Trivuncic — Super-liver…

Kellylee Evans, jazz singer and survivor extraordinaire, spoke in May to the students at Mutchmor Public School on how to develop resilience. Check out her paintings in this month’s GNAG Art Show May 7 to June 7 at the Glebe Community Centre. Photo: Natali Trivuncic

Super-liver, super-lover, super-listener:

Three superpowers everyone should have

By Natali Trivuncic

Kellylee Evans, Glebe resident, has had her share of trying times. Many of them could have killed her, but Evans does not dwell on the “what if;” instead she looks at the “what now.”

Evans, a jazz and soul singer and recipient of a Juno in 2011, was asked to speak to the children at Mutchmor Public School on May 7 about resilience. She began with her song “Built to Fly,” that’s about overcoming life’s obstacles. The song is the perfect segue into Evans’s speech on how to be a resilient person.

Evans said the first thing she learned was to be a super-liver. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer and a year later passed away. Evans said this made her realize how short life is.

She tells the kids at Mutchmor to do what makes their heart sing and for Evans that was singing. While she wanted to make her family proud, she also wanted to be proud herself. She decided that her university degree could wait while she pursued her passion for singing.

Not fulfilling a New Year’s resolution does not usually have consequences, but Evans said not sticking to hers almost cost her life. Evans was struck by lightning while washing dishes, which left her in a wheelchair for months. Evans’s story is not only a cautionary tale of what not to do during a lightning storm but also why it’s important to listen to your inner voice. Evans refers to being a super-listener as being in tune with your inner voice. She said if she had listened to her inner voice she may not have been struck by lightning.

Although she could not hold her own microphone, Evans continued to tour the world, doing what made her heart sing.

Through all her hardships, Evans said the most important thing she learned is to be a super-lover. She spoke about the importance of self-care and asked the kids to think about five things they like to do to take care of themselves or to put themselves in a better mood. From some of the answers it was clear that the things we do in our everyday life can make us happy. For Evans, a bath is one of those things.

Evans said it was important to speak to the kids at Mutchmor about resilience because it is the only thing that kept her going. “Every single day if I have resilience and that’s the one skill that will bring me through any life situation,” said Evans, adding “I’ve had so many periods where I didn’t know what was going to come next, if I was going to be able to get up again, if I was going to be able to leave the house, so the only thing that’s gotten me through is resilience.”

Natali Trivuncic is a student in the Carleton journalism program.

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