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A Ledge with a View: Finding My Life Persona

As I write this, I am 52. So many things changed once I passed 50. And I’m not just talking about the leg cramps and sagging body parts. I’m talking about the realization that I’m running out of decades. It makes the desire to even pretend to entertain situations that waste any of my time completely fall away.

More than that, though, there is an incredible view of the past from this place. A 360-degree analysis of all that led me here. The scenery is filled with beauty, sadness, victories, and some other words that those who love me don’t like me using, like failure and regret. But it’s all there if I’m being honest. And examining it from this viewpoint, it combines into one amazing and wisdom-filled landscape.

That’s where I’ve been for about a year now. Sitting on this metaphorical rock ledge examining my journey here. Some of what I’ve seen has been hard to acknowledge, but most of it has been reaffirming and motivating.

All my life, I’ve been what you’d call a transitory kind of person. I never wanted to plant roots anywhere. When I met Michael, my husband, I decided to see what planting roots might feel like. We bought a house in NH, where I soon opened a pop music school.

Starting a bricks and mortar business with contract employees in a small town where new businesses often go to die is a great way to conjure up all your baggage and personal challenges. All at once. Loud and in your face. Especially when a housing crisis forces a parade of parents to say things like, “We won’t be able to continue next semester because I need the tuition to buy heating oil.”

The music school had many great successes, for me and for our students, but none of those successes were financial. I closed shop five years after opening. Even back then, I recognized how much I had learned about business, and teaching, and myself. But it wasn’t enough to counter the small-business PTSD I suffered for many years. The nomad in me blamed my attempt to plant roots for the failure I felt inside. Of course, that failure I felt inside was there before I opened the school.

Three years and two RV’s later, Michael and I landed in SW Florida. It was a beautiful, happening place. And best of all, we didn’t need a snowblower or roof rake! The population was huge, so clients easily found me. And unlike in NH, I wasn’t responsible for any other teachers, which had been one of my biggest headaches with the music school.

It was in SW Florida where my small-business confidence returned and I really polished and fine-tuned my coaching. But I still felt unsatisfied. I wasn’t finding my peeps or feeling at all like I was “home.” Even meeting musicians and gigging in local bands didn’t help.

The nomad virus returned, and this time it was apparently airborne because Michael caught it, too. That’s when I began to develop the online aspects of my business, in preparation for a new adventure. That way, I could take what I built on the road and satisfy both the business and the wanderlust.

I wasn’t ready to hit the road yet when COVID lockdown came. Suddenly, though, all my clients were forced to work with me online. So, we took the plunge. We sold our house and hopped into RV number three.

I started out in heaven. I had exciting business prospects brewing AND I was on the road. But with each next RV park, the happiness gradually faded. Although he had briefly caught my wanderlust, Michael is not a nomad at heart. My business grew but not as quickly as Michael’s dissatisfaction with life on the road.

That feeling of failure that lived inside me began to flare again.

When we landed in Maine in the summer of ‘21, I thought I was at an all-time low. I actually sank a little lower after we sold the RV and I suffered a few business-related blows. Add the wrath of menopause and, well, the pit felt deep.

There are so many things I love about what I do, but the most beneficial aspect of coaching others is that you can’t help but splatter some of that coaching onto yourself. And that’s what happened. I gathered my coaching tools and sat on that metaphorical rock ledge for several months examining how I got there.

I started looking at old pictures and reading old lyrics I’d written. I recorded myself sharing stories from my past and journaled about the dreams I remembered having as a child. I reacquainted myself with the person I once was, a person that had to alter her language and choices over the years to fit the needs of family, clients, and others. I began to imagine what she would be like today had she been free to evolve naturally. What would she think? How would she talk and dress? What would she do in her daily life?

It was a magical, life-altering, and incredibly fun journey. So much so, that I’ve incorporated the steps into my newly revamped coaching model, which I call Your Ideal Life Persona. It led me to my new artist persona as well. Her name is SO.

SO isn’t a character I play. She is a side of me that has been sorely neglected. She is the person I am when no baggage or conditioning is getting in my way. She is the voice of my most confident and true self. She knows what I’ve always told my clients but often struggled to feel myself; that there is no failure, only data collection for the next success.

And there’s one more important thing that SO taught me. All those times I longed to free myself from planted roots, I just needed to free her. Geography is never the trap. Trapping her is what trapped me. Freeing her left me holding no reservations about purchasing the next house with Michael. SO will be free to roam wherever I am. That’s my commitment to her.

This small tweak in my coaching model is relatively new but already proving so effective! It’s the basis for my one-on-one and small group coaching programs and it makes incorporating the new you into your life easy and fun! That’s the best part for me as a confidence coach. The prospect of each new client seems more fun than ever. And what’s the point of doing life if it’s not fun?

I’m going to tell you more about SO in future articles (like how she and I almost ran away with the circus). For now, I want to encourage you to uncover and name your own SO.

That’s why for a limited time, I’m offering a free single session (30-60 minutes) to anyone who’d like to explore who they might have become had life and circumstances not turned them in a different direction. There’s absolutely no pressure to sign up for continued coaching. This is a free one-off that I’m doing because I love it, and because I want you to love who you are and where your life is going.

Use this link to schedule a free session now: https://onlinewithjudyfine.com/book-a-free-consultation/

Thanks for reading. I hope to meet you and your SO soon!