At 18, in the midst of growing pains and uncertainty, my Aunt Madeline gave me a gift that shifted my intentions for life. Her words, so powerful and perfect for a lost and heart broken teenager. "Sara Lynn, you are on this earth for a very special reason." At a time when life felt unfair and cruel, before I had established a free standing identity, when the first twinges of love-induced heart ache were hitting hard, this message became a seed planted in my mind and felt in my soul.
At 25, in search of fulfilling and enjoyable work, I joined lululemon athletica. The environment, a true gift, so rich with tools and resources for personal development and goal achievement, it encouraged a journey of self-discovery and reflection, while instilling in me the concept of living a life of mediocrity vs. one of greatness. I learned the value of being authentic and speaking with candor. I began to understand people on a deeper level and take responsibility in every possible situation, using each moment as an opportunity to learn and grow. During my 4 years this job and its elevating principles expanded my view on life, those around me, and that of myself.
At 26, in a natural progression, I married the man I had been loving for 10 years. Our commitment, built on years of hard work, deep friendship, and dedication taught me the essence of partnership - the give and take, selflessness, constant and dependable love, ego-less support, security, and trust. This marriage, an invaluable gift, was the perfect stepping stone, the perfect trial run, the perfect introduction for what's to come.
At 27, a time when children for me were undesirable, my brother and his partner received the most wonderful of life's gifts - a beautiful newborn. My niece Riley, now 3 years old, has the presence and impact of a hundred giants. Her love and happiness so pure and contagious. Being strategically placed into our family, she has taught me unconditional love in true form, while igniting a lost spark for children of my own. Her existence in my world has shown me the beauty and fulfillment of having responsibility for something outside of myself while also reminding me of life's simplicity.
At 28, as I was settling into life feeling perfect and complete, I was given the gift of California. I left all that was good and familiar in exchange for a completely different journey. What came of this change in direction was a strong sense of self and a living beyond my imagination. With this move, I've felt more, experienced more, loved more, cried more, seen more, searched more, laughed more, shared more, sensed more, and played more than I ever knew possible for myself.
At 29, feeling a need for major change, I let go of my job at lululemon and stepped away from my marriage. I spent 9 months unemployed and pained wandering through life seeking direction, looking for myself, begging for love and reassurance, praying that my giant leap of faith wasn't completely miscalculated. I experienced the entire spectrum of emotions and from that I learned what it feels like to truly live.
At 29, in a place of struggle, I found self love. This gift, the very thing I needed to discover in order to understand and carry out my purpose. I now see with absolute clarity that I'm here to share myself wholly, authentically, sincerely, and free of hesitation with the masses. I am here to love and accept, to understand and embrace, to challenge and encourage, to inspire and support, to give faith and light...all by simply being me, a woman with a story of ups and downs, challenges and triumphs and a willingness to be vulnerable.