As miserable as I felt in those days I knew something was changing in me. I’ve heard people call it a survival instinct and I think that’s exactly what it was. I had two very clear choices; get on with living or die. I chose to live.” Traci Lords, Underneath It All

These days not everyone remembers who Traci Lords was. Her story was shocking and nearly brought down the porn industry (not really lol). I still have her books around here somewhere; it’s a fascinating read.

She was a major porn star who, it turned out, was underage for every movie she made except one. She made movies for 3 years; that means she actually started at age 15. Hopped up on drugs and alcohol, she made these movies without a second thought, living what she thought was a glamorous life and becoming a star. She was actually inducted into the adult video hall of fame when she was 17; ouch! She won multiple awards. Yet in three years she made all of $35,000; that’s it.

Then it was all over. At 18 she found herself broke, trying to rehab from drugs, and trying to figure out what to do with her life. She even contemplated suicide. She contemplated trying to find a place to hide. But where does the most famous, rather infamous, porn star in the world, go to hide?

Instead she decided to get on with life. She was only 18 after all. She took stock of her life up to then, thought about the life she really wanted, and went for it. She saw being arrested was actually a benefit. It helped her get off drugs, and it made her start thinking about a more positive future.

And what did she do with that? She studied acting and she went on to become a very credible actress on both TV and movies. She made 2 albums and had a couple of songs on movie soundtracks. She became an activist for the4 LGBTQ community and an advocate for child runaways and homeless teens. She turned her notoriety into a positive and made quite the career for herself. She’s proof that there’s always a chance to start again.

Many of us have bumps in the road where we think it’s all going to come crashing down. Whether it’s at work or in our personal life, everything doesn’t always go the way we want it to go. We all shut down here and there, and think that’s it, the end.

Yet, every day is another chance to begin again, to take stock of what went wrong, decide which changes to make, and then start all over again. That’s the best thing about life; we have plenty of opportunities to try to get it right.

Think about this the next time things don’t seem to be going well, or there’s some kind of crisis. Most things can be fixed, and even if it ends up that they have to be scrapped, that just means there’s another opportunity to do great things. Keep that in mind and never give up.

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