Our Story Begins:
Taking A Chance..
Good Enough Mother Style!


I’m going to take inspiration today from closer to home.  Well, closer to the heart, maybe.  From the Head GEM herself, Rene.

Earlier this week she posted about taking a chance…a REALLY BIG chance.  She was talking about her opening up and letting the amazing Ella Rucker learn, assisting for a fledgling media enterprise.  She spoke about Ella wanting a mentor, not taking “no” for an answer, even working for free.  Ella never backed down.

In many, many ways I’m nowhere near as brave as these women when it comes to taking those risks.  I am nowhere near the bravery of jumping with both feet into the pools of uncertainty knowing that the steady income from a corporate paycheck is keeping my kids fed, housed, and clothed.  It’s keeping us afloat.  Before you argue that either of them – Rene or Ella – didn’t have too much choice…bear in mind we always have a choice.  Both could have chased comfortable relationships and work options.  Neither wanted to do that.

So I’m not brave?  I didn’t say that.  Risk is measured in reward, I suppose.  What risks did I take?

In March of 2011, I lost my wife.  That was my stability and my second income.  Screw all that, though.  She was also my friend and a woman I loved quite dearly.  With her gone, my life could have gone to hell.

And it did.

A few short weeks after the funeral, due to illness and lack of a second income, I lost my house.

At the same time, my work informed me it was time to “make a change” in my department.  That change meant cutting my salary and changing what I do each day.  In the span of a few short weeks I’d lost the love of my life, a roof over my head, and the means to support and protect my family.

I could have done the easy thing: move back to Nebraska and stay there until I stabilized.  I ended up at one of the best work environments with people who understand my home demands as well.  After that I found a home I could rent, in my budget.

Then I started writing – every day – in order to understand myself what was happening to my life.

Something happened to me that day in 2011.  I could have – hell I should have folded.  Instead I wrote – words, music, anything that could pull me away from the fog of grief.



Then I started talking with Rene.  I’ll be brutally honest: she didn’t remember me from Adam.  Nor should she have remembered me.  I worked in a different building when we worked together in Dallas.  I shot only a few stories for her when we worked for the same company.  But on a whim I found her website.  Something she wrote touched me enough to make a comment about how I worried about the future for my kids.  It was no small feat for me.  I don’t normally put myself out in the world that much.

I took a chance, hoping maybe someone out there felt the same?

Then I got an email from Rene.  She’d found my blog and was touched by my story.  She asked me to repurpose a story and put it together for her site.  After I submitted that (you can read it here), she immediately took another big chance and asked me to write for her every week.

Read more: Our Story Begins: The Decisions That Break You In Two



Since then I’ve taken far more risks.  I’ve written far more personal details than I would have two years ago.  I’ve written music and plan on recording with my brother – to release a CD in the fall or winter.  I’ve met amazing people, new friends I would never have attained a few years ago.  I was closed, quiet, sedentary and tired.  Now I travel – mainly small places now, but have plans for far more.  I’ve visited friends on mad, extremely insane whims.  I’ve reached out and met amazing people.

Read more:  Monday Morning Motivation: Your Race Is Your Race


Ella Rucker Rene Syler

Given that we are all walking toward the same end my wife reached – albeit hers was far sooner than any of us wanted – what good is hanging back and playing it safe?

I have learned that writing, both prosaic and musical, are privileges.  I haven’t earned the right to do these things.  I have been given gifts…gifts I squandered for many years.

Taking risks gave me people like Ella, Rene, and others who embraced me as worthwhile; I know now they’re risks worth taking.

What about you?  Have you taken the right kinds of risks?  Are you using the gifts you have, or holding them close to the vest?  What will you do with the time left to you?

Read more: 10 From GEM: Keep Your Cash.. 10 Ways To Cut Grocery Costs


More from GEM:

Monday Morning Motivation: The Best Is Yet To Come!

Life Lessons: Abbi Manoucheri

Our Story Begins: Of Parenting And Problems.. What Makes You Worry?

Dave Manoucheri framed headshot

Dave Manoucheri is a writer and journalist based in Sacramento, California.  A father of four, two daughters and twin sons, his blog, Our Story Begins is a chronicle of their daily life after the loss of his wife, Andrea, in March of 2011. Follow him on Twitter @InvProducerMan.