My life changed completely in 2014. After 19 years abroad, I went home to Peru for Christmas to be with my family. We had a great time and my mom got her favourite gift: photos with all her children and grandchildren.
Then on Boxing Day, I was in an elevator with my dad and his nurse when the cable snapped and we free-fell two storeys down. My dad and his nurse were bruised but otherwise okay.
My left heel, on the other hand, was not. As my surgeon later told me, it exploded.
Just like that, my life turned around. At the time when I was supposed to be boarding my flight back to the States I was being wheeled into the operating room to reconstruct my heel. On New Year’s Eve I was beside myself between the pain and knowing that I wouldn’t be going back home any time soon.
My job, apartment, office, belongings, car – essentially the last 25 years of my life – were pretty much gone. I was staying in Lima indefinitely.
I still had bills to pay, so after the mandatory pity party I had to think outside the box. For years I had been promising myself that by age 50 my income would not be tied up to a place I had to commute to every day.
Before my accident, I was an operations and customer service manager for a logistics and shipping company.
I wanted to work online and make my living from wherever I was. Well, if being stuck in a bed with no place to go and bills to pay wasn’t the perfect place to start, I can’t think of a better one.
So I set up my own company with a partner in the same field.
It didn’t happen overnight. I reached out to business contacts, chose a platform for my online business, and taught myself about servers, hosting, IP addresses, security certificates etc.
It was a constant learning process. I watched a lot of online tutorials, listened to podcasts, signed up for free web designs sites to get a feel for what I liked, read a lot of blogs, found places to get images from and learned how to get content. A lot to take in…
Achieving my ambition…
Fast forward four and half months – bearing in mind I had nothing else to do – and I’m ahead of my goal of not commuting to work (aside from the fact that I would have to fly there) by a year and I’m paying my bills.
Yes, it was painful, yes it is still hard sometimes and yes I would have preferred not to fall but at the end of the day, I’ve achieved my professional goal. I developed an amazing relationship with my niece and connected with one of my brothers at a whole new level. I’m working with my mom on a long-time project of ours we could never find the time to get to because I lived in the States and her in Peru. I found a way to continue doing the work I love so much.
Most of the above outcomes would’ve been really nice on their own but added together they amount to a whole new person. A much happier, peaceful, smiling, relaxed yet more focused person. Make no mistakes, I still get frustrated and I miss my life back in the States but I’m finding a way to merge it with the life I’m making in Peru, smiling one day at a time. I hope that when I do blend them it will be awesome.
Choose your favourite cliché: lemons and lemonade, blessings in disguise, something good out of something bad… but in the end change is always good. I’ve proved that…
Find out more…
Here are some websites I’ve found useful along the way: