Here’s the short version…
In the spring of 2013, I’d reached one of the lowest points of my life. My business had failed. I worked two jobs but still couldn’t afford to keep our apartment. My ex-husband and gone AWOL and didn’t pay child support. My kids and I were homeless–technically, that is–lucky for us my mom offered the other room her two-bedroom apartment. So it was me, my 13-year-old son, and 11-year-old daughter, living in a 10×10 room together. This was not the successful life I’d had in mind. I was low.
Something had to change. And though I had next to no energy left after my twelve-hour workdays, I knew I had to at least do one leetle-tiny thing each day to pursue what I really wanted for my career or I would lose my ability to keep going.
So, in a state of inspired frustration, I started a blog. I was sick of just working to make a living and only playing at following my dreams. I was finally ready to change. I needed to take action fast, before I lost momentum.
I made 4 first steps (see video & post):
1. I fully committed to my dream of becoming an author and speaker (even if I wasn’t sure how to do this),
2. I started a blog to make myself accountable to write every day for at least 30 days,
3. I listened to, read, or participated in something with a positive message every day for 30 days, and
4. I rejoined Toastmasters to work on my speaking skills.
That first month went by fast and I grew in ways I hadn’t even anticipated. I am STILL actively pursuing my dreams and still writing about it here (though, not quite every day because I’m writing in some other places too) and I’ve made some serious strides too. But this is no overnight success story and it’s taken a LOT longer to build than I would have liked–mostly due to real-life catastrophes, my struggle with depression, and you know, the whole raising two kids to adulthood on my own.
The video I posted when I started my blog (and pursuing my dreams): March 7, 2013.
Anyway, I’m no Marie Forleo or Tony Robbins, but what I am is pretty damn open about this journey. My hope is that it’s encouraging to everyday people like me, who have serious struggles in their lives and maybe don’t have the whole “I quit my six-figure investment banker job, mortgaged my house and was making six-figures in my first year,” reality. If you are interested in living your best life & making your dreams come true I hope you will find some great info and encouragement here.
So, where am I now?
Welp…in the interest of transparency (REAL LIFE yo!) here are a few of the things that have happened since 2013:
- I fell in love and had a relationship with a good man, and about a year after I started the blog, we got our own place together.
- I was laid off from one of my jobs (the one I hated), right after returning from a family vacation.
- So I took the plunge, went back to community college and…
- I attended and graduated UCLA X’s Writers Program (a huge life dream)! I graduated in 2015 with distinction and I was a 2014/15 UCLA Writers Program Scholar
- I became Brand Director of a national women’s writing conference called BinderCon and served in that role for two years.
- I wrote the entire first draft of my memoir (about coming of age as a fundamentalist evangelical teen bride [say that 10X fast]) and then realized I needed to completely rewrite the whole damn thing.
- I GOT PUBLISHED like a real writer–multiple times now. (okay okay not a book yet…) Hee hee, still excites me.
- My father came out as transgender and it sent me in an emotional coming-to-terms emotional tailspin for a while (don’t worry I’ll write about it publicly eventually).
- I was finally able to quit my job at Trader Joe’s and work fulltime on my own business(es)/brands.
- My ex-husband is still on the lam and now owes us nearly $170k in back child support. I wrote about it for DAME magazine. BOOM.
- My kids grew up! They graduated high school and it was glorious. They are creative artists and basically geniuses. 😉
- I created a personal branding course for writers (Authentically Awesome) which I taught live and also has an evergreen online course (right here on this website).
- I won some writing scholarships.
- I started writing a novel.
- My boyfriend and I broke up. Amicably.
- I have spoken at multiple events in front of hundreds of people at places like UCLA, UCI, and ALT SUMMIT.
- I wrote the entire curriculum for a startup accelorator in New York City.
- I’m totally not rich. YET!
- And then last December, my mother died suddenly. And basically, I’m still recovering to a degree. It’s made me double-down on self-care and prioritizing what’s most important to me. So I WILL finish my memoir soon and I will continue to elevate women writers with my work. I will honor my mother with every last breath of my life, too.
- And during July of 2019 I fulfilled a decade-long dream of going to Southeast Asia–touring Thailand, Singapore, and Bali, alone for the majority of the trip.
- In 2020, I moved back to Sonoma County where I was born, into a 100-year old farmhouse on a vineyard. Damn. 🙂
So there’s a real rough-shod-totally-things-I’m-forgetting-to-add summary of the key milestones of 2013-2020 in my pursuit of my dreams.