Erica’s Story

Today I’m living The Real Simple Good Life, where I call my own shots and live life on my own terms, but it wasn’t always like this. My version of The RSG Life has been years in the making. It has happened slowly over time, like a force building momentum, the kind of momentum I plan to carry into the future. And I get real excited about it because I know you can find your own version of The RSG Life, too! 

But first, let’s go back because, like I said, it wasn’t always this “easy.” Because if you just popped onto our site, you might think we make living The RSG Life look easy peasy. Yes, I would say it is simple, but definitely not always easy.

Like Justin, and you can read his inspiring story here, I went to school for business and during the trough of the recession settled on accounting as my major and graduate program because it was safe, and I knew I’d actually have a job when I graduated. I had my doubts about me as an accountant, but I went with it for practicality and stability sake because at the time stability was exactly what I needed.  

You see…just a couple years prior to graduating from college, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that results in neurologic degeneration. I was right in the middle of trying to navigate what felt like a scary lifelong battle ahead of me and becoming an adult all at the same time. It was a messy several years that followed – marriage, divorce, new career. It felt like life was closing in on me. I felt like I had been living based on circumstances and settling for a life that didn’t feel like me. I had this nagging feeling that I wasn’t being true to myself. And that was hard. Hard to break someone’s heart, hard to break my own heart and hard to start over from scratch, all by myself. But that’s what I did. 

The next many years were spent working my way up the corporate ladder, trying to fight my diagnosis and proving, mostly to myself but also to whoever else was paying attention, that I could do it for myself. I needed to go through these things, but man did it suck! Like really, really suck. Bad relationships, bad jobs, with some good stuff sometimes mixed in there.

At a low point, when my health was really starting to deteriorate – in a way that became visible from the outside – super tired all the time, brain fog, low energy, just going through the motions in life, etc. I got a wake up call from Justin and another co-worker – yep, that is how we met! At work. They called me out on not looking like I felt well and asked if everything was ok. Gut check for you, if I ever got one. I thought I’d been managing well, but clearly not. And that is when I changed my diet…and my life. 

Justin and I started dating shortly after I changed my diet and after some big life changes of his own. And quickly it was clear that we were on the same page in a lot of ways. We dove into our new diet lifestyle and from there things really began to take shape. Not easily, but looking back I can see that things were falling into place whether we realized it or not. 

As a married couple, we’ve built this business. We’ve built a life together that we both love, and we’ve continued to struggle through some heavy things. After a couple years of infertility we sought professional help and ended up going down the path of IVF (in vitro fertilization). Our first attempt landed us pregnant, but much too soon our little one lost her heartbeat. Her name was Elliott, and we loved her very much. This next phase of our life and business is honestly a gift from her. Her loss nudged us into digging deeper than ever before to work on ourselves.   

Grief is a crazy thing. I didn’t know it, but somehow, life had already begun to prepare me to fight to live, to fight to be better, more resilient and to love deeper. It was the hardest fight I’ve had to date. Yet, I got back up. It probably wasn’t pretty or graceful, but I scraped my way out of the dark and got back up and Justin did, too. 

We both grew stronger individually and together, and our love for one another grew deeper, and the life we are building together became more powerful. We refocused on our business and figuring out how we could reach people in an even more meaningful way, and that is how The Real Simple Good Life began to take form. 

You see, life really hasn’t gotten easier at all. And I don’t think easier really is the goal either. The point is that I’ve intentionally changed my outlook and approach and my life has changed, too. As I’ve shifted my mindset and internal beliefs, opportunities and people have come into my life, presenting so much more than I ever could have planned on my own. I don’t have it all figured out (not even close), and sometimes it’s just one day at a time, but I have learned that we all need to find our voice, find our passions, and build a life worth living. And we have to do it with intention and conviction. 

Everyday I strive to do a little better, become a little better and live better. We don’t often get to choose our circumstances, but we do get to choose how we handle them and most importantly, how we grow from them. I hope I am able to touch people’s lives in a way that inspires them to find their own voice and helps them start to live better and create a life filled with substance and purpose – their own version of The Real Simple Good Life. 

Are you in?!

4 thoughts on “Erica’s Story

  • Erica – Your story moves me…to tears, for sure, but in so many other ways. I enjoy so much following your blog and I’m excited to see your baby girl (probably not as excited as you and Justin are, but still).

    You are such an inspiration…to so many people and I’m so glad life is working out better for you now! Keep on truckin’!

    • Aaaw thank you, Donna! I so appreciate that you are here and that you continue to follow along with us, years after this little blog of ours began. It’s such a pleasure getting to know you through this online community we’re building and to get to grow and thrive together across the distance and miles. Thank you so much! 🙂

  • Erica, as you know I’ve known you through your grandmother, and what I’ve seen over the years is reflected in your story: a woman with a beautiful soul who listens to her body and her heart and strives to live the best life possible. With God’s help you have showed all of us to live with grace and courage. Each of us needs to hear encouragement when facing challenges. You’ve shown us how our lives can improve and flourish. Bless you always!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, support and encouragement! I appreciate it more than I can express. Just being here, being heard and seen has been a very healing part of my journey. I’m grateful for the friends, family and online community we’ve built to support us and help us along the way, too! I’m glad I’m able to share my own story and help others in return.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.