A very special guest post from author & goddess 
Jess Goldman Foung, aka Sodium Girl


Flight.
In a single moment, with a single jump, you suspend in the air. Putting life on pause for one, joyful, split second, only to moments later land safely back on your two feet, either lifting off again or climbing down to solid ground.
But when something unexpected double-bounces you off life’s trampoline, suddenly, the suspension of reality feels less free and more threatening. The landing pad looks less even and more unsteady. The fall becomes fearful and threatening. And the next few moments, days, months, and years…uncertain.
We’ve all had those moments — a shocking diagnosis, the discovery of a lump, the loss of a loved one, a life with a chronic illness. We’ve all felt the jolt of the double bounce and the struggle for a steady state. We’ve all felt alone and scared, weak and wilted, changed and converted. And we all have the chance to use those experiences to take flight once again.
Almost a decade ago, I lost my proverbial footing when Lupus suddenly attacked my kidneys and my brain days after my twenty-first birthday, hours before I was to return to Stanford University for my winter quarter. I quickly went from struggling for the good dorm room to fighting for my life. And the plans I had for my studies and my social life got replaced by dialysis, chemotherapy, blood work, and just making it to the next Saturday. 
Thanks to amazing medical care and love from family and friends, I eventually survived. My kidneys, however, did not. And while I was grateful to be alive, I knew life would never be the same. A realization that could leave me hanging in limbo or help me find my footing again. Because in that moment, I had two choices: be paralyzed by the changes and uncertainty, or own them. 
I chose door number two. It took time and I tried for a while to keep step with my peers, hold a nine-to-five, and put the needs of my disease on the bottom of the priority list. But I quickly realized that this only left me feeling emptier and more behind. When I embraced my needs, however, things fell into place. Life had changed, so it was damn time to change my life. And instead of pushing medical needs to the side, I made them the muse of my career, my work, and my life's purpose. I began telling and sharing my story and it led to a dream job with more impact than I could have ever imagined -- more than a nine-to-five could have ever afforded. And not only did I feel like I got my footing back, but I felt like I was finally moving forward.
An opportunity to bring meaning to those unexpected double-bounces and turn life-altering moments into life-changing messages. It is a course I am offering through Stanford Continuing Studies this April (yes, two weeks away) in which we turn lemons into lemonade and then turn that lemonade into powerful pieces of writing that will in inspire and encourage and catch others as they free fall.
This is the time to tell your story so that, when someone else flies off their expected path, they can just keep soaring.
So I’ll keep it short and simple for now: Please pass this information forward. To your support group, doctor, favorite health organization, and Zumba class. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, and your work’s water cooler. To young people, wise people, medical professionals, grant writers, caretakers, health warriors, and novices. Because you never know what obstacles people have faced or are currently facing. You never know who this class will empower and touch. You never know what stories need to take flight.
And I hope to see you in April. Get ready to fly.