About

Who is Lolabees? Lolabees is me, Laura, but in a way, Lolabees is also so many of you.fullsizeoutput_a7

I thought I had my life all planned out.  I thought I knew myself well enough to trust in my plan, but I was all wrong in so many ways.  While I knew I wanted a stable, comfortable, and successful life, buried deep inside of me was someone who longed for creativity, spontaneity, and adventure.  I took the safe path and chose to be a dentist because I knew it would provide the perfect life that I could fit neatly into a box.  I was going to be happy, I was going to help people, and I was going to have a dream lifestyle to go along with my dream career.

Something went wrong along the way because that’s not how it turned out.  Instead I ended up trapped in the wrong life– the wrong career.  During the 10 years I practiced dentistry, it appeared as if I had it all.  From the outside it seemed I was thriving in a noble career that helped so many people, earning an amazing income, cultivating happy personal relationships, and living in total freedom.  I had it all, or so it seemed.  I had all those things, but I was far from feeling happy and fulfilled.  Instead, I dreaded my days in the office.  I wasted away my nights, worrying about the days that surrounded each night.  I lived for vacations, only to be even more depressed when I had to come home and face the reality of my life.  I was worried all the time– worried about work, worried about my patients, and worried that I couldn’t save enough money to retire early enough.  For years I secretly suffered through each day, hating about myself the very thing that I had come to use to define myself: being a dentist.  (See?  It’s not just patients who hate us!)

I hated who I was, but I was doing nothing about it!  Years went by, and I couldn’t get off the roller coaster.

I was stuck.

After a series of events, including an ultimatum from my husband, I knew I had to change.  I had no choice but to finally DO SOMETHING, and that changed my life forever.  It didn’t happen overnight.  I worked with a career coach.  I worked with a therapist.  I tried finding new interests.  Most of the time, it was discouraging, and I felt like I was going nowhere.  But I didn’t ever give up, and then it happened.

I decided to take a risk like no risk I’d ever taken before in my life.

One night, my husband was reading the social column in the newspaper, and he found a blurb in it about a travel contest. He said, “hey, you should enter this contest to be a travel show host.  It says anyone can enter.”  Initially every possible excuse came flooding out of my mouth… I can’t make a video of myself, I wouldn’t be any good at that, and I’m not funny or creative.  But the more I thought about it, I realized I had nothing to lose.  I knew that if I didn’t take one single step out of my comfort zone, that I’d never take any steps at all.  I had been stuck for so many years  that I was so desperate, and I didn’t want to stay stuck anymore.  So I went for it.

In October of 2010 I entered a contest to be a travel show host for an online TV show.  Whether I had a chance or not was irrelevant.  The point was, I was taking any step, and in some way, this would open a new door for me.  It didn’t matter what that door was, whether it was the right door or the wrong door. What mattered was that I start doing something different, and this was definitely something I never imagined doing.  Here is my push out of my comfort zone:

Guess what?  I didn’t win! 

After weeks of daydreaming that my win would rescue me from my real life, I discovered that I actually loved something!  I knew I had to step through this new door, regardless of the outcome.  I decided to start a blog about food and travel, another thing I never expected I’d do.  If I couldn’t be a travel show host, why not keep pretending, right?

Through the simple act of blogging, my life changed subtly, but significantly.  I found my voice, creativity, and the courage to continue taking steps forward.  Since then, I have broken out of the golden handcuffs that trap so many of us, discovered that I am capable of so much more than I thought, and helped many people start seriously asking the same questions for themselves that helped me correct my path.

So where are we now?  I traded away some of those seemingly important things to feel happy again… and I’m still here!  I didn’t burst into flames or fall off a cliff.  I survived, and I am thriving.  I feel fulfilled, driven by the desire to help people like you and me who are stuck.  Whether it’s finding a way to make your current career better for you, or taking the huge leap to leave it all behind, there are 2 thoughts that continue to guide my decisions:

We don’t have to suffer our way through life for it to be valuable and have meaning.

AND

When I wake up 20, 30, 40 years from now, do I want to look back on these years with regret?  No way!

So that’s me!  How about you?  Are you ready to correct your path?

 

 

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79 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi! I discovered your awesome blog after I saw you “liked” my last post. I just flipped though some of your posts and I LOVE your photos! We have in common a love for food, travel and taking photos! 😀 I will be back…often. May I have your name or should I call you, Lolabee? 😉
    Admirably, Tena
    My Flickr account with over 16,000 photos. Lol! http://www.flickr.com/photos/4mitena/sets/

    1. Thanks, Tena! I just loved your post on What Will Matter! It’s so valuable to be reminded of these things. I can’t wait to check out more of your posts!
      Laura or Lolabees, either one 🙂

  2. Thanks for stopping by my page! I’m similar, I’m passionate about travel and bodyboarding, and…little else. You’ve got some rad pics on your site, jealous you’ve been to Puerto Rico, good surf there!

    1. I noticed the hysterical picture on your post and had to see what it was all about. Thanks for stopping by here! You should get to Puerto Rico someday– you’ll love it!

  3. Great site! I’d love to chat with you about the joys of dentistry, blogging, and travel. I would love to get you involved with some fun writing projects in the dental industry.

  4. Found your blog.. I’m a dental hygienist .. I understand you blog on dentist .. That is why I only do pedo .. I just made a career switch and am getting my masters in social work and love it.. I’ll have alot of student debt which I wish I didn’t .. I don’t really miss dentistry but I keep up my license … And temp occasionally .. I love social work there are a million jobs I can do .. I want to do hospice or grief counseling or maybe work with the elderly . The best part is I’m appreciated for my age and life experiences .. In dentistry the male dentist seem to want the young and impressionable hygienists lol .. I’m on Facebook Donna Ray Guerrero your welcome to friend me..

    1. Thanks, Donna! Congrats on finding something else that you love and makes you feel appreciated. That is how I feel now too– and it life feels so much lighter. Thanks for sharing your story– it’s nice to know you’re not alone when going through these types of changes.

  5. I am a dentist, and have been in practice 18 yrs now—-
    I have so many outside interests that I am passionate about. I feel jealous in way or envious, and also super interested in your writing and your life. I just now this minute heard of you, thru a link on my Facebook page. I have often fantasized about doing other fun things as a career.
    To do what you are doing , write the things you write—is inspiring,,enjoyable, and makes me wanna give up my practice to join you ! We can create a reality tv show or something.
    it would be a thrill to get in touch and blab a bit , commiserate and share experiences and ideas.
    Is there a way to get in touch with you?

    1. Hi Rob. Thanks for your post! It’s so great that you have so many other passions too. The hardest time for me as a dentist was when I didn’t have any other interests. Once I started doing this and focusing on what I love, it all started to fall into place. I’d love to be in touch. I now have a contact form on the site, so please contact me!

  6. Hi Laura, your post about 10 reasons dentists hate their patients too is spreading like wildfire amongst my classmates (4th year dental students). Anyways, I read a number of your other posts, watched your video, and was inspired (a little ironic, since I enjoy the profession so far). I like your style and am a fellow obsessive traveler and photographer/moviemaker. At some point I would love to meet you…in fact (and the reason I posted this comment) if you’re interested in a very non-touristy expedition to SE Asia this coming summer, I have a great opportunity for you. Send me an email and we can talk!

  7. Hi Chris,
    Thanks for sharing the news! Thanks for checking out my blog, and I’m glad you like it. I have your email, and will contact you. Checked out your blog, and I think it’s great. Never been to Asia… sounds enticing!

  8. Love the “10 reasons”………………..sooooo true! Will we ever be successful at re-educating our patients. It can be more rewarding doing donated dentistry, since we do so much of it anyway…..hmmmm! Something’s wrong here!

  9. Laura, I am just now reading this part of your blog, and hadn’t realized about the new career. Tenemos que hablar, chica! Me muero de curiosidad, porque yo he perdido 35 libras en poco mas que un año sin medicamentos, etc. Hit me up on FB chat sometime, or email me your number y te llamo!

  10. Laura, this is an interesting blog. So glad you found what you love. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but just got into blogging about three months ago, and LOVE it. It’s been a fun ride so far.

    I’m following you now, but not stalking … too much!

    1. Thanks, mj! Life sure has changed now that I am no longer trapped in the life that wasn’t meant for me! I’ll probably have another career change in 10 years all over again! Thanks for following. Can’t wait to check out how the last 3 months of blogging have treated you.

  11. Hey Lolabees. I just found that I wasn’t following you anymore, so I re-followed.
    I don’t know what had happened, likely a moment of absentmindedness.

    Anyway, that’s my explanation if one was needed.

  12. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog and my recipes. I really enjoyed your comments about dentists and patients…fortunately, I can tell you that my grandfather was a dentist and I’ve never hated a dentist in my life. Anyway, I’m going to head over to your recipe site.

    1. Glad to hear you are not an anti-dentite! You’ll probably find more interest in my other site– actually you may not know it because I had this blog first, and wordpress probably directs you to this blog, but you’ve already been there 😉 Thanks for visiting both!

  13. Hi lolabees, glad we ‘met’ on another blog and here I am 🙂 Thanks too for dropping by my site. Regardless, I was reading about your career change and you’ve been really courageous to leave your job in search/wait of the next to come. I’m contemplating what I should do about my career right now, so this is really an interesting read! Will be back! 🙂

    1. I know– it’s great to connect in the comment section of a post! It always intrigues me when someone replies to one of my comments– the conversation doesn’t have to be just between the reader and the blogger. Glad you did. I stopped by your blog and look forward to catching more of it! Looks like we have some things in common– food, travel. Are you actually contemplating a full career change, or are you just looking to make some minor changes?

      1. Hi lolabees, I’m not sure yet. I guess minor changes for now but who knows where life brings you? The most unexpected things might bring the greatest challenges (and joys)! 🙂

        1. I believe that if you set your intentions, do the work, and then allow opportunities to come to you, the right answer will appear. It might take a while, but it’ll happen. Sounds like that’s the path you are taking. Can’t wait to see the unexpected joys that come your way. 🙂

        2. Thank you my dear! I am enjoying every bit of the work I do now, but I think some change need to be made so I’m really just looking around. Definitely hoping that all the discussions out there will bring joy! 😉

    1. Thanks. Glad you like them both 😀 The new career search is great– it worked eventually. Just curious… did you find a new career since you left the financial field?

  14. No I really never did. I was unemployed for about 8 months. I went on several bank manager interviews but in the end everyone wanted prior experience for the career levels I was applying for and I lost out to those that had it. I ended up taking a ‘staff’ position with Frito Lay, putting chips on shelves because I thought it to be a good company and the money was decent. But, resume wise, I shot myself in the foot taking that job. I still work in the snack industry but its one of those gigs where you have to relocate to move up and that would be real hard to do here. I would love to do something in the fitness filed but I just see too many gyms open and close around here.

    I am sorry, I missed it in your blog, what did you end up doing career wise? Was it in fitness?

    1. No worries– there is a lot to catch up on. I actually went into weight loss– but through nutrition, not fitness. My husband is a chiropractor who happens to be very involved with the fitness industry. We have a good friend who just moved from the UK to the US to expand his fitness business. If you are really interested, now is a great time to check out what he does. (The short answer is he trains trainers, but he has a special niche and is great at it.) Anyway, here are a few links that might interest you.

      http://www.fasterglobal.com/#home

      https://www.facebook.com/fasterfunction

      I hope the job doesn’t involve eating too many chips 😉

  15. After I wrote my blog post this morning, I went to my notifications and was pleasantly surprised to be nominated for a Liebster Award by Louise (http://louiseagnes.com/about/). I now nominate you!

    The Rules:
    1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
    2. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
    3. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
    4. Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post. Go to their page and tell them.
    5. No tag backs.

  16. Greetings from Australia,
    Good on your for having the courage to leave a secure job and do something that you truly love while inspiring people around you. I’m a physiotherapist by profession, but photography allows me to do that which I love, explore the beautiful world we live while sharing ones experiences. I’ve always loved writing and poetry which is something that I want to pursue on a regular basis. Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  17. I love checking in on new blogs, after a hard day I needed a good laugh and some inspiration. Two wonderful gifts you provided. You just never know where you will find them, well most likely not on the lido deck of a Somalian cruise ship.

  18. Oh my gosh your video made me roll with laughter!!! LOOL!!! 😀 “Well that’s all we have time for” – LOL!!!

    10 years as a dentist before wanting to get out, love food and travel – we could be twins lol!!! Only we look nothing alike, you could model though! 🙂

    This blog is brilliant!

    1. Haha! Thanks, Jas. 😀 There was 1 other gal on here who was my twin. She even entered a travel contest too. I’m not sure why I don’t have more twins out there. Who doesn’t love food and travel?!? So glad the blog kept you amused when you should have been going to bed. 😉

  19. How to I begin to show my appreciation for you stopping over and following my humble blog-o-thing!?! I wish you the very best, not only this morning, but well into the future. Be inspired and please take care.

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