In my twenties, I accomplished numerous things; I was married, moved away from my home permanently (or so I thought) and was pursuing the career I had always dreamed of. I gained recognition professionally, traveled to many places I had longed to visit and had a lovely home in Southern California.
Five years into my first marriage, we called it quits and just a short time later I found myself engaged to someone else, we married a year into dating.
As I approached my thirties, I found I was no longer in love with the career I thought I always wanted and it felt like the few choices I did make for me, were not heavily appreciated or accepted by my partner. I chose to go back to school and pursue Marine Science and took a position in Marine Conservation which paid me a third of what I had ever made, even as a young professional in High School!
While I was happy professionally, working outdoors in the sea and teaching children about the importance of conservation, I quickly found myself stuck in an unhappy marriage with a spouse who was less than there and in-laws that could fill the pages of horror novels.
When my ex-husband left me, just two weeks after my thirtieth birthday, I wasn’t devastated, but relieved to be free of his wandering ways and exhausting family.
The day after he uttered the words “divorce,” I hopped on a plane and spent a month away visiting friends in Vermont and New York. When I returned to Miami, I packed up my things and relocated to Vermont. Just like that. It was the freest I had ever felt up until that point in my life, I had no plan, and minimal savings, but somehow, I truly knew it would all just work out. I’m sure to many it seemed odd, unexpected and completely out of left field! But somehow, I knew this is what I had to do.
Now if you know me, you know I am #TropicalLife for life so this was a huge change for me, before my life in Vermont I was convinced anything under 75 degrees was freezing and ungodly.
While I didn’t know it yet in Vermont I would experience the worst winter there since 1859, and I would find myself moving to an area completely new to me: Digital Marketing.
It was during my time at Keurig, that I really began to realize what a broad diversity of work experience I had and how I truly was capable of anything I wanted to accomplish.
I met someone, a man, through a friend and for the first time in my life I took my time; took my time to decide.
Not just on who I wanted to spend my time with, but to truly decide what I wanted to make of my time, my energy and of the things I was so extremely passionate about.
In May of 2015, in the winter that felt like an eternity, I had a rather odd crazy dream about putting on an #EcoFashionShow and that next morning, I reached out to the people who were in my dream. Who crazily enough, had recently started a nonprofit and had been discussing a Fashion Show for months! But had no clue where to start and so began this new chapter in my life.
I started organizing the show, making phone calls from Vermont and emailing people I had met throughout the years.
Everyone I reached out to said “YES! We’ll help you!”. They donated goods, time, the venue, everything! It was CRAZY!
Everything was happening just like in my dream; I decided to re-locate back to Miami in August of 2015, my new love in tow! And work continued on the fashion show, I also became involved in other projects, such as helping Surfrider a nonprofit I had been involved with in California and for a few years in Miami before I left to Vermont. Shortly after my return I was asked to become a Board Member – one of my lifelong dreams!
Finally, the day of the Fashion Show arrived and within an hour we were completely SOLD OUT! Raising well over our expectations and gaining interest for another show and other events.
From this began an overnight business, as people wanted to hire me for my newfound Digital Marketing and Social Media experience.
I turned thirty-one on August 23rd, and upon reflection on my birthday I realized how much more I knew now (cliché, I know) and despite what many would consider some epic failures (two divorces and a 15-year long career I left), I learned that without those marriages I would have never been able to appreciate the man I am now with, who was willing to leave all he knew behind and relocate to Miami with me because he believed in me and my dream, who wanted to see me grow professionally and personally and without my previous career I would have never learned what I now know which has helped me immensely as a Social Media Specialist.
At thirty-one, I am living the life many strive for over a lifetime. I love what I do! I have accomplished work/life balance and every day is a new, welcomed challenge.
I have gained financial freedoms I never thought were possible for me and have learned to nurture a healthy, mature relationship with an age appropriate man who appreciates me as much as for my flaws as well as my accomplishments.
I can’t wait to see what this decade has in store, there will be ups and there will be downs I am sure, but the wisdom gained from my experiences in my early twenties will surely see me through them.
Marine Conservationist, Media Producer, Surfrider, Social Media Specialist. Please visit www.marilucflores.com to know more about her.