I'm going to get a bit personal here but I want people (especially women) to know that no matter what happens in your life you can overcome anything and make a successful life for yourself. The last few years have taught me some lessons that you can use to move forward in your life.
Everything seemed to be going well for me. I was married with 3 kids and I was working as the manager of a clothing store. I was doing well at work with my store consistently exceeding sales targets and winning awards and recognition. Suddenly, in 2008, I started to experience severe anxiety and panic attacks. (For anyone who has never experienced it, let me tell you it’s terrifying.) Needless to say, I needed to leave work because having full-on panic attacks at work just wasn’t an option. While I was off work, I did a lot of soul searching trying to find out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. That’s when I realized that I had always regretted not going to university. So, I decided to go back to school to get my degree in marketing communications.
Our family was now down to one income so there was some stress there. Then the recession hit and my husband got laid off. That started a series of events that led up to the worst year of my life.
Now, this is really hard to talk about because in the past I often worried about what other people thought of me. But anyway, here goes. In 2010, my husband and I were fighting all the time, mostly about money. My oldest son was really sick (he has Crohn’s disease) and I was just really unhappy. In October 2010, my entire world came crashing down around me when I discovered that my husband was having an affair with a 25 year old. I thought I was going to lose my mind. My anxiety had returned full swing and I was generally a blubbering mess. At that point I really was at rock bottom. I couldn’t have gone down any further. Like Dr. Phil says, “You can’t fall off the floor”.
All I kept thinking about was how I was going to support myself and my kids. I knew that once I had finished my degree that I wanted to work at a marketing firm but there weren’t any marketing firms in my hometown. So, that meant that I would have to move away for work. That’s when a lightbulb moment happened for me.
As I was sitting all alone one afternoon it suddenly hit me that there weren’t any marketing firms in Timmins. That’s when it dawned on me that I shouldn’t have to leave my city for work when I could make my own job instead. I grabbed my laptop and started researching what the market was like in the area, what businesses wanted and what they didn’t want, how much money it would take to start and operate my business and everything else you could possibly think of to get the business started. That really lit a fire inside me. I could feel my passion and excitement for life coming back. I now had something that I could do to contribute to something bigger as well as support my family.
Since then, I’ve learned a lot about myself and other people. I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way but I’ve also accomplished things I never thought I would ever do. Here are some lessons I’ve learned that I think all women can use in their own lives.
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