One year ago my life changed. One year ago I began what I should call chapter 2 (or chapter 237 but who’s counting the amount of times I’ve started over now). And it all began at the Devil’s Punchbowl…
I started Monica Goes back in December of 2014 for three main reasons. I was a live host for events like concerts, festivals, competitions, etc. and I wanted to find a way to begin hosting on camera. The second reason is that I love travel and adventures and wanted to create a show to inspire people to break out of their comfort zones and go on adventures!
And the third, very personal, reason I started the show was that I was in very lonely marriage with someone who didn’t enjoy the same things as me. He wasn’t into adventure or travel and I knew that I needed to find a way to get this part of myself and if it wasn’t going to be with him, it needed to be in a career.
And Monica Goes changed my life! Suddenly I had an excuse to do all of the things I was afraid of or waiting for a partner to do. I dreamt of going to Costa Rica my whole life and put it off to do with a partner and instead, had the most incredible time with a friend! It pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me feel alive.
One year ago today, we came to shoot an episode at the Devil’s Punchbowl. And then the next day I found out he had been unfaithful on and off for the majority of our relationship. And my whole life shifted.
Suddenly, all of the plans that I had for myself blew up and the life I thought I was supposed to be living was no longer an option. And while yes, it was a difficult time and divorce is never easy, I gained so many incredible things. Suddenly I was given this second chance to create the life I wanted instead of the one I thought I was SUPPOSED to be living. I no longer had a plan so each choice I made was entirely mine. For the first time in my life I got to step back and truly think, “ok what does my perfect life look like to me and how do I work to create that now.”
On top of all of the hard stuff, I also met some incredible friends, got closer to my family, grew so much in a faith that I would not have had without all of this, moved into the kind of place that I wanted to live, got Millie (my favorite adventure buddy), and went on some incredible adventures. It was definitely a year of high highs and low lows.
So why do I share all of this? It’s pretty personal but I did feel it was important to share for a few reasons. We are all going through stuff and this world can make us feel very disconnected and alone. We live in a society that posts our highlight reels on social media to make our lives look perfect but behind the scenes we’re all a big fat mess. And that’s ok. I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve gone through because I believe we go through things for the lessons and there is value in everyone’s stories.
I also want people to know that sometimes the plan blows up. And our lives turn out differently than we expected. And while that can be scary and really sad, it can also be exciting and be a chance to truly start living the life you want.
And mainly I’m sharing this because I am SO passionate about doing the things that scare me and trying to inspire people to go on adventures and push out of their comfort zones. I wanted to share WHY it means so much to me and how much doing it has changed my life. And not everyone needs some big dramatic thing to happen to benefit, we grow and learn and are fully alive when we’re facing our fears.
I was trying to figure out the one thing that all of my episodes have in common and its doing things that scare me. And they can be random, scary ducks, weird foods, or epic adventures. I’m scared of a lot! So in each episode now, I want to try new things, face my fears, and do something that scares me. And I’m kicking it off by doing something very scary, getting vulnerable and honest with all of you. But I truly want you to know I am living by my words and I want to show you how life-changing facing those fears can be.
So I came back to the Devil’s Punchbowl because it’s where it all began/ended and in the spirit of facing my fears I didn’t want to NOT go to places or listen to songs, or celebrate something because I have a certain memory of it. So I’m reclaiming these things for myself and creating new memories for this new life.
I am so excited with this second chance. And I’m really ready to share it with all of you and use what I’ve learned to fuel me into this next phase of facing my fears. Thank you all for letting me into your lives and letting me be so open with mine. Now in the words of New Kids On The Block “Let’s get this!”