The Duchess Digest: Going Bi-Coastal

bicoastalI’ve grown up largely in an age of wealth and prosperity. Fancy cars, cellphones, vacations, houses, clothing and all the nice dinners I could ever want have made up the majority of my life’s experiences. Sure I worried about paying the rent or the mortgage from time to time, but there’s always been more then enough. And I can tell you I’ve loved the luxuries (I have to be true to my Taurus nature), but at the same time I’ve had my fair share of depression, loneliness and sadness too. So while the thought and experience of lots of money and things didn’t exactly depress me, it didn’t always mean happiness either.

The current state of the economy reminds me of the paradox of being really sick. Have you ever had some big emotional drama you’re dealing with that feels all consuming until you get sick? Or worse, a loved one gets really sick? All of the sudden that man not calling you back or your best friend copying your haircut or your boss being a jerk seems to have no bearing or place in your life. Things get really clear and you see – wow, that doesn’t matter.

Health is what matters. When you’re sick you think, “If only I could feel well again.” When you don’t have your health you don’t have anything. I think this is similar to life today. Our economy is “sick” and we’re seeing there is more to our lives then money. If we’re only what we drive or only as good as where we live and what we wear, who are we when that gets taken away? Which just begs the basic question, who are we? What are we about? What do we stand for and believe? And why does it always take a swift kick in the pants to remind us about these important questions?

As usual, I’m speaking from first hand experience here. I have been consumed in the drama of not liking my job, feeling stuck and searching Los Angeles for a habitable apartment for the last month. I was giving myself break-outs and anxiety attacks over the urgency of my situation. Until last weekend, when I received a phone call from my wasband (that’s the man who was my husband) that his father (and last living relative) was in the hospital, diagnosed and rapidly dying of an inoperable brain tumor. Last week he was fine. This week he is unable to function and confined to the hospital. Needless to say my personal mini-dramas was retired (permanently?) as I began my plan of action to get to Washington D.C. as quickly as possible to help.

It sometimes takes these moments of crises to remember what we stand for and who we really are underneath the “stuff.” And underneath my “stuff” – I’m all about the people I love and the women I can help in any way. So Duchess will live on, just from a new acronym: I’m swapping the L.A. for the D.C. Join me next week from the opposite coast. And don’t let it take illness, death or tragedy to start asking, and more importantly answering, the important questions of your life. Long may you reign!

–Jill Brown


Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California-based life coach and writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: www.theduchessguide.com