Happy Rebirthday to Me!

“I reminisce for a spell, or shall I say think back 48 years ago to keep it on track. The birth of a child on the 25th of February, a girl – the seed of James and Mary…”

Heeey Family!! How Y’all doin’? How your mama and ‘nem doing? I know, I know, I know.  It has been forever since I’ve chatted with you!! I have missed you guys and I do hope that you have missed me! My apologies for the long delay but you know it had to be something important to keep me away from you for so long. My absence was not in vain, however, and I’m happy to say I am back! Not only am I back, but I picked a special day to return – my rebirthday!!

Don’t look at me in that tone of voice and spare me the side eye while I explain. March 8, 2016, I underwent surgery to repair my mitral valve. For about three hours I was technically dead. I had no brain function, no pulse, no respiratory activity. My heart and lungs were stopped and a machine kept oxygenated blood flowing through my body. After the successful repair of my valve, I was removed from the heart and lung machine, and my heart was successfully restarted using a defibrillator. I was wheeled into a recovery room in ICU to be monitored as they waited for me to return to consciousness. Thank God, I did.

With my BFF Liane before the surgery, and in ICU immediately after waking up.

Upon awakening, March 8th became my second birthday. My rebirthday if you please. It sounds so cliché, but that experience changed me in ways I can’t fully explain. On some level, we all know that we aren’t invincible or immortal, and we have a looming expiration date. Yet, we often live as if we’ll be here forever. We put our dreams on hold, we let opportunities pass us by, we allow fear to prevent us from taking the risk, fully experiencing life and, worst of all, love. We entertain toxic people and allow time-stealing activities to fill our days. It shouldn’t take a near-death experience to realize none of this is okay.

Here’s a scenario for you:

You receive a letter informing you that in three months time, you are going to retire for the night and slip into a coma while you sleep. You may or may not awaken. Knowing this, how would you live what could be the last three months of your life? What would you change? Is there anything you would do differently? Are there people you would spend less time with or more time with? Would you make the time to do something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t?

If you read the above scenario and immediately thought of several things you would do differently, it is time to make some changes. You could very well be living the last three months of your life, or the last three years, or the last three weeks. There is no way of knowing for sure. What all of us know is that at some unknown date our time will be up. Until then, we should live our best lives. Lives full of laughter, love, shenanigans, good food, great sex, goals achieved, dreams realized, full of purpose and peace. Our time should be spent with people who energize, encourage, and support us and their vibes should fill us with joy. There’s no room for energy vampires, negative vibe spreaders, and dream killers.

Change is hard, even good change. You can do it though. Link up with your tribe and do it together. Challenge each other, support each other, hold each other accountable. If you don’t have a tribe make that your first change and go find them. You’re definitely a part of my tribe and I do love hearing from you. Just know that because I love you I will hold your feet to the fire. I’m not coddling you or listening to a litany of excuses. I have no qualms telling you to cut the bullshit!

Alright, you’ve got your orders. It’s time to go make great shit happen in your life. Oh, and Happy Rebirthday to you.


— Jae

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