Today’s post is a special guest post from my fiancée, Marina. We spent a week on the road attending 3 back-to-back conferences at the end of October and, in the spirit of Distilled Dollar, we often write and prepare many posts that never see the light of day.

Many posts are barrelled, stored for many moons, and on rare occasions, we break them out. This particular post resurfaced as Marina and myself committed to the largest goal we’ll ever take on: to end financial trauma in our lifetimes.

With both of us leaving our 9-5 jobs to support the recent, crazy growth of Distilled Dollar full-time effective January 15th, I wanted to share the post below. It was the first step on the transition in our lives to setting such a large goal and making such a big commitment.

I’ll be sure to share more in a future post on the goals for Distilled Dollar in 2018 and the years to come now that you’ll see us full-time in growing the site. So, for now, sit back, relax, and enjoy today’s guest post from my fiancée, Marina:

Have you ever missed a flight?

At age 27, I have, for the first time, in my adult life, of my own volition, missed a flight.

Currently, I’m sitting on the floor, looking at my initials on the stand-by list and asking myself, “How the hell did this happen?”.

A few moments ago, someone asked me, “Ma’am, where are you going?” I thought I knew what flight I was on, but as it turned out, that flight was already taking off without me.

Fast forward to the present, and my initials just dropped down from #3 to #4 on this stand-by list. I don’t know who “MER, C” is, but he or she is about to get home instead of me.

Before I get into a brawl with this unsuspecting passenger, let’s pause for a second and get to the root of why my fiancé and I missed this particular flight.

We’ve had a long week. Last Saturday we left a wedding before the reception started and went straight to the airport. We flew from Chicago to San Diego for a work conference. Then from San Diego to Dallas for FinCon 2017, where we finally got to put names to faces.

While we only spent one day at FinCon, we had the chance to meet, greet, laugh, and mingle. I can finally say that I feel somewhat a belonging to the blogging community, whereas, before I felt like a creepy solicitor who guest posted now and then on someone else’s blog.

My initials just dropped down to #5 on the stand-by list. Remind me to never travel with a checked back ever again.

Anyway. Moving on.

How Matt Ruined My Season 2 of Stranger Things Binge Watch

What I really want to talk about it the fact that Matt and I spent the last 48 hours at LaunchCon 2017 with Jeff Walker and his magical team of human super people.

On Day One, he went alone because I didn’t take a PTO day on Friday. I was 15 minutes shy is closing my email and firing up Netflix when he called during his second break.

I have to admit, that I almost didn’t answer. His morning break call was all over the place; he was talking a mile a minute and I had no context for it, so I really wasn’t all that interested.

But, I love the man, and I did answer if only to check in make sure he hadn’t been inducted into a cult.

10 minutes into the call, I told him that I’m going to the hotel where the conference was taking place, picking him up and dragging him the hell out of there.

I didn’t understand a word that he was saying — it sounded like he drank the kool-aid at a pyramid scheme event and went off the rails. Legitimately, I was worried that my husband-to-be was being brainwashed and that Jeff Walker (sorry, Jeff) might be to Marketing what L.Ron Hubbard is to Scientology.

Long story short; I was really truly very grossly wrong.

When I got to the lobby, I spotted the back of Matt’s head in a line, chatting with fellow LaunchCon attendees and I bee-lined it straight to him.

He was so excited to see me, but he also looked physically and emotionally drained. I thought, “Oh, my god, we’re leaving now.”

I told him that I’m uncomfortable. That I wanted to leave and go home and if he wanted to be a part of a weird marketing cult, he’d be on his own.

I was being a HUGE bitch, but he’d spent the day with people of a much higher caliber and level of determination, so he knew to be patient with me. People create their own fears and success barriers. I was putting up mine because as I approached the tribe of people who were all there with a sense of purpose, I felt stupid, alone, and out place.

No one was mean to me. Everyone was laughing and smiling. Everyone was nice. Kind, understanding, encouraging. And they all had a purpose.

I did not. Both internally and externally, looking back at it now, I did not have a purpose to be there other than to shit-talk a community of people much happier and more successful than myself. I wanted to grab Matt, and pull him back into the safe-zone, where I was, where it felt familiar and sane.

At the same time, I felt both pulled in and repelled by the energy emanating from the crowd because I felt like I took the wrong exit off the highway.

It was at this moment that Lisa spotted Matt and waved. She walked over and I stopped my shit-talking for the sake of public decency.

“Great. Here comes one of them now”, I thought. “Smile, be nice, and get the fuck out”, I thought.

One of the amazing things about this community is their ability to sense and cut through the bullshit. After introducing herself, Lisa asked me why I wanted to leave. Yea, I looked that uncomfortable.

But, I was already there and there was an open bar. Lisa started asking me questions about myself. I answered and followed up with questions about Lisa. I was certain she’d be crazy, but it turns out Lisa is an oncologist. For decades, she had her own practice and has spent a lifetime dedicated to science and medicine.

In 2013 she left her practice because she wanted to stop living her life during the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Instead, along with her patients, she wanted to move on to living a life after cancer.

Since then, this brilliant medical doctor and MBA, has been helping people to shake off the shackles of a disease that often leaves people emotionally paralized after it’s trailed and tried their physical body.

Getting a diagnosis, as it turns out, is not the worst part about being sick. Surviving and living as a shell of your former self is.

At this point, I had the man I would marry — a brilliant, charismatic, driven, and highly educated man —  and Lisa telling me that there’s something to be found at this event other than an open bar.

I made a decision to stay and listen to more people. Not to stand there and judge them for where they were, but to listen and understand why they were there.

Closing Time

The following day, I got up at 5 AM and went to Day 2 of LaunchCon with Matt, open to the possibility that I might be the one full of shit.

17 hours later, Jeff Walker told us all to go home and get some sleep. I’ve never been more exhausted or drained or painfully aware of how much actual living was passing me by every day. I won’t try to explain to any of you what I learned on that Saturday, but as Teddy-Bear-Mastin Kipp said, “Transformation is caught, not taught.”

I won’t tell you that I’ve found the answer to all of life’s questions or that I now know my purpose. I don’t and that’s the point. I realized that I really don’t know a goddamn thing and that I really should do something about that.

I’m in seat 26E, flying American from Dallas Fort Worth to Chicago O’Hare. I’m coming home with the man I hope I’m fortunate enough to get the live the rest of my life with, and the next time someone asks me what I ‘do’, I’m going to say, “I don’t know. I’m working on finding out.”


Matt here again, let me know what you thought of today’s post in the comments below or feel free to answer this question: Where are you going in 2018? Marina loves to read all the comments and messages related to her and I’ll encourage her to reply to each response from today’s post.

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