The Courage to Start All Over Again

“For what it’s worth… it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”


These words by F. Scott Fitzgerald only resonated with me the last couple of years. You know, sometimes you read or hear something and it doesn’t stick until you’re ready to really absorb the message.


I wouldn’t say that I wasn’t proud of the life I was living. I was proud of my network of supportive friends and mentors around me. I was proud of my career. I had worked my butt off to achieve top recognition, and I had earned the respect of my colleagues and senior leadership and, most importantly, my customers.


But, somehow it struck me- there truly aren’t any rules to this thing called life. I didn’t have to just keep doing what I was doing because it felt comfortable. This isn’t some kind of practice for the real game. This is the only life I have, and I don’t even know how long I have here to live it. What I decided is that I wanted to make the best of it. I realized meaningful growth doesn’t come from inside my comfort zone. Armed with these newfound discoveries, I left my life behind and started over.


A little note about moving away- By far the best thing is the people you meet and the perspectives you gain. It’s a priceless gift that life rewards you for taking a big risk. I did feel things I’d never felt before. I was startled. It was magical and moving, and it was hard as hell. I was forever changed.


Recently I’ve started all over again. This time, thankfully, the new beginning has been a joy. It was a choice this time, and I feel grateful each and every day I wake up to this life I am so blessed to live.


I am excited to share a little about the next chapter in the book I’m writing that has unexpected twists and turns and crazy highs and lows, this life that I’ve had the courage to cultivate…


After one of my barre classes a couple weeks ago, I met a beautiful young woman from Nashville. We spoke about our cross country moves and how we were adjusting to life in San Diego. Pretty soon we were the only ones left in the studio and we continued our conversation, which turned to work. I asked her what she did and she replied “yacht sales.”


A couple days later, I put on a suit, printed out a couple copies of my resume, and literally pounded the pavement with a few of my new friend’s recommendations. My search was short, because I landed very quickly in the spot that I knew I was meant to find.


I’m proud to share that I am beginning a new chapter in my professional journey, one that is very exciting to me.  It’s a career that is in line with the life I’ve worked to cultivate. It’s in sync with my love of the water and my belief that being on the water is good for one’s soul. And as someone who has lived without a boat and with a boat, I can say with certainty that a boat changes everything. This career is with South Coast Yachts in my hometown of San Diego!


US Virgin Islands
Of all the professions in the world, finding one that helps others experience more joy, create lifelong memories with friends and family, and have more fun, is one that I am thrilled to embark upon.


After all, this isn’t a dress rehearsal! We only get one chance to live our best lives. If it’s getting out on the water and creating experiences that would enhance yours, please allow me the opportunity to help you find the boat that meets your needs! I’ll be sharing on my YouTube channel, on Instagram of course, and I’d be honored if you’d like to follow along. Welcome aboard, y’all! This is going to be fun!
Ashley Cates South Coast Yachts San Diego
Boats in the harbor

Ashley Cates, San Diego Blogger

1 Comment
  • Barrett Canfield
    March 28, 2019

    Ashley, We are so excited to have you aboard at South Coast Yachts! Your attitude, drive, and spirit will bring you great accomplishment anywhere, but we are happy that you chose this path with all of us st SCY.

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