The hospitality industry came naturally to me. I love people, I love to host and I am Mexican so being hospitable is engrained in me. Two years ago being of service managed to get the best of me. I was working at a beautiful hotel in West Hollywood, CA. The role I was in was very demanding, encompassed long hours as well as high attention to detail. I wouldn't say I am a perfectionist but I do like things to be done right. And of course being in the service industry, I want them to be spectacular.
It wasn't until a few months into this role that things began to change within me. It started with one migraine a week, then two a week and eventually I was getting migraines on a daily basis. I knew this wasn't normal so I went to my family doctor who recommend me to a specialist. The doctor proceeded to run tests on me and gave me a whole array of migraine drugs to try. Still the pain didn't go away. The doctor could not figure out what was wrong with me. I just couldn't understand why there was no solution or results. I started thinking the worse and even had a CT scan and more intricate neurological testing. Nothing -- there was nothing there. On top of that the stress at my work was only increasing and I was busier in my work life than I had ever been at any other stage in my life.
Then, that's when it happened. I had a break down. It started at work in the middle of a chaotic scenario, which was becoming the norm in my role. My migraine was so intense that I had to lay down under my desk because the pain was unbearable. The lights, the noise, the work, the whole world was caving into my head and making me incapable of doing anything. I felt like smashing my head into the wall to take the pain away -- boom, boom, boom like a heavy pulse on the temple of my head. I somehow eventually made it home that day and threw myself in my dark room, forcing myself to pass out in hopes that the pain would go away. The next day when I woke the pain was still there, even more intense, it was excruciating. I couldn't believe it, despite my efforts in forcing myself to sleep and taking the maximum dose of medication, it was still there - that damn thing. It was that kind of pain where you can't get up, you can't eat, and your vision can't even focus. It was then at that moment that I had an "aha" moment. It wasn't the "a-ha" moment you hear about when the world makes sense and everything is rose colored, it was an "a-ha" moment that my body was screaming for which changed my life forever. It was my body speaking to me, my body telling me to let go. It was my body saying to me, this is not worth it, listen to me, this is not where I want you to be, this is not what I envision how I want your life to be lived. I realized that in the midst of trying to be of service to others I forgot the most important thing -- me.
It took me almost one year to realize what was best for me. It was a long journey, but one that I needed so that I than could understand what really matters in life. It was during that painful "aha" moment that I understood what matters most is your happiness, your health, and your piece of mind. I am happy to report I am still thriving in the service industry, but this time I am in full control. I learned an important lesson, that even sometimes in the hospitality industry it's OK to say "No."