Writer and Social Media Consultant at Web of Words, Co-Founder of The Reply (www.charlotteottaway.com).
Charlotte Ottaway is a freelance writer and social media consultant based out of Toronto with interests in positivity, creative muse, generational differences and the future of work. At her company, Web of Words, she helps solopreneurs and small business owners create real human connections online through blogging and social media. She is co-founder and managing editor of millennial lifestyle magazine The Reply (www.the-reply.com). In addition to The Huffington Post, she has written for Zoomer, The Globe and Mail and other Canadian publications. Find out more and connect with her at http://charlotteottaway.com.
We can all sympathize with the new kid on the block. The sweaty palms. The scratchy throat. The familiar feelings associated with being in a strange environment, surrounded by people you have never met before -- like it's you against the world.
I've always had an entrepreneurial drive. I still hold vivid memories of picking pears from the large tree that grew beside the trampoline in the backyard of my childhood home. I remember packing them into plastic grocery bags (we weren't all that environmentally conscious back then) and loading them into my little red wagon.
My husband is my greatest fan in life. He is constantly encouraging me to chase my dreams, pushing me to face my weaknesses. He inspires me; he balances me. He supports me in everything I do. When you have someone standing beside you, ready to nudge you forward and catch you when you fall, it feels like anything is possible. I'm 27 now, and I still have a lot to learn about married life. But I already know the choice to wed my husband was the greatest decision I've made so far. Being a wife has changed my life in ways I hadn't ever considered.
The fact is there will always be people who need help. There will always be critics who seek to divert attention to a "more worthy" cause. But the bigger picture here is a vast community is coming together to raise awareness and drive change. Thanks to the help of social media, people of all ages, professions and life circumstances are donating.
On March 11, 2001, a woman named April died by suicide. Her friend Jenn was the one who found her. It was an extremely traumatic event in Jenn's life. It transformed her entire world. Let's encourage others to have careful and candid conversations about suicide. For Jenn's family, suicide exists at the dinner table and at every family gathering, because there's always an empty chair. But most families are not having these conversations.