“They call me the ‘start-over expert’ – I have reinvented and educated myself so that I could move forward, no matter what…
Fear will not get us through this. Setting aside the fear and living life will see us through. Think of it as an opportunity to seek out the plan to live your best life and start new things.”
[Editor’s Note: This interview was originally conducted on July 31, 2020]
“A bit of background on me, Annie Evans: I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but we moved to California when I was very young. I have traveled the world and I have lived in a lot of places. I come from a very split up home – my mother was severely mentally ill, but it was diagnosed much later, she was very difficult, and I had a challenging childhood… my father settled in Malibu.
I ran away from my mother when I was twelve and traveled across the country with an older boyfriend, we went across the country (and then back when I heard my father was trying to locate me).
As a young adult, I was really depressed and had a huge chip on my shoulder – but I wanted to be a productive and successful person. I found ways to RETRAIN | REBUILD | RESTART – which included changing my negative feelings and limiting beliefs into positive ones. With persistence and consistency, the positive far outweighed the negative. I am living positively. I am a grateful person these days. I have suffered a lot of hardship, grief and had to start over many times (they call me the ‘start-over expert’) – I have reinvented and educated myself so that I could move forward no matter what.
I am currently a California Realtor and I just passed my Life, Health and Accident Insurance license (I like helping people and I think that these two things blend well – too many people need to be educated about financial management and protection for them and their families).
My career and life have followed a crooked path: I started out as a horse trainer then to living at sea, as a celestial navigator (logged 44,000 sea miles). I followed my passion, I needed to really want to do what I did – from fashion design, architecture, real estate development and my problem solving and practical skills moved me into operations and project management, product development, factory productivity, quality and inventory management and supply chain management.”
“I have had to deal with a lot of fear and uncertainty in my life, and I know how to set my feelings aside and get on with life – a lot of things are going to change for all of us, probably forever to some degree.”
Where do you currently reside/and what has your local community been doing to fight the rate of transmission?
“I currently live in Ventura, California – a beautiful seaside community. While we are just north of Los Angeles, which is a hot spot for the virus, Ventura has had rising numbers, but few deaths. The community is quite peaceful, and I am thankful that most people are wearing masks, social distancing and mostly everyone is courteous to each other. We have a good portion of businesses open. Restaurants are restricted but many have just set up outside. So far, the food supply is good, except for the virus-related supplies like sanitation wipes and spray.
I have been offering to supply PPE from my old days and contacts in production overseas, I just want to help – but few have taken me up on this. PPE is still a challenge everywhere, very poorly managed so far.”
Can you tell us a bit about your book, Live for a New Day, and how the pandemic may have impacted its release (for better or for worse)?
“For all my time in corporate, I rarely told much of my story. Much of it wasn’t conducive to seeking employment and advancement with the stigma of mental illness and my wayward young life. The late Ryan Long (City Gala/City Summit) drew my story out of me with his story and said ‘Annie, you have to share your story, it will help so many others!’ I hope it does.
I hope I shared some of how to weather these storms of fear and uncertainty. Fear will not get us through this… setting aside the fear and living life will see us through. Think of it as an opportunity to seek out the plan to live your best life and start new things. The timing was thankfully pretty spot on, I think.”
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a result of the COVID crisis?
“I have stayed close to home; I am 68 and so I hope to avoid COVID. No fun not being able to do the travel that I normally do and visit my friends up and down the coast here. I am thankful for my discipline in managing my emotions, which has helped. It is ongoing so I do not know what will ultimately happen – but I have been very productive working from home, and I am on Zoom much of the time. I already was pretty set-up with the home office, so that was lucky. “
Is there anything you feel that you’ve learned about yourself or the world from this experience, that you’d like to share?
“I am incredibly grateful and blessed that I have already learned about myself and the world. I hope to help others to manage their fear and uncertainty. I was an international supply chain director for about two decades and I lived through SARS, H1N1, Bird Flu and Dengue fever in various parts of the world. I am very upset about how we have failed in managing this disease. The leadership has been in denial and I feel that we are not doing what needs to be done.
With the virus flaring up all over the country, I personally believe we should shut down completely for another four to six weeks in quarantine. I don’t think that will happen, so I believe that this will stay a critical issue for the rest of the year, compounded with the coming flu season.”
Has this experience in any way changed the way that you order your personal/professional priorities in life?
“I still haven’t had a haircut; my hair has grown several inches. I miss my manicures and pedicures…having to stick close to home most of the time and not being able to go out with friends.
I just keep working on my writing and building my brand, learning, and coaching.”
What has been your general daily routine so far during the pandemic?
“I have a routine of stocking up on food and supplies every 7-10 days. I order a lot of things online. I have my dog, Moki, for company and we go on walks. I have been very busy with the book(s), editing and have done a lot of networking on Zoom.
I had been going through a public phase, but now I am very casual and, while I am very comfortable in the casual department…I hope I can snap to when things open up more.”
What have you been doing to keep your spirits up on a day-to-day basis?
“I have a beautiful garden; it is very soothing and that has helped. After all of the trauma and start-over moments in my life, I know how to keep my state positive. When I feel anxious, lonely, or stressed I take a time out for myself and shift my state.
My book addresses how to’s of changing your state, but it is really finding what really makes you feel good and that is very individual. I have had to deal with a lot of fear and uncertainty in my life, and I know how to set my feelings aside and get on with life – a lot of things are going to change for all of us, probably forever to some degree.”
Has this travel ban/quarantine situation impacted any especially important future plans you had laid out?
“Yes, I am normally an avid traveler, and it is hard to have all of that on hold. I hope to start up again as soon as possible, we’ll see. I also have most of my friends and family outside of my area and the whole environment is not conducive to freedom and openness right now.”
Anything else at all, you’d like to share?
“I would like to send a wish and a prayer to all readers, that they keep their spirits up and have faith that things will get better, even if it takes longer than we would like. I encourage them to really look at the opportunities that may not easily be seen without looking for them.
I believe that this is a major shift in how we conduct our lives, so really look within, and continue to focus on your dreams and goals, the more they stay front of mind, the closer they will be.”
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