SEPTEMBER 26, 2023

Resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands.

Last year Hurricane Ian came to my area. I saw on television (being in Miami) how the Manasota Beach Road in Englewood had an amount of water that was waist deep. I knew that this was going to be a challenge for me personally. My street led immediately into the Manasota Beach Road. When I came home two days later, the first thing was to run as far away as I could. I hate destruction. Nothing in my house was destroyed, I only did not have power for 14 days and decided to help The Federal Emergency Management Agency with the clean-up. All and all it was an unsettling event which worsened when I was told I had until January to leave the house I had been renting for 13 years.

Life ultimately means taking responsibility to find the right answers to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual. When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are forced to change our attitude. We need to find meaning in order to adapt changes in our environment.

I lost my studio, my safe place and much of my belongings. I found a new shelter through the help of friends. Continuing to adapt to the circumstances I feel blessed that I have the energy and the overall capacity to do it. Who knows where this new road leads to. So far I have had unusual experiences.

You can find meaning in all experiences. Even without emotional support from others, relating to the broader societal system, I believe in my own capacity to problem solve, to evaluate a situation and to take action. It has strengthened my confidence to overcome all adversity.

Jacobina Oele


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