Hello everyone and happy year of the Pig! Which is really a great Segway into this journal entry because it is all about another pertinent word in my life that begins with P, Power or in French Puissance.
When I reflect on the birthday I am about to have, the big double 3, I really reflect on the past 5 birthdays I have had. I will start 5 years back, one of the most memorable of them all, my 28th birthday à Paris! I was just getting to know France, fell in love with the Parisian suburb of Fountainebleu and started my journey to finding a fun-loving Frenchman to cure me of my peter-pan obsessed NYC self. It was one of the most powerful points in my life because it opened my mind to another culture, language and expanded my perception of how I viewed the world. It was a birthday for the ages!
A quick fast forward to 29, the year I decided I not only was in love with the fantasy of France, (which I really soaked up every Sunday at Felix, which is flooded with ex-pats and Francophiles alike) but I wanted to live there. I was determined to find a way. I had my heart-broken earlier that year by a French ex-pat by way of Peru (who will remain nameless) and I was determined to find my own Frenchie, who not only was simple French by blood but lived in France. I realized my career goals were shifting and business at the time was troublesome, I knew the only way to really elevate myself in my industry, was to pursue an MBA…..drum roll please: what better place than Paris, the nucleus and epicenter of fashion! When I look back this was really my first experience with manifesting and creating my dreams and before I knew it my Mother and I boarded flights in February, (right after my 29th birthday) made appointments with countless universities and I began my business school selection process. It was a powerful year of manifesting and making my dreams come true! I have to say when I look back, I am really proud of that young 29 year old version of myself.
Throughout my 29th year, after my business school fate had been sealed and first installment of tuition paid I took a little detour from my French-focused life and began dating someone in NYC. In hindsight I was a bit scared to leave my comfort zone of NYC, my salary, my travel benefits, my friends, my quick flight to Florida when the weather got too cold. He was keeping me there and quite candidly, he adored me, he opened me up to a world in Williamsburg, that I never knew existed. I was a bit of a Upper-Manhattan elitist who enjoyed my 63rd st sanctuary of studio and did all my day drinking and soirées in soho or Tribeca. This relationship opened me up to so many new things as I kissed my NYC life goodbye and I met some of the most impactful people in my life to date. (OsCarly and Kiran, I ❤️ you) Everything truly does happen for a reason. In Late summer of 2015, I boarded a flight to France, fighting back tears as I was saying goodbye to my creature comforts, my 63rd st studio, my upper west-side rendez-vous with BTP, Sunday soirées at Felix and Jones, my job where I learned how to survive in the garment business, to always fake it til you make it and never forget to be yourself. This place was where I have stories and friendships and most importantly Laughs that will last a lifetime…..it was a bit scary in retrospect as just thinking about it brings me to tears, but in the moment I got on that plane, wheels up, I felt like i was taking my life into my own hands, and I was in that what felt like a powerless moment, the most powerful version of myself. 29 year old self, you were so SMART!
As 30 inched closer and my Parisian #goals were starting to fall into place, it felt like my life was in a tornado. It started in November of 2015. First, a terrorist attack in Paris that left my neighborhood and university in complete shock, and a bit of chaos as everyone tried to piece together the powerful impact this horrible catastrophic event would have on their future lives. It was truly one day at a time healing and then another boom. I found out shortly there after the gas in my building in NYC had been turned off, my renter was no longer paying me and I was left in Paris to power through the madness and well PAY. Without my salary and living off my savings, I felt completely powerless. By the time I turned 30 I was 10 lbs lighter than when I left NYC and a complete nervous wreck. It felt like my French dream was being taken from me. This was supposed to be a wonderful experience where I was soaking up culture, becoming Fluent in French and learning how to navigate the ins and outs of French bureaucracy so I could stay in the country once my studies were up. Unfortunately, all of that fell to the way side. I spent most of the days following my 30th bday, stressed, sad and sick. Those days were some of the saddest of my life. I remember calling my best friend in Dallas and just sobbing uncontrollably on most Saturday nights. I was broke and in that moment I felt completely bewildered by what the universe was throwing at me. Before I knew it, I was back on US soil, indefinitely, moving to Baltimore, and by no means thrilled about anything other than the opportunity to work for one of the best Sports companies in the world. UA was saving me from myself. When I look back and remember August 23rd, 2016 when the doctor told me, “You have leukemia,” all the nonsense of not having money, moving back from France 3 months early, my relationship falling apart as a result of narcissism and me not having enough self-love to shut it down sooner, I remember that UA saved me. They brought me to one of the best cities in the world to be treated for Leukemia, they took care of me for as long as they could, and offered me a spot back on the NA sales team in the Spring. They sent angels into my life like Sarah, Shelby, Kelly G (who told me to go to the Doctor) and my Baltimore/Francophile bestie B Frank and to this day I am forever grateful. The universe and UA had and still has my back. They gave me back my power so I could persevere.
Alright let’s talk about 31! This was the year of happiness, hope and a holistic healing, which I would eventually learn was setting me up for success so I could step into my most powerless moment, remission relapse. I am so thankful for as I quickly coined it, Allie 3.1. It brought me back to France and I was able to experience Malta with Faith and James, a memorable and meditative moment in the Mediterranean. I found love (that came to fruition when I needed it most), I spent many Sunday’s back at Felix when I was moonlighting as my girl SDK in NYC while she went on maternity leave. I was living life in a way I never thought possible, it was just flowing. I even locked in a new job for the new year in 2018, on a team more suited for more career goals, it felt as though my new life was falling perfectly into place. I had so much love in my life and there was only one person missing my twin-brother. God and the universe had a plan, and only 2 weeks before my 32nd birthday, remission relapse hit me like a hard kick to the ribs, as I felt it in my bones, which I soon learned was the leukemic blasts forming in my marrow and I was told it was time for the transplant. My life-saving, selfless, womb-sharing, but separate sacs brother of mine, flew to Florida not knowing he was the match, but in that moment, I knew I would be cured and my plan B, new immune system would keep the leukemia that once plagued me in remission forever. I was stepping into my power to persevere again but this time I had a side-kick.
Ahhhh 32. It started out with some champagne, as a BMT Doctor friend of mine in NYC said, drink up buttercup, it’ll be a while before you can have some spirits but I promise it will be worth it. I started the most ruthless chemo I ever endured to date on February 9th and by February 23rd, I was told by my fellow, a nice young doctor from Wisconsin (Midwest is best), I was back in remission but it was a different remission, a remission with 0 Minimal Residual Disease. A word that haunted me for much of 2017. (But no need to dwell on that at this date and time) My BMT Doctor started to visit me and it was as if he was literally sent to me from God, the universe, as his name was Michael, the archangel of protection and the name of my uncle who drowned when he was 3. Messages from the universe were spiraling in and my brother, Anthony (the patron saint of miracles) was named my Match. (Intuition told me this a year prior, but that’s a story for another day) I powered through the rest of the transplant process as best I could, with prayer, medicines, miracles (hello VOD), meditation, yoga and endless hours of therapy with my counselor, and before I knew it I was slowly getting my pride back. My hair started to grow and my skin “shit-show,” was beginning to sort itself out. With a lot of trial and error might I add and a call from a skincare specialist in South Carolina who read my blog. 🙏🏽 I was beginning to grow into the new person I was meant and always wanted to be, my authentic self, emotionally, spiritually and finally physically. And candidly I was starting to like it and notice it this past December. Then…… just last week, in an opportunity to share the story of my most powerless moment, I stepped closer to my spiritually aligned action than ever before and I told my story of triumph and all the in betweens. It was emotional and invigorating as the crowd had more empathy than i have ever experienced and felt in on one room. And the room my friends was FULL. I took them on a journey From France to Baltimore to AML August 2016 to Rejoicing and Remission of 2017 to Relapse and Rebirth of 2018 to my year of Gratitude and Going for my dreams in 2019. I was honored and humbled to have the opportunity to help this group have more happy conversations about what medicines they offer and how they change people’s lives, like mine. #miracles
So tomorrow at 1:17 am when I turn 33 I know that the year of the pig is not only a little stroke ornament luck and eating endless amounts of pork (kidding), but it is about gratitude, just as 2018 was about growth and persevering, my P for 2019 is about finding my power. I chose this as I realized during my reflection process that in my most powerless moment, which was my battle with Leukemia these past few years. I am forever grateful I am in remission with a built in back-up plan from my best friend and twin-brother, but I am also incredibly grateful to be able to share this journey with all of you and with other warriors working towards triumph. My friends, whatever you’re battling know that the mind is powerful, manifest your dreams, believe in miracles and watch them take form, you will be victorious!
Bisous tout le monde and thank you for following the journey to the one and allie! ❤️