You know how people can ask you a simple question like, “How are you?” and you just smile and give a happy-sounding answer, but when your Mother asks you that same simple question, it’s a game changer?
That’s what sparked my Reset. A few years ago, my Mom and I were in Paris. This was a big deal for two reasons. First, we lived in different cities, so meeting in Paris felt decadent. Second, I’m a quadruplet, so this was the first time in my life that my Mom and I were spending Christmas together, just the two of us. My siblings are all married with kids, so they were off spending the holiday with each of their in-laws.
Our first morning in Paris, my Mom and I stopped in a cafe outside the Louvre. All it took was my Mom looking me in the eye, over our coffee and croissants, asking the seemingly simple question, “Are you happy?”
That was it. I immediately burst into tears. All I could say was, “No. And I don’t know how I got here.”
I reset my life, my outlook, my career and my city.
Some people can easily jump into change after a melt-down like mine, but not me — I had to ease into it. I flew back to Los Angeles from Paris, where I had been working in the entertainment field for about 15 years. My career was now sucking the life out of me and beating me up 24/7. I felt like a shell of the person I used to be, paralyzed as to how to change things.
I took a small step by beginning to meditate daily, to calm my mind and energy.
This led to me deciding, a year later, to take a two-week solo vacation to the Amalfi Coast and Santorini. Solo travel is soulful travel. That trip was healing on so many levels, and it gave me the courage to finally say, to myself, I feel brave enough to go home, and finally start changing my life.
At that time, I was 40 years old and single, with no kids. I decided I wanted to make the move back to my hometown of Chicago. Most people will never understand why I chose Chicago over LA, but I’ve always loved it and I have a lot of extended family there. It felt like a nice change after living so many years in a city without any family.
I started the Chicago job hunt, making the promise to myself that I would not start back at my desk in LA when the office re-opened after the holidays. After sending out TONS of resumes over three months, a new job in Chicago hadn’t materialized by late October ’16.
I decided to take the leap and not let more precious time pass. I gave my notice, walked away from a 17-year career, packed up my LA apartment and said goodbye to my friends. On January 3rd, 2017, I officially hit the “RESET” button, boarding a one-way flight to Chicago without any job waiting for me on the other end.
I wish I could say this Reset process was easy for me, but it wasn’t. There were tons of sleepless nights filled with anxiety. However, I have zero regrets. I love myself now more than ever for my courage, honoring myself and my intuition. I celebrate everyone who’s brave enough to make these same choices.
As for me and Chicago? Reset 2.0 is on the way.