Eight hours into my drive, reflecting on everything that I had done up to this point...
Crying the majority of the time, thinking of how unreal this all seems. It's almost as if I was sitting on the couch watching this movie on a television screen...
Then coincidentally, "Everybody Dies Famous in a Small Town" by Miranda Lambert comes blasting through my car speakers.
Let's take it way back.
That small town I grew up in...I'm pretty sure I graduated with a whopping amount of thirty-eight people in my senior class, sixth through twelfth grade all fitting in the same hallway. We would even have "bring your tractor to school" days.
Everyone knew everyone. Your business somehow managed to be everyone else's business, too. The highlight reel of the weekend was legitimately exactly like that Miranda Lambert song talks about, hittin' up the high school football or basketball game.
The high school games led to the same aftermath of everyone heading up to the bar to get wasted and celebrate. Surrounded by nothing but fields, sneaking your parents' alcohol and bonfires was about the most lively the town was able to get. We had a bar, like three hair salons, a gas station and a school. That's about it. Our school wasn't even big enough to really have "cliques," but you had your key people that still somehow thought they were living the high life compared to everyone else.
It was a very traditional town. Because of it being so small, you weren't really exposed to too many different cultures or the different ways the world was lived. It was safe. It allowed for solid roots to be put in place. Pretty much everyone went to church, worked hard, and appreciated the value of a dollar. Although it taught you the basics of being a good person, it was very sheltered and many in the town were very stuck in their ways.
Even from a very young age, I just always felt like there was just so much more than this small little town in Northwest Ohio.
I will never forget at sixteen, I told my mother, "The day I graduate high school, I'm freaking out of this state!"
....Yeah. Well I graduated and made it fifteen minutes from my home town to another little small town. Then, I got sucked back home. I went off to massage therapy school and said the same thing, "After school...I'm OUT OF HERE!"
....Well..I guess I made a little progress because this time, I moved about 35 minutes away from home. Then, I got sucked back into that damn freaking town.
Five years after high school, deep into an insanely horrific relationship that had me doing nothing but getting wasted, thinking I was crazy and trying to kill myself multiple times, I thought this was going to be my life. I was going to stay in this small town, I'd be doing hair and massage in the salon I grew up getting my hair done in, coaching the cheer team I cheered for, and constantly begging for someone to validate me and love me so I would feel good enough.
I didn't believe any other life was possible. I hadn't witnessed it since I never had really left this little town. I would settle into a relationship that was never going to even become "okay," and I would end up having kids...having them just continue on the cycle we all had in that town and they would end up being just as broken as I was.
Then, things got really bad...when I didn't even know that would be possible. The toxicity of the relationship got so bad that the cops were called, my landlords lived right next to me, AND I coached their granddaughter on my cheer team. After that, I was accused of apparently messing around with someone who was in a relationship which EVERYONE was talking about, and I had a mother of one of my cheerleaders call me up saying some of the most ruthless things I have ever heard a grown woman tell another woman.
I lost it. I needed to get out of this misery. I wanted to end it all and considered doing so one final time.
Then, this stray dog randomly showed up at my mom's house. No one claimed him, I talked my landlords into letting me keep him while I was finishing up my last few months to my lease and began searching on how to get away.
I was going to move to Florida. Pensacola. That's where I'll go. It's not a terrible drive, I'll still get to experience the season changes, and my dog will LOVE the beach.
-This dog saved me by the way. He became my partner in crime and now having him, I would go anywhere and be just fine.
I was ready to move. Wasn't really making much money, didn't have much saved up, but I had a cosmetology license and massage therapy license. I'll be able to figure something out.
Well..it was going to take a few months for that to go through and I needed out now. So, I moved in with my sister to a city an hour away. I would work at the location I did before for massage therapy, save up some money and then transfer down to a location in Florida when the time was right.
Well..all of that fell through. I ended up getting involved with a network marketing company that I spent wayyyy more on than I ended up making in return. Then, I got fired from the salon I was working at because I was supposedly trying to steal another stylist's client.
I moved back home with my mom.
I. Felt. Like. A. Loser.
I was twenty-four, broke and not only had to move back in with my mother, but even worse, get sucked back into that freakin town I kept trying to escape from.
I ended up finding a job as a waitress in a diner, became certified in Zumba, found a new salon to do hair and massage therapy at and still kept trying to make money with that network marketing company. After sprinting and getting nowhere fast, I managed to at least find a place to rent back in the city an hour from home.
Life was going okay...but I just still felt so lost, broken and like there was so much more.
I thought I would never find a significant other-which for three more years I didn't-and was burning out quickly.
It got so bad, I ended up with a kidney infection that caused me to have to be bed ridden for an entire week. No pay, no one around but my dog, and feeling deep down that this couldn't be it.
Then, while on my "death bed," I received a call from an individual that I had met through a business networking group.I was a client of his and he had taken partner in the company he worked for. He reached out saying that we should talk, and I jumped knowing exactly what he was getting at.
At that point, I was in massive debate about going into major debt to invest in a motivational speaking program, but decided I would meet with this individual first.
I dropped the networking marketing, the hair, the massage therapy and got involved with a very well-known company.
June 2017. The same day I went full time with this new role, leaving all of the other jobs behind, my grandmother died. It impacted my family in a very major way.
In short, this sucked me back to the area that I had grown up in. I found a way to keep my life in this city an hour away, while helping out my family from the major loss we experienced.
It brought so many emotions. There were good memories, there was a lot of hurt, quiet and by the end of it, the home of so many memories just became a building in the middle of nowhere.
I will never forget calling my mother crying how much I hated this. "I just want to get away from this town so why do I keep ending up back here?!?! I don't feel like I'm supposed to be here!"
Well as that chapter came to a close, I moved back to the city that all of my life was in.
I had been coaching Special Needs cheer for now three years, teaching Zumba and Dance Fitness classes, volunteering for a program that helped grieving children from the death of a loved one, and had done a lot of good things in the two short years I had been in this new career. Lastly, at the end of 2018, I had officially launched my online coaching business.
Over the last year, the company would reach out trying to offer me some new roles. The move intrigued me but none of the positions fit anything that I desired. Plus, I had planted my feet in so many things here in this new city. I could't walk away from that.
So now here's where the decision came...
I was offered a position that would require me to move nine hours away from my small little town.
I turned it down.
Not once, but twice.
In this last year, I had become so established and had done well for myself with my career, I had taken on a role for the state of Ohio to be the Sports Director for Special Needs Competitive Cheer, I had my Zumba family and had found a new family with another type of dance fitness class I began to offer. I had grown so close with my athletes and had one of them certified to teach with me! Most importantly, I had found "my person." The man who respected me, appreciated me, understood me, and saw the world just as I did. This man wanted and wants to impact and add value to the world just as much as I do. He always strives to be better and connects with me on a level no one has ever connected before.
How could I ever walk away from all of this? What about my family, my amazing nieces and nephew that I love as if they're my kids, and my mother who has been my rock through every low I had ever hit? ...And trust me when I say there was some EXTREME lows. How could I leave behind the amazing man who I picture spending the rest of my life with?
...but here's the strange thing.
The more and more this decision weighed on me, the more trapped I felt. I felt like I was useless and not doing enough. I felt like I wasn't making an impact anymore. I've always wanted out of here and now the opportunity presents itself... and I'm saying no?
The third time for the offer.
I said yes.
I gave away all of my stuff, got out of my apartment, said goodbye to my special needs team, grieving kids program, my Zumba family, my family, and the love of my life.
Literally a week before moving to a city 9 hours away that I had never even been before, I signed the least to an apartment that I hadn't even seen yet. All that I took with me was what would fit in my car....and of course, my dog.
A huge piece of my heart did not come with me, however. That hole in my heart hurts, but I know that God is guiding me to do those big things that I always knew deep down I was called to do.
Was it scary? Um..for sho.
Was it worth it? Abso. Freaking. Lutely.
As I sit here typing this in a coffee shop, while my dog is chilling on the floor next to me, I keep reflecting back to that small town.
That small town that raised me. That small town that pushed me away. That small town that sucked me back in.
How in the world did I get here?
Now I'm not going to sit here and act like I'm living like the rich and the famous, but it is definitely a massive upgrade from where I was.
So let me be living proof.
Stop putting yourself through misery. If something is tugging at your heart strings, take some time to listen to what it's trying to tell you.
I've always considered myself mediocre. Life has never been the absolute worst, but it definitely wasn't what I saw as the best either. I was stuck in "average."
I escaped. I broke the chains of mediocrity.
I want to encourage you to do the same. THIS is what my coaching is all about. THIS is what you deserve. Let me be the first to tell you, I never thought that I deserved it either, but I freed myself from that mindset. Let me help you do it, too!
In closing for those that took the time to learn a major chunk of my personal life, I am grateful for you. I am hoping this can and will encourage if even just one individual. Let's grow, ladies and gentleman. If you were looking for a sign, this was it.
With MUCH Love, Gratitude and Vulnerability,