This past Sunday was my birthday. I turned 37. The journey from 36 to 37 was full of lessons that I’ll take with me the rest of my life.
Shortly after my 36th birthday, I left Medellin, Colombia and an unhealthy romantic relationship. I returned to America completely broke. I had less than $20 in my bank account after spending over $250,000 in less than a year in the name of “love.”
One of my friends was gracious enough to let me stay at his home while I figured out what to do next. I took some time to process and cry it out. I knew I had lost my way and needed to get my mind right. I needed to reconnect with the reason why I started this journey.
As I thought about everything, I kept hearing something in my head. A feeling/voice/inclination that I needed to go back to where my dream started. Hawaii, and Maui specifically, was such a huge part of how I built my dream. I had two amazing years living there. I had the strong urge that I needed to go there and reconnect.
I had no money to pay for a flight, but since I had traveled so much, I had frequent flyer miles. I used my last $20 to cover the taxes and used miles to book a one-way ticket to Maui.
To pay for my accommodations, I started to hustle again. I promoted (hard) a $97 online class I was teaching and got a few students. It gave me enough money to pay for a hostel and then an Airbnb. I ended up staying on Maui for three glorious weeks.
While there, I went to the ocean every day and got right. I prayed. I meditated. I started working out. I took my focus off of romantic relationships/needy emotional stuff and put it on what needed to be done. I went back through every part of my business and reached out to old contacts. I asked for referrals and any opportunities for consulting gigs.
By week two, I had two consulting gigs lined up with companies I had done some gigs at before. I got those payments upfront, which put some money back in my bank account. I left Maui, Hawai’i for New York City and an amazing consulting opportunity. The energy on Maui was claiming and healing. The energy in New York was “get to hustling” and “get it done.” It is was a great mix and straightened me out.
The rest is history. After New York, I went back to Wisconsin to repair my relationship with my children. It took a lot of work but it was worth it. I needed their love and support to be complete. After Wisconsin, I went to six countries in Europe for two months of consulting gigs for one of the largest companies in the world. I got that gig from a referral from old contacts.
It gave me the income to pay off debt, get caught up on child support, and have savings again. I was finally able to breathe after living super desperate for so long. I spent the rest of 2017 with my head down doing the work to rebuild my life and grow.
This year, I’ve done 39 consulting gigs at companies in 37 countries. My business has generated more revenue than any other year. My relationship with my kids is better than it ever has been. We are inseparable. I got an apartment of my own. I bought a car. I set up a real home base in every way.
On the health side, I’ve lost 140 pounds so far this year and continue my health journey daily. I fell in love with myself and stopped looking for my happiness through another person. I took this year to be single and get stronger emotionally. I now understood and embrace self-love, confidence, and the idea of letting the right relationship find me.
I’m happy. I’m content. I’m grateful. I’m excited. I’m stepping up to my role as a leader and someone who can help others. I’ve taken my power back. It’s been an interesting year.
I don’t know what you’re going through right now. I hope you see what’s possible. Don’t give up because so much amazingness is waiting for you. If you need to get right and reconnect, do that. If you need to do the work, do that. Your transition to your next birthday can be life-changing. Make it count.
Photo Credit: Flickr/ Rrree Laxxx