Welcome back to my blog! It’s been a long time since I’ve written my thoughts here, and a TON has happened. What has happened you ask? So much!
- I sold the commercial kitchen that housed my bakery Sheer Ambrosia and moved it into my home.
- I explored a career in the corporate world of insurance adjusting and sales.
- I sold my house and moved into a smaller place across the street from my daughter’s school.
- My son started his first year of college and
- My daughter started her first year of high school.
- I said no to corporate insurance because 1) I HATE insurance, it’s the most depressing, soul robbing pursuit I ever went after and 2) because my heart has always been somewhere else.
Let’s go back a few years to January 2016 when I published FROM MRS. TO MS. – How to Pull Your Life Together When Your Marriage Falls Apart. Writing this book was one of the most cathartic, eye-opening, beautiful things I have ever done. I received positive feedback from women who purchased and read it, learned a lot, found encouragement, and were empowered. They also inspired me to obtain my certification in divorce coaching.
At the same time, the realities of life were hitting me hard and I needed to earn more money than I was making from my baklava business. As much as I wanted to pursue divorce coaching and start changing the world one divorcee at a time, I had two children who needed me to step up and make more money for my family. I had to put my desire on hold and get a ‘real’ job since my baklava company had transitioned into my side hustle. I went to work for a major insurance company as an insurance adjuster. I worked 10-hour days and then went home and made baklava for another three to four hours at night. I had no time for what my heart really wanted to do.
After a year working those grueling hours, I knew something had to change. By this time, my son was off to college and my daughter joined her high school drill team and trained five to six days a week, some days as early as 5:30 am. Between my son being short $8,000 in tuition and my daughter picking a sport that is way more expensive than I could afford, I needed to make the strategic decision to sell our home and move into a smaller place close to my daughter’s school. That gave me the money to pay the remainder of my son’s tuition, the money for my daughter’s sport, and got us close to the school for her practices. This decision also gave me the freedom, flexibility, and time to pursue my dream.
Years ago I came across a gentleman by the name of Chris Guillebeau. He’s an amazing writer, world traveler, and unconventional change agent. He has written such books as The Art of Non-Conformity, The $100 Start-Up, The Happiness of Pursuit, Born for This, and Side Hustle – all of which I would encourage you to read. However, the thing he wrote that really wet my whistle was his Manifesto called A Brief Guide To World Domination – How to Live a Remarkable Life in a Conventional World and other Important Goals. It’s what he calls his manifesto and I loved, loved, loved it! Please go and read it here.
I have lived an unconventional life. At first not by my choice having been raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, but later strictly by choice deciding to leave the religion to go to university. If you don’t already know, I am African American, the first in my family to go to college. I studied abroad and learned to speak Spanish. I spent two summers in Ecuador and a semester in Spain. I married a man from Spain, and moved to Spain to be with him. We later moved to Utah, sight unseen, and started working jobs here. I started my own mortgage brokerage at 25 years old. Later we started a travel agency and I worked there for almost ten years, eight of those years making multiple six figures. After I sold my share in that business for over half a million dollars, I started my Greek baklava bakery from home because I enjoyed the freedom that business ownership allowed and didn’t want to leave my children to be raised by someone else. I have traveled the world, and I love to dance Argentine tango. So, I’d say I’ve lived an unconventional life! Anyway, back to Chris’ manifesto. In it he talks about THE two most important questions in the universe. Those questions are:
- What do you really want to get out of life?
- What can you offer the world that no one else can?
The first question has many facets which I won’t tackle right now, but the answer to the second question has been on my mind for quite some time. While I can offer the best baklava the world will ever enjoy (that certainly makes me happy), after doing that for the past ten years, my focus and heart has moved to something I think is slightly more impactful and urgent.
I believe family is the foundation of our society, and I think divorce is one of the reasons our society is faltering. I cannot stop people from getting divorced – I couldn’t even stop my own – but I can help families overcome the ravages of divorce. I can offer a positive alternative to feeling like you can never get out of bed again, hating your ex, and making your kids feel like they have to choose between you and him. There is a better way, and I want to help people grieve, recover, and rebuild. I want to help women find their own passion as they continue to be amazing mothers and become remarkable ex-wives, all while being their own best advocate through this crazy journey we call life. Who says that life cannot be wonderful because of divorce!
Society says ex spouses are supposed to hate each other, that we shouldn’t get along with our ex in-laws, and that we should take our exes to court and have them locked up if they don’t pay child support. One of my happily married friends told me I shouldn’t let my kids go to their dad’s house for the weekend if he’s late on child support. Since when do we use our children as pawns as if they are pieces is some kind of chess game?
Every divorce is different and there are multiple ways to handle every situation. I do believe we need more communication and less rush to anger. I think after the pain has subsided we should maintain some level of friendship with our exes because they will still be in our lives even after the kids become adults. I also think we can continue to love our ex in-laws. My ex in-laws love my kids, and for that I am grateful. I believe it is more productive and empowering to use the energy we might have spent trying to recover child support to look for a new business opportunity so you don’t need his money. I have so many thoughts and ideas that I want to share. Maybe some won’t be popular, but I’m going to share them anyway.
I’m excited about my new career choice, and I hope you are too. If you are not reading this post from my website, I encourage you to please visit me at www.compassdivorcecoaching.com and take a look at my new page. I still have lots to do to make it a powerful source of information and encouragement, but as my friend Chris Guillebeau says, just start! I am open to constructive suggestions and ideas, so please share your feedback and ideas with me.
Well, there you have it. This is what I want to offer the world… In a way, I have answered the first most important question in the universe. Remember that question? What do you really want to get out of life? I want to connect with people. I want to help people. I want to take care of myself and my children without having to depend on someone else to provide for us. I want to live a healthy, productive, life. I want to be a part of something bigger, wilder, and full of love and forgiveness.