Hey friend! I’m Melissa, founder of A Girl Gone Rogue. Let me tell you a little bit about what we’ve got going on here…
A Girl Gone Rogue is a few things. It is a project, a movement and a call to action. I truly believe we are all capable of creating a meaningful life, one that at the end of the day leaves us feeling vibrant, inspired and fulfilled. But so many of us become stuck at one point or another; in the way we think about ourselves, the choices we make and the day-to-day grind we face. This can add up to feeling burnt out, overwhelmed and helplessly exhausted. If you feel like this at all in your own life, A Girl Gone Rogue is here to serve as a guide, resource and motivation to help you take back ownership of your life. To take back the way you want to feel about yourself and your life ahead, the ways you treat your body and the ways you relate to the outside world.
Have you ever found yourself…
- Dreading getting up in the morning, because you feel like you’re running on a wheel that you aren’t in control of?
- Feeling like you’re playing a role in your own life and it’s exhausting you?
- Questioning, “who am I?” “when did I lose myself” or “what do I really want?”
- Moving through your life on auto pilot? Not really living, but just existing?
- Getting easily swept up in a roller coaster of emotions, like depression, anxiety, anger, fear and guilt, which you later feel ashamed for (and which starts the cycle all over again)?
- Saying you’re going to start (or stop) doing something but find yourself repeating old patterns?
- Feeling like anyone else could get their crap together, and that you’re “supposed” to be doing better than you are? That you must be flawed, or not good enough in some way?
The truth is…
We all can easily feel these things at some point or another…I know I did…and what we often do when we are struggling is hide. We feel ashamed and defeated because we can’t be everything to everyone at all times. We worry about being judged by others and often times don’t want to feel like “a burden” on other people. So we keep quiet and find a way to hustle through the day, hoping things will get better on their own. But what is almost always at the core of resolving our life issues and healing from painful experiences is the need to journey inward; to shine a light on the good, the bad and the ugly. To embrace our emotions – all of them – and begin taking control and ownership for our internal and external circumstances. We need to face our fears. Fears that we are less than, unworthy of, or not good enough. Because the simple truth is, you are good enough. You can change your life. It isn’t always easy, it isn’t always fun and it isn’t always planned…but it’s worth it. You can learn to live (and love) your life, and do it on your terms.
The purpose of life, after all, is to love it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. – Elanore Roosevelt
So, what is this ‘going rogue’ business?
Going rogue (verb): exhibiting maverick-like behaviour; bucking the status quo; someone displaying some degree of independence or failing to follow an expected script (Meriam Webster)¹.
A Girl Gone Rogue is here to help you take back ownership of your life and break free from the internal and external blocks that are keeping you from being your full, authentic self and living a life that is truly satisfying; whatever that looks like for you. This journey is about self discovery, learning to trust our intuition, letting go of the things that are holding us back (even when we don’t know what is on the other side) and being a bit of a bad ass and defining our own rules for happiness. No one is going to have a more invested interest in your health and happiness than you. You just need the right information and tools to do the job. And I’m here to help!
A Girl Gone Rogue was born out of my own journey of pushing past fear, starting over and transforming my life into something that is unapologetic, authentic and without regret. A life that I can look back on and smile about. A life that I can tell stories about and use to inspire others to become excited about their own lives. A Girl Gone Rogue is my act of both connecting and giving back to the world in the most meaningful way I can think of.
Within this site you can expect to find:
- Informative articles and posts that can help you discover and explore who you are, what you want, what is standing in the way and how to move beyond these challenges.
- Ideas and tools for building and living an inspired (and unapologetic) life, and for making changes, both big and small, that will contribute to your health and happiness.
- More in-depth courses, guides and access to me to give you more information and support on your personal journey.
- A supportive community of people who are all working to feel better about themselves and take steps to move their lives forward.
- A combination of both formal and informal experience and knowledge – I am walking my own talk here. I know about these struggles because they have been (and at times, still are) my own.
My personal goal is for readers coming to A Girl Gone Rogue to feel motivated and hopeful that living an inspired and meaningful life, one that cultivates joy, self love and satisfaction, is possible. After accessing what this site has to offer I truly hope readers feel vibrant and excited about moving forward, as well as equipped to actually do something about their life situations. The key to change is both information and action.
1. Our past is not more powerful than our present
2. Healing and feeling happy, inspired and fulfilled is an inside job that we are all capable of doing
3. Love, happiness, joy and success are achieved through daily practice. They are actions to be taken, not things to be acquired
4. There is no problem so big it cannot be solved
5. Small, simple and intentional changes can impact our lives in a big, big way
About me (and a bit of my own Going Rogue story)
Once upon a time…
There was a super quiet little girl. Like, playing alone in the corner with a pot and spoon for hours on end, happy as a clam, quiet little girl.
I’ve always been a dreamer, an over-thinker and an introvert. And I LOVED to dance. From the ripe ‘ol age of 2 ½ I donned a tutu, some tap shoes and a big smile each week at dance class. And I continued dancing for many, many years. Dancing gave me life, and a sense of freedom. I didn’t feel pressured to be or think or act a certain way when I was on stage. Total freedom. Childhood has such a wonder to it; anything seems possible!
And then “life” began…
I was beginning my first year of university, and I found myself interested in how the mind works. More truthfully, I really wanted to understand how my mind worked because I never totally felt like I “fit in”. Can anyone else relate to that? And this is where I made my first leap of faith; I transferred not only majors, but schools and began my journey into psychology. It was around this time that, sadly, dancing began to fade from my life, and by my third year of university I was lucky if I found my way to a class or two. Things got busy. I had expectations to meet. Goals to accomplish. I was in school full time and also working. I commuted to and from school, so I didn’t really have the time to go to pub nights or events that I was interested in. I kept my head down and followed the script Society had set out for me. I was happy-ish.
Fast forward a few years…
I graduated with an Honours Degree in Psychology and after returning to school a few years later I received my Masters Degree in Social Work in 2011. After this, I bought a house and began my career in clinical counselling. My days as a therapist have been spent listening, like really listening, to what people go through in their lives, the struggles they experience and then helping them to better understand their true selves, their gifts and strengths and finally increase their resiliency to make meaningful change in their lives. I’ve loved my work, and although it’s not easy or glamorous – special shout out to all those working in the non-profit world – I’ve become a better and stronger person for it. I have also learned far more about life from my clients and colleagues than I have from any textbook. Hands down.
But over the years I began noticing that something was missing. It starts as just this tiny pit in the stomach..do you know the feeling? And then I began to notice that I just didn’t feel good; not mentally, emotionally or physically. It took more and more energy each day to get things done and live the life I had been building over the last ten years. I was doing all the things I was supposed to be doing, and yet felt like I was detaching from my own life. What the heck is going on here? So, in the beginning of 2017 I finally vowed to figure out what was going on and do something about it.
The hard part…
After some much needed soul searching (which is a nice way of putting it) I discovered that what was missing in my life was…me. My innate need to create, to dream and to connect to the world around me in my own meaningful and inspired ways; like that little girl who couldn’t wait to put on her tap shoes and get on stage. I, like so many of us, had gotten swept up in a world of should’s and can’t right now; in being who I thought I was supposed to be; and I realized I was stuck in a narrow way of thinking about my life and my potential. So I needed to cut the fluff and get real with myself. Like, Hi self. It’s been a awhile. Should we sit down and talk?
I made my second big leap of faith. I left my 9-5 work and committed myself to creating a life that felt whole and inspired…whatever that means! I can tell you that I didn’t even know what exactly I was going to do with my life. Just imagine the looks I got when people asked, “so what’s next for you?” and my response was, “I have no idea. Starbucks, maybe?” (I have always wanted to be a Starbucks barista….they always seem so happy, and they must get free coffee, right?) But that’s just not what people are supposed to do, right? You don’t just start over.
It turns out that is exactly what needed to happen. I needed to walk the talk I had been so encouraging of with my clients…go figure! So, with the unimaginable and amazing support from the people around me, and a resolved sense of wonder, courage and fear A Girl Gone Rogue was born. I have created this site out of my passion for helping people move through and heal from their difficult circumstances, and my own need to build, create and do the work I love in a way that fuels and excites me.
I am so unbelievably thrilled about this adventure, and am entirely grateful that you are here. I truly hope being a part of the Girl Gone Rogue community will be as meaningful to you as it is for me.
Now, let’s do this!