A few months ago I bought a one-piece bathing suit. Buying this particular bathing suit was for different reasons. One, I’ve been working so much! Commuting between Huntington Beach, Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, and every now and again hopping a plane for site visits on future business my gym time has been few and far between. My “bikini body” is carrying a few extra pounds and my tummy still enjoys beef sliders and a margarita! #2 it is such a pretty color , and #3 it had messages of positivity and adventure, and #4 it reminded me of my neighbor Jen!
Everyone needs a Jen! As I’ve become older and wiser I’ve learned to surround myself with people that are real and genuine. This includes a tribe of amazing women. I have a “ tribe” but this story is for my pal Jen.
Almost a year ago my life was turned upside down. I was being forced to sell our home that we raised our kids in, I was still healing from divorce, healing from bad relationships, one of my closest girlfriends was murdered, and I was having to find a place to live. My credit was shot to shit still from my divorce and I was petrified. Mind you. All of this happened within months of eachother and even to this day, some parts of transitioning to Huntington Beach was a blur. As I packed up my house and made peace with my failure I said my goodbyes and woke up near a pile of boxes in my little place about an hour or so from my comfort zone. I cried as I sat on my couch surrounded by boxes, suitcases, clothes, and a subway sandwich. I questioned every decision I made! I beat myself up! “Danielle, how could you not figure a way to pay for the second mortgage that ballooned “ and “why couldn’t you have just buried your sadness in your marriage and just shut up?” I had thoughts of just disappearing... I missed my kids, my grandson, family, my girlfriend in Heaven, an ex boyfriend that was as narcissistic as the last one, my dogs. I was a hot mess and feeling sorry for myself and then I took a deep breath and looked for a bathing suit and flip flops. I ran to the beach and jumped into the waves. The healing started. Every wave I dove under took a small layer of pain away. When I walked out of the waves and on to the dry sand I knew that this is where I was supposed to be. Living here was a dream come true. My new home was a sanctuary to heal, start over. I would walk slowly back to my new home and take deep breaths along the way and say out loud “ you can do this Danielle’” I slept that night alone, on a bed with no sheets, and crocodile tears. Tomorrow was a new day. The sound of the waves put me to sleep.. . I woke up and started to unpack and get into the groove. That day I met my neighbor Jen! Thank God for her. She introduced herself with this beautiful smile and we chatted! We became fast friends and laughed a lot. We loved the ocean and onion dip! Jen became my teacher. She would teach me that life is beautiful and to take advantage of the power of the ocean. She was cool, natural, and funny. She was just what the doctor ordered. Soon she would ask if I wanted to learn to surf... another dream... “ Yes, I’d love to try.” She’s the best and doesn’t even realize that she made such a difference in my life.
Thank You Jen for sharing your love of the ocean with me and letting me tag along with you like a kid sister. You always have positive things to say to me as you help me with my wetsuit and give me pointers of a “safe” place to be so I’m not in the way of seasoned surfers. Your smile is infectious as I follow you out to the Waves. Your kind words, encouragement, persistence, and humor is greatly appreciated. You empowered me to grab my surfboard and keep trying. Keep trying and don’t give up.
As I rinse off with the jug of warm water that you packed for me I smiled. I stood up on my board for about 3-5 seconds! Your hubby even took a picture that he would share with me later. No matter where we end up in life I pinky promise to Live, Travel, and Surf ...