My work allows me to be able to work from anywhere, and I am embracing it wholeheartedly!  Not only am I embracing it, I’m actually working with partners from around the world, and it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.  Do you want to have a better vision of what the world needs?  Partner with someone from a different part of the world.  As an employee, I had a very limited vision of what could be done around the globe.  No matter how much I traveled, without collaborative enterprise the world was small.  Now, the world is limitless, and I’m just getting started!

Working from Key West, FL

The sky is the limit.  Basically, I own my time, my thoughts, and my ideas.  I can do what I know is right and follow my heart without having to “run it by” anyone. I can respond to the needs of my community and use it as my guide to improve what I can offer. For better of for worse, I make my own decisions, and I control my own destiny.

Working from Key West, FL

I will be forever grateful to my family and friends who stood by me, listened to me, counseled me, believed in me. I’m a firm believer that when one person is successful doing what they love, we all win.

If you have any questions about making the transition from employee to entrepreneur, drop me a note.