As all my friends in high school around me buzzed about what colleges they wished they could go to, where they were accepted to, and their majors I stood back realizing four or five more years of school just wasn’t for me. I had no desire, no motivation, I already had a “good” job making plenty of money and I wanted to keep working. So that’s what I did…I worked. My amazing job in my 18-year-old mind was managing local restaurant and working my way up the ranks which wasn’t a sustainable career by any stretch of the imagination. Fast forward 22 months later I found out I was expecting my first child as a single 19-year-old teenager. After my daughter’s birth, I quickly discovered this amazing career I thought I had doesn’t necessary work for a single mom. Looking for something different I found a job as a leasing agent with the apartment rental community I lived at, $12 per hour plus commissions. Hardly a reasonable salary for any parent yet alone a young single mother. I was completely enthralled with the industry though, and after a few weeks I realized I was damn good at it too. It didn’t take long for my bosses to recognize my quick success and quickly promoted me up the ranks from Assistant Manager to Community Manager. Never saying no, I worked non-stop hours to prove myself, to be the absolute best employee. I missed countless major stepping-stones in my daughter’s life, plays, recitals, family dinners, and more but I continued to push myself, driven for more. My growth continued in my career moving up to Senior Property Manager and then eventually Regional Property Manager, but it all came at a cost… my family and my happiness. I was often short, angry, and distant with my family. I stopped talking to almost all my friends, co-workers, and extended family. More committed to my professional growth than any of my relationships. After eight long years… my daughter came to me one night and said, “mama I don’t think you are healthy”. She was right… I wasn’t healthy not even close. As a Regional I was leaving the house around 8am working till 8pm to come home and most nights work all night long without sleeping. During the night I would answer emails from angry residents, angry investors, and angry bosses. For those who’ve never worked in the industry you are managing millions and millions of dollars’ worth of your client’s investment funds in a saturated rental market that wasn’t performing like other markets in the country. I couldn’t sleep from the anxiety those emails would give me. I would catch up on sleep over the weekends meaning I wasn’t around for dinners, walks, or any of the time my family spent together on the weekends. I had become my family’s roommate than no one wanted to see. Beyond exhausted and under intense pressure I was angry & on edge when I was around. My six-figure salary kept me going this way for a few more months until I just couldn’t meet the expectations of my bosses any longer. Eventually I did resign without a real plan. I knew my resume and experience was ample… I could easily get a job somewhere else, so I pulled the trigger. Immediately after I gave my notice, I was excused without pay. I had planned on that salary to carry me through while I looked for other jobs! After years and years of killing myself and scarfing everything that truly meant anything it was all over… with nothing to show for it. All the tears, late nights, the anxiety, the fights with my family, I had nothing to show for any of it. After my career was over most days it was difficult to get out of bed, but I did it for my daughter. When my family was out of the house, I found myself fighting depression and anxiety as I tried to figure out what to do next with my life. After a few weeks my boyfriend reminded me of a dream I’d always had... opening my own tanning salon. I played with the idea for a few days, and one afternoon finally decided just to pull the trigger with what savings I did have left. Thus, Sundaze Glow was born. My goal was to change the spray tan experience, to make people feel good. After so many years of fighting with investors, employees, and residents I wanted to have positive interactions. I couldn’t evict one more family for not paying their rent. It certainly has not been easy, I’ve made several mistakes, and my savings isn’t back yet but I’m living my dream. I get to make my guests feel confident, beautiful, and happy. I don’t have to push myself further than I can go to impress my boss that really doesn’t care about me personally. My hard work, my drive, my passion means something now. I’m not taken advantage of by some large corporation that treats me like a number. I’m not crying in my car on the way to work, wishing I was someone else. Certainly, life still has it’s own share of problems, but I’m here for my daughter building a better relationship while there’s still time. Focusing on making her confident and empowering her. Focusing on loving myself and reminding myself what’s truly important. But most important being present for myself, for my daughter, and my family.
As a ramble on… what are you scarfing today? What are you missing? Are you staying in a meaningless position out of fear? I was…
Don’t let fear drive your life. I challenge you to be present, be with your family, don’t sacrifice missing another parent-teacher conference, another field trip, another giggle. Let me be your guide, your mentor, and let’s get you back in your life. Your dream can come true.
Call me or text me anytime, we’ll make you present in your own life.