I just realized that I had not written a blog about all of the changes in our life recently – other than the impending wedding (cross your fingers – it looks like everything is falling into place!).
I was the biggest dork growing up. We didn’t have a lot of money, and my parents could not afford designer wardrobes so for the most part – I wore my brother’s jeans and tshirts as he outgrew them. To be honest though – I was comfortable like that and did not realize until later how awkward I must have looked. I have extremely curly hair and my mother had straight, blonde hair – so she never knew how to deal with me and so it wasn’t until later that I tamed the fro. I spent about a decade of my life with ten pounds of hair rolled into a tight bun like a librarian. All the while – add to the fact that I wore a crimson harvard baseball cap from the age of 9 and then all thoughout my teenage years. I grew up in absolute insane chaos, but I kept my eye on my future and hoped dearly that life could and would be different if I worked really hard in school. From the age of 4, I was convinced that I wanted to be a lawyer.
Life has its own pathways, and I chose some well and others were a disaster – but all in all – I never stepped foot in a law school, nor walked across a stage to be handed a degree. I’m learning to be okay with that. Regardless, I have never stopped living big, hoping and working hard at whatever opportunities life has provided.
A few weeks ago I had the most amazing change in my career. All the while that I have been working as a Property Manager in Destin, Florida – running resorts, vacation rentals, golf campaigns, etc….. I have been quietly working with a business partner and developing a Travel Website Company and Marketing Consulting Agency called, TravelStorm. (Well, originally it was called Viavacanza but no one in the south could say that so we quickly rebranded) Over the past few years, I’d found a way to sleep less and work more and more on the side in order to focus on the potential of one day growing TravelStorm into something spectacular.
I guess all those sleepless nights have finally paid off. The majority interest in TravelStorm was recently acquired by the largest software company in the world in our industry, Instant Software. No, there was no instant financial windfall… and the money is not the point of this post. In fact, the money is the least important aspect of my story. What I want everyone to understand is that I have taken a lot of risks over the years, leaps of faith and although I’ve had moments of self doubt (just ask poor Joe), I always brushed myself off and forged ahead, climbed the ladder and never looked down. I have not been held back by my lack of degrees, my ethnicity, my sex, my race, nothing. The only force that has ever been in the way of my successes and had any bearing on my abilities to grow – were my own fears. Thank God, I have had dozens of great people in my life over the years that have convinced me to silence this voice of self doubt in my head and truly believe that the worst that could happen, is failing at something and being no better off than I was in the first place.
Several colleagues – while happy for me, have warned me to have a backup plan in case things dont go well. I have always laughed, nodded, said – “I hear ya”, etc. But here’s what I really think. I don’t plan my life based on backup plans. Life is journey and I’m on this road for a reason. If this venture does not turn out to be everything I’m dreaming of – then I will work hard and find a new path, work hard, hope for the best and not look back. People who want to get somewhere else in life have to give up the stability and focus on the possibilities.
As a side note, I want you all to know that deep within my ambitious nature, is truly just a mom trying very hard to make sure the kids have a different pathway to success than my own. I don’t think they need to feel awkward at school or fight their way through life in order to be strong people. I have every confidence, that they see me and know that everything you get in life comes from the energy you give to this world.
So on top of being able to marry the most incredible man I’ve ever encountered in just a few days, we’ve also had this incredible change in our work lives and now I can stop working at 6 or 7pm instead 2 or 3am and really get to live a little on top of all this hard work. Its made such a huge difference. I wake up excited about the day, looking forward to seeing the kids off the bus and get to play with Joe and the kids every night without worrying about getting behind on something. Although I believe that finding balance was inevitable, I know I would not have gotten here without sacrificing for the past few years and I have no regrets. Just as I had to convince Joe to take his leap of faith to become a Destin Photographer, I want to say thank you to all of you who have helped me overcome my obstacles and convinced me to never look back.