I Have A Secret…

I debated whether I should share my secret on this blog.  It’s a brand new blog and it’s supposed to be reflective of my “business” persona.  And then today, while soaking in a bath of epsom salts for the back pain I get from sitting at my desk for 12 hour stretches and carrying my quadriplegic 60 lb son, I realized – how can you separate the two?

So here I am to share my secret.

But I can’t get right to it, can I? Everything has context, and this is a story, and this story, like all stories, has a beginning, middle, and end.

And it starts when I was 25 years old and pregnant with my first child.  At the 34th week of pregnancy, I was told my unborn child had a brain malformation called semi-lobar holopresencephaly, and that the doctor was SO VERY SORRY that it wasn’t discovered in time for me to abort.  He gave my unborn son a 1 in 10 million chance of surviving birth, and 1 in 20 million chance of surviving to be 1 year old.

Today, my son is 10 years old, and is the love of my life, my teacher, my guide, and the absolute most precious gift I’ve ever received.

But getting Nathan to a beautiful, healthy, happy 10 years old wasn’t easy.  The first year especially was riddled with life-threatening surgeries, medical negligence, fear, and an insane amount of stress.  To date, Nathan’s had 5 surgeries, 3-4 near-death experiences, more hospitalizations than I care to count or remember, gazillions of hours of therapy, 3 stem cell treatments, and every single therapy available to a child with cerebral palsy.

At 26 years old I was blessed with the opportunity of guarding and protecting this soul, while he was tasked with the job of teaching me so many lessons, like patience, faith, and to change my perceptions of reality.  But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

While caring for Nathan and in between hospitalizations, doctor visits, and therapies, I was also building my SEO business.  I was lucky enough to be one of the first individuals in the whole entire world to practice SEO, and was gifted with the skills, knowledge, and abilities to know SEO as well as I breathe.  So I nourished my child and I nourished my business and both grew and both demanded a lot from me.  Time, energy, faith, perseverance, and more intense focus than I thought I could ever muster.

Then I got pregnant and had my 2nd child – a gorgeous little girl.  Then I got pregnant again with a bouncing little boy.  Then I bought a 5,000 sq foot fixer upper with 3 acres of land, and in the same month that the house closed, Google Penguin hit and my business collapsed.

And power through it all I did, without pausing, without thought to the possibility of failure.  We renovated the house, cared for Nathan and all his needs, created 2 new businesses, and kept working relentlessly to keep it all afloat.

If you knew me as a child or as a young adult, you might remember me bouncing off the walls.  I was full of energy.  I was a consummate athlete.  I loved to swim, play tennis, play water polo, Rollerblade.  I never learned to be still, and I mastered the art of staying active while engaged with academics.  I consumed books like others do chocolate and read entire 300 word books in days from the time I was about 12 years old.  My college years I juggled a full time job, full time school, and athletics (I played college water polo) and as usual, excelled.

The Gryffin Team in 2013

If you’d told me some years back that I’d develop “Chronic Fatigue” I would’ve laughed in your face and believed it to be completely impossible.  It was the one thing I excelled at – having energy.  There’s no way that could become my illness.  But develop chronic fatigue I did, and such a debilitating form of it that there were days that getting out of bed was simply beyond my means.

So what does all this have to do with my secret? And most importantly, what does this have to do with business? This is a resume blog, isn’t it? Why are you talking about your health? Your kids?

We will get there, dear friends, but not today.  Because now I have to take it easy, and take a little break.  I’ll come back soon and tell you more of this story I’ve started.