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The Perfect Storm

How did this happen? How did I feel so certain about myself, about my financial worth, only to be sick, honestly and physically sick, thinking about it now? I try so hard to live in the moment and not focus too much on a future that is totally out of my control but every day, like an alcoholic who fights the craving, I fight the downward spiral of stress and fear and depression. How can we maintain our smiles through all of this? I look around and think, I am alive, I am not ill, my family is healthy, I can walk, I can talk, I can see and hear … why then does all of that vanish at the first thought of money or the lack thereof.

I read today that a very important economist called it “The Perfect Storm.” It probably started brewing years ago. I can look back on those years and see myself, having “great days” at work, being part of big sales, and watching my bank account grow. I wanted to play with the big boys so I bought my own properties with dreams of building spec homes and flipping them for a hefty profit. It was so good. I knew that it wouldn’t be forever for me. I knew I wanted to travel, write, fall in love, and live a grand life. I bought clothes, shoes, and ate sushi for lunch. I was successful. I may not have saved as much as I should, but I had a plan and it was all working out.

When you ask the universe for something—when you really, really ask for it—sometimes you just may get it. I asked for love and the universe said, “Okay, Elizabeth. Here is love. Now what are you going to do?” I asked for an adventurous lifestyle filled with excitement and beautiful places and the universe said, “Alrighty, Elizabeth. You live in Jackson Hole and you can ski and snowmobile and hike and bike until your heart’s content. Now what are you going to do?” I asked the universe for travel and I got my wish tenfold when after months of planning with no red flags stopping me, I quit my job to live full time on the road in a RV with the love of my life. I got everything I asked for so now the voice in my head booms at night: “What are you going to do now?”
Paper. What I had was on paper. My future was on paper. My ability to go on this trip was on paper. And on paper, everything looked great! I could do this! The Perfect Storm was churning and swirling just over my head, but I didn’t want to stop, I didn’t want to turn back. After all, I had asked for this and it was up to me to deal with it as an adult. Something inside me wanted to prove to everyone that I could do this. I was going to live a grand adventure and learn about whom I was and what I really wanted to do with my life. I no longer wanted to fall into a job, I wanted to go out and find my passion and pursue it and grow as a woman at the same time. It all hinged on paper. Now that the paper is gone, why can’t I find that strong, smart girl anymore? I feel like I’ve gone missing … that strong, smart girl is curled up in a tangled mess of fear and self-doubt.

Universe? Are you there, Universe, it’s me, Elizabeth. I’m feeling a little lost and was wondering if the bigger picture is more important here. I know there are going to be lessons learned in the next couple of years. Hard lessons that leave skid marks on my mind like burnt rubber on a Texas road. This grand adventure I keep talking about…is the adventure inside of me. Some people go through mid-life crisis at my age, am I going through one of my own? What is my crisis, if that’s the case? Is it my unhealthy attachment to material things? Should I not place all of my self worth on my credit score? I don’t know how to focus on the positive aspects of my life more than the negative. And most importantly, I don’t truly believe that, “this too, shall pass.” I “don’t know,” I “don’t believe,” and “I can’t,”… argh, enough already!

This is my life. For better or worse, I’ve made a long series of decisions that has led me to where I am right now. This is my life and I am supposed to live it to the fullest no matter how hard it gets sometimes. Be inspirational to yourself, Elizabeth. Be your own best friend, for once. Give yourself the advice you’d give any of your girlfriends. You’re not alone in this financial crisis and you made some poor choices but you’ll learn from them. It will pass, someday. It will become part of your past. You will tell your story, as part of the grand adventure and maybe someone will learn from your mistakes and maybe gain from the courage you showed during the darkest days. It may get harder down the road but then again, it may get better too.

How did this happen? I made it happen. I asked for it and I hope to find the scared little girl inside my head and give her a hug and say: “It’s okay. It will pass. You are still a good person. You will recover. I love you.”