In 2012 I started to look at my life and wonder, "How did I get in this position?" And, more importantly, "What am I going to do to get out of it?"!

It took a lot of self-reflection on the most recent 3 years of my life, isolated from my daughters and my family - not by choice, and I pondered all the decisions I had made that brought me to that dismal moment in my life, and I thought - "WHY OH WHY hadn't I learned to make better decisions when I was younger?"

I started writing on index cards, things I wish I had learned that possibly would have changed my trajectory and perhaps gotten me to where I thought I should have been, "by now." I kept this diary for a year, and when I was finished, I had 284 things I Wish I had Learned at 17.

I've been working on this book for years and am delighted to bring it to you today! Join me in the journey of how I took ownership over my life and my choices - and I now own my life and my outcomes. You Can Too - Join me.


Advice for Teens | Own Your Life

Part of my Story

I had an OK upbringing, I thought. Again, I won't get into all those details here (I'll save them later as my story unfolds throughout this project). I joined the military at 17 (rare for a young lady in 1980). I Was honorably discharged on short notice due to a near fatal car accident my sister was in and was left with no idea of what to do with my life.

For many years I floundered before I stumbled across a position that seemed to fulfill me - it was in Hospitality. I held a managerial position and thought I was a good leader. Turns out I was a strong leader in some respects but in others...not so great. What did I know! I thought I knew everything I needed to know. I learned how to survive. I knew how to fend for myself. Oh, I knew how to match my purse with my shoes - what else was there to know?! Turns out plenty.

Through my journey of recovery from alcoholism (which I didn't start drinking until I was 42 as self-medication from extreme anxiety and stress), role models and mentors that appeared in my life, the loss of my 2 daughters through power and control, and a dysfunctional court system, the hatred from my mother, the re-entry of my father when no one else would have anything to do with me - who later passed away, and the willingness to learn, I now own my self-identity. I know who I am and who I'm not, who I want to be, and what I want to represent.

What I learned is that life comes down to is choices. We all have them. We're given the right to choose anything about our lives the minute we turn 18 (at least in the US). But what does that really mean...we all have choices? Duh, right?

Over the past nine years, I have studied psychology and received my BA in it. I reflected on my life and how did I delve into such a low. I had to know. I've studied and learned that life comes down to recognizing the power of your choices, the consequences of them, and owning both the negative and the positive.

My greatest joy is to share the Things I Wish I Learned at 17 to help you live the life you want and deserve. Not a life of confusion and drama, but rather a journey of owning your life and loving it. You've always had the power to own your life. No you can discover it.


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