I got up this morning thinking that it was just going to be another ordinary day. As the day progressed, it was anything but ordinary for this 44 year old man from Vancouver…
5:00 am – My alarm on my cell phone went off. I rolled over, turned it off and quickly scrolled through any messages or emails I may have received during my slumber. Nothing new, nothing terribly exciting…
5:15 am – Change Inori’s water and cleaned out her kitty litter box…even less exciting.
5:30 am – I made my way to the gym for another fun class (I truly mean that) at bootcamp. Fellow bootcampers, J&S who I affectionately refer to as Mac & Tosh (the goofy gophers from the old Merrie Melodies cartoons) asked me more about my website. I gave them the link and they claimed they would stalk me later on in the morning. They really are darlings…
6:45 am – I’m exhausted yet refreshed after a good workout and a quick hot shower. Gulped down my protein shake and headed off to work.
7:30 am – I arrived at the office and ate my breakfast comprising of raisin bran and coffee while browsing through more emails. Yaaawwwn…
Noon – Oh, it’s lunch time! After lunch, I went for a lovely walk with coworker, Stella.
1:30 pm – I browsed through more emails and suddenly my eyes popped wide open – an email from the Professor and Current Chair of The School of Health Policy and Management at York University in Toronto. I met her a few months ago at the Vancouver Mental Health Summit where I had the opportunity to speak about my experience in the Strength in Unity Project that I participated in to reduce stigma in mental health in our communities. The letter went like this:
“Hi Jason – I am writing to invite you formally to be a speaker at our final Knowledge Exchange Summit on Mental Health in Ottawa September 27th, 2017. See the attached formal invitation. We are hoping you speak as part of a panel of men who were involved in the Strength in Unity study much like you did at the Vancouver Summit…”
1:33 pm – I finally blinked.
1:34 pm – I messaged my family and friends about the wonderful opportunity while doing my best to contain my excitement.
2:00 pm – I was still excited.
4:30 pm – I raced home and decompressed from the rush of adrenaline. A bit of meditation and a shower settled me down. Ooops, wait…cleaned up cat vomit in the living room first….
5:35 pm – I crafted my acceptance letter and clicked “send”.
And now I’m relaxing to a nice cup of tea, feeling elated that I get to share my story about mental health and abuse at our nation’s capital in September. I have the opportunity to raise awareness about how I can reduce stigma in mental health in front Ms Kim Elmslie, Assistant Deputy Minister of Health and other leaders in the field of mental health. My ideas, my input and my words will get heard by so many others in Ottawa. I think about what we contribute to society as waves in the ocean. Most days, we send out little ones, one right after the other. And the odd time, a big wave comes along. I feel this is one of them. Needless to say, I’m feeling humbled and honored.
As a result, today turned out to be more than just an ordinary day.