Do You Have the Courage to Live an Audacious Life?

At the age of 28 (I am now 38.), I woke up to a failed marriage of 7 years and $5.00 to my name.

I wasn’t always bold, or willing, to do such things. I invite you to read my story on how I have and how YOU CAN  have the courage to live an audacious life.

Most likely, you have looked up the definition of audacious in a while (or ever!). Audacious, as defined in the dictionary, means “showing the willingness to take surprisingly bold risks”. Id say that pretty much sums up my life these days.

But, I wasn’t always so bold, or willing, to do such audacious things. I played life safefor many years. I’m sure you know the drill:

  • Living daily life on autopilot
  • Answering “it’s fine” when indeed it’s not fine at all
  • Staying in a career you might “like”, at best
  • Saying “yes” to things you don’t want to do
  • And the biggest one of all…lying to yourself day in and day out…that one day, you will do “x”, or one day you will take that trip to “y”, or one day you will fulfill that dream of “z”

At the age of 28 (I am now 38.), I woke up to a failed marriage of 7 years and $5.00 to my name. My ex-husband had a gambling problem that I wasn’t aware of, and he had not only sunk our marriage through deceit and lies, but our credit was sunk, we were behind in our mortgage and our bills, and the love was gone.

When I came out of shock and stitched all the pieces together to this terrifying puzzle, guess what the first words out of my mouth were? Yep, you guessed it, “It’s fine, honey. We will make it work.” And I tried to do just that. And the following year, we were in the same sinking ship again. That was the year that I decided I was going to start living life on my own terms, no matter how hard the transition was going to be, and no matter who I had to releasefrom my life to do so.

I packed my bags, sold my house, regrouped for a few months by staying with my older sister, then rented an apartment and began building a new life. This life was much different:

  • I embraced spontaneity more in my day to day happenings.
  • I erased “It’s fine.” from my vocabulary. That standard response generally means it’s not fine at all.
  • I started saying “no” to opportunities and people who didn’t light me up with passion and gusto.
  • And I made a monthly “bucket list” of foods, classes, and trips I wanted to experience.

By now, I was 30, living in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I was back in the dating scene! I met a wonderful guy from Brooklyn, named Michael, and we began a long-distance relationship. Every six weeks or so, we would fly back and forth between LaGuardia and Charlotte. I got to experience the big city life of New York City, which was quite a drastic change from the 4,000 person town I was raised in! I tried new foods (Falafel is my all-time favorite!), listened to all kinds of new music, attend parties that started at midnight, and really fell in love with learning about cultures and traveling to foreign parts of the world.

Michael and I married, and I once again packed my bags and headed to Brooklyn, where I reside today. I was a public school teacher for 15 years, and when I knew that it was time for a change, because everything in my career wasnt fine, I ditched my teaching job in four months flat and opened my business, The Writing Whisperer. That was two years ago, and I haven’t looked back.

I am living what I often refer to as a dream life. I love my business and the work I am doing. I have complete freedom over my days and evenings. I am packing my bags this year for the Bahamas, Bali, and London–all of which I will travel to in a four-month timespan. I am training for the November New York City Marathon, and I am making friendships with people around the world.

I often pinch myself to make sure my audacious life is really true. I make decisions rooted in love and compassion, and I live every single day with purpose and zeal. Above all, I remain grateful and count my blessings each night.

Do you dream of loving every single moment of every single day? Is it time to make some changes, so that you, too, can live an audacious life? In my memoir, the final words read, “head west–I’ll be waiting for you.” Reset your compass and join meyou wont be disappointed.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

I have accepted that I can live a truly audacious life, even though society seems to state otherwise.  

2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I appreciate living in the moment. Sometimes it is a struggle to stay present, but it is a good way to live!  

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

Starting my own business definitely ranks top of the list. I am currently trying to get accepted for a TEDx talk!  

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?

I try and do too much in too little time. I need to work on time management.  

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my…life!  

About the author

M. Shannon Hernandez

M. Shannon Hernandez is the founder of The Writing Whisperer, and her mission is to help business owners and authors become thought leaders, through the use of strategic content, so they can positively impact more people. The Writing Whisperer was named one of Top 100 Websites for Writers by The Write Life in both 2014 and 2015. Shannon continues to inspire others as a content strategist and copywriter through her blog, guest blogs, and podcast appearances, and she has been featured on CBS Radio, Reinvention Radio, The Huffington Post, The Write Life, and Melinda Emerson’s Small Biz Lady. She travels the nation and speaks regularly at conferences, association meetings, and networking events.

Shannon’s memoir, Breaking the Silence, chronicles her exit out of public education, after 15 years. Shannon is currently working on her second book, where she is exploring what it means to live courageously and how to create a life you LOVE. Throughout her travels, volunteer work, and everyday experiences, she will face personal fears, examine the feelings associated with those fears, and explore her role in society, as well as what she learns about humanity along the way.