What do you do when the bottom drops out of your life? Pivot.

On June 14th I was an entrepreneur and excited bride-to-be. I was busy, to say the least. Between working on 2 consulting companies, 1 of my own (Capi’s Creative) and one with my fiancé (The Smartegists), I was also a part-time Marketing Manager and enthusiastic step-mom. We were preparing to grow our business and our family. Guests had begun to arrive for wedding festivities the following weekend and the sun was shining. To say I was happy and excited about life was an understatement.

June 15th life changed. The details of that day are a story for another time. The value in this post is not about what happened, but about the aftermath. The unexpected and dramatic exit of my fiancé left me with a massive mess to clean up. Besides the obvious emotional impact, I had a wedding to cancel, family to notify, a business to salvage and then unravel along with bank accounts, a home…a life. Oh, and let’s not forget the terror of instantly going from a two income household to one. What does one do when the bottom drops out?

My brother said it first. You pivot. It quickly became my new catch phrase.

I’ve always been good in a crisis, and this is certainly not the first time life has thrown me a right hook. Ever an action-taker, I saw this as a true opportunity to walk my talk. I’m a Marketer! I’m a Coach! This is what I do! What would I advise a client to do? What are the smart action steps?

And that is exactly what I have done. I set my intention: to come through this crisis with strength, grace, and integrity. I defined the actions I needed to take immediately and began mapping my options. Within two days I had canceled the wedding, contacted clients, and begun the consolidation process. I wrote in my journal, and cried when I needed to. I ranted and raved to compassionate friends, and acknowledged the grief process I was experiencing. I also reached out to my doctor and booked an appointment with a counselor. All the things I would advise a client to do.

Ironically I had read the beautiful words of Sheryl Sandberg and the lessons she learned in the wake of her husband’s sudden death only days before. Of course, my fiancé is not dead, but I was certainly experiencing the death of one life, of a carefully divined and nurtured plan. The future was suddenly wide open. For better or worse.

I am comforted by the fact that even in this, the most dramatic of circumstances, I have more options than obstacles. I have never been more sure of my strength and skills, or thankful for the kindness of those around me. I have learned many lessons in the past few weeks. People have surprised me, mostly in very positive, beautiful ways, responding with love and compassion. My people came through for me in ways that make me feel humbled, and very, very blessed.

Moving forward I see good things, even if I have yet to make decisions. I am rebranding my businesses. Combining the Smartegists and Capi’s Creative to be Capi’s Coaching. I’ll soon be introducing my new brand and my new site. There are still more questions than answers, and I am still getting comfortable living in this new limbo. This is truly a lesson in living in the moment! Whatever comes next, I know that it will be an interesting ride that I am fully equipped to take. Welcome, I hope you join me.