How I ended up 1000 miles from home

Pretty picture of a room.

I never wanted to become a teacher. I never wanted to coach. I enjoyed both but I thought that MANAGING coaches would pay more and give me the chance to stay within the sports world. I wanted to join the ranks of a professional sports organization. I had dreams of becoming a professional athlete… but I didn’t even play for a four-year college.

So, after graduating from the University of Kansas in 2004, I started at the bottom: as a sports director at the YMCA of Greater KC. I loved my job, organizing schedules, creating a community, and implementing the Y’s Four Core Values: Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility. It was my dream job, but I didn’t understand how to plan and pace myself. I did more, more, more… until I crashed and burned out and turned in my two weeks to take a job at which I was absolutely horrible: sales. A short stint selling yellow page advertising at Yellow Book led to an even shorter stint selling phone systems at a small telecommunications company and my first ever termination.

Oh, the shame. I was so defeated. I loved non-profit work but needed more money for my student loans. And I wasn’t very good at sales. I felt lost and desperately needed a change of scenery.

This was 2007. I was 26. My boyfriend at the time was in the military, and deployed to Afghanistan. He had a house in Fayetteville, North Carolina and he needed a house-sitter. I raised my hand to volunteer, packed up my SUV, grabbed a friend and drove across the country to start anew in North Carolina.

I had no idea how my life was about to change, but I’m excited to share those changes with you! What major life changes have you experienced to make you who you are today? Please let me know! There is so much power in sharing.

Talk to you soon, Crystal

Published by collageandwood

Hello. I am a collage and event decor maker. I help women create custom keepsakes & celebrate high achievers! #seniornight 🥳Do you need giant letters or numbers? I can make it happen, and probably faster than you think :) Check me out at

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