A Million No’s

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
– Arthur Ashe

Debbie Corley

The power of perseverance, positive thinking, and a healthy attitude are very important ingredients to living a full and happy life. A million no’s can bring you a very special YES.

Just because I’m 62 does not mean that I have to give up on any dreams that I had when I was younger. How many times have you been told no and immediately just give up? When I was younger, I never had the will or mental strength to stand up for what I wanted. I was able to change my mindset with a just little encouragement. Today and every day, we have opportunities to encourage. Our words and actions are powerful when we make the choice to be encouraging. What we say and do definitely have impacts on others.

In my late fifties, some extremely difficult and life changing situations happened to me. I was afraid of so many things. My marriage was over. This was a relief, but I was still scared. I was in an abusive marriage for many years and didn’t know how to leave. I finally made the decision to leave when my children were away at college. I did not have support from my father, who also was abusive. They were both manipulative narcissists. My parents were both not well, and in their 90’s. And to top it off, my dog was 17 and not doing well either.

Debbie Corley

So it began, the most difficult 2 years of my life.

My divorce was under way. I was so afraid of him, I needed a bodyguard to come with me to our final signing. I walked away from everything with the hope he would leave me alone. Thankfully he was seeing someone, and they were planning their wedding. When I found out about this through my kids I was relieved. But he led me to believe he was completely broke and alone and told me he would destroy my life if I asked for anything.

My parents both passed away during this time, a year and a half from each other. My mom had had a very difficult life, so after my father passed I tried to show her a happy life until she passed. My beloved dog, Smooch, passed just before my mom.

After my mom’s funeral, I made the decision to follow my dreams that I had as a child. Though challenging, I was so excited! I never had the freedom to make my own choices. I was determined to try, and try I did. I made some mistakes, but they were my mistakes and I learned so much from them. And I had many triumphs also.

Starting over was the best thing that could have happened to me! The first thing that I accomplished was getting hired at Bath and Body works! I loved the freedom of going to work, it also gave me money to survive. As I started living my authentic life and following my dreams. I started my first two projects right away. I invented Tulifts. I had always wanted to feel comfortable in my sports bras and these inserts earned me 2 patents. Running a business is very difficult. I tried my very best. I chose to end the sales and pursue a licensing agreement. This will be a whole new adventure.

I became a domestic violence advocate and began sharing my story. This was the beginning of feeling like I’m whole again.

I have always loved unique fashion, and for a year I up-cycled clothes. My creations were even at New York Fashion Week!
I have always wanted to be a model, I just loved the way I felt showing off a product. I started an Instagram and began this journey. I was offered jobs modeling almost everything, I loved it and worked so hard becoming comfortable in front of the camera. And at 62 I signed a contract with O’s Modeling Agency. A dream I had since I was a very young child had finally come true.

I have learned so much about myself these past few years and identified my strengths and weaknesses. I realize that a strength I have is to try anything. I also realized I’m a really hard worker. And when I love what I’m doing, it’s incredibly fulfilling. I came to realize how adventurous I am. I traveled the world, alone! I had the time of my life and I wasn’t scared even for a minute! My daughter told me recently that she was proud of me for taking risks and being out of my comfort zone. Coming from her, that is such a beautiful compliment. Adventure is something that may put a fright into some people. Adventure to me means aspirations and optimism. No one wants to be stressed and nervous but you can be adventurous in your own little ways. All you need to do is have the courage and an idea. You need to step out of your comfort zone because eventually, that little zone needs to grow, and if you don’t step out, you will not grow.

Practicing some spontaneity and embracing some changes in your life can make you a more well rounded person. You will begin to realize how strong of a person you truly are. I know that being adventurous for me meant learning new skills and meeting new and interesting, wonderfully beautiful people.

We all have a story. We all have ups and downs. But I truly believe that not letting fear or circumstances get in your way you can achieve all of your dreams.

Debbie Corley

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have no idea what lies ahead, but I’m so excited to take on this new role! I know I’ll work hard, and I know I’ll be told no. I know I will learn from each experience and take away something useful for my next experience. I hope I will be able to help others with what I learn. I know I will keep a positive attitude and enjoy every minute of this new adventure.

I would love to hear your dreams and aspirations – please share them with us.

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