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On A New Path

This is my first personal blog post in over a year. As a woman who always has something to say, not be able to blog felt really out of character for me (especially because I blog for dozens of clients daily!).

As I move into my 38th year of life and reflect on the past year, the reason I wasn’t a blog-babe-ing machine was simple – I was in a very out-of-character place which I am happily making my way out of.

In early 2014, I moved from Santa Barbara, California to the suburbs of Georgia.  The ocean view in Summerland, CA (yes, there is such a place) was lovely, but working my ass off to pay to live in an expensive place to spend M-F getting text pics from the nanny showing all her adventures with my cool kid while my husband was on the road all the time (most of his work is on the East Coast) was not lovely…it was plain ridiculous.

Since the hubs kept his old bachelor pad condo in the burbs north of Atlanta from his pre-me life, we decided to move into it to quickly have a home base and ease up his time on the road to have more family together time. We sold almost all our furniture and moved across the country. This got him closer to a major airport and on the coast where all his work was to have him home more. I was able to work less and spend more time with our daughter and we loved the cut in our cost of living and all the amazing things to do in Atlanta. So we lived happily ever after, right?

Not quite. While we got everything we wanted out of the move, where we were living was not working. We were in a suburb north of Atlanta and it was just not us. I missed my friends, and loathed seeing corporate signs everywhere. Having to drive everywhere was very unsatisfying. While I made great friends, it just wasn’t the right place for us. But we had time on our side, (or so it seemed) and so I put on my Pollyanna face and tried accepting that we would just wait it out a few more years and enjoy stashing cash until we figured out where our forever home was.

When my stepfather died in an unexpected horrific work accident in May of this year, I felt like I had the rug pulled out from under me. This “time” I felt like I had seemed to evaporate and I went through waves of sadness, frustration and anger. Losing my father in 2008 was heartbreaking, losing my stepfather this year was crushing. I had never felt so dark. I told my husband that I thought I might need help dealing with my anger. He very quickly presented me with a list of therapists from our insurance list …and then he packed and left for another work trip.

Alone at home with my daughter like most weeks, I went back to work and began staring at the list of therapists. I thought I was going to explode. I was feeling out of place and really, really angry that I might spend hundreds of dollars per hour to have to talk to someone about how angry I was. Instead, I made a list of all of the things that were not working for me and began to address them starting with small stuff.

One small and silly thing that frustrated me was my hair. It was a pain – pain to style, maintain and it was heavy. The weight of it had to go. I whacked off my long, beautiful, big Barbie doll hair that I spent tons of money bleaching and straightening and going to blow out bars to look fabulous (Google Lorrie Thomas Ross, the fab hair still lives on the internet). The time I spent sitting in salons to pay someone to put gross chemicals on my head could be better spent with my family, exercising or saving for my daughter’s education. Chop, chop. Done. While vanity was pushed aside with my hair, I might as well get braces on too, right?! So I did that too (years overdue).

Onto to bigger issues – the “where” in my life. I decided to stop waiting for the right place to live to land in my lap and began seeking out places that addressed things I love – arts, education, health and environment. When I lived in Summerland, I could walk everywhere. I loooved that.  I wanted to live somewhere that I could walk my daughter to school, where I could access a farmer’s market and still enjoy the culture of arts and be surrounded by really, really neat, cool, amazing people. We also needed access to a major airport for my husband’s job. I thought it would take years to find a place like this.

Little did I know that a previous weekend getaway to a place called Serenbe was this place. Whenever I would whine to my hubby (I own that I whined a LOT) about not liking the suburbs, he would always say, “You’d like Serenbe”. Well, to a CA-raised girl, “Serenbe” could have been anything (I don’t know GA at all) but I looked it up and booked a room at the Inn. It was a rainy weekend and we almost canceled due to weather but decided to go. We trudged around in the mud, took the hay ride around the farm, ate at great restaurants, wine tasted the Sunday before we went home and were so relaxed. As we drove home, we kept thinking how wonderful it was and how lucky the people were who got to live there (not thinking of it as a home option at all).

My daughter (she is 4, but is an old soul) is the one who months later asked if we could go back. “Mom, when are we going back to Serenbe?” she asked. I told her I’d see if we could do another weekend getaway. Then she said “Ok Mom. Well, someday when we live in Serenbe, we can see the goats all the time.” I laughed and told her that we weren’t moving there, we were just going visit and she said “Ok Mom. But someday we will live there.”

When we came back for that second weekend, I wasn’t planning to buy a home, but hearing my daughter’s words and experiencing that this place had everything I valued, my intuition screamed “HERE, NOW!” and so I made an offer on a house (without the hubs being 100% on board.)

After delivering two eulogies over a short 7 year span, I decided that it was time to jump on a path and live life now.

wild_web_woman_lorrie_thomas_ross

The last thing on the “this is not working for me” list was my professional purpose. I LOVE my company and I love digital marketing and my agency business will be around for years to come, but seeing a void of women entrepreneurs as clients was my red screaming sign that it was time to create another business that helps women in business specifically. I will be teaching everything from marketing, operations, sales, administrative things…even how to deal with annoying clients! A new focus to help women launch and grow businesses and empower some to let go of the ledge (to leave the confines of corporate hell so they can make money working anywhere!) is a must. This venture, called Wild Web Women will unfold in 2016.

So there you have it. Why I went dark for a year on this blog, where my life was and where it was going. 🙂

I will be posting here regularly (I promise, no more year+ posting gaps!) so please comment and subscribe to get more up my updates. I will be talking up what I love:

Inspiration, Food, Health, Career and Style.

38, I’m ready for what you have to bring.

30 Comments

  1. Your journey from pain to purpose makes you the ideal person to help other women get off the ledge.
    Thank you for opening your heart and sharing the inspiring true take on what life has dealt you and how you kicked back.
    All my love and admiration to you.

    1. Thank you so much Calla. You are a model wild web woman (and expect to be expected to be interviewed and come speak at our future conferences!) Love you! <3

  2. Hi Lorrie, I was wondering about what you were up to! What a beautiful and heartfelt post. I would love to be in the loop and find out all about Wild Web Women, sounds like something I would love to be a part of!

    Blessings and here is to an amazing 2016!

    Cheryl

  3. I love reading this and learning more about YOU and why you are here!! So excited to know you more and learn from you (starting my own business is totally scary but not really if I could learn from you!)
    Rock it girl! ?

    1. Eliza, the web needs wildly wonderful women like you to share your wealth of health wisdom! I can’t wait to unveil http://www.wildwebwomen.com so y’all have affordable ways to learn how to run and grow your beautiful businesses! It’s not scary, it’s WONDERFUL (ok, sometimes scary, but with the right support team it’s so awesome!)

  4. This is beautiful- I love how you opened up about what’s not working in your life. And I LOVE that you took charge of fixing it and not asking permission to be happier. We are all so lucky to have you here in Serenbe.

    1. Thanks Robin! I will never forget meeting you that first getaway weekend and thinking “wow, now this is a woman I’d love to have as a friend!” and here we are! Embrace the extra excuse to be super sassy with your new fab short hair!!

  5. Yes!!! You are such a hero, mama bear, wild wonderful woman…with warm beverages in hand. So proud to call you friend.

  6. I am 58 and as one of your previous online students, you inspire me! Thank you for this post…it is authentic and transparent. BTW, I moved to Idaho. 🙂

    1. Cathleen! You were one of my favorite students! I love following you on Facebook (and I still can’t believe you are 58, I see all your pics, you look like you are in your 30s!) I have heard nothing but great things about Idaho. My “brother from another mother” (one of my best friends) moved there with his wife recently – getting to Boise is on my 2016 must-do list! 🙂

  7. I liked you from the moment I met you, short sassy hair, braces and all. You are a force to be reckoned with and I look forward to getting to know you more and more as we grow as neighbors and friends. I also hope to grow professionally from your influence as well. I love your honesty in this post, thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing. Hope to see you Wednesday am!

    1. Cindy, thank you so much for your kind words! This year+ has been a journey that was so worth it – landing in this destination and meeting amazing mompreneurs like you rock my geek-chic world! If I don’t make it to Wed’s regular meetup, I will start having withdrawals! A week home playing nurse mom is making me craaazy! <3

  8. Love, love, love!
    You are where you are meant to be in life, and I’m so happy for you and your family.
    I recently saw your town featured on CBS News Sunday Morning, and although I haven’t spoken to you personally in years, the place seemed overtly ‘Lorrie’.
    On a side note, you and your Wild Women (and Lawrence) trained me to blog and market TBT via an odd hand of fate; and it’s changed my life. For that and much more I’m grateful to you. Wishing you all the best!

    1. Liz, you have to come visit one of these days! I love following TBT and all you are doing and love that I we were a small part in it all! Blogging is a life-changer, I love following you on Facebook and hope we get to meet someday in person!

  9. The suburb’s loss is our gain. Welcome new friend and fellow cocktail aficionado. Thanks for bringing your swell husband and gem of a daughter. How did we manage without you?

  10. This is so SO good!! I miss you in SB and was secretly hoping that you would come back, BUT I am so happy that you are on this path and in a place where you feel at home. Can’t wait to see your new business unfold!! Xoxoxo

  11. Now that you have done the hardest work, you have a surprise in front of you: 40.

    I LOVED 40. It was permission. It was the recognition that I didn’t need to pretend to be younger or push the inevitable aside. Instead, I could be – finally – an adult. I loved 40. 50 was better… and some day, you’ll enjoy the splendor of 60.

    But so many women are going to benefit from your prior success, your breakthrough ‘therapy’ and, oh, the places you’ll go! Wild Web Women? Wild WISE Web Women.

    Thank you so much for inviting me to lecture in one of your classes… I am still on the advisory board of one of your students, 10 years later. So like it or not, you’ve helped a lot of men, too!

    I am very much looking forward to your posts.
    Thanks for being an inspiration.

    1. Jim, thank you so much for comment and for your wisdom. When I see you at airports and scream across the gates “I love you Jim Sterne!!!” I MEAN IT!

      I teared up at my desk when I read you thanking me for being an inspiration…I need to be thanking YOU!

      When I watched you speak for the 1st time in 2004, I immediately thought “I want to be like that guy – I want to do thaaaaat.” 🙂 Your ability to tackle the sometimes (ok, a lot of times) unsexy topic of analytics while entertaining and educating (and being funny!) was such a gift to experience.

      Years later, when I hit “send” on that first email asking you the first time to speak at my UCSB class, I thought you’d probably be too busy to get a reply (glad I didn’t ASSume!). And I will never forget asking for your advice when I had my book offer. Your advice was exactly what I needed (and played out exactly the way you explained!)

      Your support means more to me than you will ever know!

      I do love being in a place where I don’t have to feel like I have to pretend or push any more. It’s relaxing and very empowering. I’m so glad you are still on Mr. D’s board. Watching his business(es) grow is so wonderful.

      Thank you for being you – I appreciate you soooo much! <3

      P.S. Thank you for being the first shot of testosterone to hit this blog! I should make you a certificate or something....

  12. Lorrie –

    Great Post!! Welcome to GA and the South!! Look forward to knowing you and your family on a more personal basis at Serenbe. Grateful you will be teaching and helping Eliza “The Organic South” her wellness business! From the short time we have know each other I already know Wild Web Women will be a successful venture.

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