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A Local Encounter that Changed my Perspective - The Moment when All Balls Dropped

USA | Monday, 18 March 2013 | Views [172] | Comments [1] | Scholarship Entry

A Local Encounter that Changed my Perspective
By: Heidi N. Siefkas

On September 27, 2009, my life abruptly changed with a local encounter in Poughkeepsie, New York. A nearly thousand pound tree limb feel and broke my neck causing my life as I knew it to stop. I call this the moment when all balls dropped. My career, marriage, and most importantly my health were items that I juggled with ease previously, but that evil tree drastically changed my juggling act causing a lengthy recovery period of nearly nine months.

Since, I have fully recovered physically and emotionally; I’m so very fortunate. However, that day when all balls dropped, I certainly changed. I was forced to stop everything and focus on my health. This caused me to look closely at all aspects of my life and reorganize my priorities. With my changed perspective, I’ve chosen to be more appreciative of every opportunity, leading me to be more alive and wise.

Although I have not returned to New York since 2010, I carry the lesson of that day with me everywhere and in every moment. Many will write about local encounters with other people from other cultures. However, my particular encounter was with a tree. It sparked within me an enhanced, up close, and inside out evaluation of myself. I was given the opportunity to restart at the age of thirty-three. With this second chance, I’ve embraced my passion for writing and rekindled a wanderlust that was slowly dying with societal and relationship pressures confining me to a nesting suburban community with a large white fence and more bathrooms that one needs or wants to clean.

Since my encounter, I’ve kept the roadways hot quenching my thirst for other cultures to teach me lessons similar to the tree, but perhaps in a more gentle fashion. Most recently, I ventured to Cuba to get a taste of an almost forbidden culture that has survived without any assistance of my country. There, I experienced one of the most happy and long-living cultures. I think that one of the secrets that I uncovered on that trip and my encounter with the tree is that life’s best things are the little things or in essence not things at all. In fact, I believe the more own knows the less one needs.

I’m proud to say that I have overcome all balls dropping and continue, only stronger and wiser. My local encounter has led me to write more, opening the door to tell many more stories of my local encounters across the world.

Tags: Travel Writing Scholarship 2013



I would like to say to all that read this article. I have now released a book When All Balls Drop: The Upside of Losing Everything. It follows me on the journey of recovering from a broken neck, broken heart, and career loss that happened that fall of 2009. You can get a FREE 40-page excerpt here: http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=zeet9orab&p=oi&m=1118262890649&sit=lc86b64ib&f=e79fe348-b1f1-4179-acfb-d4758fee17dc
The full version is available on my website www.heidisiefkas.com as well as on your favorite online book seller.
Here's to looking up!

  Heidi Siefkas Nov 27, 2014 6:30 AM

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