Life is a matter of perspective and acknowledgment. Change is scary, but allowing fear to stop you will not allow you to grow. One year ago today, I walked into Title Professionals of Florida and signed the paperwork to sell my dream house on the water in Cape Coral. My home on the Bimini Basin, direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, in-ground swimming pool and hot tub, beautiful boat on the lift, Tiki Hut stocked with anything you would want for a tropical drink, and plenty of room for family and friends to stay when they visited. Life had changed drastically in the 24 months of living in Florida. The reasons for moving to Florida had changed; life all around us had changed. Materialistic things did not feed my soul.
The silence I was experiencing was not empty; it was full of answers. Lack of fulfillment, always being the caregiver at the expense of my wellbeing, lack of a support system, and a dead-end job, not a career, was not my dream life. Then, one day I saw a quote, “You know all the things you’ve always wanted to do? You should do them.” One day it just clicks. You realize what’s important and what isn’t. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for you and your life and not what’s best for everyone else. I knew breaking out of the golden handcuffs of corporate America would be scary, but allowing the fear to stop me would not allow me to grow. Numerous conversations with my attorney structured my business in a way I could live, work, and play anywhere I wanted. I decided to build a house in Minnesota to allow my kids to be back amongst family and friends and return to their hometown school and sports, and “we” rented a condo outside of Tampa to keep the Florida dream alive. I would share my time between Florida and Minnesota until the kids graduated.
I did not realize that progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds or do not want to change their minds cannot change. Life at that point became a collection of heartbreak and lessons. Letting go of someone dear is hard, but I realized holding on to someone who doesn’t want the same things or doesn’t have the same tolerance for risk and adventure is much more complicated. When people walk away from you and specific opportunities close their doors to you, there is no need to hold on to them. If they shut you out, take it as an indication that these people, circumstances, and opportunities are not part of the plan for the next life steps. I tried to balance everything life was throwing at me, yes I got upset, yes I cried, yes I got mad, yes I was hurt, and yes I felt used and betrayed, I was challenged to stay emotionally strong, and I had to face my new reality with a brave heart. I had a new business to build and be a strong role model for my kids. Yes, I felt that the sandcastle I had built in the nice Florida beach sand had just been washed away by high tide.
My personal growth journey required something different and something more. I had to embrace my goodbyes and be ready for new hellos. My big lessons:
- Do not be the woman who follows the crowd because you will usually go no further than the crowd.
- Be the woman who is not afraid to walk alone. You will likely find yourself in places no one has ever been before.
- Never be ashamed to try new things.
- Never be ashamed of the scars that life has left. A scar means the hurt is over, and the wound is closed. You have endured the pain, and you have healed.
And so, she decided to start living the life she’d imagined. and one day will build a bigger sandcastle on solid ground.