I recently attended The Southern C Summit at The Cloister in Sea Island, Georgia. It was a fabulous conference geared toward empowering women in small business. I met wonderful people,
learned a lot, and came away truly inspired; not just professionally, but personally as well. The main theme I took away from the event was AUTHENTICITY: it’s your story, own it, tell it. This is where I became so inspired personally because for the last 18 months I’ve been writing a new story.
On June 26, 2017, my story as I had known it for 40 years unraveled. On that day I discovered that someone I had loved, adored, and respected my entire life had a very dark side that had been kept hidden from me (as well as most everyone else). I tried to believe it was going to be okay. That he would be remorseful and want forgiveness so we could restore our relationship. But there was no remorse, only rage. Rage that I knew these dark truths. So many life decisions were based on pleasing him and doing what he wanted of me, but I quickly learned that the love and respect wasn’t reciprocated. He completely pushed me out of his life. I had been used all this time as part of the false façade; to maintain appearances. I was devastated and heartbroken. So much so that I became physically ill and ended up at the hospital. To this day, I am still dealing with the health repercussions. I quickly learned that there were people that had known these truths for a long time and they aided in the false façade for him. Most of them were people I either loved or respected professionally; they too shut me out in their effort to maintain the false appearance. Some even resorted to concocting ridiculous lies about me (as well as my sister). I was hurt beyond belief. I questioned repeatedly, “What part of my story has been real, if any of it? Was there ever any love somewhere along the way or was it one-sided all along?”
I decided to immerse myself in my faith and my own family. I vowed to be the best wife and mom I could be and live intentionally representing truth. I chose to ignore the people believing the lies and focus on the people that loved me honestly. The people not choosing truth have their own cross to bear, and I will continue to pray for them to have a change of heart.
And this is where the inspiring Southern C Summit comes into play! I left there so motivated and inspired to close this book and begin writing my new story! My amazingly supportive (and funny) husband brought a dumpster to our house for the weekend so I could purge all of the painful memories out of my life. When Monday morning arrived, I felt a weight lifted off of me. I woke before my 5 am alarm (and I am not a morning person)! I hit the gym and was motivated and productive and so full of happiness all day! So motivated to finally do things I had wanted to do my whole life and never did.
I have already started new projects and am organizing more. I am excited to write these new chapters, to take new adventures, to learn new things, and to take MY story back. I look forward to sharing the new experiences, projects, and more as Haley and the Hound will be evolving with me in this new chapter. Thank you to The Southern C and all of the fabulous women I met for being such an inspiration!
My new story is AUTHENTIC! It is mine and I can not wait to tell it!