Stories, I’ve got plenty. Reflections, there are many. Regrets, there are none, no matter what has happened, and alot has happened.
In a former life I was a different kind of strong. My world was my career and I carved all of my rewards out of will power and hours of work, little sleep and results. It was fun laying down the groundwork that would take me all over the world and into a life that was blessed. Without a doubt I’ve been privileged, I had my own business, my clients were celebrities and American moguls and among the elite level of music. I was taking meetings in Santa Monica, rushing to the Grammys in a gown, living in New York, hiring a private jet to get an actress to a show in a diamond dealers mansion, working with incredible people and being able to have some of the best mentors anyone could have, all before 30.
Then I fell ill and they took my spleen away.
Going from breakneck speed, where nothing and no one stops to wait for you, to instant pause utterly derailed me. For such a long time I thought that I knew what my life would look like for the next few years, but then I was forced to stop and I saw how lucky I was to have had all the experiences I have had. Never once had there been a time where I’d been able to take stock and feel as grateful as I did then, of course a minor internal panic ensued as everything moved forward at breakneck speed without me and I questioned if I was still good enough without my work.
That’s scary. My identity was my career, or at least that’s what I thought. How mistaken I was. It really doesn’t matter which celebrity you have on your books, or which deal you brokered last, or the number of people in your phone book. How many actually call you when you serve absolutely no business use to them?
Well, as litmus tests go, that was a pretty good one. Instantly three quarters of my phone book went silent and the rest rushed forward and showed me compassion, loyalty and love. Life started to make sense when just the bare bones of it and the best of people were left, and when I realised I could be happy with my lot.
It took a while (I won’t lie, my ego was bruised and I felt like I fell from favour), but I decided to design a life that I could be happy with that looked a lot simpler than any path I had trodden before. In truth I have become that cliche, I got a little too close to death’s door and since then decided that I’m going to invest in the people I love and my friendships, which were neglected have flourished. Before I left hospital, I wrote a Living List (aka Bucket List, but I’m not kicking it anytime soon), and I have seen so many beautiful parts of the world since I started it.
Full of infectious happy spirit, I’m dragging people happily with me through my list each day, making new friends, travelling to new places and most of all I’m still ambitious (of course, it’s in my blood), but now I’m ambitious to be a mentor to others, a better influence, friend and working harder to pass the wonderful cliche that is ‘live life to the full’ onwards to others. Now I’m strong in spirit and I am a little warrior, and I am having a whale of a good time!
We shouldn’t have to wait until something drastic happens to realise what we already have, and that is a lot.
Now go count your blessings and write a Living List. It’s time!