There’s been a few times where life has smacked me across the face, hard. Once was just after I graduated from UCSB. I had my whole life planned out, or so I thought. I was heading to Europe to travel for two months, then back to Santa Barbara to attend Antioch and get my PsyD so I could go on and become a child psychologist. Problem is I’m a gypsy at heart and never would have been happy working in a 9-5 environment. I’m too crazy, creative, adventurous and spontaneous to be happy sitting still for too long, but it took me literally eating shit off my high heels on the strip in Vegas to get me to slow down long enough to realize it.
A broken heel bone broke all my plans, and at the time I was beside myself having all the “poor me” thoughts we always have when things seem to go terribly wrong. Why me? What did I do to deserve this? How is this fair? But it was in the next few months while I was bed ridden at my God Mom’s house in LA, that I was forced to sit alone with myself and ask the questions I never made time to ask. Is this really what I want to do with my life or do I just like how it sounds? What am I not just good at but amazing at? What am I most passionate about? What will make me feel happy and fulfilled?
In the following months I abandoned my plans to go back to school and took all the money I had set aside to travel Europe and poured all of it, along with my heart and soul into the two things that have now become my greatest passions in life, teaching surf lessons & designing eco swimwear. Surfing led me around the world and the places I have seen and people I have met have changed my life in ways I can’t explain. And designing my eco-friendly swim line has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life.
Both businesses have been very hard at times. For many years my bank account was negative more than it was positive. Some nights I cried myself to sleep wishing I would have just stuck with my perfect life plan. And sometimes it is still hard, but no matter what the outcome there is this amazing empowering feeling that you get from knowing you have been brave enough to follow your dreams. It’s the feeling that you have chosen not to sleep walk through life, the feeling that you have decided to make the life you want happen, instead of waking up one day wondering what happened to your life.
Last Wednesday I fell flat on my face in the street. I was heading out for a run on the beach in Santa Barbara and I tripped and ate shit on the side-walk ripping off all of the skin below my right knee & much of the skin on my right hand along with smashing my iPhone screen. Who falls when they are jogging?! LOL At least when I was in Vegas I could blame my accident on high heels and too many cocktails. But here I was pulling myself up off the pavement wondering why me? Why did I get the bad luck of tripping and hurting myself so bad that I have to limp to my car with an unusable phone and blood running down my arm and leg? But it was in the following days, when I was forced to take time off from surfing, jogging and doing much of anything, that I realized my fall was another smack in the face from life, this time reminding me to not let my love of playing hard get in the way of my passion for working hard. Sometimes it takes the unthinkable to get you thinking again. Sometimes it just takes a little alone time to get you back on track.
I am a firm believer that reality is what you make it. So I am choosing to make mine about working hard, not giving up & following my dreams.You are not going to look back on your life and be proud of how many Facebook friends you had or how many followers you had on Instagram, but you are going to look back and be proud of the time you took to really figure out what you wanted, worked hard, stayed focused and didn’t give up. In a world where “instant gratification takes too long” as my aunt Carrie Fisher says, it’s important to check in and make sure you are working towards and living the life that you really want, and you can’t do that without taking some time out to just be alone and think, imagine, dream…
And it’s also important to know where to get your iPhone fixed if you fall and smash it while if you’re in Santa Barbara. The guys at CellTek fixed my screen for $85. And it only took them a couple of hours, which was the perfect amount of alone time for a Wednesday evening stroll in my favorite town in the world.