The Story of Me.
A text message changed my life. On an ordinary day in September 2008, while my then husband of eight years and high school sweetheart of sixteen, was in the shower, I picked up his phone and read “I can’t wait till your finally free, and all mine. No more sharing.”
That message instantly ended a marriage. It left me with three small children (my twins had just turned a year old, and my son was five), without a job or income to support them. Overnight the world I’d spent a lifetime building crashed and burned, and I found myself in an unthinkably vulnerable and terrifying position. It seemed beyond impossible.
The day I found out, I had nothing. No access to bank accounts, not five dollars to my name. The rent and utilities were past due, and I was out of formula and diapers for the babies. He was our only source of income, and when he left so did the ability to feed and take care of my family.
That night amid the devastation and my inability to inhabit my body or feel reality, I remember my girlfriend walking through the front door. I was lying on the living room floor, my face on the cold wood, sobbing. I don’t remember much, it’s honestly a blur. But I do remember her arms overflowing with industrial-size boxes of diapers, cans of formula, food, and enough cash to keep the water and lights on.
That moment is the defining moment of my life. It’s the moment that has driven my relentless pursuit. The moment I hustle and grind for. It’s the reason I get up when the floor looks like such a damn good alternative. I decided that night, to stand. In that moment, I realized that somehow, some way, I would survive this and find a way to reinvent my life.
Within a week of him leaving I sold everything we owned that I could fetch ten dollars for, wedding rings included. Everything I’d spent a lifetime acquiring… sold to the first Craigslist caller. I raised enough funds to move us from our home to a tiny two bedroom rundown apartment. I stood in line at the welfare office for the first time in my life, the twins in their stroller, holding my sons hand, tears dripped off my chin and onto the papers in my lap. I couldn’t look at the case worker when I asked him to put us on Food Stamps. Day and night I searched for a job. Keeping the fact that I was now a single mom of three very small children, a secret as long as possible. Two months passed and I was completely out of money.
The day I walked into my first real interview, I knew it was do or die. If I wanted to keep my family together I had to walk out with a job. I put on a layer of confidence I never knew I was capable of pulling off. In the lobby I envisioned my day to day life, imagined myself working at the desk, coming into work in the morning, make a real life movie in my head. I convinced myself they had no choice but to hire me, after all I’d already pictured myself working there. They gave me the job. My salary was only big enough to cover rent, daycare and the car payment, nothing more, but I didn’t care. Somehow I was happy, and proud of myself for surviving on my own, and grateful for what little I did have. Somehow I believed that this was my second chance at life, and that this time I was in control of my future.
Slowly I began to dream. And dream. I decided if I was going to start with nothing, that I wanted to reach for the moon. Live the life I had always secretly dreamed of, and let nothing stand in my way. I’d been “realistic” all my life, this time I dreamed so far outside the box it terrified me on a daily basis.
To start, I dusted off an old vision board I had created almost two years before, after I'd first seen Oprah's show on The Secret, and took it to my new office. On it; pictures of Time Square in NYC, The Las Vegas strip (The Paris Hotel), a tropical island, the Hollywood sign, designer stilettos, a Mercedes-Benz. All things that seemed so ridiculously out of the question, it was almost embarrassing.
A year of struggling, living paycheck to paycheck passed, and I was offered a sales job with another software company, same salary but I could see it’s long term potential. I worked hard, day and night, I wanted more. Three months into my new position the CEO came to me and gave me that chance. He offered me the opportunity to launch a brand-new division of the company, to be a Vice President. I knew this was the moment I’d waited for, and I threw myself into my new job, pinching myself every day.
I woke up one day and realized that I was happy. That the kids and I were alive and surviving this.
And that’s when magic began to happen.
One day as I packed my desk frantically, making sure I had everything for my trip to New York in the morning, I paused and looked at my vision board. Goosebumps ran down my entire body when I noticed the picture of Time Square right in the center, the biggest picture on my board, with the caption under it written in my sloppy handwriting “NYC baby!!” A picture I’d put there two years before back when I was married. I remembered so vividly taping that picture up and thinking, “there’s no way I’ll ever really be able to go there.” I had felt so ridiculous for even putting it up. I looked down at the e-ticket to JFK in my hand, for an all-expense paid week in New York.
That was the moment I realized that I had the power to create the life I wanted. That I already had. No one had handed me this new life. I didn’t get “lucky”. It wasn’t because I knew someone, or had been given an unfair advantage. It was solely do to the fact that I’d been clear about what I wanted, believed in it, envisioned it every day, and then worked my ass off to get it, leaving room for the magic to make up the difference.
I realized that the concept I’d learned on Oprah those years before, about changing my thoughts, and those having the power to change my life, was more than a concept. It was exactly what I was proving to be true. I’d changed my outlook on life that day when I got off the floor. I’d decided to be grateful for the little I had, to take full responsibility for my life, to work hard for what I wanted, and to believe without question that at some point in time it would come to me.
I began to learn more about the Law of Attraction, looking for someone to break it down in a way I could understand, without all the “Universe” crap. I just needed to hear it in common sense terms. I started to realize that the successful people I knew were all practicing these principles, most without their knowledge, so I observed and listened. I paid attention to everything, and began manifesting a whole new kind of life. The one I had been laying out in my mind.
In the summer of 2010 my work to me to a convention in Las Vegas. It was a fun, long, hot exhausting week, and I was glad to be on the plane home when it was over. But when I got back to the office and noticed my vision board, I got chills again when I noticed the center of the picture, which was the Paris Hotel. I had stayed at that exact hotel all week. I hadn’t even been the one to reserve it, my work had made all my travel plans without my input.
The Law of Attraction was really starting to freak me out!! That’s when it clicked that this wasn’t a “vision board” it was my FUTURE BOARD!!
Since 2009 I have used my own interpretation (called Hustle.Believe.Receive.) of the Law of Attraction which I refer to as Hustle.Believe.Receive. to totally create a new life for myself and my children, one that has far exceeded my plans or dreams.
In 2011 I moved the kids and I into our first a real home, complete with a huge back yard and enough bedrooms for everyone. I have stayed in five-star hotels, eaten at five-star restaurants, flown first class. I've had limousine's, and drivers take me wherever I needed to go. I have played a privet pick-up game of football with my son and NFL players. I’ve watched a NY Knicks game from the official Knicks team sky box with Knicks coaches and executives. I’ve watched my son meet NBA players while chilling on the NBA bench post game. I’ve gone to the official NFL Draft after-parties in New York. I've flown my son cross-country for the trip of a life-time, where we stood on the sidelines for a Baltimore Raven's game. I've sat court-side at NBA games, been on ESPN, worn $3,000 shoes. I’ve surfed in Hawaii behind my son who got up his first try! I’ve snorkeled with giant sea turtles while holding his hand. I’ve fallen asleep under a panoramic view of the Empire State Building, in my penthouse suite. I’ve had lunch at the same restaurant as President Obama while he was also having lunch, under the watchful eye of the secret service. I’ve taken my family on a trip of a lifetime to Disneyland, and I’ve even gotten them our dream puppy. All items off my vision board. I've lived so many “Pinch Me” moments.
Ohhhh..... Did I mention that I did all of this either without spending any of my own money, or on an extreme budget?
Now do you believe that anything is possible?
You don't need to be rich to live the life of your dreams; you just need to allow yourself to dream, and be willing to let nothing stand in your way.
I say all this NOT to brag. I say it to inspire YOU. So that you realize that YOU are the only person/thing (not money, not circumstances, not other people in your life) you are the only one that stands in the way of what is possible for you. Of watching your dreams come true like magic, the way that mine have.
I look at my life today and all I can think of is how blessed I am. How grateful I am for all the trials and obstacles I have faced, without question they have made me the women I am today. I have learned that the power to turn your life around, at any age, and against any odds, lies within your own mind. I’ve learned that whatever comes your way is all part of your bigger plan, that sometimes you need to go through the bad, or the “earthquake moments” to make it to the “pinch me” ones. And that no matter what you’re faced with, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for and focus on. I’ve learned that nothing can break you, unless you willingly let it. I’ve learned that if you want something, and are willing to let nothing stand in your way, and if you believe in it with your whole being… that there will come a day, when you LIVE it.
“Anything is possible child, anything can be.” –Shel Silverstein
~Check out my pictures from these experiences on Pinterest, and my vision boards... dreams do come true!
A little About Me
I like to think of this blog as a public experiment. It's me putting myself out there in a very raw and vulnerable way beginning in 2009, back when life was very difficult. You see me struggle in real time, you are privy to the highs and the lows of my journey. And along the way you can watch me find myself, my passions, see me fall on my face, get my heart broken, and live the moments that have defined my life. It's all here, the good the bad and the ugly. I truly am, a chick on a mission to prove anything is possible for anyone.
I am a single working mom. My "day job" is as the Director of Northwest Sales for a software consulting firm in Seattle Washington. My passion is sharing my story to inspire and motivate anyone with the desire to change their life the way I have. My goal is to give you simple, easy to understand steps to do just that.... for free. Write to me, love to hear from you!
~Written by: Sarah Centrella for Thoughts.Stories.Life
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