Header image for Janie J Blog New Beginnings - Pula Croatia coastline
July 3, 2019

I was rushing.

Rushing to get ready.

Rushing to get those damn fake eyelashes on.

Sweating in the small bathroom. Putting on the tight, almost too small, long lacy dress, that arrived only the day before I left for Pula. Wishing I hadn’t eaten the pomme frits or baguette the previous day.

Picture of Janie J at the Arena in Pula Croatia during the Mind Valley University

I held in my stomach, thinking, "I can’t do this all night!"

Again, wishing I hadn’t strayed from my low carb diet. But it was too late, and I needed to call Uber to get me to the arena on time.

Damn. “No Drivers Available” showed on my phone.

This had happened before, so I wasn’t going to easily give up. I waited a minute and submitted another request. Damn. “No Drivers Available” flashed on the iPhone screen again. And again!

So, I thought, “You have two choices: start walking or miss the event.”

I remembered what it had taken to get here. It was A LOT. Not just the three flights, finding and booking an Airbnb, but all those work and personal arrangements I had to make:

  • Changing my bank accounts so I could easily transfer funds and pay bills on-line when I’m away.
  • Finding someone to house sit to care for the dog and chickens and basically keep the place occupied.
  • Retiring from my job as a commercial Real Estate Broker so I could write and travel. Selling properties and diversifying my investments, so I wouldn’t have to manage so many buildings.
  • Training my assistant to handle the remaining part of my property management business.
  • Turning more of my writing/editing/publishing and marketing duties over to more capable hands.
  • Relinquishing my rigorous track workouts that took me from merely jogging two years ago to qualifying and competing in the recent National Senior Games.

Yes – it was a long road. It had taken many conscious and deliberate steps to get here. Right here where I was at that moment.

There was a long road IN Croatia, too. I've walked everywhere!

I closed the apartment door and started walking, trusting Google maps to get me there. Trusting my stylish silver sandals were up for the mile plus walk. I trusted I wouldn’t get lost, trip or fall on the uneven sidewalks.

I kept walking, telling myself, “You’ve come this far, don’t give up.”

I remembered last year when Mind Valley University was in Estonia, it caught my attention and I dared to dream. Dared to dream about what fun that would be – to go abroad to a new location, experience a new culture, a new way of life and enjoy learning among like-minded people.

But it was not to be.

My real estate business was on overload. I still wasn’t finding time to publish the three books I’d already written [Editor's note: two are now published and a third is immanent]. I was determined not to miss out next time. I was determined to change the little things in my life preventing me from living my best life.

Hence all those changes and a new direction that led me to where I was …walking swiftly towards the Pula Amphitheater, in what looked like a wedding dress, imagining that to a passerby, I must look like a bride rushing to her own wedding, her last chance for happiness.

This was the determination that led me there – to the Pula Arena last Saturday night, to be among a group of positive and free-spirited individuals, all searching in their own way, for change and an opportunity to grow.

A "New Beginning" of sorts.

An opportunity to grow into what each of us is meant to be, pursuing a life we could have only imagined.

Once in the Arena and armed with a glass of wine for fortification, I took time to look around. The walls of the Amphitheater surrounded me, the sun was setting and leaving a glow among us. The sea gulls were magically diving in and out over head. Everyone flowed with ease and joy in their white attire. It was a magical setting, simply magical.

As I reflected on the scene and my actions that had led me there, I took a deep breath and slowly exhaled.

Yes, I smiled. It HAD all been worth it!


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