I am starting off my website with Les Brown’s quote, “You have to be willing to do the things today that others won’t do, to have the things tomorrow that others won’t have,” because this quote has stayed with me for the last year. I came across this quote from one of the many motivation videos on YouTube. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not crazy about the motivation hype but I do believe that there is some use for it and if you are really ready for a change, one thought or one action can change your life. This quote was a part of a speech he gave – and honestly I don’t even remember what the speech was about – but it really gave me pause. I think if you are at the point in your life where you are asking the big questions about life, the right person, or quote, or speech, or behavior can light a spark that can’t be ignored. For me, I had been asking myself, “Is this it?” Is this all I am going to do with my life? I felt like there had to be more to life. I had had this feeling for quite some time and it was causing me to be unhappy. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong until my girl, Kryssie, suggested that I explore YouTube – Okay, so I am an older millennial so I come from a time when we had no cellphones or social media, and the internet was a new thing. So, I still have my time when I just don’t want to be on social media and I don’t follow all the new apps that come out – so, anyways, I decided to see what was trending on YouTube and I came across TedTalks and other motivational videos. I searched talks until I came across a talk on feeling stuck and couldn’t believe that there was a whole world out there that understood how I felt. The issue that I had been having was that I didn’t even know how I felt so I didn’t have the words to express what I was feeling. These talks opened up my world in a way that I am still so grateful for.
After doing some exploration with myself and weighing the decisions that I had made, I had to consider what I wanted my future to look like. I used my new-found motivation to push myself to make strides outside of a comfort zone I hadn’t even realized I was stuck in. Fast forward a few months later, I began to notice that some of my clients were having similar problems. I began to realize that if I knew so many people struggling with this issue, then there had to be others out there dealing with the same issues. So, I set out to do more things outside of my comfort zone but that I felt aligned with my goals and my purpose. As a therapist, I have also felt the need to be a part of the group that works to advance the field of mental health. I have had a love for mental health since before I was very young. So, I started writing blogs for the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Counseling Today magazine and found that I absolutely enjoyed it. I loved finding topics to write about which also fueled my love for writing. For some reason, I had never considered writing as a way of advocating, weird I know. So, I decided that I wanted a space where I could explore more topics of my choosing. So, here we are…my new platform and my new passion project. Check out my blog on why I chose the Gray Matthews Project name.