Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Get One Chance

Just a typical morning at The Cliffs of Corona del Mar

Without fail, whenever a friend visits—especially New Yorkers—I take them to one of my favorite places on earth, 

The Cliffs of Corona del Mar 

(For maximum effect, cue dramatic symphony concerto and a snobby British accent).  Sidenote: that’s not what they’re actually called.  It’s something pretty boring like Little Corona Beach Place and holy geez, it deserves more flair. 

Not only are The Cliffs of Corona del Mar ridiculously beautiful, I can always bank on this reaction: I can’t believe you live here.  

I giddily reply, I know, right?!? Don’t you love it?!  OMG tell me how much you love it!!  while I do my little Happy Dance (this is essentially a dorky butt wiggle that my little sister swears I picked up from my dog).

When I first moved here from New York, my reaction to this place was a little different.  I remember walking by a couple who was smiling and laughing and, well, annoying the crap out of me. 

And then, they did something even more shocking.  When they passed me, they said, in unison: 

Good Morning!

The New Yorker in me recoiled, a bit suspicious, and wondered, What do they want?  But then I realized, Oh. They’re being nice.  Because it’s beautiful and it’s hard to be upset when you’re looking at a view like this, and also that’s just what people do here. 

Now I love New Yorkers and will always love that city.  But I realized that my changed attitude highlights a big difference between my life then and now.  The demanding, driven, CEO-or-bust lifestyle I was living—the very one that every magazine and website and tv show told me was the definition of success—was making me completely miserable.  

My whole life I worked really hard to make tons of money, earn every possible promotion, and sprint up the ladder so I could buy my nice house, nice car, nice bags, vacation in nice places.  And don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.  And I still love a lot of that stuff.  

But it also came at an expense—long hours chained to a desk, stress-filled meetings, toxic bosses, living in airports.  That lifestyle contributed to weight gain, depression, challenging friendships, and the end of my marriage.

I was good at my career.  But I sucked at life.

Changing my focus has changed my life.  Prioritizing God, family, friends, and living a good life I can be proud of, has made me a much happier, peaceful person. 

So now, I have it all figured out.  (Insert boatloads of laughter here).  

Ok, not even a little bit.  

All I know is I get one chance at this life.  And I want to do it right. 

My dream is to live a good life and be loving, be close to God and be a good human being and bring peace to people.  - Ziggy Marley

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