My Year One Reflection: How I Got Here

On the day marking my first year in business I want to reflect on how grateful I am for my pain. You might be reading this and thinking, “What? That's odd”, but hear me out. If it weren't for my pain, I wouldn't be celebrating this milestone with all of you. I genuinely love my pain because when I actually take the time to listen to it, it always sets me free.

Back in college I fell for my best friend. It was the end of our senior year and we were both scared for our futures and of losing each other. We did what made sense and we started dating. It was wonderful and fun, essentially an extension of our college life. He went to business school; I started my career and we continued to hang out with the friends we made at school every weekend. He landed an incredible job in Boston, I started building more experience and climbing the corporate ladder and we moved in together.

Things were "perfect" until somewhere along the six years we were together, I started to realize, things were not. I slowly started to see that this incredible, kind, successful, generous, brilliant man didn't give me butterflies. But why? I shouldn't be feeling like this, he was my best friend, an incredible provider - what was wrong with me? At that moment, I attributed my feelings and confusion to "how relationships evolve over time."

And then, he proposed. The experience was idyllic, like a movie. He got down on one knee and I said yes. How could I not? I'd be crazy. Everyone loved him, everyone loved us, this was the beginning of the rest of our lives.

The panic attacks started shortly after the proposal. I didn't sleep. I withdrew from most everything besides showing up at work. My job was the only thing I was able to pour myself into to keep me feeling alive. I felt a terrible combination of being scared, depressed and confused.

The pain was so deep and then one day, I decided to listen to it and I realized it carried the answer. It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but the best one. I ended our relationship for him, for me and for everyone that loved us. Most people, including myself at the time, didn't understand it. We were so used to living life by consensus, permission and outer voices, that when someone (me) went against this, it was unfathomably confusing. I am grateful I listened to the pain because the pain set me free.

After a few weird Bumble dates and many nights of confused tears, I decided to open my eyes and heart to a very real sensation of growing love with someone new. I let myself experience true love with Nick, my now husband. He’s my rock and the absolute love of my life. Every day I thank my pain because it created our life.

Being married to your true love is something special and unique because it almost warps you into believing you can't feel pain again - bulletproof love. After our miscarriage and ongoing struggle with infertility, I realized that's not always true.

The pain I felt when we lost our baby was debilitating and I gave myself two days where I laid in bed, crying, journaling and praying for the strength to keep going. I did not find it, but I pushed myself forward anyway. I kept telling myself that miscarriage happens all of the time, we needed to keep trying and our baby would come. I somehow convinced myself that grieving this loss was a weakness and my team at work needed me to be there for them more than I needed to be there for myself. I let the "pressure" of my sales job rocket me back into life, but I was functioning on fumes.

The pain was still there, but I kept pushing it down. I didn't want Nick, my friends or family to see how badly I was hurting because it was silly. We would get pregnant again, it had been easy the first time. Month after month passed and I continued to get angrier and more frustrated with my life.

Nothing was fair, everyone was out to get me. I perceived that my team didn't work hard enough, the company I worked for didn't support me and I was overworked. This must be the cause of my infertility. I was in so much pain, but I was refusing to acknowledge it and turned it into resentment. My inner dissatisfaction was so deep that it bled into tangible results - missed quotas and low team morale. This feeling of resentment grew and was exacerbated when I received some really tough and painful feedback about how I was showing up as a leader.

I forced myself to face the pain and I begged my family to help me help myself. My mother swooped in and connected me with an incredible therapist. We started to dig into the pain, we explored the sadness around the miscarriage and we set it free. We dove into my dissatisfaction at work and the pain around the feedback and we realized I wasn't happy being a sales manager anymore. She encouraged me to go deep inside of myself to figure out what I really wanted to be doing with my life and my career.

I started asking myself when do I feel alive? I wrote down this list...

  • Learning about new perspectives

  • Mentoring/Coaching

  • Helping people navigate through life's challenges

  • Hearing and celebrating women's stories

  • Creating content that speaks to people

  • Human interactions and connection

  • Helping people feel empowered

This was my guide for the next chapter. I shared this list with Nick and we built a plan together around how we were going to make it happen and Her Courage Coach (now Infinidei) was born. I quit my corporate job, despite the outer voices telling me I was crazy. I started living in my truth.

Every morning I wake up feeling free and fulfilled. Sure, there are days where I feel scared about the future or unsure of where my next partnership might come from, but I trust myself and my inner-knowing. I am confident that as long as I'm continuing to live a life where I feel alive and free, everything will work itself out. I also know that my pain will continue to guide me, so if I do go off course and I start to feel anxious or that I'm suffering, my body is sending me a gift to listen to and explore. The instructions for how I want to live my life are inside of me, I will listen to them. This is my business plan for 2022.