Ep. 001 Those Moments That Change You
Filed under Podcast
February 4, 2019
Every week I will be sharing a lesson to help you in your business and life. To start the podcast I first wanted to share about the day that changed everything for me. While you may not have experienced something similar or maybe this will ring too close to home, here we are friends and friends don’t just share the amazing highlight reels. We share the real life moments that shift our worlds. They are the hard stories to tell, but they are also the stories that teach and touch hearts. I would love to share mine with you.
I dreamed my whole life about being an attorney. My dream was to own my own business one day…a law firm. So I went to college and studied Business Management taking classes like Strategic Planning, Economics, Accounting. I worked two jobs, took a full load of classes + joined a sorority. I graduated college from Indiana State University + got accepted to a private law school in Oklahoma City University. Everything was going as planned. I moved to Oklahoma City on my own. But right before my first week was about to start, my grandmother (mother of 11 children…matriarch of our family) passed away. Our whole family was devastated. It was not an easy start to the newest chapter in my life.
My first week of my second year of law school, my uncle passed away from cancer.
But my third year…my third year of law school changed everything. It was August 17th, two days before my birthday, I started the morning talking to my Dad who was in Indiana with my Mom. He was headed to the gym. We talked every single day. That day changed my entire life. I honestly don’t remember much except by the end of the day, I had received phone call saying my father had a massive heart attack and was on life support in the hospital. I tried everything to get a flight home that night to be with my Dad, Mom and my sister, but there were no flights left from Oklahoma City to Indianapolis. My friends kept trying to tell me he was going to be okay. My heart told me everything was not the same.
The next morning, I flew to Indiana with a layover in St. Louis. This was before I had a cell phone. I called the hospital from a payphone to check on my Dad. The next thing I heard was “Heather, he didn’t make it.” I dropped to the floor in the middle of the airport and started sobbing. My Daddy, my role model, the man who meant the world to me was now gone. And the worst part, I never got to say goodbye.
Now on the airport floor, I somehow finally got myself up + made my way to the bathroom, where a sweet lady from OKC asked if I was okay. I tried to explain, but shock had set in. I can’t remember anything else. Somehow, she proceeded to help me on the plane, hold my hand and let me lean on her shoulder + cry the whole flight. It must be a bad dream, I thought.
No, it was real…and it changed everything. I spent my birthday week burying my father, who was only 44 years old.
I got home to Indiana + said my last goodbyes to my Dad. I spoke at his funeral with my sister…but I don’t really remember a thing. It was all a blur. People kept asking me + my younger sister who had just started college, if we were going to go back to school. We both said yes…somehow, some way. It was what our Dad would of wanted.
As if life hadn’t handed us enough, a week or two after I made it back to Oklahoma City to go back to law school, as I was still in a daze, another day would change not just mine, but everyone’s lives forever…September 11th.
My head was spinning…what was happening. Somehow though, through all the chaos + confusion going on in my head + heart, during this same month, my third year of law school, I met someone. That man went on to be my husband…aka Hunky Hubby, and we have been happily married for almost 15 years.
We graduated from law school in May + I moved to Phoenix that October to start my life together here with Hunky Hubby. I started working at a law firm. I worked there for a little over a year and a half. I refer to it as my “pushing papers” days. I would sit at my desk, eating starbursts…leaving the pink ones for last…and I would “push the papers” from one side of the desk to the other…motions, briefs and all the research. As each day passed at the age of 24, I kept thinking to myself, how did I get here? I was working 60-70 hours per week, figuring out how to climb the law firm ladder + working at a firm with no other female attorneys and representing all of the local car dealerships in town.
This was not the life I dreamed of. I wanted to practice adoption law and help children find great homes. I didn’t sign up for this…well, I did, but I couldn’t do it anymore.
My Dad’s death taught me a lot, and among other lessons the most important was to live for the moment + make the most of each breath given to us. Don’t spend your days working your life away. Live it…fully. I also realized my dream of being an attorney was my Dad’s, not mine.
It was time to live out the life I wanted. And although I was in a lot of debt from law school and had no idea of what I was going to do, I gave my two weeks notice. The partners were really nice + very understanding about my choice. My boss asked me what I was planning on doing. I knew whatever it was, I needed creativity + I would still start my own business. I said I was either going to be an interior designer or an event planner (I had no background in either.) One part of my brain said if I wanted to be an interior designer, I would need to go back to school. That was not an option in my eyes…my whole life had been spent in school. I needed experience.
So broke as a joke, I got enough money to buy a $400 Dell computer + started my first business…Outstanding Occasions.
So why do I share all of this? Because daily when I work with entrepreneurs (and it has even happened to me) we focus so much on our business, that we forget to live our life. Your business should fit in your life and you should never have to fit your life into your business. Next time, I will share the next big shift in my business and how again it changed everything. It wasn’t getting married, having my first child or giving birth to my second. Those were all very important moments, but this next one was a lesson about how things happen in their own time and you can’t change the past…instead you have to focus on the present and look to the future. Join me on the next episode where I share how it all changed again.
I know this was a really deep episode that a lot of you can relate to. Whether it is on instagram, you can find me @heather_crabtree, in a review of the podcast or dropping a note via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I can’t wait to hear your stories as well. Our stories matter, friend…and I hope to hear from you soon!