Sister, keep going

This is a picture of my “previous life”.  I was a medical device sales rep, spending my days working cases in operating rooms and cardiac cath labs.  It worked hard and made great money.  I was able to be present for most of the important moments for the kids at school.  I didn’t get to take them to school most days and I didn’t get to pick them up.

But when I was there, I was ALL there.  

At night, we were free to laugh and play.  I didn’t have the looming stress of how in the world I would get it all done tomorrow.  I wasn’t worried about how I was going to make payroll and keep the lights on.  (That was someone else’s job.) After my years as a server and a flight attendant, I spent the rest of my career, leading up to HeartStories in sales and this was the way it was.  As long as I was successful, it meant a lot of freedom, and a lot of money.  Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right? It was, and I really loved it.

But I felt called to something more. 

Of course, the products I sold saved lives and limbs, but I wanted to be a part of changing people’s lives.  Instead of feeling like I was peddling a product for someone else, constantly swimming upstream as one of the few women in our field, who was also a mother, I wanted to make a difference.

I wanted to make a new way. 

I wanted to prove that I could do something that made an important difference for others, was successful financially, and also made me more available to my boys.  I wanted to take them to school.  I wanted to pick them up.  I wanted to be free to go on field trips and be involved in every new transition in their lives.

I dreamt, planned, and talked with everyone I knew. 

Then one day, the call inside became so strong, I knew it was time.  I quit my lucrative job, liquidated my retirement, and on a wing and a prayer set out to pursue this calling.

Let’s just say I’ve learned a lot since then.  

This October marks seven years (7!!) since the day I gave my resignation.  Nothing has gone the way I planned or expected it to.  Not one thing.  I am my own boss.  I made a new path.  But the road has been so hard.  Yes, I get to take my kids to school and pick them up (and for that, I’m forever grateful!) but while we’re driving, my mind is racing and my phone is blowing up.  The highs are high and the lows are low.  There’s not a lot of mere coasting, in-between.

But the woman I’ve become on this journey? 

I would have NEVER found her if I’d kept the cush, easy life I’d built for myself.  I may have been a lot more fun and more carefree, but there’s NO way I would have the depth to be the mother I am today.  I wouldn’t have the strength to be the friend, the sister, the wife, the leader I am today.  I’m so far from perfect, but I’m so. much. wiser.  And at the end of the day, I’m exactly who I was made to be.  Right here, right now.  In this moment in time.

She wasn’t born herself.  She found herself, over a long and treacherous road.  And the more treacherous the road became, the more of herself she found.  ~ Atticus

You also were not born yourself.  You are finding yourself.  Over a long and treacherous road.  And the more treacherous the road has become, the more of yourself you have found.

Know how I know?

You’re still reading.  

You’re exactly who you were made to be.  Right here.  Right now.  Imperfections and all.  You’re stronger, wiser, and more empathetic.

Don’t give up now.  

We need you.  This version of you.  Not the one you used to be before life got hard.

We need the woman you are today. 

I know you’re tired.  I know you don’t understand why it’s so hard.  I know it was supposed to look different than this. I know sometimes you want to give up.  Instead, today, give yourself some of that grace you dole out to everyone else.

And Sister, keep going.  

with so much love,

Crystal

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