My Day Jobs
My name is Dawn Lee and I was born and raised in Indiana. I went to Frankton High School and followed that by going to college at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, IN.
I have two boys and was lucky enough to spend about 5 years as a stay at home mom. I always wanted to stay at home with my kids, but sometimes life doesn't give you what you planned. Since I returned to work, I have had a hard time adjusting and finding my happy place.
Figuring out where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do in order to find my happy place has been a long journey, and it is certainly not over. That's where Just Say Yes Adventures come in.
My forever job is being a mom to two boys and doing my best to raise them into respectful, caring, happy young men. Guiding them and helping them understand the world and how their strengths can make a positive impact. This will always be my first and most important job.
My second day job is working as a Mechanical Engineer overseeing the Program Management of the overhead cranes and forklifts for a large company. This job has provided me with the means to travel and discover my true self and purpose in this world.
When I'm not hanging out with my kids or working, I can be found with my friends doing some sort of very fun, yet always painful race, or on the dance floor, getting my groove on. I participate in races ranging from 5k's to marathons to multiple day races to mud runs. I have also become addicted to ballroom dancing, and recently, Kizomba dancing.
A few years ago, I was going through a really rough time and had signed up for a retreat with a friend. We went to Costa Rica and stayed at Chakra Lodge. This retreat could not have come at a more perfect time. I was going on the trip to get away and seek some adrenaline. Little did I know that this trip would change the whole direction of my life.
I went to Costa Rica looking for a week of adventure with my best friend. I left realizing many things about my life that I never expected. My heart had been very closed and I had become very cold to many of the things in my life. I was going through a very painful time and many of the things that had happened had made me numb and cold and tough. It was the only way I knew to protect myself from the hurt I constantly felt. I was hard and angry. I had learned how to cover this hardness and anger with sarcasm and jokes and thought I was coping very well with everything.
Then I went to Costa Rica. This place is somewhat magical to me and will forever hold a very special place in my soul. The first few days before the retreat were epic and amazing in more ways than my words will ever be able to describe. I saw so many beautiful things and met so many wonderful people. Mother nature began to open my cold heart and empty soul and fill it with beauty and joy and feeling. I felt like a kid again, alive, totally embracing and immersing myself in everything I was doing. Living only in the moment and saying yes to every opportunity that was presented. It was the most amazing feeling of freedom and joy and happiness.
Then we met with our retreat group. I am not much of a “friends” kind of person and sometimes have a hard time in large groups of girls. I put on my protective hard cover and keep everyone at a distance. It was a few days into the retreat, after a day of adventure and hard work, when we sat down to sing a song. The “hold hands and sing cumbaya” thing was never really something I did, but I embraced this opportunity with the same enthusiasm as all of the other adventures I had taken. We sang a very simple song that turned this hard, cold woman into a hot mess of tears. And I tell you what, it is exactly what I needed.
I had been holding on to so much hurt and resentment from things that had happened in the past. For some reason, they all came rushing out. My friend held me like a baby, hugging me and it was one of the most amazing moments I have had in my life. It was just like all the bad stuff came out and instead of pushing it all back inside, I just let it all go. I let the mountains and the rain and the other women and my friend just take it all away.
This was the life changing moment I had unknowingly needed and it was totally unexpected. I felt a sense of peace again, a sense of balance that I had not felt for a very long time, if ever. At the time, I didn’t realize how big of a moment that was, but as the days went by and I reflect on the trip as a whole, this is the moment that sticks out the most. The moment I let go of my baggage and my soul was opened back up to the love and joy of the world. Pura Vida will forever have more meaning to me than any other words I have ever heard. Thank you Costa Rica and and all of the people I met for allowing me to heal my soul and embrace life again.
Sometimes we are unaware of the profound affect events will have on our lives. I try to remember every day to be open to new things and to embrace each day moment by moment. To make sure that I am connecting with myself, other people, and mother nature. To accept my feelings and know that they are ok and part of this life. Since this moment in Costa Rica, I have been very aware of the path I plan to take.
My New Path
Since my trip to Costa Rica, I have come to the realization that I want to be helping people. There are many ways to do this, but specifically, I want to help people heal.
I went back to school online and got my Nutrition Degree from Purdue Global. I am currently studying to take the Certified Personal Trainer examination and I will become Level 3 Reiki certified in April. I also plan to add massage therapy in the next 2 years. All of this work will allow me to better help people heal. But, the thing I feel will have the biggest impact is to take people on adventures to experience what I experienced. To let them have the same opportunity that I had to grow and to heal and to change. To be able to take time out and focus on themselves and to see where their hearts point them.
This is where I want to put my efforts in order to bring myself and others the most joy possible. This life is fleeting and I plan to catch all of the moments, good and bad, and weave them into my best possible self.