Hi! Thanks for popping in!
You’re probably here because you want to know more about who I am, what’s my story, and why I care about women being confident, healthy and powerful.
I grew up on a farm in rural Iowa until my parents divorced when I was 12. Then we moved into “town” and I became a real city girl on the bustling streets of Hampton, population 5,000.
My class had about 85 kids in it, and there was definitely a class system of who was cool and popular and who was not. In junior high (that’s what we called it back then, middle school wasn’t a thing until later) I had two truly horrible experiences with friend groups that really crumbled my self-esteem.
Let me set the scene…me called into the guidance counselors office to face eight other girls who wanted to tell me why they didn’t like me. Bam, shot down firing squad style. Yeah that happened not once, but twice. I became desperate to be accepted, but being myself obviously wasn’t going to work. I was too much. So I made myself smaller, tried to sit down and shut up, made some not great decisions and hoped that NOW I would be deemed as good enough.
My desire to be accepted and labeled as good enough spun off into me needing to get straight A’s. I loved grades because that was total affirmation that you are great, at least in school. And then later in life it spun off into needing to be the best employee, climbing the ladder, achieving more and collecting awards. I seriously was the dream employee, give me a task and let me run because I need to prove to you that I’m worthy. If I was a dog I would have been a labrador retriever, endlessly chasing the balls and bringing them back waiting for my pat on the head and the good girl compliment.
I was also the Martha Stewart mom, yes I actually hand made my kids Halloween costumes for many years. Won’t lie though, they were flipping cute! Praise to the heavens that Pinterest wasn’t around when my kids were young, the pressure I would have put myself under to be fabulous…eek. At least Martha only showed up in a catalog once a month!
Then in my early 30’s all this started to come unravelled. Remember those quizzes that you could take to determine how much stress you were under based upon life events? Yeah 2001 was my year that broke the chart on that flipping test. In April my dad was killed in a car accident. We had been estranged from each other for nearly 15 years and had just started to have contact again. In an instant that was over. In May I decided that my marriage wasn’t going to survive. We had been doing counseling for quite awhile, but the reality was that it wasn’t going to be fixed. We separated and divorced. In September, well I don’t need to say more than 9/11. January 2002 we get a phone call no one ever wants. My step-sister has been shot and killed by her husband, who then killed himself. She had asked for a separation. They left behind three young kids.
That year was my wake up call that life was short….real fricking short. How was I going to really live a life that I loved? When was I going to drop the BS and be authentically me? I started reading…a lot. I started listening to what my instincts were telling me, rather than everyone around me. I made unpopular decisions, but I felt more in alignment with myself.
In the last 15 years I’ve awakened new curiosities. I’ve learned a heck of a lot about self-love, finding your tribe, empowerment, cleansing your environment, relationships, protecting your energy, becoming resourceful despite your lack of resources, and doing what it takes to just freakin’ go for it. I’ve still had some epic failures, disastrous relationships, heart-wrenching experiences, and soul-crushing criticisms, all of which have given me moments of doubt and wondering WTF am I doing?
Real change can only happen if you never give up. So I never did. I chose to keep getting up and figuring this thing called life out. I’ve had powerful wins, and incredible moments of gratitude for the circle of people in my life. I’ve found my truest of relationships and I know that more women can have fulfillment in their life if we just keep showing up to support one another. Our 40’s and 50’s are a time of real discernment, they can be filled with joy, but also filled with some mess.
“This is your time to live fully and joyously. If not now, when?”