To an outsider looking at my life today, they’d see a loving husband, beautiful young daughter, and charming house in an idyllic Santa Barbara setting. They’d see a woman who gets to work from home doing the very thing she loves most – writing – while surrounded by a strong network of friends and family. How lucky, they’d say. And they’d be right. I’ve been incredibly lucky.

But that’s only the surface.

Beneath the carefree facade of luck are years of intention, of goals written in journals and plastered on vision boards, of 100-hour self-inflicted work weeks, risks faced, fears overcome, and failures endured. The truth hidden behind my easy smile is that I’ve gotten where I am through persistence, tenacity, and a healthy dose of stubborn optimism. I’ve set out to achieve audacious dreams, slathered salve on searing burns of rejection and defeat, wandered lost in the sea of possibility, and wrestled Hulk-sized monsters of self-doubt and insecurity.

As the scars crisscrossing my hands, knees and soul reveal, I’ve steadily carved my own luck out of the unforgiving stone of life. And as long as I draw breath, I intend to continue.