Monday, June 14, 2010

Aha Moment

I received an email a few days ago from someone with Mutual of Omaha's Aha Moments campaign.  These fabulous folks search for people in the cities where the tour is going and ask them to come on down to the event location and share their Aha Moment.  Someone found my blog (Yay!  I'm Somebody!!) and in the email she flattered me and said that I sounded like someone who would have something interesting to say.

I was immediately overwhelmed and made the decision not to go.

In fact, I decided that I was going to just ignore the email.

I'm great at forgetting about emails, just ask Lori!

(I'm working on answering you about the photo locations, I haven't forgotten!)

However, that little nagging voice in my brain kept saying "you can do this!" and "it's something that is so far out of your comfort zone that this will be good for you!"

If this is something you might be interested in, here are all of the locations where the Aha Airstream will make its appearance. 

may 3-4 fresno, ca
may 7-8 tucson, az
may 11-12 albuquerque, nm
may 17-18 tulsa, ok
may 20-21 austin, tx
may 24-25 baton rouge, la
may 27-28 memphis, tn
june 1-2 huntsville, al
june 7-8 augusta, ga
june 10-11 jacksonville, fl
june 14-15 charleston, sc
june 17-18 asheville, nc
june 21-22 knoxville, tn
june 24-25 richmond, va
june 29-30 providence, ri
july 6-7 albany, ny
july 12-13 dayton, oh
july 15-16 lexington, ky
july 19-20 south bend, in
july 22-23 milwaukee, wi
july 26-27 des moines, ia
july 29-30 kansas city, mo
august 2-3 wichita, ks
august 9-10 grand junction, co
august 16-17 eugene, or

Well, I managed to get my car to drive itself to downtown Jacksonville and when I finally got myself parked and found the Airstream I got to this point and froze.  I couldn't do it.

I took the picture just to prove that it was indeed real.

Then I decided that I might be able to make it to the white tent and at least ask what all was truly going on and to find out if everyone had made it out alive.

 I sat down next to Kait, who was a calming force and who also writes some of the posts on the Aha Moments blog.  She's a photographer, too, so we chatted a bit while the person ahead of me was inside the airstream.

This little clapper sat staring at me.

What was I going to put in that space - the space that said "my aha moment."

I've been thinking about that for days and I really never had a definitive answer.

I wanted to talk about photography because that has really been a wonderful thing that has come into my life.  It's opened up a whole new world to me.  It's completed a circle that has been open for a very long time!

I also wanted to talk about being a part of the organ transplant process.  That has changed my life, my husband's and the lives of almost everyone that I see on a weekly basis.

However, I wasn't sure if either of those things were a part of an "aha moment" for me.

Once again, I was ready to just get up and go home.  I was overwhelmed.

My heart started beating out of my chest.

and then I remembered something

and realized that I have known all along what I was going to say and the life story I was going to tell.

I've told the story before that long before I turned 16, I knew I wanted to have that organ donation sticker on my drivers license.  It was one of the things I was looking forward to most of all on that day.

My aha moment, though, came the day that Tom and I met with the Mayo doctor and he said to us that Tom was going to need a transplant.  I had never really given much thought about my overwhelming desire to be an organ donor, I just knew it was important to me.  However, that moment will forever be stuck in my mind.  It truly was a moment of clarity.  My husband's world was being forever changed at that moment and so was mine.  I knew that I was already prepared to be in the transplant world.  I had no idea how far into that world I was going to go, but I knew we were going to get through it and that we had a mission.

Aha indeed.

I'm not exactly sure what I said when I was inside the Airstream - I was asked questions and I answered them.  I cried immediately when I first opened my mouth but managed to recover and tell my story.  I had a lot of trouble saying "My name is Kristin and this is my aha moment."


I had to repeat that line 5 or 6 times.  I kept trying to say - this is Kristin, not my name is Kristin.

I'm such a goof ball.

I did it though, and I really wasn't nervous at all.  My voice didn't crack (except when I was trying to talk through the tears) and my hands were not shaking.  It was very comfortable.  I'm so happy that I made myself go.

Heck, I'm happy I was asked to do it.

Thanks for finding me!!!

I may be mistaken, but from what I understand, at the end of the tour, 100 of the aha moments will be chosen and put on the website.  The top ten will be chosen by votes from you, the public and those will be turned into commercials.  I'll be talking about this again when it's time to vote.  I bet there are going to be some really incredible aha moments in that top 100.

Have a great day!

EDITED to add on 2 July 2010 - My Aha Moment has been edited and is on the website now.  You can view it by clicking -  Kristin's Aha Moment.


Keetha Denise Broyles said...

Oh WOW!!!

But will you STILL be our friend when you are famous????

Ann said...

Kristin, what you had to say was so worthwhile.

Thanks for leaving your comfort zone and making yourself go and tell your story. Good girl.

A in the UP

Tricia said...

Kristin, that's amazing! I would have been that same girl, pretending I didn't see the e-mail, being terrified. I'm so proud of you for doing it!

Can't wait to see what comes of it.

Just Breathe said...

I am so proud of you. This is a beautiful post. From time to time my church will have an open mic time and they always so "If your heart is pounding God is talking to you" and he was :) Can't wait to vote for you!

Lisa Ceaser said...

Ahh, congrats! You are my hero. I never, rarely, if ever step out of that zone. You do it everyday.

I hope your aha moment can inspire others.

I too have the donor sticker on my liscence. Its a duty, and an honor. I don't believe we should waste away to dust when we can help save a life. Its our duty!

Condo Blues said...

How cool is that you got to participate. How even cooler that you went so far out of your comfort zone! Go YOU!!!

I'm sure your aha moment will inspire others. I really hope you are picked to be in the top 100. I'll blog about it and get you lots of votes!

PS: If it's any comfort I've been on stage and filmed and I'm always nervous. Every. Single. Time.

Mrs4444 said...

This is a perfect pick, Kristin. I'm so glad you linked it up!

Omigosh! Milwaukee on July 22-23rd? Can you believe I'm going to BE in Milwaukee that weekend. Just might have to think about going!!!

michelle said...

This is awesome! I didn't know about your transplant experience. Will look back in your archives to catch up.

You are a courageous lady.

Marla said...

What a beautiful post. I can't wait to read more from you.

Laura said...

Glad you stayed to tell your "aha" moment. I'm also a big advocate for organ donation (it's on my driver's license). I actually did a post last week "Greatest Gift" on organ donation.

Stopping by from Saturday Sampling

qandlequeen said...

You're like FAMOUS! That's so cool and really what a great message.

Beth Zimmerman said...

So PROUD of you for reaching outside your comfort zone and sharing your heart! You are amazing!