Success isn’t linear. (Nor is financial gain an absolute indicator of success — or happiness.)
I won a National Emmy Award at age 20 and a Regional Emmy Award at age 21. (Best college newscast while I was news director, and best advanced media for content my team and I produced.)
Then I was laid off from my newsroom job in Minneapolis at age 22. Since I no longer had an income, I had to withdraw my application on my new apartment and move back in with my parents.
A week later, with hardly any effort at all, I had a job offer and a 25% raise, and I moved to Phoenix a month later.
At age 25, I pitched (and was granted) an on-air segment in the nightly newscast. (Prior to that my professional work had primarily entailed digital news production.) It got popular. At age 28, it was taken away from me and given to the “real” anchors. I quit soon after that… but finding a job outside of the news industry was not easy.
At age 28, I bought a house in Phoenix that my boyfriend and I lived together in. Just before I turned 30, after nearly three years together (and probably two years overdue), we ended our relationship.
At 31, my employer sent me to New York multiple times to interview celebrities and social media influencers and pull off big partnerships with high-profile brands. I was laid off with hundreds of my coworkers right before I turned 32.
At 32, unemployed again, I flew to Madrid on a one-way ticket. I backpacked through 10 countries in Europe for four weeks, feeling ashamed that I was jobless every time someone asked what I did for a living. I thought I would never get a well-paying job I liked again.
A few months later, I did; with a signing bonus and a 12% higher salary.
At age 35 I closed on the sale of my house, the one that I didn’t have a family in, and sold nearly everything I owned. I hit the road to travel the United States with only my dog and the things in my car.
At age 36, I quit my well-paying job to go off on my own — to travel, to grow my blog, to work on my memoir, to see what opportunities were around the corner once I freed up my time and mental energies. (And I think my future is very bright!)
These days, when I’m asked where I live or what I do for a living? I PROUDLY say: “I am homeless, jobless, and… happy.” Or sometimes, “I’m a blogger, I just don’t really make any money on it… yet.” 😉
How did I make such a huge decision — selling the house, quitting the job, leaving behind my country of origin? I’ve learned over time that every decision I make for myself, with the information I have at the time, is the best decision for me… and after so many disappointments that I later realized were blessings, I came to understand — life always works out. Things always come together; we are resilient creatures. My journey wasn’t linear, nor do I expect it will be anytime soon. Weathering the lows make us appreciate and reach for the highs.
I feel free. I feel light. This is success. I am living life by my own design, and it doesn’t include being married with kids by 30, the white picket fence, the stable corporate job, and all the markings of wealth — the traditional, societally-imposed measures of “success.” Real success is being exactly where you want to be — living a life you enjoy that you CHOSE that feeds your soul — whatever that looks like.
And I am still striving for more… the icing on the cake. I want to help other people realize their life priorities, and build a plan to pursue their passions and achieve their purpose.
What does success look like for you?
Because of the reception of my blog and the number of messages and questions I get, I am offering 1:1, personalized coaching as of May 2022. I have started to take on a select number of clients — this could be for advice on minimizing and / or becoming a nomad, traveling or moving to Mexico, solo female travel, traveling with a pet, maximizing your budget or financing a career break, getting a remote job and transitioning to a work-from-anywhere environment… and so on. That last step is often the hardest, and I want to help. 😘
If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, in need of a boost of confidence, or would like to talk through logistics or emotions about your next big step… I’m here. Contact me and let me know what’s going on!
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”Jim Carrey
One thought on “Homeless, Jobless, and Happy: But I Still Feel ‘Successful’”
What a great post! Thank you for being candid ! And that quote by Jim Carrey – couldn’t agree more (me who is so not famous nor rich nor doesn’t have everything! :)) Sending you lots of good vibes from England!