On the Cusp: Janet Wigfall

Exciting, scary, wild, free: there is something magical about the momentum of the moments when we’re almost there. In the not-quite-ready, but almost, we defy the pressure to change while we live the just before, in transition. It is difficult and exhilarating, sometimes discouraging and also invigorating. 

Here, four local women tell us about a time in their lives when they were on the cusp of something. We hope their stories inspire you to fully inhabit the not-quite-yet of your approach, and then to forge ahead into the new and unknown, confident in your ability to welcome with daring, joy and tenderness all that awaits you. 

Be brave: receive the many beautiful things.

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Janet Wigfall: I returned to work as an educator of 28 years in March 2020 after having open heart surgery as a result of breast cancer treatments, in a world that was breaking faster than imaginable. Two weeks after returning, the whole world shut down from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Because of my vulnerability to the virus, I followed doctors’ recommendations and regretfully retired. It was during this time of grieving the losses of my purpose, ability to go to work, heart that was literally and figuratively broken, feelings of helplessness and being lost, and family members who had passed away that I was faced with loneliness and isolation due to being vulnerable to COVID-19. I began deeply examining my soul. I knew my life would never be the same, so I would have to change from old ways of doing and thinking. This began the rediscovery of my life in the present. 

During this still and quiet time, a mental space opened where I heard God whispers of how to move forward and trust he was with me and will never leave. The more I studied and meditated on his words, the less my focus was on my own sadness, but instead I was feeding my mind, body and spirit with hope and purpose. I had more time to listen and pray for others. 

I enjoy cooking healthy meals, walking and exercising. I had opportunities while exercising with Kweku Arkorful to discuss my desires to go back to work and stay healthy. Little did I know, he would soon open a fitness academy. I met and had a casual conversation with his business partner, too, while exercising. During all of this, God had a plan which led to my present position as a customer care specialist at Be Chosen Academy, which is perfect for me at this time, because it ecnompasses everything I enjoy — talking to others, exercising and rediscovering my life’s purpose while making my transformation.

I am learning that what seemed like the end of life as I knew it truly was, but it is also a new beginning. I get the opportunity to rediscover myself with a new purpose, accomplishing new goals. My life made a big shift, causing me to live this new normal and figure it out as I go. I’ve had to let the past stay behind me and the future be an unplanned adventure. 

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Something to prove: I am always in competition with myself. I challenge myself all the time and in every situation. My health, for example, is one area of life in which I constantly strive to make a difference. I prove to myself having perseverance and will power pay off, and never settle for the status quo. 

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Wisdom to share: Serve others, and allow others to serve you. I had been a caregiver for various family members most of my life and had been fairly healthy until the surgeries. Then, I entered into a new arena — learning how to be helpless and dependent. I’ve found people are willing to help if you tell them what you need. And when life is so tough you don’t even know what you need, God provides by telling others, who in turn tell you.

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Shirt, Shoes, and jewelry: Atelier in Cape Girardeau

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