Finding my own way

Yesterday, I quit my job in rentals.

Without going into detail, and in the interest of keeping everything anonymous, there was a situation that forced me to really think about what I want and what steps I need to take to be successful here in Puerto Vallarta.

I have no regret and I am glad that I tried something new and I met some really great people along the way.

I am focusing a lot of where my strengths are career wise, and what my best attribute are that I can share and contribute to society.

No matter how many different avenues of careers I try, and as you know, I am always trying something new, I always find myself back in the same 3 areas: Weddings, events and fundraisers. Or to summarize that, just events. Planning them, bringing an idea to life.

I love doing all of these things, they are all familiar, yet challenging and I can spend a lifetime in growing and improving myself, which for me is very important for my happiness with my career. New challenges that force me to grow not only professionally, but as a person. I would never have moved here in the first place if I was okay with a non challenging 9 to 5 job that won’t take me anywhere.

I don’t want to be type-casted in my own life as being or doing one or two things. I want to create a life for myself that is versatile, adventurous, unique, new, and always pushing me more and more to be better at everything I do.

What I do know so far is that I am going to be doing my own weddings and other events, which is something I have wanted to do since the beginning, but have approached the idea very slowly, and with much caution. I always knew that when the time was right and when I was truly ready to make the leap, that I would just know.

Considering everything that happened with this recent..change..I believe that was the go ahead for me to find the entrepreneurial spirit and passion that I left behind in Calgary. There are a few integral people in my life here that have really pushed me to be a better wedding coordinator, and have taught me the fundamentals of destination weddings, as well as people who have constantly reminded me that I can do anything I put my mind to and will always succeed when I put my heart into it. (you know who you are, and thank you for all your support). So, all that being said, here is a mock-up of the beginning stages of that project. Okay I know that is just a logo but it’s pretty and it’s one little baby step in the right direction.

Poco a poco as they say around here. Things like facturas, accounting and banking are all still things that I haven’t even began to scratch the surface of. I am first focusing on a business plan that makes sense for me and that reflects my goals as an entrepreneur. Once I complete that, I will get into the nitty gritty, one step at a time.

http://www.miamoroccasions.com

I am going to take my time is bringing this project to life, and I am going to keep all my past experience in mind with everything, what worked, and the many things that didn’t work. This time around I want to really dig into my creativity and improve my processes.

I think these changes that happen in life, are always a gateway to something better, and a sign that I am not on the right track, and an opportunity to either get back on track, or create a new track that will take me to exactly where I want to go.

Aside from the events and wedding, I want to really focus on my Spanish, and have even (drum roll please) found a bit of a love for cooking these days. Also, I want to learn how to scuba dive, explore more of Mexico, and plan another trip to Canada.

I have also been working on a Fundraiser for the local cat shelter, it’s going to be a Salsa and Margarita tasting, with an auction and live music! It’s been a fun little project and just makes me feel kind of fuzzy inside that I can do a small part to help a very important cause around here.

I am also reading Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour work week again. This is my favorite book and the one book that I read over and over again. It reminds me of what’s important to me, the life I want to create for myself, and also reminds me of why I am in Mexico, and what I came here to do!

L

A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have _Timothy Ferriss

Auga, por favor!

So much has happened since the last time I wrote. Last Monday we moved into a brand new apartment. We had been thinking about moving for a while for a few reasons. The first reason being that we found out that we are paying WAY too much for the old apartment. We discovered this through talking to friends who live here, and talking to our neighbors in the same building about what they are paying in rent. They had the exact same apartment in the same building for about the equivalent of $100 LESS a month! And yes we did sign a rental contract at the beginning of “high season” but can you blame me for being kind of peeved that others in the same building pay less? The second reason being that (which I totally take responsibility for, as I probably should have done more research before moving in), is the neighborhood was kind of sketchy, smelly, and it was an area for locals, and mechanic shops. No lovely coffee shops down the street, no nice restaurants near by, just a bunch of hardware/car stores. This was simply not going to work for either of us. Mostly, it was not going to work for me. Call me a princess, but I did not move to Mexico to smell car fumes, and oh, there was a CRAZY man downstairs. He threw all the food out of his kitchen into the street the night before we moved. Anyway, it was not working, at all.

So, after searching through the Mano-o-Mano, we found a large bright bachelor style suite right in the middle of the 5 of Deciembre area, which is actually, the area that we decided we wanted to live in, even before we came to Mexico. The apartment is bright, and has lots of big windows. It has a breathtaking view of the ocean, and most of the city. It’s so pretty! So, we moved in. And we got all settled. But of course this is us and of course that means that some new challenge is going to rear its head and things never ..just stay good for too long before there is something else. Sooo…that being said…

2 days into moving in (I was in Calgary at this point, as I left the day after we moved in), there is  no hot water, and no water pressure. Now after weeks of dealing with no water pressure and no hot water to shower with, we have NO WATER AT ALL!

We are on day 4 without water. That means no cleaning dishes, or cleaning anything. No flushing the toilet, and no showering here of course. Also there are all these bugs around as we cannot clean properly.  So R & C told us we could stay with them while this all gets sorted out.  Thank god we have them, as we certainly cannot afford a hotel right now.

It was a huge mistake moving into this place, it is clearly not well maintained!

Yes, there was a break in the water supply in Vallarta. But, there is also major plumbing issues in the building, hence why most of Vallarta still has water, with a few poorly built shantis exempt, our place being one of them. So we have spent the last few days frantically searching for apartments. We have been unsuccessful so far in finding something in our price range that is not a complete dump. And since I am no longer bringing in a full time income, our budget for an apartment has gone way down.

Augh. This doesn’t feel very paradisey, at all.

I’m trying to remain calm and remind myself that ‘the universe will always provide us with everything we need’. Which it isn’t right now, but I am trying my best to keep the faith.

On a happier note, I am going to start working with a few very talented ladies that do absolutely spectacular weddings!

I have admired their work since months before I moved to Vallarta, when I spotted one of their weddings in an online magazine. I am so so excited to have this amazing opportunity, and to be able to help in producing high quality and truly original weddings. Which I was of course lacking at the resort. We are also going to be going to a young professionals event tonight with my friend M.

So, despite our lack of auga, and a home that we can really get settled in,  things are still looking up. I am very optimistic and excited about our future in Vallarta!

Dream Weddings and me.

Thank you Nancy for reminding me to start blogging again!

Today is Christmas Day, and is the first time in a long time that I have really relaxed. Why?
1 month ago, I got a job as the Wedding Coordinator at a nice resort near Mismaloya. I have been working 6 days a week, anywhere from 8-12 hours a day and do anywhere from 1 to 3 weddings a DAY!  I have an assistant, I call him Es. He is fluent in English and Spanish, and he loves teaching me Spanish. I help him with his English quite a bit too. Es is 24, fabulous, kind, gay, and has a real passion for weddings.

Many of the employees at the resort do not speak English, and many of the vendors that I (am supposed too) work with on a daily basis do not speak English either. So, as you can imagine, that makes things super fun for me!
Es does all the internal communication and I deal only with the English speaking clients and the few English speaking people at the resort. (Which is actually far less than you would think, especially considering that there is an English teacher on the resort, available to teach FREE classes everyday! And still, most of them cannot speak one word of English).

The first few weeks at the resort were a grueling exhausting experience as the last wedding coordinator had just left over 200 something brides hanging and didn’t tell one of them that she was leaving the Resort! So, every single one of them were in a complete state of panic when I started. Awesome. So as you can imagine, the past few weeks my whole life has been about work, which to me is pretty sad, no matter how awesome the job is. The Mexicans work very hard for little money. After 1 particularly horrible week where I worked 14 hours a day 6 days a week, I was miserable, overworked and had never ever been so exhausted. There were over 300 emails in my in-box all the time, the number growing everyday, and the emails getting angrier and angrier. My days were filled with trying to keep up with the 2-3 weddings that were happening a day, weddings with brides that were angry even meeting me, as the woman who planned their whole wedding with them abandoned them.

After that week I started to question everything. What am I even doing this for? Is this really worth it? I forgot all my reasoning for wanting to live and work in Mexico. I felt naive for thinking it would be good for me to experience something new, something different. I missed Canada more than ever and felt so stupid for never really appreciating how easy life was up north. It was the worst week of my life. I cried 3 times that week. I completely lost it on one of the waiters who apparently was having an equally bad week and yelled at me something in Spanish. I went home defeated, and looked up flight prices to Calgary that night.

As it does in Mexico, word got around fast about how miserable I was. People at the resort talk about me a lot anyway, as me being there has caused gossip and controversy from the beginning. Even the owner of the resort had heard about all of this, and he is Canadian like me, so naturally, he decided that this was unacceptable, and that his new Canadian wedding coordinator must be happy. The following Monday I called in sick. I felt like I could never go back. I didn’t want too. I hated it.

I’m not sure why I went back on the Tuesday. Probably because I didn’t have my FM3 yet at the time and I decided I was going to let them get that for me before I left. The management pulled me aside after that day, and that day changed everything. I have a coffee machine and I only work long hours every second week now. And even then I never work more than 12 hours a day, which amazingly is not too bad to me now. I am taking Spanish classes at the resort everyday and learning Spanish very quickly! I got my FM3 and they took care of all of the paperwork for me. And Es took on far more responsibility so I could catch up with emails and make many angry brides happy again.

Now, I have an empty email box at the end of the day, and I leave my work at work. I have established quite a good relationship with over 100 brides, and the weddings are getting easier to manage.

I’m still not sure if this job is something I want to do long term, but for now, I am happy. I enjoy the little things more now, and I try to get out to the beach at 6:20 to watch the sunset everyday. I completely take advantage of my days off by discovering new beaches and catching up with B, and working on my tan.

It’s not what I had imagined for my new life in Mexico. I’m not volunteering for PEACE, and I’m not doing yoga everyday and I’m not reading on the beach everyday. But right now, I am making decent money doing what I love, and anyone living in Mexico knows that is pretty rare.

So, that is my life in a nutshell right now. It is now boxing day and today we are heading to the Botanical Gardens!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all!!

xoxoxox
L

Sad sad…

This is so awful.

I just received a call from my very first wedding client, from 4 years ago. She put her faith in me despite the fact that I had never even planned a wedding before. We’ll call her P. She said that a good friend of hers was planning to get married to his fiance in September 2012. They had set the date far in advance to save the money to have a beautiful wedding. Makes sense.  They just found out that he has been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain cancer, that is spreading at a dangerous pace. I want to cry just writing this. Anyway, they have said he is terminal and as far as how long, it’s hard to say. They decided to go ahead with the wedding, but for obvious reasons, need to have the wedding very soon. Paulina contacted me, frightened, and emotional. She asked if there was anything I could do as they have no money for this wedding.

This is just so so sad, I can’t even imagine what his bride to be is going through. I don’t think it gets any worse than that.

So, I’ve decided to contact all of my wedding vendors, and do everything I can to put on a free and fabulous wedding for them. I have offered my services to plan and coordinate the wedding (of course, I mean, it’s the least I can do) and I contacted my sister who offered to purchase and make the centerpieces. She also said she would help wherever needed.

So, P is going to visit her friend in the hospital to tell him the good news tomorrow. She was so grateful when she heard I would (try to) do a free wedding. I feel so awful. I just want to cry. I can’t even imagine.

Why do I spend so much time worrying about the most insignificant things? None of it really matters, as we have our health, and our youth, and so do our friends and family. I’m so so thankful for that right now.

Okay, I have a wedding to plan, on the fly.

L