Bridging the Gap-Courage at any age

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Today is an exciting day with the launch of an unprecedented campaign, “Bridging the Gap,” where 100 Millennial and 100 Midlife Influencers are coming together to blur boundaries, as we believe we are stronger together. 
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So we're decades apart --those millennials and us "over 50 women".  The 20 and 30 somethings may be a lot  younger, but there are more common threads than differences. Both age groups are taking risks, pursuing passions, and even mustering up the courage to blog!  No longer is the adage "older and wiser" on point...the millennial generation is also going after what's important with passion and vigor.
We share courage.

One such courageous millennial just happens to be my own daughter, 31 year old part-time blogger Alyssa Kevlahan.  This stunningly beautiful, strong, brilliant and compassionate woman is doing things that it takes most people years to accomplish. And I'm not saying this just because I'm her mom!
Life hasn't been easy for Alyssa. The child of divorce (a nasty one), she has been through rough  times, including dealing with family issues, death and mental illness (anxiety and depression).  But the tough stuff has never stopped her. She's one strong  woman-- a force to be reckoned with! She shares her life--the good and bad, with raw honestly through her blog LysTakesFlight. And she's an inspiration to others through her work at Project Home Again, a non profit that provides household items and furniture to low-income families. Yes, we're just a wee bit alike as I'm also an Executive Director of a non-profit.

Alyssa has a B.S. degree in Communications from Southern New Hampshire University . After graduation, she was a manager for a large hotel chain--and although she enjoyed the job, it wasn't nurturing her soul.  A few years ago she left the corporate world to pursue her passion-- helping those in need. She started as a volunteer at Project Home Again and within a short time she became their Executive Director. Although she works her tail off hauling,  furniture, running fundraising events, coordinating and training volunteers, she loves every second of it.--even driving the box truck (a skill she's very proud of!). I applaud her for having the courage to go after her passion.
Since she was young, Alyssa has struggled with anxiety and depression...but she hasn't let it define her.  Instead she turned things around by becoming an advocate for mental illness and a voice for those who need support. She's courageous because she isn't afraid to speak her mind or talk openly about her own experiences. And through her blog LysTakesFlight , she shares life's ups and downs with openness and candor.  
Blogging isn't for the faint of heart. It takes courage to put yourself out there, but Alyssa writes like it was the most natural thing in the world. LysTakesFlight is brutally honest and hits on subject matters that aren't easy to talk about or sexy. She doesn't sugarcoat her feelings and tells it the way it is. But through her writing, she's helped and supported many people dealing with mental illness.  Her writing is a gift.
Do you see a little Linda Ronstadt resemblance here?
Alyssa is courageous because she's learned self-acceptance. Learning to love and accept your body is probably one of the toughest things for women (of any age) to do. After years of battling weight, she's finally accepted her curvaceous body and the beautiful woman she is.

Five years ago Alyssa married her best friend Sean, a brilliant scientist who launched a biotech company.  


They are "mom and dad" to two adorable fur babies (my grand-animals).  Meet Magner "Taco" Bunny and Guinness "Burrito"black lab.  
Guinness now has his own Instagram page!

These two are BEST friends despite their differences.

  I couldn't be prouder of this gorgeous, brilliant, outspoken, creative, compassionate and very courageous woman.  I love her to the moon and back.


“Sour Cider Air”
Alyssa Kevlahan
feel autumn between our fingers
as it creeps uninvited
into my mittens,
and watch it swing on the crisp of the fire colored leaves;
we are the turbulence that pushes them from the trees
they drop, they drop,
an avalanche erupts
and
i’m
running
and i’m losing
and i
lost.
and we see it in the rotten apples
that
b l a n k e t
the ground;
sour cider air.
acorns shower,
martyrs from dark gray clouds.
they soar and they tumble
and they slam into my sneakers,
but they do not break or bleed.
it is the fall that promises a steady tree
but when you’re as frail
as the sprout that springs
i tell you, there are no
guarantees.
we push for a yearlong October,
but our attempts to delay the
snowflakes and the shovels are
hardly good enough.
still, you and i will dance on the dead, straw grass and
pretend
that we are still alive;
we have been part
of moments that are much more mature than we could ever
be
and it’s alright,
because we are pumpkin seeds.
let me
close my eyes and imagine an orange
haze that
resembles the nights that we swore we were
untouchable,
invincible,
when all we really were
was nothing but
the bitter autumn wind.








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12 comments

  1. What a fabulous testament to your parenting and love throughout her life, Susan!
    Loved this story and so glad you guys joined the campaign!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  2. What a beautiful and amazing daughter you have here. Life is full of battles and struggles, but the fact that your daughter has been able to navigate through these and come out the other side to be stronger is a testament to not only her, but also your support and love for her too. Lovely to meet you guys!

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    Replies
    1. Lovely to meet you too Cassie and thank you for the kind comment. I truly believe that it's life's struggles that make us stronger and sometimes more compassionate and empathetic. XO Susan

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  3. Alyssa sounds like a tough, brave, and beautiful soul. Someone I pray (and suspect) my own daughter will become. How proud you must be, Susan, especially to share this special project with her xo

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    1. Hi Sheela and thank you for your comment! Yes, Alyssa is all of those things and more. Raising a daughter isn't easy--we can only do our best and keep our fingers crossed. I am truly blessed. XO Susan

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  4. What a beautiful post, Susan. You must be so proud of Alyssa and it's fantastic that you got to partner with her in this initiative!
    Julia xo
    http://www.thevelvetrunway.com/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Julia...I am super proud indeed! XO Susan

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  5. Thank you for being real and sharing this story about your beautiful daughter. Depression is so common, and usually not discussed. Beautiful images, to0!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your sweet comment and yes, we need to talk about REAL LIFE issues instead of sweeping them under the carpet. XO Susan

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  6. You two inspire me so much! I love how you both have taken the difficult parts of life and used it to help others in similar situations. From victims, to victors! Cheers!

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    Replies
    1. What a sweet thing to say. Thank you so much Kim! XO Susan

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