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Doing Everything Backwards


Happy Sunday gorgeous! Hope you are having a fantastic weekend! It is downright cold in Baltimore right now, and let’s just hope there is no more snow in the forecast. Okay, wait, I think they are showing those white flakes for tomorrow. Here’s hoping that is not the case – ugh. Switching gears to what’s in store today. This blog post is a hard one for me to share but one I feel I need to share at the same time. I don’t know why it feels this way – it is me being vulnerable & it’s real life – but there is a feeling of judgement at times, and a lot about how it looks from the outside, that’s hard for me to shake. Most likely, it is all in my own head – actually, I have only had people be 100% supportive and understanding. Today I want to share why I feel I am doing everything backwards YET know it is going to lead to something pretty fucking amazing in the long run.

And by “long run,” I am very confident it is 2021. It’s just time.

So, why do I feel I am doing everything backwards? As a reminder, these are my thoughts and opinions only. You can agree to disagree but please respect what I am sharing. I would say I was not the “norm” coming right out of college, specifically, in this day and age, although I am going back almost 14 years now. What’s crazy is while so much has happened, I still view college as only a few years ago.

Here are a few examples of what I mean..

  • At age 20, I had a few different jobs I was working within the health & wellness realm, wanting to make my mark in the industry and jumped at any opportunity that allowed for it. I knew what I wanted for my professional goals, and I just hit the ground running.
  • I was engaged at 22 & married at 23.
  • I purchased my first house a little more than a month before my 24th Birthday, and decorated that adorable row home in the trendy, and sought after, area of Canton [in Baltimore] as “Fit4Janine” as could be afforded at that time. It was a big deal replacing carpet and laying down hardwood floors, as well as painting, window treatments (hello, plantation shutters are not cheap), and then some!

Needless to say, I felt I was “living the dream.” I was on the path I had always wanted, and working my ass off to keep that train moving. I was married young, starter house was purchased, working my way up the “corporate” ladder, a hope of being blessed with 4-5 kids, and, yeah, everything was going according to plan.

Doing everything backwards…lets wind this out to what my current life looks like.

First, I need to say what an incredible family I have, specifically, my Mom & Dad. They gave me a huge gift when my world fell apart, and I will, forever, be grateful for the opportunity they gave me.

At the time that I separated, and then later divorced, I was, also, in the very beginning stages of starting a brand new business. Speaking of which, if you did not check out last week’s post that talks about the “many hats of Janine Serio,” make sure you do!

Between my legal fees, and the money I needed to buy out the house (luckily, I made the smart decision to get the house rented at the time all of this was going down), I was, now, $40,000 in debt while, also, barely getting a paycheck at the end of the day. A lot of time and money was being rolled into the the brand new business venture to get it off the ground and, what was coming in, needed to pay things like my credit cards, my car payment, loans, and just life.

My parents have, graciously, let me stay with them while I have navigated these last few years and, from the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank them enough. It has not been an easy road but one that, I know, is leading to something really great. This the very prize I have to keep my eye on!

Pre-Covid, I traveled A LOT – barely home – and even lived on the West Coast for a bit. The extra money I had was used to reinvent me, and figure out what I wanted in this next phase of my life. Sure, I could have saved, and used this money to get another place but another financial burden, and being alone, did not feel good to me. Plus, I really thought I was going to make the move to California, and the very reason WHY I lived there in 2017 & continuously traveled back and forth up until 2020.

And, if I had to, I would have sold my house on the immediate, and thrown all my “extra” money & resources into getting another place.  I would have gotten through, and I would have been okay. This is why I am so grateful for the gift my Mom & Dad gave me, and continue to do so.

As parents, you never want to see your children hurt, or going through pain, or hardship, etc. Mine watched this first hand, and I know the emotional toll it has played in their life as well. And while they tell me I work way too much, and I need to give myself some “play time,” they are, also, the very ones that told me to leave my stuff here and go after the life that I want…and that I deserve…and that makes me happy.

No, I am not banking a lot of money and, no, I do not take advantage of my situation at all. I am so ready for that next phase & journey; I just want to make sure I am doing it right. And while I know there is never a “perfect” time, I don’t want to relive the last 5 years. Yes, it’s life, and, again, nothing is ever going to be perfect but, for once, I need to feel stability. I need security. This is something that I did not even have when I was married. My hustle game is fucking strong but I am, also, tired too…and being a business owner is fucking scary all on its own.

The last 5 years have humbled me, and I have grown into a very different person. I have traveled, I lived on the West Coast, I developed and created 2 personal brands [in addition to 2 Health Nuts which I co-own], I have worked on myself BIG TIME, I have become an Influencer & Public Figure in Baltimore, I have built relationships that would have never happened, and, most importantly, I listen and follow my heart & gut like never before.

Doing everything backwards; maybe this is what was meant for me in my life. Regardless of how it looks/what it looks like, there is a reason, and I have to keep reminding myself this every single day. Another thing that I have learned – you can have a plan, and that can, easily, be thrown a curve ball. It’s how you react, pivot/change course, and know that it does NOT define you.

As for my house, I sold it last Summer, and I pretty much wrote a check to get out of it. A $10,000 mold remediation at the end of the day will put a huge kink in what you thought was going to be a decent nest egg. Again, a reason this happened and, for right now, I am going to say it is one less expense I need to pay.

Onward & upward, and being confident to say it is okay doing everything backwards.

And, if my “doing everything backwards” makes you think differently of me, all I can say is it’s LIFE (and why are we judging anyway). We all have our story’s, and we all have our stuff.

This is me, 2021, and I am doing the best I can. I don’t know, maybe I should write a book titled “Doing Everything Backwards.” Would you read it?


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