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Published on Huffington Post 6/08/16 here.

You may not know where your detour is headed, and the road may be terrifying at times, but that’s OK.

Part of being a “Detourist” means just showing up and staying open to where the path may lead.

detour paint 3
I’ve written, spoken, painted and sung a lot of “detours.”

What’s a detour?

A detour is “The act of going or traveling to a place along a way that is different from the usual or planned way.”

Nobody expects a detour to happen, in life. It’s what happens when we think we have things planned and all figured out…and then we’re thrown a curveball.

So, having survived death, sexual abuse, and disastrous surgeries, and having emerged triumphantly, I’d like to think, I would call myself “used to” curveballs.  The most rewarding feeling in the world is to be able to use my unpredictable journey to help others navigate their own “detours.”

But, when I’m at the crossroads myself, I am always reminded how difficult it is to move forward when life doesn’t go as you expect, and what you thought was certain, suddenly veers in a different direction.

collage art play
I always try to be very transparent about things in my life, because I’ve seen in my own experience, that keeping things hidden never does any good. But also, in bringing it to light, you never know who you may help. So that thought outweighed my trepidation in sharing this major “detour” in my journey. I started the campaign, ‪#‎LoveMyDetour‬ to help us all love the unexpected glitches in our lives.

But, sometimes, you don’t love your detour right away. Sometimes you just have to Trust your detour, follow it, and know in your heart that eventually, you will love what happened to you.

Tears for Tomorrow

I’ve written about having glitches, imperfections, and finally finding a wedding dress to fit my ostomy bags after 27 surgeries.  But I finally found the dress, and thought my wedding woes were over.


It came as a complete shock to me this week to find out I’m getting a divorce.

I’m deeply saddened by this loss, learning this all of a sudden, and trying to remember in my heart that there is nothing I can do but move on, trust this unexpected, jarring detour, and know that with one foot in front of the other,

As I said in my TEDx talk where I had just talked about a marriage I thought would last forever – I’m still on the road.

I tell myself, if I can get through a coma, organ failure, and six years unable to eat or drink then this too, like everything else, will pass. We are all stronger than we know.

I still feel that through sharing our own detours, even if they’re not so great in the moment, makes us all stronger. So that’s why I share. Moving forward, trusting our detours, one day at a time.

As Detourists, we all need support – even if we are stronger than we know.

But most of all, we need to remember:

Every detour leads somewhere.


Safe travels, Detourists, and trust that you are not alone.


All artwork was created by Amy on her detour. Learn about her speaking, or catch her touring Gutless & Grateful, her one woman musical, to theatres, colleges, conferences and organizations nationwide.   Learn about hermental health advocacy programs for students, and find out how to take part in the#LoveMyDetour movement, and learn about her upcoming book, My Beautiful Detour at

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