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Wonder: Into the belly of the beast

As someone who has had both primary and secondary PTSD, I am well-acquainted with the intensity of the fight or flight response. I have been under the thumb of narcissists more times than I care to remember. I understand the impulse to run. Goodness knows I’ve done my fair share of running (like hell, might I add) to seek safety. Last night I had a little (okay, enormous) breakdown. My impulse in that moment was to run, anywhere really, and never look back.

My therapist, Brian, and I worked on this impulse for many years. We still work on it. (Sorry, Brian.) Sometimes running as far and fast and right now is the right thing to do. I’m going to go out on a limb and say most of the time I think running is the best option. (Or at least is has been for me.) And sometimes, every once in a very great while, there is nowhere to run. Brian taught me in these instances that we have to fight, and fight, and fight, and never give up on the ideals we believe in. He was the first to explain to me that my fierce sense of justice is a wonderful thing. And that it’s also an enormous pain in the ass because there will be some things, like narcissism, that I cannot help but stamp out until they are gone so that no one else will ever have to be subjected to them.

I write to you now from the belly of the beast, a meer mile from the Capitol building, less than two miles from the White House. And the belly of the beast is where the battles are fought and where the wars are won. If we are to stamp out injustice in our beautiful country and for all of the people who call it home, then it must be done here at the root. And here I am so it’s time to suit up and soldier on.

The opportunity is here. The time is now. And there are people who are counting on all of us to stand with them in solidarity and support. Failing them would mean failing everyone. Their future is our future. Their rights are everyone’s rights and everyone’s responsibility. Mine. Yours. And theirs. No matter what these four years hold, I’m going to be just fine in every respect because I grew up poor and scrappy and hungry and uncertain. I know how to live on next to nothing because I’ve been doing that for most of my life. It is now my job, and my honor, to stand up for others who are not as fortunate as I am now (I know their pain all too well) and who will be so grossly impacted by what’s ahead.

And I will. I can’t do anything but. If I ran now, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself anyway, anywhere, so best to take a deep breath, have a big glass of water (hydration’s important, people), and do the tough work of making sure that this atrocity never happens again.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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