It All Starts With Hope
When you can’t seem to look up, you have to first look within
By Derick Turner
I’ve written a lot about divorce. As a man trying to bring hope to other men dealing with divorce this makes sense. I don’t want the divorce to be the focus of any of my writings, however. Divorce is an experience, but it does not define you. That’s why I want any of my divorce related articles to be about something more than just divorce. This article is no exception.
Today what I’m really talking about is Hope.
My blog has truly always been about my own journey of hope. I’d like to share my story about my own journey of hope so far.
This post would end up being pretty long, so I’m going to break up this story into 2-parts. This is the first part.
“The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope”
Frank Lloyd Wright
When all hope was lost
After my divorce I felt lost. I was defeated. I felt alone. The person I had counted on for as long as I could remember was choosing to no longer love me. It hurt.
I took a little time to wallow in my self-pity, but I never took to it. I knew I needed to get out and do something with my pain.
I started a meetup group for people in my area who were separated and divorced. I thought if I could help others find some sense of normalcy, I could maybe find some of my own. The group quickly grew, but it never really took off. After several months I closed it down.
Around that same time I attended a training about how to better present myself to people. It felt good to apply my skills towards something constructive. I have always enjoyed teaching and helping others so I felt a connection with this experience and decided to begin applying what I learned to my life.
While attending this training I had several different people, independent of one another, tell me that they felt I would be good at connecting with and helping a very specific group of people… divorced men.
I fought this idea for several months. I was a divorced man, and I knew the challenge of connecting with, and impacting the thoughts of a divorced man. Men are, generally speaking, already stubborn and prideful. Add to this that they have gone through a life changing defeat which had likely stripped much of their self confidence from them, and you had a recipe for volatility and resistance I wasn’t sure I wanted to face. Sure I’d like to help other men like me, but I did not feel up to that challenge.
While I eventually drew back from the idea of focusing on that specific group, I was determined to get out of my own head and help others. I chose to focus my attentions on the more generalized group of “everyday men” who were fathers. I knew I could relate to them, and I knew that they needed a strong voice as well.
It is my firm belief that the caliber of men in the world today has diminished greatly. I believe there are too many men who have lost a sense of confidence and clarity in who they are supposed to be. Rarely do we see the same level of respect and chivalry that I had grown up admiring and trying to emulate.
I knew that while I was by no means the perfect example, I had strong foundational values that I felt were worth sharing. I believed that if I could speak clearly and loudly enough, I could reach the hearts of the men who were sincere seekers of strength and motivation.
I knew I was stubborn and strong enough to take up this mantle, so I began the efforts of creating my blog site, www.DerickTurner.com
For several months I wrote blog posts on topics such as Chivalry and Etiquette, Personal Development, Manhood, Fatherhood, and yes, even Divorce. I worked hard, but I felt as if I was sending my writing off into the abyss, because as far as I knew I had almost no one reading what I wrote.
Nonetheless, I knew my message was important, so I continued writing.
A shimmer of hope
Over time my writing has slowly gained traction. I’ve started seeing more unique visitors to my site. That inspired me to keep going, and to extend my reach.
Before long I was offered the opportunity to write for Huff Post.
This didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it feels like a miracle it ever happened at all.
Several months earlier I had sent some of my writing to The Huffington Post after reading an article posted on their site. At the end it called for interested bloggers to reach out to them. I was now a blogger, and I was interested.
After several months, and long after I had forgotten about it, they reached out to me. They liked my “voice” and thought I would be a valuable contributor. They wanted me to write for them as an independent blogger, primarily for their Divorce blog.
Ahh, there it was again. Divorce. The painful thing I had been spending many, many months trying to get past, and here it was, continuing its siren song, trying to draw me in.
I knew there must be a reason.
I felt I was being called to help shed light on the subject, perhaps in a way only me and my “voice” would be able to. Beyond that, I was ecstatic about the chance to get my writing out there in front of more people.
I knew that with enough effort and time, I could truly become an influence for good in the lives of others. So, I continued hoping for the best and I went to work.
I had no idea where it was going to lead me…
(watch soon for part two)