We had the good fortune of connecting with molei wright and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Molei, what role has risk played in your life or career? My relationship with risk taking has changed dramatically since my accident. Before my accident; I wouldn’t consider myself as much of a risk-taker. I mean, I had gone skydiving but that’s because two of my best girlfriends sprung it on me and didn’t give me a chance to talk myself out of it. (They called me and said “what are you doing right now. Cool, well you’re coming skydiving with us!”) But aside from that I had a steady job where I hit my required 80 dials a day selling mutual funds. I walked to work (because I don’t like the uncertainty of other people’s driving skills) and I made sure to lock my doors. I played by the rules; I am a rule-follower. (If there was a sign warning passerby of wet floors, I would walk the extra steps around to avoid the possibility of falling)
Now, after the accident, I like to say I’m still a rule follower but I’m more risk-tolerant. I was in a bad car accident that left me in a coma for three months after. When I did, finally, wake up I had to relearn everything. (seriously, I couldn’t breathe on my own, sit up on my own let alone walk and I couldn’t talk) My rehab consisted of teaching me how to do just about everything again and with that came lots of strict rules. Rules like: no getting out of bed without a nurse or if anyone wanted to take me out of the room they had to be “transfer-trained”. (A nurse would teach them how to transfer me from my bed to a wheelchair. They also taught them signs to look for if I happened to have a stroke while I was out of bed.)
It’s like once I awoke from the coma I was treated like I was fragile, crystal stemware that couldn’t afford anymore wear and tear. This is where my risk tolerance took birth. It’s not like I was seeking risk but I definitely didn’t have a risk aversion. In order to learn to swallow again it meant I had to practice swallowing my morning meds rather than using my tube in my stomach. Sure, I would cough and choke at times but I knew that was a risk I needed to take if I ever wanted to eat using my mouth again. Learning to walk: I had to risk the uncertainty that my legs would balance me and not result in a potentially traumatic fall. Driving: it’s a risk we all take every day but now after the accident and relearning to drive it’s a risk that’s much harder to overlook. Even smaller things I still take risks, like regaining my social life back and making friends. My self-confidence has definitely taken a hit after my traumatic brain injury especially being in a wheelchair for ~1.5 years. Everywhere I went I could feel people trying not to stare at me. It got so bad that I just wanted to stay in and away from the public. It was years before I finally realized a solitary life is just not possible. I was a 31 year old that found herself having to make friends again. (Making friends as an adult is very hard) 5+ years after my accident, I’m going on my first girl-trip for a friends bachelorette. It’s going to be a group of 7 or 8 girls going and I only know the bride. I’ve prepared myself not to be able to do everything since I’m disabled, but before, that was a risk that would scare me out of the possibility. Now, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Risks involve uncertainty. Without uncertainty they’re called guarantees. The only thing guaranteed in not taking risks is missing out on opportunities, plus, you can always learn from them. If the risk you take turns out to be a mistake, learn from it and never make that mistake again.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I decided to write a book telling about my accident and the unfortunate events that have happened since but through it all I still remain positive and hopeful.. I stress how this trauma has been the catalyst for so many great things in my life; I’ve found a new passion in life and have gained a better grasp on what I value. More importantly, I’ve gained the art of being present. I live for right now. I’ve realized tomorrow is never guaranteed; Why wait to live for tomorrow when you can live today?
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
(I’m going to write it as if COVID wasn’t an issue) I’d make sure we get to see a show at the Buell Theatre and also see a band at Red Rocks (preferably a blue grass show). I’d make sure we hit up Sassafras’ or Lucille’s for a nice boozy brunch and then we could spend the day at Wash Park. At some point I’d want to make the trip down to Southern Colorado, Durango specifically, and spend the day walking around pretending we belong with the locals of the small, mountain town. At some point we’d make the 8 hr drive back to Denver and catch a sporting event depending on the season. (Let’s hope the Broncos are winning….our latest Super bowl appearance I was in a coma)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family and friends and my boyfriend, Jeremy deserve all the credit. I’m only as good as my support system. They showed support in the obvious ways (like making sure I had food/water/shelter) but also by giving me new ways to find meaning in my life. (like introducing me to tutoring kids, or speaking to the children about the importance of grit)