The moment I accepted my life was a beautiful, chaotic, sometimes a little-messy-but-always-entertaining circus was the moment I felt a true release.

There's no sense in fighting the madness, but I've picked up a few tricks to keep the show going along the way.

I hope they work as well for you as they have [and still do] for me.

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how i got to where i’m at [part 1]


This city by the sea wasn’t my first choice, ya know. It’s actually a little off beat how I landed here. Some people think the story is fun and exciting, others find it crazy / borderline irresponsible. At the time I was with the fun and exciting crowd, however looking back I understand the crazy / borderline irresponsible point of view. But alas- here is where I landed and here is where I still am today. Curious as to how I got here? Well, let me tell you a little story about that …..

It all started the summer before my 5th year of college [yes, it took me 5 years to graduate – back off]. Of course I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew one thing for sure: I wanted to live by the Ocean. I’d always wanted to live by the Ocean. I also wanted something different. Something pushing the limits of my comfort zone. Throw all of that into a hat and the only reasonable location presented itself: Hawaii. (North Shore, Oahu, to be exact.)

I started buying books about Hawaii – a place I’d never even been- and doing copious amounts of research online. My family knew my plan and I had began contacting resorts in the area to let them know Jennie B was on her way. Then I got the call from my Father. They had found the cancer in his body. Hawaii was no longer an option. There was no way I was going to put an entire Ocean and half the country between me and my Father. *and I’m so very grateful I made this decision.

The last half of 2006 went by in a blur. Hawaii was no more, my Father was going through chemotherapy, and I somehow ended up being the meat of a three car sandwich – which caused me to have surgery to have my nose put back in the middle of my face. I was exhausted and I was running out of time. I had no idea where the wind was going to take me, and so I researched a little here and there and as Winter started to arrive in the deep south, I began to settle on a new destination: MIAMI!!!!!!!! …. go ahead & say it with me now: ¡ Bienvenidos a Miami …. ay ay ayyy!

 A new plan of attack was launched. I spent the first few months of 2007 filling out countless job applications, sending resumes, contacting hotels, resorts (I was focusing on high-end Customer Relations / Spa management.) and pretty much anything else that sounded remotely interesting. By the time March arrived, I had 7 interviews lined up at various resorts, and a few other places, for the week of my Spring Break. *Yes, I spent my last official Spring Break job hunting – in Miami – but job hunting, none the less. To say I was nervous is a gross understatement. These were legitimate “big girl” jobs in a huge city, and here I was a small-town country girl, so far beyond out of my league at that moment in time, trying to take that next step. I needed to make something big happen. I really really needed it. And well, something(s) happened all right …..

  • I had a serious panic attack when I got off the plane in Miami. (In my rental car, I quickly popped in my Carly Simon’s Greatest Hits cd I’d brought for back up and turned it to the ultimate Working Girl song: Let the River Run. *If Tess McGill could pull it off – I could too!)
  • My interviews ranged all across the board from good to bad.
  • I got lost more times than I can count.
  • I was reminded countless times that I don’t speak proper Spanish. (That was a big black mark on my applications.)
  • I was offered 2 different jobs.
  • I was told to contact 2 more when I moved there.
  • I fell even more in love with the city in my time spent wandering around.
  • I was able to spend time with my Uncle and Aunt who lived in Ft. Lauderdale at the time.
  • I didn’t get upset in any interviews – not even the worst one (which was the last one) when the guy basically insinuated I was a moron because I grew up in a small, country town, and that high end guests wouldn’t appreciate such a strong, distinctive accent. (RUDE.)
  • But then came the icing on the cake: after my last (and worst) interview, I got lost for 1 1/2 hours in the not so great part of Little Havanna.

By the time I got back to my hotel, I was done. The city I loved had officially kicked my ass and I had learned whatever lesson it had set out to teach me. I wasn’t ready. It was too big of a leap for me to go from where I was, straight to Miami. As much as I loved the city – the vibe – the culture – everything – I just wasn’t ready for that big of a move.

I returned from my Spring Break with a wealth of knowledge under my belt. I had survived not only the city, the reality check, but also my first round of  “grown up” interviews. I was proud of myself for all of that. But at the same time, I was more lost, confused, and under time-sensitive pressure than before I’d left. This time I really had NO clue what to do, where I was going to live, nothing. I’d already put so much into my first two choices that had completely bombed ….. I was nervous to even pick a new destination.

After a month of sheer confusion, worry, and doubt of my future, one fateful night in late April I did the only thing which seemed practical at the time. I caved at the request of friends, threw all worries to the wind, and I went out …… and I went out like a champ …….

{ to be continued }

[source, source, source]


  1. Lou Mello
    August 2, 2011

    AARRGGH!! We want the rest of the story, wow, tough week in Miami, but, a good experience.

  2. Carly
    August 3, 2011

    Oh I want to hear the rest!

  3. angie mizzell
    August 5, 2011

    Love you for sharing this! Seems we both have pivotal moments crossing those double diamonds.

  4. how i got to where i’m at [part 2] - The Sassy Steel Magnolia
    August 5, 2011

    […] the continuation of  part 1  […]


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