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creativity

Write every day: Releasing grief

Yesterday I hit a big goal! By Halloween, I wanted to be able to take a walk around my neighborhood. I took 2 walks with the help of my sister, Maria, and my dog, Phin—one for an hour in Central Park and another for 90 minutes in Riverside Park. These were my first walks outside since my breast cancer surgery. It felt glorious to fill my lungs with fresh air and to feel the sunshine on my face.

And then, this morning happened. I had a nightmare last night that I was surrounded by my friends but no one could see me or hear me. I was already on edge from that when I mistakenly dropped one of my chest drains, painfully pulled at my stitches, and caused some pins and needles in my hand. And to top it off, I got my period.

Together, those three things broke me right along with my concerns about the election results, the “what-if” scenarios that haunt me, and the spaghetti tangle of tubes under the skin in my armpits that remind me of the NYC subway system.

My sister rubbed by back and I just wailed out of pain, fear, frustration, and anger. It felt like a dam just broke in me and an ugly cry poured out of me. It passed pretty quickly, as many things do, and it was needed.

“You can be grateful and still be upset,” my sister said. “You have to let this out and it’s okay.” And she’s right. We hold so much in times of difficulty, emotions and concerns that are at constant odds with each other.

We’re all holding so much right now. We’re grappling with massive uncertainty and uncharted territory in which it often feels like we have little to no control.

I learned today it’s okay to feel all that and then some. To admit it to ourselves and others. To cry over it. To do whatever we need to do to get through it so we can keep going. It’s not easy and that’s why we have and need each other. The only way we’re getting from moment to moment and day to day is together. And I’m grateful to be with all of you.

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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