The other day, on Twitter, Larry asked me if I wanted to be a guest on season two of his (very cool!) “When Life Gives You Parkinson’s” podcast. Uh yeah! Since then, I have been thinking alot about what this all means? What is it that I have to offer? What is different about my story then the other 10 million people worldwide with living with PD?
Then, the other day, I walked into my LDBF Boxing for Parkinson’s (www.boxingforparkinsons.) class and immediately was introduced to a woman, who, like me, had just gotten a Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease (YOPD) diganosis. She was two weeks into her diagnosis. She was crying. And, all of a sudden, I had a flash back to the day of my diagnosis and the terrible months following.
I literally had my “aha” moment while kneeling down in front of her chair. We started talking. I hugged her. The boxing class started, and I actually saw her smile. Following class, she asked me for my phone number. I asked her to please come back to class. I texted her this morning to see if she was ok. She just answered me back. She thanked me for sharing and for all of my support and to keep writing my blog.
I told her that writing is my outlet, that I finally found my voice.
I started thinking about (I think alot - something I never did before like flower arranging, decorating, work out, working to my potential) - my Unique Selling Point (marketing jargon): defined as “a factor that differentiates a product from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality or the first-ever product of its kind. A USP could be thought of as “what you have that competitors don't.”
My friend Grant (marketing genious)— who I recently had lunch with in New York asked me what it was that I had to offer with my blog and beyond.. What was my gift? My USP? I think I literally shrugged my shoulders. Now, almost three months later, I finally realized that It’s my mouth. The mouth that never stops talking. The mouth that has gotten me in more trouble over the years. is really my biggest asset.
Call it the gift of the gab. The gift to make people smile. The gift to empathize with oher’s pain, and the gift to make people laugh.
Once my mentor and friend, Lee (not my husband) told me that I should do a show called “She’s Talking.” He said that there would not be any guests just me talking. Now, many years later, I have found my voice and the voices of others — to help me through my PD Journey. I will not stop talking until I can’t anymore — and then I will use hand gesturse and a series of grunts.
So, what does all of this mean? It means that I have, finally, after 53 years, realized my purpose. It's just me being me. It's just me doing what I do best "Talking." Talking to anyone who will listen -- telling them "Get up. Don't wait for a diagnosis to change your life for the better. Do it now."