This month's Snapshot on Resilience is my college colleague, Melissa E. Taylor. Melissa was the very first director to work on one of my plays and her sensitivity, insights and talent helped to make me into a better playwright and person.
Today, Melissa shares how her life has evolved over the years and shares her views on resilience and living a meaningful life.
What is your definition of resilience?
Resilience is having the ability to rise up like the Phoenix when life and circumstances scorch hope or opportunity.
In what way(s) do you see yourself representing resilience?
I purchased a house in 6/05 on a Tuesday and Thursday of the same week I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Four months later I opened a brick and mortar store on U St., NW, Washington, DC. The store was a life long dream and the diagnosis wasn’t going to make me change my plans. I opened 11/05 and closed it 11/07. If I have a vision I never allow anything to keep me from seeing my vision come to fruition. I’m disabled now and using this circumstance to advocate for the disabled.
What is your life’s passion?
My life’s passion is being helpful to others. I love assisting others in any capacity I can.
What inspired you to pursue this passion?
My parents are my inspiration. Throughout the time I grew up in my family’s home I witnessed them helping every person that asked for it. That influence prompted me to do the same.
Now that I’m on permanent disability I utilize what time I can spare to help other disabled people as well as volunteer time on my apartment’s resident council
What causes are dear to your heart and why?
Of course the MS Society of Washington, DC. I spoke at Sen. Eleanor Holmes-Norton office to discuss the continued funding by the government for Multiple Sclerosis. I lived in a nursing home for two years. That’s when I became aware of the problems of long term care. I ran for the president of the Resident Council so I speak on the behalf of the patients. I currently work on the Resident Council in my apartment complex.
How do you stay motivated from day to day?
I stay motivated because I recognize the brevity of my life so I utilize my time wisely.
If any, what was your lowest point as you matured in your craft and career?
In 20009 I realized I could not longer work professionally as a theater practioner so I went to my pastor and asked if I could start a Drama Ministry. I donate my playwrighting and directing skills as well teach members so it will carry on after I can’t.
What have you done that’s helped you stay positive as you’ve taken this journey?
I’m hard wired to remain positive. I know nothing else and good thoughts make me happy.
What’s your vision for the future?
For the first time in life I have no plans. I pay attention to where God leads me and I go.
How do you see your work healing, inspiring and motivating others?
I get involved in positive situations as well as create art with the intent of make others feel better about when they interact with it.
For you, what does it mean to live a meaningful life?
To live a meaningful life requires spending every waking moment appreciating the life God gave you. Since I can remember I’ve been an artist. That is an amazing gift God has given and allows me to create beauty where none existed.
What words of wisdom and advice can you offer to other women who desire to live a meaningful life?
Don’t allow fear to keep you from ever reaching goals.
Melissa, thank you for sharing what you've learned thus far on your journey. I know that it will inspire someone to recognize their own resilience and their ability to live a meaningful life no matter what!
Melissa also shared her current artistic passion with us through a VideoLog. Click here to be inspired!
Remember, life is precious. Do your happy dance. Enjoy life!