You see it is my 40th birthday tomorrow.
The map I created is vibrant and unexpected.
In there you will find 4 decades of Second Firsts that lead me to you.
I moved from my home in Greece when I was 18 years old, my father told me I should spread my wings and fly away from the rest.
England was waiting for me as I boarded my first ever plane ride towards a country that I really did not know much about.
I lived in England for 9 years, learned the language and graduated from one of the top Universities with a Masters in Counseling and my thesis on grief.
I was so proud that a girl from a little town called Volos in Greece, managed to climb her way up in academia in one of the most prestigious schools the country ever knew.
During that time I also spent a year in Denmark studying in their school system. I remember learning Danish, the culture and riding my bike through snow and rain every day to college and back.
I remember passing out on the train on route to this beautiful country and would not get off the train when the ambulance arrived to escort me to the hospital.
You see I was always stubborn and determined.
I met my husband in Denmark.
We were married a couple of years later.
After we came back from our carefree honeymoon we found out that we were pregnant and we jumped up and down with joy.
5 months in to the pregnancy the doctors told us that our baby girl had no lungs and that when she would come out into the world she was not to survive.
And they were right.
This was a time in our lives that I don’t often speak about. My heart will always be with my little girl.
We picked up the pieces of our broken hearts and we moved to Texas, then California and Boston.
We had two healthy girls together but that is when we found out that he was dying of cancer.
I was 30 and he was 31.
I remember crying for weeks.
The girls sat next to him during chemotherapy sessions, surgeries and held the bucket under his mouth when he would throw up.
These were not the memories I wanted to give them. But life had another idea.
Those years we spent our time talking about what would happen when he would no longer be here.
How would I raise them, what job would I go back to.
These were tough conversations.
And he would always tell me to look at the bigger picture, and that the first two years would be tough but then I would get stronger and would be able to take on the whole load of single motherhood.
He was right.
And 3 years into this journey, I started my re-entry to life, with a new job, a new life and new love.
Now I spend my days and my life helping others re-claim their life from many different losses.
Tomorrow is my 40th birthday and I am so grateful to have made it this far.
People always tell me how unfortunate I have been in my life.
This always surprises me.
As I see my life as a gorgeous trail full of daisies and green grass.
I see my life as a very special road map that has given me so much wisdom, and so much excitement and joy.
I was able to believe in miracles again.
I did it out of choice.
This was not handed to me by the healing elements of ‘time’ or by grieving endlessly, but by jumping in the big blue ocean of life and learning to swim again.
My plans for this new decade are very big:
I plan on learning how to fly a plane. I always wanted to learn how to fly.
I plan on touring the world and spreading my message of re-entry to millions of people.
I plan on writing a best selling book (Second Firsts-Hay House, 2013)
I plan on loving even more, deeper and without the ego being involved.
And I certainly plan on instilling hope within your heart and convincing you that life is worth living ESPECIALLY after heart ache and loss.
I hope you join me into my 40th year!
The gift that I ask from you is that you believe in yourself once again and dream the dreams that were meant for you!