You know that quote by Oscar Wilde,
“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”
Well, it’s taken me quite sometime to totally come to a full understanding of what this actually means for me. I mean, I know who I am (always growing and changing). What I’ve had a hard time with is, who is the person everyone else sees? Most of my friends and family see me as a mom, wife to Jason, dancer or dance instructor, that girl that loves to travel. The problem I’ve had in the past, is trying to fit into the ideal person I thought each and everyone of my friends and family wanted me to be. Thankfully, I don’t think anyone has tried to make me someone I’m not…I just tend to fall on the “people pleasing” side of things, so I sometimes forget who I am really created to be.
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a dancer. I also wanted to travel and even help others travel. I actually remember playing travel agent with my younger brothers as a child…even setting up our garage to look like a hotel and received guests upon their pretend arrival, haha!
Fast Forward a bit.
I became a dancer (ballet and contemporary are my favorite styles). I thought I wanted to become a full-time professional dancer, but when I finally got the chance, I realized I’d rather focus on being the mom I wanted to be and decided to continue being a professional dance instructor instead. I still danced, just on my own time… I still do, one of my favorite dance floors is in the kitchen.;-) As a teenager and up to adulthood, I somehow lost the interest in traveling overseas because I thought it was too expensive and possibly not safe. I still managed to go on a mission trip to Guatemala when I was fourteen and it changed my life for the better! Thankfully, my husband encouraged me to take my dream trip to Paris with him in my mid-twenties. I was a goner after that! I wanted to go everywhere and I wasn’t going to let the excuse of it being “too expensive” or “not safe” stand in my way.
Fast forward a bit more.
Over a year ago, our family of four decided to put our house up for sale and move to Miami to start a business. I stepped down from my career as artistic director at a family owned dance studio, and we started a business helping others manage their vacation and short-term rentals. To gain experience before we started this company, we listed our own home in North Carolina on Airbnb and became hosts ourselves. Another perk of hosting on Airbnb was that it fully funded several of our trips. Score! I also loved the gratification of knowing our guests were well pleased with our hospitality. In fact, we earned many 5 star reviews and gained ‘superhost’ status very quickly. A little confirmation that we were heading in the right direction was that we gained our first client by impressing them with the online reviews we were getting by hosting ourselves. Cool, right?! All except it wasn’t in Miami, it was here in North Carolina.
Fast forward to now.
We hope to finally close on our house by the end of the month, God willing! (longest year and a half ever) Our company now has a premier property in Miami as of this January!! Our company has full control of this listing and we are excited to have had our first booking only two days after listing it! Even more exciting than that, as of this week, February is completely booked! What?! To top it off, our first review was incredible! She even said she comes to Miami quite often, and can’t wait to book our place again. Now, before you assume anything, understand we know starting a business is risky. Also, it has already taken many sleepless nights and blood (yes, blood, I cut myself while stocking knives in the Miami kitchen), sweat (those pretty Miami pool Instagram photos were taken because I was cooling off from building Ikea furniture, haha), and I don’t want to even go there with all the tears I’ve shed over this project (just ask my kids, they’ll tell you).
So, things didn’t go quite as planned. We didn’t move to Miami, but now we get to go at least once a month to check on our property and to meet potential clients. I have no idea where we are moving to after we sell our house. I don’t know what I’ll continue to do with dance. I don’t know exactly where our business will take us and how it will unfold. It’s an open ended adventure and we are lost in the right direction. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s also comforting to know I’m right where I need to be. I do know, however, that I will always be a mom, wife, lover of arts, passionate about travel and culture. I will always be changing and hopefully growing in love and compassion for others. I will always have many dreams that I plan on seeing come true. I also love to encourage others. So, first, I want to thank you for reading this very long winded post about me, haha! Second, I want to encourage you to ask yourself what were some of the dreams you had as a child that got lost in adulthood. I know we can’t all be super heroes, mermaids, and unicorns, hehe. But… I do believe we all started out with dreams and passions that were placed in each of us for a reason. Even if things don’t quite work out as planned, we can still live the lives we were created to.
NEVER STOP BELIEVING. NEVER STOP PURSUING.
and my favorite, NEVER STOP EXPLORING.