March 26, 2013
When I first discovered we were unexpectedly pregnant I had no income. I lived in my parent’s home. I didn’t have health insurance. And I wasn’t married.
For the first half of the pregnancy I fell into a deep depression. I constantly cried questioning ‘why’ my seamless life appeared to be ‘falling’ apart. Up to that point, I followed all life’s rules. I graduated college with two bachelors, I excelled in my corporate work, I lived independently in San Francisco and I managed to win top pageant/fitness titles and appear on the cover of SF weekly and Florida Fitness magazine. When I underwent a spiritual transformation in my mid-twenties I knew I had to start breaking these made-up rules that were ‘supposed’ to make me happy. Truth was, I wasn’t happy. I didn’t know who I was, why I existed and what motivated me to get up each day and choose to ‘live’. I gained weight, I quit my job, I moved home, I started a nonprofit and I resonated with a man who inspired me with his profound life story.
We fell in love, became engaged and experienced an unplanned pregnancy.
Years ago I couldn’t foresee a positive future. Through my tears and my blooming belly, I could only see how destroyed I felt being unmarried, without a career and not doing things the ‘right’ way. I often wept for the baby I carried because I thought he felt the pain, disappointment, anger and fear I suffered on a daily basis. During these trying times, I witnessed David in his weakest moments trying to stay strong in the shadow of my personal darkness.
I found my strength through my family, my friends, my fiancée and my faith. I began writing 3 year, 3 months and 3 week goals. I started visualizing a healthy family, a consistent income and a progressive future. I took action towards my dreams by first writing down my goals. I wrote I wanted a beautiful wedding, a big grant for my nonprofit and a cover of a magazine. I wanted to become a good wife, a great mother, a successful business owner and an influential fitness role model. I couldn’t see, feel, or touch these goals – but I could taste it. I wanted them badly…more badly than the pit of tears I sat in because I felt sorry for myself.
Today we celebrated the Grand Opening of my 2nd carehome for the elderly. It’s been a long-awaited journey ever since this process began a year ago. It took financial discipline, physical work and constant planning to finally open the doors to a new business. It’s not easy and as it grows, it will probably get harder – but I know why I have to work hard, which makes the journey more durable…
I work hard, I stay disciplined and I maintain focus because I do it for my kids, I do it for our future, I do it for the people we serve….but most of all,
I do it because it makes me happy.
Happiness isn’t about attaining titles, making money and buying things. Happiness is in serving others, fulfilling your dreams and existing for a greater purpose larger than yourself. In order to know happiness, you must have known sadness – because in experiencing one emotion, you can know when you feel the opposite.
Sadness met me years ago and happiness greeted me when I woke up today.
God Bless you.
David took this photo when I was 7 months pregnant with our first child. I bought that dress because I probably considered eloping a thousand times whilst pregnant! We waited a couple years later to get married. Here is his birth story.