The Brave & Bright Spotlight took a week off for Spring break! This week’s introduction to our Spotlight is written by Jane Ammon, who nominated Angie Piskorski.
I remember the moment I felt it. We were sitting on the side of the baseball field, she was writing in the books for her husband, Mark, who was our son’s baseball coach that year, wearing a long flowy skirt, shielding her eyes from the sun with her left hand. “She and I are supposed to be friends” I thought, and the magnetic pull of the universe made me get up and sit next to her. We made small talk about our sons and realized we only lived around the corner from each other. It was the beginning of something I needed more than I would ever know when I felt that simple shift in the universe and bravely stood up to talk to her.
How are you denting the universe?
I’m not! I’m just living my life one day at a time and loving on the people I meet along the way.
What are you most passionate about?
People! I love people! All people! God put a special light in everyone, but unfortunately, most people hide that light because of past experiences or betrayals. I love to find the light and let it shine!
Everyone is unique, and everyone is an expert in their own story. I love the story! I want to share their purpose. My guiding principle is found in Matthew 25:40, “And the King replied, ‘whatever you do to the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do unto me.’” Isn’t this simply the Golden Rule we were all taught in Kindergarten?
What was your moment of bravery?
The day after my 33rd birthday! I had just lost my job after standing up for what I felt was in the best interest of one of my clients (I am now a ‘retired’ child/adolescent therapist). I worked closely with the family and treatment team regarding this client’s interventions. However, some people, not directly involved in the client’s treatment, began to gossip and make inappropriate implications about the interventions utilized. Long story short, I was fired. (This is the first time I ever referenced this in a public forum…I’ve stayed pretty quiet about it….here is why…)
This broke me at my core. I questioned everything I believed about being a therapist and encourager. It felt like the death of a loved one. My identity died, and my life was turned upside down emotionally, financially, and professionally. On my 33rd birthday, I found myself upstairs crying and feeling sorry for myself. My husband called me out and said, “Why can’t you do what you tell other people…stay positive.” My response, “I am the most fucking positive person you will ever meet!” …and then the light bulb!
The next day, I woke up, laced up my running shoes, and headed out on a 20 mile run. I decided that day not to let the negativity consume me. To find my mission in my misery. To embrace life not death. To forgive. To be happy despite the circumstances!! Happiness is a choice! And it’s a heck of a lot of fun!!!! My identity is in who I am as a person, not what I do for a profession! I like being me, actually, I like being me a whole lot!
While you were going through your moment of bravery, when were you afraid?
Only when I worried about what other people thought. I couldn’t handle that my reputation was slandered…that being “fired” was now part of my story. Everything was beyond my control, and as a typical ‘Type A’ personality, that made me feel incredibly uncomfortable.
How did you overcome that fear?
My mantra for 2013 was Fear Not (seriously, no joke)! I wrote a blog about it! I was hoping to break out of my comfort zone in running, but God had a much bigger lesson!
Was I going to succumb to the society’s standards or stand up for what I believed in, even though I was standing alone? Was I going to rely on faith or rely on fear? For the first time in my adult life, I turned to my Bible to seek counsel. I began reading a chapter a day (a habit that is now a part of my daily routine). So, I will let you guess which one won…faith or fear!?!?!
Who has been your inspiration to be brave?
God! Mark! Ryan! (My husband and son.) They love me unconditionally! Mark has the ability to love me enough to tell me how it is.
What was the best piece of advice you received? What advice would you give to others?
We often talk about keeping up with the Jones’. I’m not a Jones; I’m a Piskorski! Be true to who you are, and who you are called to be! You will like yourself so much more, and others will like and respect you even more for your honesty. Honesty, transparency, and vulnerability are important characteristics missing from today’s society.
What’s next for you?
Not long after losing a job, a friend of mine asked me if I ever considered blogging, and The Encouraged Runner began. I am ‘Running on Faith, and Blogging about Life!’ My hope is to create a community where people find encouragement, feel encouraged, and encourage others! It’s a small way to share happiness to the world!
Photos by Jane Ammon
Our Saturday Series, the Brave & Bright Spotlight, was created to highlight the stories of universe denting women who are changing the world and their lives by facing adversity head on, with bravery and vulnerability and truth. Want to nominate yourself, or someone you know, for the Brave & Bright Spotlight? Click here and tell us your story!
I’m a communicator. That’s a PC way of saying I like to talk, but I also spend a lot of my time listening, and over the years, I’ve developed a sense for subtext – how one or two words can change your entire message, what people are really trying to say and how to weave the varied layers of your story into one cohesive brand message that your clients fall in love with.
When I'm not acting as editor in chief for Vivid & Brave, you can find me geeking out over words here.
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I very much appreciate this presentation on Angie’s personality and mission, in her words and yours. I can attest that Angie demonstrates her faith by her attitude and actions. Alongside her participation in church, running certainly has fueled her passion for life, and became a point of connection for us in the past year. May your readers continue to be inspired to be their best selves, as the Creator intended!