“I think women today have so many more opportunities to be their authentic selves than I had on my journey” said Annamarie, former restaurant Marketing Exec. turned gourmet RV food blogger.
When I, myself, think back to what degrees and career options were available even to me 20 years ago, I cannot agree more with her. The entrepreneurial opportunities are endless for women today.
Isn’t it funny how God places people in your life for a reason and a season? What’s even better is when that season turns into years and that reason is a perpetual gift in your life. Annamarie and I met many years ago (too many to be exact) working with a national restaurant chain. She was hired on in Marketing and we immediately bonded over workplace dysfunction.
She has always been one to dabble in business ownership having owned a small boutique in Milton, GA and like me, she is a bit of a restless soul always seeking to satisfy that gypsy spirit. Another commonality we bonded over. She even made the leap to go back to school and get her Master’s degree at the age of 47 in a field totally different than the one she had been in for so many years. God love her, I still wake up in cold sweats having nightmares about college exams! Annamarie and I have remained good friends over the years as there is a remarkably similar parallel in our journeys. Just when I decided to leave my corporate gig, shortly thereafter, she was leaving hers.
We always wonder how we find ourselves in the exact same position. What was dragging us away from our “security blankets?” Upon reflection, it was the surrendering of ourselves and the idea of what we thought we needed to survive. Annamarie, like me, is a paycheck chaser. She realized that the paycheck was a means to an end and not something that truly fulfilled her. The holy spirit had been nudging us both all these years, we both felt it and heard it, heck we even talked about it, but we were too afraid to act on it. Given our “we take care of ourselves” tough exterior, it’s pretty evident as to why it took us so long to surrender.
Like many others over the last year or so, Annamarie’s international travel plans were cancelled due to COVID so she and her husband decided to purchase an RV. Now that she was going to have some “free” time and he was working remote, they were going road trippin.’ Sounds good in theory, right? Not exactly for someone like Annamarie. Having a career has always been a big part of her identity. It has provided her with many amazing memories, opportunities (like the time she moved to Ireland to work for a restaurant group) and life-long friendships.
How could she possibly go from a high-powered executive to an on-the-road Queen of her RV? One day she recalled making a steak dinner in the RV on one of their weekend excursions. Posting a photo of the food on a Facebook RV page, the overwhelming response to gourmet food in an RV stirred something within her. Why couldn’t there be a space for RV’rs/Campers to learn how to cook gourmet food on the road?
With a full kitchen, you don’t have to be boxed into the stereotypical camping delicacies of hotdogs and a can of beans. This revelation sparked an idea and RV Gourmet was born. Annamarie knows if she can tackle a Michelin star recipe from a RV, then others can to. Not only does RV Gourmet showcase instructional how-to recipe videos, but she will also be featuring local restaurants and businesses they visit along their travels. Keep checking back because you never know when you may see a local chef featured making their own RV Gourmet meal.
What does this all mean for Annamarie and her journey of self-discovery? It means, she is finally able to be her authentic self while creating her own destiny. One of her greatest successes has been gaining confidence through all of her past experiences, good or bad. She is doing life on her terms now, working harder than ever to build HER business.
I want to leave you with one piece of advice from Annamarie. “Keep dreaming and don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t.” Can’t what, you may ask? BE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO BE AT ANY AGE.
“The only limitations we put on ourselves, IS OURSELVES.”
We all have a story worth telling and if you would like me to share yours, email me at email@example.com subject: Blog me.
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Meredeth, Southern Soul Collectives
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