Today is my 40th Birthday. I had plans of going on a hike with friends, celebrating at a The Millworks (my favorite local restaurant/gallery/brewery) and then checking out some improv at my favorite spot for comedy, the Harrisburg Improv Theatre.
But finding myself indoors these days due to the COVID-19 Pandemic means I need to get a little bit creative about how I celebrate this pivot of life from one decade to the next.
As I sit in my apartment and think over the last decade, all I can be is grateful for the steps I’ve taken in my life and the people who I’ve been lucky to have in my life.
After I turned 39 last year I wrote about how I was excited to turn 40 and set challenges for myself. These included adventures with kayaking and challenging myself to make healthier choices. I wanted to LIVE LIFE and be able to step into my 40s feeling like I’d had some life experiences to tell around the campfire.
And LIVE LIFE is EXACTLY what I did in the past 12 months. It is mindblowing what happens when you create a vision, follow your heart, and do the work to move towards the life you really want to live. You can read the recap of the adventures of 2019 in the blog I wrote at the end of the year.
The biggest step this year is that I’m flying out into the world without a net yet again. When the virus changed all of our lives, like many, I wasn’t sure what to do. I kept journaling the words “I don’t know” and also saying that out loud. I’m sure many of you could relate to saying “I don’t know” it is a valid feeling because the WORLD DOESN’T KNOW what will happen, and how we will move into the next phase of our life.
In January I had left my corporate job because I wanted more time to create, and build the lifestyle I’ve been working toward, location independence. I’ve been in a group of travelers, solopreneurs, and others who’ve chosen a life of travel and adventure over the 9-5 office job that offers security and a steady paycheck. We want more, and we know we can create the life of our dreams now. We don’t have to wait until we are 65 to enjoy life.
I’d thought it was a great plan, to work part-time in sales and have more time to build my business, which at the time was becoming a travel writer. It took me the last year to figure out my niche and develop the confidence to pitch to editors about mindful travel.
The past year I’d been writing for an online travel publication but my most recent pitches were rejected. Doing more research lead me to landing an assignment!
I had spent two weeks interviewing people for MY FIRST ASSIGNMENT for Matador Network. I was so excited and thought that this was going to launch me into being able to pitch more and finally earn my way towards one day seeing my name in AFAR or Travel and Leisure. (I am a big-picture thinker)
Hoping that my upcoming travel would lend me to more pitch ideas, I’d planned to fly out to visit a friend in Sacramento at the end of March. I was going to get on the plane if they would’ve let me, but a call from my friend urging me to stay home caused me to cancel my flight. And then I realized that travel writing wasn’t going to be my focus right now.
Over the past month, I’ve gone back and forth about how to spend this time since we’ve been told to shelter at home. The first week I have to be honest, I had a hard time getting up or doing any work at all. But I started forcing myself to get on Zoom calls and meeting new people in hopes to find a direction.
I had been applying to remote jobs to secure a “reliable income” again since I had lost all of the potential sales I’d been working on for three months. The rejections came in one after another and I was feeling defeated, hopeless, angry, and doubting my choices. I was feeling lost and afraid. I’m sure so many of you can relate to these feelings.
It was on a call with Jesse Harless and about 15-20 people a few weeks ago that I realized the gift of time I’d been given to create and build my online business. During a visualization I realized that this was the exact time to figure out how to make my idea a REAL BUSINESS.
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of long hours on Zoom calls, reading business books into the night, writing mission statements and figuring out website target-magnets. Hours on webinars about sales funnels and celebrating my little steps along the way with virtual happy hours.
After talking with so many people about my idea in the last few weeks, I know that things will work out just as they do, and I’m so thankful to be able to have the time and mindstate to be in a creative flow right now. It’s the past few years of learning how to be mindful, calm, and at peace with the process that I can do this.
So as I figure it out, I invite you to my new (recently designed) website.
Find Calm Here is an online community offering resources to learn, grow, and build mindful habits by hosting virtual events and cultivating conversations around meditation, yoga, essential oils, massage, self-care, healthy lifestyles, building resilience, stress management, and positive mindsets focused on helping you find calm.
Thank you to all of the partners I’ll be working with to help me build this community as well as friends and family who’ve been so supportive throughout the past decade. It wouldn’t have been possible for me to have created the life I have now without your support.
As I look back on all of the challenges, struggles, and successes of the past decade, I’m grateful to be on this journey and look forward to the next ten years.
I kicked off my birthday celebration last night with a virtual open mic night where friends came and sang, played, talked, and laughed with me. So I’m already having a happy birthday and will celebrate with a virtual happy hour tonight with friends across the globe. I’m truly, truly grateful for this life. ❤