How did YANA get started?
The answer can be found in my personal journey.
Like many people, I have had many highs and lows in my life, which includes being a father to two beautiful young daughters, a successful career in finance, attending college on athletic scholarship, beating cancer, going through a divorce, dealing with depression and coping with the deaths of others. Through the good times and bad, I felt very alone, even when surrounded by friends and family. Although at the time I really didn’t understand this or what was bothering me.
At the onset of my divorce, I asked myself, ‘what is wrong with me and what is going on in my life?” Through the compassion of close friends being there for me and working with a gifted therapist, I discovered (I acknowledged) for the first time that I did feel alone for most of my life and indentified what the root causes were. Through difficult work and with the help of friends, I was able to diminish (greatly) what was causing my feelings of being alone.
The more I spoke (and listened) to others about what was going on in my life (and theirs), I discovered I wasn’t so unique. From these conversations I began to hear a familiar theme over and over again—others felt they were alone, too! Teenager’s dealing with the pressures of high school, bullying, trying to get into college, deployment of military and their families, single parent families, finding your first job or dealing with unemployment, sitting at the pinnacle of success, road warriors on business travel, birthdays, holidays, having a baby, empty nester’s, retiree’s, loss of relationship, dealing with illness, death…every life experience can bring on feelings of loneliness and I believe there is a solution! It takes one person to make a difference in another’s life. One person to tell another, “You Are Not Alone”, I am here for you. It made a difference in my life and I believe it will work for others. You may even say it has become my life’s calling.
So, I resigned from my firm and set out to create YANA (You Are Not Alone); a movement of caring, of caring people—letting others know that they are not alone no matter what they are experiencing. From celebrating and sharing good times with friends to dealing with life’s more difficult moments, everything is always better when you know You Are Not Alone.
Thank you for reading my story and remember to share these four words, "You Are Not Alone" with someone in your life today!
Wayne A. Grover