Last year was my lucky year. 26 was my lucky number, and it seemed to sprinkle magic on everything– namely the images on my Instagram page. Everything from gaining a new, healthy baby (stinker) brother in January to joining a new audio fitness company, to surfing in Puerto Rico with my mom, to closing a Caffé Nero deal ameliorated my life comfortably like it was all supposed to happen…. it was *my* year.
As early at January 28th in my 27th year, I was fortunate to meet my dream guy! Handsome, tall, hard working, funny and empathetic Jeff walked into my life because, you know, I was lucky!
From avoiding traffic to getting the call with the real estate broker I needed to track down, day-to-day, I’d attribute everything on #lucky26.
And for what it’s worth, having something to keep me hopeful was a really nice mindset; the idea that things are going to work in your favor is quite positive (maybe a little selfish!) but importantly, more than anything, hopeful.
But that doesn’t mean it was an easy year…..
Before I met Jeff, I suffered through a few horrendous dates, I surfed onto some fire coral and suffered a bacterial foot infection in Puerto Rico.
Having five jobs is no simple life, nor is it lucky. Rather, it’s more of a result of an entreprenuial spirit mixed with a being a young girl trying to figure it out, pay bills and hustle hard!
And on top of the five jobs (real estate development, audio fitness coaching, online business owning, Barry’s Bootcamp teaching and writing a book), I moved in with Prince Charming in another part of Boston and he bought a house in New Hampshire! All exciting things (Lucky26!!) but also a lot for my mind to handle.
I must divulge that despite the snowboard adventures, the lovely surprises, the happy tears and many celebrations, I spent a lot of 26 learning about a new type of stress I’d never know…. anxiety.
Stemming from life changes, financial stressors, and gut health issues (who knows which one was the worst culprit), I had to change a lot about *how* I lived, everyday.
I wont bore you with new morning routines, different dietary protocols, or what acupuncture feels like, but, what I will tell you is that something else came into my mindset in spite of all the craziness.
* * *
In Kindergarten I won the award for “best story teller.” By age eleven I loved writing and I had many specific dreams. I was going to go to college (whatever that meant), I was going to make Varsity cheerleading by my freshman year of high school and I was going to write a book. Eleven year-old Garrett was a dreamer.
And she worked tirelessly, going to special, private tumbling lessons to nail the skill of a standing tuck, a standing toe-touch tuck, and *almost* get the elusive full twisting back layout. All things that paid me nothing.
I was committed to my passion. And the thought of not going to practice when I was tired, sick or having asthma trouble? Never crossed my mind. The thought of missing a homework assignment? Never.
Eleven year-old me dreamed of this Friday night lights, and even had a game plan: to get the gymnastics skills, make Junior high cheerleading, compete on the local all-star team in 8th grade, all to meet the right people and become an attractive candidate for Hamilton Southeastern’s reputable, state-championship-winning, nationals-winning cheerleading squad.
* * *
Little did I know little, dreamer Garrett stuck with me, inside my heart always making future plans, and chasing passion more than anything else. From building Crossroads of Fitness to auditioning for Barry’s Bootcamp before I even lived in Boston, I always had a dream and a *rough* plan which I’d take and bend and fold and mold until it worked.
And unfortunately, by the end of #lucky26, I tried to stifle her.
Paying what is akin to a second rent payment for a book coach and editor in May of 2016 was a no-nrainer. My business was thriving, I had a huge savings account and I was teaching and coaching 12-14 hours a week making extra money on top of that.
“If I want to be a published author with at least five books someday, I need a coach and I need to invest in the project [passion].”
And so that was that, my “rent” due to my editor was about one third to sometimes one half of my rent payment. And I never questioned it for an entire year…. until Idid.
And it felt so uncomfortable to say “no” to 11 year-old Garrett. But I for frugal reasons, I had to say no a few times. And when I did, something hurt and felt broken; more than anything I felt lost.
The business I’d started in 2014 hit some low-lows in 2017; sure, it had ups, (like the time I hiring a new coach / amazing partner on all projects!!), but I’d never known it to struggle and had to try and diversify it, quickly. Last summer real estate development for Caffé Nero was slow, my classes were cut in half. And my book, Dare to Move? It had to take a back seat.
Pushing the book back was the last thing I wanted to do, but felt I had to at least slow it down slightly. After trying that for a few months, I was over it; come August I opened the files and re-attacked. I would do whatever it took (spending real estate commission on the editor and self-publishing package) to stay true to my passion, relentlessly.
* * *
But by mid-October I felt like I’d been skiing down a never ending back diamond without goggles, in a snowstorm without mittens, at dusk… I’d spent money on the editor, the publishing package, the proof reader, an extra editor, a website update and I directed book cover art. And as the bills stacked up I wondered… why the heck am I doing this? Why did I rush it? Why did I spend so many hours I could’ve been working on projects that actually paid me?
And again, I decided to slow it down. I needed to be logical. I needed to get ONE job, a 9 to 5, and give up this 5 job hustle. Time be be “adult.”
Dream chasing had caught up with me. Maybe I would never publish, maybe my business would fail, and maybe I’d have to stop everything. I’d been doing lots of little things on top of working on a book that wasn’t paying me, including building this new website, creating a new FREE Food Anxiety program and coordinating with a functional nutritionist to create more thorough internal program to do in tandem with Dare to Eat.
The every day actions I was taking had POTENTIAL to eventually pay out… keyword: eventually. And I’m still waiting on some of the things to “work.” But midst waiting, I began for the first time to feel “failure.” I was trying so many different things but little seemed to be working… yet.
But I promised to give myself til 2018 to keep pushing forward.
And then flash forward to yesterday, and somehow I found myself holding a full manuscript, front to back. The times I’d lost, Jeff and my mom would encourage me to work on my book; they could se the passionate girl inside me that wanted to finish it, even when I forgot about her.
And so yesterday I scoured every page, consuming my book for hours until I’d read the whole thing, engaged in the story and proud of the project.
It hit me; the only reason I have this memoir– which is ready to go into the production phase– is because no matter how stressed I was, how dark times felt work-wise, I never gave up on my 11 year-old self. I chased my passion relentlessly like it was all that mattered.
Thus, for my 27th year, I’m going to harbor that inner 11 year-old with everything I’ve got. I will invest in the girl who believed in fairy-tales and expected hard work en route to her goals– the girl who’d do anything it would take to become a freshman, Varsity cheerleader by age 14 going on 15. And I hope that by doing so in my 27th year, that I can inspire you to do the same. How? Start by remembering a time in your life that came before you knew what stress felt like.
* * *
In case you’re new to my blog and want to read more about who I was at 25, or last year upon turning 26, you can click those links to read along! Typically I like to give a #Daretoeat discount for my birthday, however two of our big projects (#DareToEat FULL EXPERIENCE and the CROF GETAWAY) are currently discounted until 2018. Therefore, this year I’m going to give you a little background and synopsis of my upcoming book, Dare to Move.
Dare to Move
Dare to Move is a memoir I began in the fall of 2015. I’m not sure what day I began writing but I know that by Christmas of 2015 I had about 89,000 words of a rough draft. 2015 brought a lot of change in my career and inspired me to write a book.
Background: It’s important to know that I grew up with a single-mom. Although my dad’s side of the family was well-off, being raised by a single-mom was humbling and my mom’s hustle was formidable to me. I knew I needed to graduate with a job, and start figuring out how to support myself without a man right out of college. Dare to Move begins in that time post-grad where you meet fast-paced energizer bunny, 22 year-old me who was stoked to jump right into the Real world and land several jobs — on top of her full time job.
You read as I chase passions in fitness as well as the wrong, older guy. I mess up, try harder, and out of nowhere I get recruited for a real estate job with a fabulous offer I couldn’t turn down. The job is all foreign topics to me, but I dive in, trying my best, but continue to hit roadblocks, living in a man’s world. Dare to Move goes into what it’s like to feel patronized, not taken seriously and experience belittlement by men who see me as worthless. As the book continues and I meet another brilliant love interest in Nashville, you wonder just how I can keep two fitness jobs, a real job with travel and a sprouting relationship all up in the air.
And then it crumbles, but not in the way you think. I am asked to dare to move to Boston, when the real estate company throws money at me to do it, and again, I couldn’t say no. At this point in the book, millennials will relate to what it’s like now a days when you move to a new city and everyone lives in their own bubble of their iphones…. it’s hard to make friends, especially on the east coast. What’s worse? You watch as I get manipulated into a relationship with a guy who carries a large secret.
The move to Boston was supposed to bring more work on my plate, but I start to realize that I keep getting shut down, being ignored and hitting roadblocks, wondering why the company is paying me so much money, paying my rent and why they hired me in the first place…. ? By the end of my first year in Boston, the answer will be very clear, after the company that moved me to Boston lets me go, leaving me in a city I only kind-of like, and forcing me to try and thrive anyway.
It’s a coming of age story. It’s about how to find your way in a new place. Dare to Move begs the questions, how do you choose a city? Why do you stay with a job? What is a portfolio lifestyle really like? How do you date after three relationships back-to-back? It’s all in there, jam-packed and very sex-in-the-city like, at times.
I sincerely hope that you will purchase my book in my 27th year, and maybe you’ll be inspired to Dare to Move!
The link to pre-order will be like in early 2018!
Thank you all for the kind birthday wishes and happy holidays!