From Dishwasher Meltdown to Bordeaux With Love

It’s the start of new blogging goodness here at Stratejoy!

We’re bringing back real time stories from real life women.

This time I’m tapping the incredible ladies of my Elevate Mastermind group to share their dreams, fears, successes and failures with the Tribe. Not all of them will be writing (since it’s totally not a requirement of Elevate!), but as I found out at our retreat — over half of them identify as writers! And after getting to known their sassy selves and incredible stories over 4 days in Ojai, I knew we’d all benefit from hearing the ups and downs of their year of ELEVATING!

We’re going on a introduction binge this week — getting you familiar with with the ladies you’ll be hearing from this year.

After that, I’ll be writing early in the week and we’ll be featuring an Elevate Writer each Thursday.

Please join me in lovingly welcoming each of these brave souls!

They are going to be cracking their hearts wide open for us, to remind our entire Tribe that we are never alone.

XOXO

Molly-Sig211


Eran - Stratejoy picWITH LOVE FROM

Eran, Photographer, Risk-Taker, 2014 Elevate Sister

Upon taking a leap of faith and quitting her “grown-up” job in 2007, Eran has spent the last 7 years conquering fears, exploring options and checking off all the “to-do’s” on her life list.  A true Renaissance soul, Eran is not satisfied doing just any one thing. Photographer, singer, music-arranger, Sound of Music enthusiast, writer, micro-manager, traveller, French-speaker, dreamer, wine-drinker, risk-taker, and most recently, mama to a gorgeous and giggly little boy – these are just a few of the titles Eran wears on a regular basis. Eran can be found on Twitter @eranjayne.

 

Eran Collage

I still remember the day vividly. I was 27 years old, and curled up on my kitchen floor, uncontrollably bawling my eyes out, spilling my soul onto the tiles, because I couldn’t face the fact that my dishwasher needed to be unloaded AGAIN.

 

You read that right.  I was bawling about my dishwasher.

 

My dishwasher, and the endless stream of clean and dirty dishes that somehow seemed to perfectly personify the meaninglessness, the repetitiveness and the utter emptiness that was my life.

 

Sure – I looked good on paper. I had a decent job doing something I was really good at. I had a cute little house, an ambitious, handsome and supportive husband, 2 cats and a dishwasher. But I was empty.

 

I needed change and I needed it fast, before the anxiety and depression that was manifesting inside me finished it’s slow and painful, soul-sucking task.

 

So….I quit.

I quit my comfy full-time job and I jumped into life with both feet.  I had no clue what I wanted to do – only that I had billion things I wanted to try and time was ticking away quickly.

 

After 5 years of intense soul-searching and self-discovery, which culminated in a life-altering, month-long solo trip to Bordeaux, France, I finally got it all figured out.

 

I rented a quaint French apartment with perfect French windows. I systematically devoured all the self-help books, I became one with my copy of Eat Pray Love, I drank copious amounts of cheap French wine, and ate an embarrassing amount of chocolate croissants.  But when I left that gorgeous city, I was so certain of Who I Was.  I totally had my shit together, and I was cocky as all get-out about that fact.

 

Finally!  I knew myself inside and out and I had clear idea of what I wanted to do (start a photography business).  And now that I had figured out my career, I felt like I was finally ready, at the ripe age of 32, to start Phase 2: Making Babies.

 

After all, I told myself, I was WAY ahead of my peers, in terms of my self-awareness. There was NO way I was going to become one of those mommies on Facebook who I secretly loathed. The ones who, after baby’s arrival, suddenly lost themselves in mamahood, changing their profile pictures to beaming mugs of their drooly infants and writing posts about junior’s latest poop fiasco.  Heck no – I knew exactly who I was, and I wasn’t going to lose any of that to a drooling, pooping, mini-me, no matter how cute he or she turned out to be.

 

Fast forward to a year later.

 

To sleepless nights with an infant who was waking 8-10 times a night.

 

To countless secret bawling sessions in the shower.

 

To days OBSESSED with nap lengths, video monitors, sleep training and WHY, DEAR GOD, WHY WON’T MY BABY STOP CRYING?

 

To weeks of staying home, and staying slave to a child that screamed bloody murder whenever a car seat was in sight.

 

To months of waking up in the morning and not wanting to get out of bed, and instead, wishing I could jump in my car, turn the music up full blast, sing loudly and drive very fast and very, very far away.

 

Motherhood, and post-partum depression, hit me like a truck. A giant, red, 18-wheeler truck. Head-on. With thunder and lightning bolts. And a soundtrack of depressing, angry, heavy metal music, screaming  “YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO BE A MOM”

 

I was completely unrecognizable.  Gone was the girl from Bordeaux with the big plans, and even bigger dreams. Gone was the cockiness and self-awareness.

 

In its place was a big, smoking, gaping hole. With a cute, frustrated baby in the middle, that just wanted to be loved by his mama.

 

So, why Elevate?

 

Because I know that girl with the big plans and big dreams is still in there somewhere. She’s confused, and she’s hiding, and she’s not sure how to reconcile Bordeaux-Eran with the Baby-Mama Eran. But she knows that somewhere, there’s a middle ground; that those two people are actually different sides of the same coin. And that there’s a cheering squad of 13 other Elevate girls and one fantastic Molly Mahar who are all standing behind her 100%.

 

That journey that began on my kitchen tiles 7 years ago didn’t start with a baby in my arms, but he was there in my heart, tugging on all the little strings that make me a better person, encouraging me to follow my dreams, and set a positive example as we both grow and change together.

 

And so, we venture forth, me and Baby H, with the Elevate sisters holding our hands.

Big plans, bigger dreams, and hopefully, once again someday, Bordeaux.

 

Eran - Stratejoy picWITH LOVE FROM

Eran, Photographer, Risk-Taker, 2014 Elevate Sister

Upon taking a leap of faith and quitting her “grown-up” job in 2007, Eran has spent the last 7 years conquering fears, exploring options and checking off all the “to-do’s” on her life list.  A true Renaissance soul, Eran is not satisfied doing just any one thing. Photographer, singer, music-arranger, Sound of Music enthusiast, writer, micro-manager, traveller, French-speaker, dreamer, wine-drinker, risk-taker, and most recently, mama to a gorgeous and giggly little boy – these are just a few of the titles Eran wears on a regular basis. Eran can be found on Twitter @eranjayne.

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