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Part 2: The In-Between


Adapted from: Kahua Kollective | Wahine Workshop

New Here? Click HERE to read part one.

Why is it difficult to see our lives as successful when we are walking the line between our last achievement and our next milestone?


The first time I felt that I was living in the in-between was when I was just starting my teaching career. Despite graduating on the Dean’s list with a double major the topic of conversation always turned to who I was dating, or why I wasn’t bringing a plus one to the next wedding. It seems that being single in the south (much like Hawaii) is a crime, and the goal I should have been striving for was being barefoot and pregnant with 2.5 kids on the way.

I pushed hard against this stereotype and made plans to travel the world and create a full life for myself because I knew my life had value despite my relationship status. Success for me in that season looked like loving on students who others had given up on, being a loyal friend, a reliable adventure partner, and a cheerleader for those around me in different phases of life. I also learned that if people want to talk about their relationship status, they will… but that does not define them.


Years later I would step down from my teaching position to become a nanny and again I would find myself in the middle. When people asked me what I did I struggled to answer because for so long my identity was in my job. I would say I’m a nanny, but I taught for years and just needed a break. I’m a nanny, but I make more than I did after 6+ years teaching. I’m a nanny but I’m starting a business with my husband. Anything to fill that void between what was and what’s to come.

This simple season of slowing down became such a sweet time for my husband and I. Overtime I would become more confident in the fact that it didn’t matter what I was doing for work, who I WAS remained constant. Living a life of joy and loving people well is possible in and out of seasons of societal “success.” It was in this time that I stopped asking people, “What do you do?” You learn so much more by asking… What are you most passionate about? What do you do for fun? What are you looking forward to right now?


During that season as a nanny, my husband Josh and I did in fact start a business. Our company Fancy Camps, started as a collaboration with my brother and sister-in-law, but in the spring of 2018 as they faced a serious health crisis, we were thrust into full ownership. We were not equipped for the season we were walking into. On social media our business looked amazing… our luxury camping events were stunning, we were traveling nationwide for music festivals, and we had secured a consistent contract within the Florida State Park system.

When people heard about our business or saw pictures on Instagram, they would talk about how incredible our lives looked and how lucky we were to have a unique and successful business. But behind the scenes we were struggling. The photos didn’t show the endless hours driving 26’ box trucks cross country because we didn’t have a crew to do it for us. They didn’t show us sleeping in the back of those box trucks because we were too exhausted and broke to find another place to sleep. It didn’t show the nonstop calls from needy guests and the stress of being owed 20 thousand dollars from a past event for over a year and still having to find a way to pay our crew.

But I loved being a business owner - entrepreneurship felt like the lane I was supposed to be in from the beginning. Because of this and the fact that Fancy Camps was our first baby I was loyal to a fault. We finally got to a place that felt like we weren’t drowning, but even still Josh felt it was time to move on. But this was our baby! I told him that I understood, and that as long as he gave me time to find a replacement for him, I could manage everything on my own. I ignored the weight of the stress and kept pressing on.

Shortly after this conversation, in the Spring of 2020, after 5 years in business Covid-19 hit us hard. The majority of our revenue as a business came from large gathering… weddings, music festivals, corporate retreats. Even the State Parks, where our permanent glamping sites were located, were shut down due to the pandemic. Overnight every single event for the remainder of the year was canceled. Large down payments that had been made the year prior were expected to be returned, and new income came to a halt.

Josh took a temporary active-duty position in the Coast Guard so that we could continue to pay our bills, and I was left to man the business alone in the heat and humidity of a Florida Summer. Florida opened for business again the very week that Josh headed to West Virginia for 3 months that would eventually turn into 6. The weight that we had shared carrying the company, was now falling square on my shoulders and the burden was more than I had imagined. After 3 months of hauling trailers, managing staff and clients, sometimes setting up full events by myself because our workers didn’t show… I found myself losing sleep at night, carrying heaviness with me throughout the day, and I eventually developed an eye twitch (for real). This was my first taste of anxiety, and it was relentless.

As time pressed on, I came to the realization that it was okay to move on… In a sweet turn of events God used one of the most trying times of my adult career to ensure that my husband and I were on the same page. We would pass the business back to my family and start a new chapter that lead us here to Hawaii, a place that fills my soul like no other and a community I am continually blown away by. I learned that sometimes success looks like moving on from things that are no longer for you.

What's Next?

Check out Part 3 for a glimpse into the more recent in-between season, Read Now.


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