How I survivied living in Mexico alone
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.” - Confucious
Working as a lifestyle influencer is rather beguiling, constantly striving to live my best life for myself and my readers, painting a picture of what the ultimate life should look like in todays modern world of eccentric consumerism and vexatious competition.
On the outside, my life is seemingly perfect.
Don’t get me wrong, life in a tropical paradise and an icy cold margarita has a way of bringing the silver out in the lining.
I live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, have a condo steps away from a stunning tropical beach, owned my own company with several sub-brands beneath it by the time I was 28, traveled the world solo, taught English in Mexico and Thailand, and have a doting boyfriend who loves me.
I feel healthy. I feel beautiful. I feel free.
I strive every day to ensure my life is going the way I want it to, to ensure I’m receiving the things I’m working for, to protect my energy from being depleted by toxic relationships, to love myself and truly value my own worth, to experience places, people and non-material things, to love freely without attachment, to be better than I was yesterday.
And most importantly, to continue to gain wisdom through life, through love, and through invaluable experiences.
But even with the over-achieving personality that I have paired with the incessent resiliency to keep moving forward, I still need guidance through life, through introspect and through heartbreak.
And in 2018, I realized I needed a first hand lesson in self-worth.
The Struggle is Real
I’ve lived in Mexico for almost two years now and have overcome some challenges I’d never anticipated. Moving to another country alone, 2,200 miles away from everyone I know and love was courageous but overwhelmingly intimidating.
Though I was optimistic, I still feared the unknown and had no idea what to expect living in a foreign country where I spoke only a few words of the complex language.
Within my first year I had experienced so many ups and downs with the obstacles I’d faced in my trasition to live abroad, grow my business internationally, live alone in a foreign country and create lasting relationships.
I’m drawn to people and found that they are equally drawn to me, so I opened up my heart letting anyone in without weighing the consequences of giving away my energy and light so thoughtlessly.
And I found that if I’m not careful, they’ll move right into my life and gladly take over.
I’d made friends with amazing souls only to quickly lose them to the natural attrition of the vacation-destination lifestyle.
I built my business from the ground up by teaching myself the tools I needed to be successful, only to be slighted by my competitors and taken advantage of by those who didn’t speak my language.
I pushed love away again and again.
The closer it got to me, the faster I ran from it.
I needed a lesson in self-love and self-worth, and the universe did nothing short of hand it to me on a silver platter dressed in palm trees, sunshine and a hell of a lot of confusion.
So… What Now??
One thing is for certain, I’m consistent.
Every time I accomplish a big goal the anxiety starts to set in, and moving to Mexico was no exception…
What’s next? What do I work towards now? How do I find the next goal? What am I passionate about and what other passions should I explore? What are my talents and how can they meet the needs of the world?
And of course: What in the hell do I do now????
I felt alone in a country miles away from my family with no real purpose and a lack of fulfilling relationships around me. I seemingly had the world at my finger tips but lacked the clarity in direction with my erroneous priority list.
So, per usual, I spent countless hours working on myself, listening to audiobooks, working on my body, exploring Mexico, building community and relationships, and yet still felt there was something that wasn’t quite right.
I felt like I needed guidance, but felt foolish for wanting it.
How in the hell can a lifestyle influencer have the audacity to need guidance from someone else??
But after two years of soul-searching, countless audiobooks and endless reruns of Friends & Greys Anatomy, I’d reached a point that I needed the advice from someone who knew more than me.
I needed to recognize that I could only do so much on my own; I needed an objective opinion as I maneuvered through my relationships, a rational mind during my loneliess, and inspiration when I feel I’ve lost my creativity, my motivation.
My friends recommended I try speaking to a therapist but the fit didn’t seem quite right.
I didn’t feel like I had any past traumas that needed to be uncovered, but more the need for guidance through the conflicts of my present relationships and direction into my future.
The Turning Point
After much research, I’d learned there’s a major difference between a therapist and a life coach:
Therapists typically help you work through trauma & uncover past issues, while Life Coaches specialize in relationships, conflict and self-worth.
Once I was able to figure out what I needed, my sister referred me to her Life Coach, Jillian Landis, founder of Evolve Personal Coaching, and raved about the progress she’d made with her on resolving her relationship conflicts and believing in her self-worth during their sessions.
So I thought “Ahh what the hell, I’ll book a virtual consultation.
It is free, after all…”
During my first meeting with Jillian I had already learned so many valuable tools I’d be able to use in my current and future relationships for the rest of my life.
She simplified my options, something I love in a life coach, removing the complexity & narrowing it down to step-by-step directions.
The first step was to find the courage to express how I felt in my relationships, overcoming my fears of transparency and exposing my vulnerability. This seemed like a giant task at the time, only to feel instantly relieved after I’d communicated my feelings in the relationships I was holding back in.
The second tool she coached me on was to use my strength to express what I needed, laying out the actions and words that I required in my relationships to heal my open wounds, clarifying the boundaries that needed to be respected.
Express how I feel and ask for what I need…seems obvious, I thought.
But a lack of belief in ones self-worth works like a barrier on communication, causing an unjustified rationalization of accepting less than you deserve.
With these tools I learned to express my feelings with unapologetic vulnerability, solve the problem by communicating my needs, and mend the relationships worth keeping to be some of the most important I have today.
I became conscious of the difference between red flags and dealbreakers by observing the persons actions after I’d expressed what I felt and what I needed.
And that relationships are worth saving if the boundaries are respected, and worth letting go if my needs and concerns were not being addressed.
I learned that trust is to be earned over time, and that another persons actions were no reflection of my self-worth, but that holding on to toxic relationships was.
I learned to let go, resulting in tremendous stages of growth.
Some unbearably painful, some enlightening and comforting, and some completely invaluable.
But most of all, I gave myself the opportunity to genuinely express what I felt and what I needed, proving to myself that I would accept nothing less than I deserved as I practiced my own self-love and recognized my own self-worth.
I left space open for real love to find me, and there it was, right in front of me all along.
I gave up the good to go for the great, and I found it.
I found happiness. I found peace. I found love.
I found my tribe.
And it made it all worth it.
The Power of Believing in Yourself
Alice: This is impossible.
The Mad Hatter: Only if you believe it is.
If you’re struggling with a toxic relationship, remember - there is another option. You don’t have to settle for less than you deserve, what you need isn’t too much to ask, and true love will find you someday.
If you lack motivation, feel like you’ve lost your creativity or don’t know where you want your life to lead, remember - you’re not alone. And you will find your passions again.
If you’re feeling a little lost, remember - you’re at the best part of your life you can possibly be; you’re at the fork in the road, the place with unlimited choices, unlimited destinations, and unlimited chances to become better than you were yesterday.
You have the opportunity to explore anything you want at this moment in your life.
The options can be intimidating.
But the reward can be exhilirating.
Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.
Because believe me, you’re worth it.