Maybe it’s because I’m getting wiser in my more mature years, but as I watch the time pass and another year – and decade – draws to a close, I can’t help but think that I emerge as a better and stronger woman.
I have often used my blog as a space to pour my ever-mounting thoughts into. A place where I can be light-hearted and fun and in the same space, a place I dive into the depths of my heart and soul. I started it back in April 2018 and it has continued to be my voice to the world and honestly, if no one except my husband ever reads it – it is what I have contributed to inspire others to make their voice heard.
I reflect on the last day of 2018, when we were spending the evening with our neighbors and friends in our Blythewood, South Carolina community. It was a beautiful night filled with loads of champagne punch, incredible food, and meaningful send-offs. My family was ten days from driving 12 hours to our new home in Madison, Mississippi. We were leaving extended family (who at the time was only a mere 2-3 hours’ drive from us), our first home we purchased together, and a life that I considered heading into the direction of greatness. It was comfortable and familiar, as it had been our home for the last four years.
On January 11th we arrived in Madison, Mississippi. Bryan, the kids, the three dogs, and I walked into an empty – albeit lovely – home and slept on air mattresses and I remember praying to God that I hoped I would find my path here and that he would call me to my purpose in life which I felt was to connect, empower, and motivate women to become the women that He had created them to be. The next day a woman I had connected with through a mutual friend on social media texted me that she was right down the road from us and I texted her right back “Well come on by!” And she did. She brought her daughter and amidst our boxes and anxiety and exhaustion of the move, the kids played, and we talked for almost two hours. By the time she left, I felt like I had a friend and with one friend I knew I would be o.k. I truly believe God sent her to me that day as an answered prayer.
Over the course of the next few months, I discovered that there were so many women like myself; recent transplants to a new area that no one knew a lot about. We were all looking for our places among a city that had deep roots and wondering if the already established social circles had any room to grow.
I FOUND THEY DID.
In fact, I threw myself into those social circles with such aggressive force that looking back I laughingly wonder if those people ever had a chance. If nothing social was happening, I planned it. If I wanted to meet someone, I went directly up to them and met them. I started gaining momentum in a new business called “Influencer Marketing.” Women in my new area were looking to me for my recommendations on products and services in our city. THIS with a gal that literally just got here.
I continued my journey with Senegence in direct selling with make-up and skin care. My ebb and flows with this company this past year has taught me that it’s o.k. to focus on other areas in life that need my attention and that at the end of the day, it will always be there.
I ended ties with my Barre instruction and my Insurance Producer business. The lesson being that sometimes you have to say Good-bye to things to make room for more important Hellos.
My word for 2019 was “FOCUS” and I did that. I focused on my fitness and my nutrition. I got certified as a FASTer Way to Fat Loss Coach. I taught four rounds and assisted over 30 women become healthier and achieve their lifestyle goals.
As a stay-at-home mom, I became adept at passing the spring and summer days with projects from Dollar Tree, trips to the park and Chick Fil A, and the Mississippi Children’s Museum. We spent so many days at the pool that by July I was pooled-out; which is a state that I was grateful to be in. Over the course of the summer I was accepted by a well-known influencer agency and was able to nourish my friendships with dynamic women with trips to D.C., Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
Mackenzie learned how to ride a bike without training wheels, got her ears pierced, and started Kindergarten. Marshall was able to celebrate his 3rd birthday with a ton of new friends, learned how to say his ABC’s, and became almost 100% potty trained (you parents get it). Bryan fell in love with the role at his new job, ran his first half-marathon with incredible time, completed a ½ Ironman and lost almost 20 pounds.
By September, I was receiving offers to collaborate with paid sponsors in the area and I was thrilled. Through these collaborations, my local LOFT store approached me about a part time job. I jumped at the chance! At LOFT, I met a beautiful woman who worked part time as well. Her full-time career was in property management over three well-respected properties in downtown Jackson, MS. When we discovered she was looking for an assistant, I knew that God had called me back to resume my role in property management.
Bryan and I went to Hawaii to celebrate our five years of marriage and when I say it was the most incredible vacation I’ve ever been on – I am not exaggerating. It was a spiritual experience. We swam with sea turtles. We drank prosecco while watching the most colorful sunsets on the sand. We hiked over boulders to reach private waterfalls and crystal-clear freshwater pools. We ate some of the most amazing seafood ever. I wanted to remember the state of mind while I was there forever. So, I got my first tattoo – at 37 years old – on the last night we were in Maui.
I started back to work full-time on November 4th. The transition for the first few weeks was utterly difficult for everyone. Not just the kids, but for me, and for Bryan. While seizing the opportunity to become full-time in order to have a stable paycheck and grow in my connections of the city and area, I wasn’t stopping my other 3 roles as blogger-influencer, FWFTL Coach, and Senegence Distributor.
Within my first two weeks of working, I had SIX events to attend as an influencer. Three nights in a row I went without seeing my children. It took its toll on me. I spent the evening celebrating two dear friends’ birthdays sobbing in my chips and salsa. (Sorry, girls!)
Now that we’ve been in the groove of our new normal for the last two months, I know I am where I meant to be. I have been honored to meet some incredible city and state representatives and establish new friendships that further my purpose.
So, that is my word for 2020. PURPOSE. To find purpose and fulfillment in everything I do. It won’t always be easy, but I am determined to find it.
I must say that I am very grateful to my husband and my children for supporting me in my dreams as they evolve and grow. I know that it was my Bryan’s job that brought us to Mississippi, but because I was supportive of his dreams it turned out that MINE grew, teaching me that in a marriage it’s vital to be cheerleaders of one another, even when it may not make sense at the time. I am so honored and blessed to have Heather Montgomery and Shannon Travis as friends – both of whom I met on social media before I set foot on Yazoo clay (yes, that’s what I said – look it up) of Mississippi. Through them I have met an entire network of women who I am blessed to call my village.
I know the saying is that HINDSIGHT is 20-20, but as I go into the new year of 2020, I am only looking FORWARD.
Cheers to your new year!