In a life full of emails, any post that isn't bills is an unexpected treat. This package, however, was far beyond that.
In October last year, I was offered the job to curate and run The DO Blog. Having been following DO since its inception, becoming part of the team was a dream so big I hadn't dared to dream it. In all honesty, I still skip to my desk each morning but wait for the news that it was all some kind of misunderstanding. In short: I can't quite believe my luck.
Taking it on was definitely a defining moment in my life. After eight years fighting the total domination of an illness, DO played a part in piecing back together my identity and independence. Six months in and my whole existence has changed entirely.
For those of you that don't know about DO, it's a selfless little entity that exists for the sole purpose of inspiring others. It began in Wales where, once a year for three days, the DOers of the world would be invited to come and speak, tell their stories and inspire the intimate number of attendees to go out into the world and DO too. They've been organising annual DO Lectures for years now, in the US, in Australia and at home in Wales.
And for some crazy reason, this year when the team was compiling their list of speakers ... my name popped up. Despite the fact that I have studiously been avoiding public speaking since my school days, I couldn't stop myself responding with a big YES when asked to give a talk. Because seriously, how often do these things happen in life?
My official invite arrived today, this wonderfully thoughtful bundle of kindling and accompanying story from Mr Hieatt himself. It is, quite possibly, the best mail I've ever had and it means one thing: there's no backing out now.
So ... this June I will be speaking at DO Wales, telling the story of my journey through disability, immobility and an illness that no one really understands. It won't be polished, it won't be practiced but it will be open and honest.