• Lauren Dyche

Stressed, Scammed and Still I PERSEVERE

I am not the first person to say this and I won't be the last, 2020 is a shit show.

Global pandemic, civil unrest, limited resources, children stuck at home with their families... the list keeps growing. Among this time of uncertainty and change, we are all individually still experiencing our daily lives. We each have our daily struggles, gifts and experiences. Like many of you, 2020 has been a never ending ride of change. Small change, big change it's been without bias and relentless. I knew going into 2020 that I was bracing for changes. My husband had enlisted in the Army, I was leaving my career in public education after a successful 7 year run, we were moving to California, I was expanding my certifications and oh yeah, becoming an entrepreneur. One of those alone is enough to cause MAJOR transitional strife for anyone, but then the rest of 2020 happened.

As a Health and Life Coach, I pride myself on my commitment to not only my clients and loved one well being, but my own. This colossal year of change had some major impacts on my personal wellbeing as well as my spirit. As my husband and I close in on the final weeks before our move to Cali., I am feeling all the feels of transitions and reprioritizing the essentials of what must be done, what can wait and upping my self care.

I have wanted to move to California for nearly 20 years. It is finally here and I truly couldn't be more excited, but at the same time I am terrified. The best comparison I can illustrate for you would be comparable to the feeling you get about riding a new roller coaster. You know you want to ride. You know you're going to have fun, but once you're on the ride slowly approaching the first drop you begin second guessing why the hell you wanted to do this in the first place. That's the unnerving feeling I've been sitting in for the last month. Because I've been so micro focused on the drop, I've been missing out on the view. Let me explain.

About two weeks after my husband returned home, I went into full on find a house to rent in another state mode. I was stalking Zillow, and a few other reputable renting sites from the moment my coffee was poured, again mid morning, after lunch and before bed. Yep, I basically was a full time home stalker. Inquiry after inquiry went out. Repeatedly rejected either because it had already been rented or because of one or all of our pets wasn't compliant with the pet policy. But eventually I got 3 hits on potential prospects. One of which seemed way too good to be true.

The thing about a Pandemic world, is so many things are virtual now. House hunting included. So when my husband and I started interacting with the alleged owner of the home we were interested in renting, we assumed all was well. In fact, we were given proof of identification, home ownership and receipt of our deposits. The following day we packed up the Rav4 and the dog and drove from Colorado to California to get the keys to our California Rental! The entire way out, Kalib and I were both excited but also leery. Regardless, we kept positive and the person was still in constant communication with us. The following day, we agreed to get the keys from the lockbox at the home. In exchange for first months prorated rent, he would give us the code to the lockbox. We sat out front of the home for 4 hours, as the "owner" said his wife was having complications at the hospital and the code was at his office. Understandably, we waited to give the final payment upon the go ahead for the keys. Surprise to no one, the code didn't work. The "owner" called me on the phone apologizing for the inconvenience and agreed to fly out to meet us the following day. Now, I know what you're thinking, if he is scamming us, why would he continue to talk and communicate with us, right? Yep, that was our thinking too. The following morning, my stomach was in knots and Kalib and I were both beyond frustrated and freaked out. Using the help of family members and Realtors and the local Police in the area, we began telling our story and asking for help to either confirm the validity of this person or the validity of the fact that we just got taken for a $4300 ride plus road trip travel expenses. I won't keep you waiting any longer, It was a scam. After running the license and a few other cop-magic things, it was confirmed that we were fucked.

This moment was not mine or my husbands best. We both went into our old habits for dealing with stressful situations and neglected one another needs. Definitely not a good idea for any relationship, let alone your spouse. Never the less, we were IN California, had family to stay with and were going to still try to find a rental and explore the town we were hoping to move into. Once we had confirmed with the bank and the cops that we would indeed NOT be getting any of our money back unless they caught the bastard (highly unlikely) we moved onward to reaching out to other contacts and eventually landed a dream rental in under 48hrs. WHEW.

In reflection a week or so later, we are packing and purging our old Colorado life in preparation for this next adventure together. It's easy to look at this situation as a reason to not chase our dreams. As a sign of misfortune or as a warning to turn back. Without pain, there is no struggle. In fact, the week before my husband returned home I tattooed the following word on my back; PERSEVERE. The definition of the word persevere is to "continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success."

Isn't it funny how when you are in the midst of pain, struggle or strife everything feels amplified? As if to say that this moment in time is the worst you've experienced in your life. This is true of course, because we cannot experience the future in the present. But after the fog lifts, and time moves us forward to less choppy waters, we so quickly forget the pain of yesterday. We are again so present in the now or so focused on the tomorrow that the "worst experience of our life" no longer holds the same physical weight it did yesterday in our bodies. But it is also a powerful reminder that this too shall pass, but we must continue to persevere in spite of challenges.

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