For most of my life, I focused far too much on what I thought my flaws were. It took a lot of years and being loved by the right people to finally learn that most of those flaws I thought I had are actually part of what makes me beautiful. My childhood was not one full of butterflies and lollipops but instead one of those stories full of tragedy and sadness. I do not want to spend time causing heartache and a flood of sad tears for you, but instead, focus on what I did learn about myself.
From a very young age, I knew that I was destined to love and nurture. That I would not inflict hurt and pain but be an example of the opposite. However, I had absolutely no idea where my path would lead me. I just had this need to do something that would help people and ultimately add joy. Little did I know how big my purpose would grow to be.
Without a doubt I had a guardian angel guiding my every step. Every single turn led me to something amazing. Meeting my son’s father gave me the most important duty of my life but also the most beautiful gift imaginable. My son gave me my first sense of purpose. I had zero experience in how to be a good mom. But, instinctively knew I would love this sweet boy with everything in me and I have done just that.
I had a patient ask me what I prayed for when I prayed for my son. At the time I was worried about Bryson’s current decisions and was at a loss on how to help guide him. It shocked me when my sweet patient Ann asked such a simple question. Well, I prayed every single day for over 18 years that my sweet gentle giant would be kind, he would be healthy, happy and he would attain whatever success is to him and he would always love God first. Guess what..every single one of my prayers had been granted. Reflecting on that question, I sobbed for what seemed like hours. I had raised a kind-hearted, hard-working, happy and god loving young man. And, I will always be most grateful for this blessing.
Next phase of purpose
Senior year for Bryson was what felt like a roller coaster of emotions. I felt as if I was bipolar because I could not get a grip on my feelings. The most important job of my life was ending or so I thought. I have since learned that we never stop mothering our sweet babies. The struggle with this was I felt that my one purpose on the planet was done. I raised my son and now what.
I never looked at my profession as my purpose. It was something I truly enjoyed doing. It feeds my soul in all the best ways. October 2016 was life-changing for me. I found that my passion for loving my patients was in fact purpose-filled. I am so incredibly blessed to work for Dr. Bruce Baird and his wife Cindy Lu Baird and let’s not leave our Dr. Jeff and Kammie Buske. I knew July 2008 when I spoke with Cynthia Baird on the phone about their available hygiene position that I would take it before I even hung up the phone. I fell in love with this sweet woman’s heart and I sit here and cry thinking about how I felt this way about all of the leaders at Granbury Dental Center.
Finding something special
What I didn’t realize is who I was taking a job for. I had no idea who Dr. Bruce Baird was. All I knew was that what went on under the roof of Granbury Dental Center was special. We were treating whole-body health. It was then and even more so now the most amazing opportunity and this simple girl from east Texas was allowed to make a little bit of a difference. We were a dental sleep office before it was cool and boy was my whole world was changed. But again I simply just loved loving on my patients. I didn’t realize this was a truly enormous part of molding me into an even bigger purpose-filled life.
Bruce is co-founder of Productive Dentist Academy and I could not and still can not get enough of that company and what it stands for. Bruce and Vicki have taught us to put our patients’ health first and if you do that the end result will always be a success. I had been nudged for years to get out of the op and share my knowledge but I did not believe I had enough to offer.
Time to grow
October 2016 first Susan Leckowics and the same day Bruce and Cynthia encouraged me on how it was time to get uncomfortable and grow. I could write an entire book on the transformation that took place months following that day. What I can tell you is I was loved beyond measure and given guts and strength until I felt it on my own. Victoria says my PDA family pushed their baby bird out of its nest. I was allowed to help create Productive Dentist Academy’s Specialty Hygiene Program, then pushed into speaking(one of my two biggest fears), I then met Michelle Strange and Andrew Johnston which has lead to being a guest on their podcast to them giving my own podcast. From there I met Andrea Johnson that gave a girl with very little speaking experience a chance to become a national speaker for Crest Oral-B.
I met my AAOSH leaders, specifically founder Dr. Chris Kammer and that later gave me an opportunity to sit on the marketing board and a podcast for AAOSH that I cohost with Dr. Chris Kammer. Amy Kinnamon followed suit and is giving me opportunities I can’t believe I even deserve. Who knew I had it in me. These amazing people and so many more did and I love them more every second because they believed in me until I learned to believe in myself. Wow, what a beautiful journey it has been. I want to make them every bit as proud as I want to make myself.
Embracing my self
So I embrace my cheesy personality, inability to be as articulate as some of the people I most admire, my very thick Texas accent, my insecurities about what I do not find beautiful about myself, my crazy insane passion for the love of dentistry and whole-body health and I’m ok with not being as witty as my incredibly funny friends that make my belly hurt from laughing so hard.
Most of those things I thought were flaws I have shockingly discovered to very much love about myself. I love this journey that has been mostly about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. We all have our gifts. I share my vulnerability, the things that make my heart grow even more big and beautiful while always striving to share endless amounts of kindness because those are the things that I know I am most passionate about and fuel my purpose. Friends, my dreams were not big enough. Are yours?