91.  Lindsay Jewell Part 2 What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

91. Lindsay Jewell Part 2 What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

Warshaw Ghetto

Lindsay Jewell Part 2 What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

by Ari Schonbrun



Lindsay Jewell Part 2 What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger


Lindsay Jewell has faced many bricks in her life. Yet, she shares her journey with us. Her bravery in sharing her story is truly remarkable. Reminding us that no matter how many bricks life throws at us, we can overcome them. Part 2 is her struggle of trying to be a mom, dealing with her childhood trauma, and battling her addiction. Every step forward that she took, she was hit with a brick that set her back. Yet, she reminds us that keep trying even when life is tough. We hope her story helps people facing these issues or know someone who is.

Show notes:




Episode Transcription


Intro Plays



Ari: Welcome to whispers and bricks. My name is Iris Sherman. I’m your host. We have with us today. Lindsey, Joel, Lindsey, if you as you may remember, if you if you came into the if you listened to last, the last episode, Lindsey was telling us our story and incredible, incredible story, the courage that she had in order to come out and tell the story. We’ve gotten the first part, this is going to be part two. So I want to welcome Lindsay, welcome back to the show. Again, how you doing right now? Good. Good. I’m glad to hear it. I’m glad to hear it. I know it’s been tough. But my again, my hat’s off to you for, you know, doing doing what you’re doing. And you know, there are people out there. Certainly drug addicts and people that have had been abused, etc. And they need to know that, you know, they can get clean and they can stay clean, just as you did. But let’s go back to, to those troubled years. You were in college. I think last time we spoke last time we spoke. Let’s pick it up from there.

Lindsay: Yes. And actually, let me go back because I missed an event and so sorry, because there is a ton of events in my life that have happened. So as I’m talking I’m like, okay, so when I was 18 and I just got out of high school. Right before I started college, I’d worked my first kind of business job at the blockbuster Corporation when they were still around. And

Ari: blockbuster blockbuster. That’s the movies the video the the VC the VHS. VHS tapes. Yeah. I remember blockbuster. Yeah. Okay, so



Lindsay: located in Texas, so. So that was my first like business little, you know, I was working like a temp, like a temp job. But I was all excited because I got to dress up in you know, business casual clothes and stuff and felt grown up and went to they had their little annual Christmas party and I went with a co worker. And you know, there was drinking there. Of course, we weren’t supposed to drink but we did you know, somebody got us alcohol. And next thing, you know, two people approached me. And this you know, I was in a very pretty velvet I’ll never forget velvet red dress, like I felt absolutely like a Cinderella. And this person that came up to me said if I wanted to, like leave the party with him and his him and his wife. And they had coke, coke, right, I had been sober I hadn’t used and it just always seem to find me and I just seem to not be able to resist it. So to make matters short, I was highly taken advantage of right. My mother took me to a hospital to get a sexual assault kit done. And I don’t know if it was just during the time this was I believe about 2000 2001 Maybe I’m trying to think of the year but so I did a these really invasive sexual assault kits that you get done at hospitals and the cops came back in I told him what happened and told them to drugs told him alcohol, you know, all this stuff. And they said because there was drugs and alcohol involved that they don’t have they can’t file a case. And so pretty much those words told me that I was a sloth I was just all of these horrible things. So that is the day I went home and took a straight blade, straight blade to my wrist and I still bear the scars with me every day of my life. And that was that’s that’s humiliating that’s probably why a lot of women don’t even go towards that option. It was absolutely humiliating.


Ari: So when when you when you slit your wrists, okay, like what was going on? Did you Did your parents find you did you tell them that you just slit your wrists are like oh, you know, like how can we how come you’re not dead?

Lindsay: Oh, And well, because at this point cutting, I mean, it was the addiction of cutting like I had I explained that.

Ari: All right, we don’t have to go into it. Yeah, yeah,



Lindsay:  keep going. I just I kind of pretty deep and my mom mended them, okay. It it’s just it’s bad when you start getting used to not just me but my parents getting used to this behavior and getting used to this stuff where it’s just another day for anybody and it’s not normal for other people but it becomes normal to your life, you know. So that happened, definitely quit blockbuster. Because that was a

Ari: shocker shocker there. Yeah.

Lindsay: Yeah. Um, and went off and started my college and stuff. So finally, I got into my dream college, which was University of northern Texas in Denton. And and, you know, at this point, had really thought I’d kind of found what I wanted to do with my life, I actually wanted to be a drug and alcohol counselor, if that’s not crazy enough. And I actually, if it wasn’t that it was between that and being a parole or probation officer, because I really wanted to help people. Instead, I went to human resources management don’t know why, okay, but actually know, the reason I didn’t become a drug and alcohol counselor is because I didn’t think I had my stuff under control. And I couldn’t give advice to other people if I was lying to them. And so that deterred me away from that. And that is because I met husband, number one, who was my next door neighbor. And he wasn’t in college or anything, but found out quickly that he was a coke Do you see out my life? Like, I mean, I was, once again when I got into college, I was sober. I mean, we went out to the bars and stuff. That’s what we did, you know, but I wasn’t touching drugs. Nor did anybody need to know that I had been, you know, once drug addict. And, you know, it was just so crazy right next door to me, right next door was not just, you know, someone that could find it was someone that had it. And so, you know, we ended up having a relationship. And I honestly really thought at that time, like, I loved him. And you know, it was constant fighting, it was constant. I mean, ADD drugs. On top of that, it’s just constant chaos. All my relationships have been constant fighting and making up and all unhealthy. And so yeah, definitely dabbled back into the drugs like full speed, because there was an unlimited supply of them. And I stopped taking my birth control pills and got pregnant. Not intentionally. It’s just when, usually people are on prescribed medications, and they start doing drugs, they start the they neglect other things in life. So they start taking medications. So I got pregnant. And you know, I was scared to death, I was scared to death because I was scared to ever have kids, because of what somebody did to me. And I couldn’t imagine raising kids in a world that I’ve seen. And I even remember my mother saying, like, she didn’t like, she didn’t like, the guy at all right? Shouldn’t and she had every reason to, but I remember her asking me Do you want to have this baby and I said, I couldn’t have an abortion, because I would always sit there and think my kid would be this many years old, and I couldn’t do it. It was my responsibility. And so quickly got married to this guy more to the fact if any, if this meant he’s Italian, kind of he came from a very Italian kind of family. And it was kind of something that we felt like we should do is get married. We have a child on the way you know, and that just and I really thought I guess a baby. And a lot of women I think, understand this, think that this baby can change people. It’ll change things for you. It’ll make everything better for you. And you know, my it doesn’t Yes, that is true. It does not but it for some reason sounds I don’t know what why it does that in the mind. Um, you learn, especially, you know, my, my first has been, you know, he preached about what a great father he’s going to be. And he did stop selling drugs he did, he got a job. And you know, so I held on to that hope and saw that things could change, right. But, you know, I had my daughter by emergency C section that was scary enough, you know, at the hospital. I was sitting there alone in the hospital room because my husband at the time decided to go out gambling while his wife had just given birth by emergency C section. So that hurt, I hear. And

Ari: so that to that, that I assumed that was part of the reason why you divorced about a year later.

Lindsay Yeah, and I feel I don’t I didn’t know at the time. But you know, when two people get together, we, you come from two different lifestyles, so your parenting styles and your values and morals are two different things that you might not see at the time. And I think he wanted a wife that was more of a stay at home mom that cooked and cleaned. And that wasn’t me. Right? And he had he’s very controlling, and like would tell me I couldn’t wear certain shirts to to school. And I was like, oh my god, it’s like almost a turtleneck. So I filed for divorce. And difficult decision because at this point, I definitely would say it was codependent, very codependent. You know, and he went back to Texas. And oh, my god, within two weeks, within two weeks, he was back with his ex girlfriend, I was like, You gotta be kidding me. Like it was. And he really, he doesn’t till this day really have anything to do with our daughter. And but he went and started another family took care of all these other kids, you know, he doesn’t pay child support, he doesn’t do anything. But he takes care of a whole nother family. And that’s hurtful in itself. Because it makes me it made me feel rejected, or it made me feel replaceable. Very quickly. You know, and so, after that divorce, I think at the end of that year, I ran into who became husband number two. And I think at this point, I’m trying not to mourn. You know, like, I’m trying to bypass the grief stages by jumping into another relationship or trying to find another band aid that will quickly get rid of the feelings of, you know, hurt and grief. And I met husband number two, he was a soldier. He was a soldier who joined right when, before 911 happened. So he had been on a couple of deployments. And I thought I had done better than the last guy because this one had a job. He had a car like he had a legit job. You know, my parents seemed to like him. I mean, he was the war hero. And he did have a lot of trauma. Also, this is where I realized that there are trauma bonds that we make with people. Sure. You know, when I heard his sad story, not only deployments, but his mother was murdered, died in his arms. You know, I feel compassion for those things as a human being, I feel sorry, I feel sad because it’s, it’s it’s sick, how we can fall in love with somebody based on pain and suffering, like I know how you feel and I can comfort you through your pain. You know, and so, I know when I met him, he quickly got deployed for a short deployment and then had to come back for his mother’s like murder trial because his stepfather murdered his mother. And I quickly got pregnant with my my second child, which is my, my son. And now this time, let’s see. My second husband had injured his back in the military and they started dishing out a lot of pain pills. He was also a drinker. I’m also obviously you know, this this I’m not going to label myself just an addict. I was an ex at you know, recovering and going back. So we got addicted to these pain pills. My second husband got out of the military got medically discharged from the military and fell into a heap of depression. And I had to kind of just try to keep the family together. It was very difficult. At this time, sorry, in 2006, I had graduated college with my bachelor’s degree. I’m

Ari: quite, I would have to say quite an accomplishment. If you’ve been going through it, it’s a tremendous accomplishment. Again, my hat’s off to you.

Lindsay: Yes. Thank you, I am proud of that. I still am very proud of that. And it was being a single mother for the moment, you know, with my daughter that really, maybe finished my degree. And so So my second husband gets out of the military and like I said, falls into a depression. And now at this time, I had just got a job at Boeing. And I was so frickin I just a static because my father works for Boeing. Okay. And, and so I felt so important not to mention, the pay was actually finally what the college pay said it was supposed to pay and stuff. And I felt so grown up, I was working at missile defense, like, I just felt so awesome. But because of my choices in these relationships with unhealthy people, and the fighting and the toxicity, me and my second husband got into an argument about something I can’t even remember because it’s been so long ago, he up and took our infant son and started heading to New York. He He’s originally from upstate New York, but just started, I was at work. And he next thing you know, is on the road with our son heading to New York, and I fell apart, I fell apart, it was almost like kidnapping. It was just so I went right back into my coping mechanism with that. Went back into my cocaine addiction. And then I lost my job at Boeing. Not to say that they found out about that. They knew something was going on, I started becoming very unreliable and stuff. So I lost that job. And my father really beat me up for that one, which was very hard to overcome for a long time. I felt like a complete failure. And you know, so, at this time, I think I got on unemployment, I was trying to make ends meet. My father, my parents decided not to like my second husband. So they kicked us out of the home that my father had actually bought for us. You know, my God, I went through so many resources trying to get our rent paid for this new place we lived in and couldn’t find work because this is after 911. And it really 911 really did affect jobs. It affected everything. We all know that. And I could not find another job. And then it dawned on me the military’s always hiring.

Ari: That’s true.



Lindsay: So join the army. I did. I was 28 years old. When I joined the cutoff. The cutoff age at that point was 42, I believe. And like I said, I remember my second husband telling me I’ll never make it through basic I’ll never do this. And but I did. I joined I joined because honestly, I had a family and needed frickin money you know, um, so I did clean up the the addictions, I cleaned up, I prep for the military prep, my sit ups, push ups, everything you know, and went in and joined on a three year contract. And just so wanted to learn strength, because I was so in my opinion, such a weak person. And I wanted to learn that I could be strong. The army did teach me that army did. But what happens with my next great event. My unit was deployed to Iraq. I joined the military in 2010. Right and in 2011, our unit was deployed to Iraq and they send us to NTC the National Training Center in California to do our training right and I was cleared all the way, our standard readiness procedure, they clear you with all these tests to make sure you’re good to go for deployment and was cleared. Except it was put on a hold at the end, first stop, because I stopped taking the antidepressant, right. The lieutenant told me that when we get back from NTC, she’ll clear me. So anyway, so as I’m NTC out in California doing our training, my brother calls me. And he says, Do you remember? I’ll just, I’ll just give you his generic name. But Bill and I said, this was the molester. Right. He said, so he was released from prison. Right? I could not believe this. Because I am in my third, I think I just turned like 30, right. Skype and released from prison. And he said that the DEA is the district attorneys wanted to contact us. When does leave me a message because he got out of prison, right? Worked went to work for a youth camp. Because he found God, maybe he did, maybe he did at the moment. And then he lost him. But he went and then molested a bunch of other kids again. So um, what sucks is by this time, we have the internet, obviously. And I could just type in his name. And I read all of the articles and Oh, my God was like really traumatized. I mean, he literally, I believe, worked for like some kind of ministry, like some guy believed that he found his faith and could be reformed, read, redeemed, reformed, whatever. And there’s nothing wrong with that, I guess. But so this guy, the molester was at hotels with these little children. All boys, one convenient girl, I was like, What is it with this guy? And it just Oh, my God, you know, they were gonna have three testify, because obviously, this was his second time, not second time doing this was second whole time doing this. People don’t know that sex offenders laws changed in the early 90s. Now it’s life sentences, because they kind of realized that this poison just doesn’t ever read itself. And I do you remember at the trial from this man, when I was a child that he did say that he was molested? And I think that’s where it helps some of my forgiveness for him. But he decided to poison again, you know, with whatever happened to him? And but yeah, so he lost a bunch of other boys and one convenient girl again. And they gave him a life sentence. They gave him a life sentence. What killed me is picturing. Well, reading the case is about us, even though they can’t say our names and stuff, right? Saying that we’re adults, now just reading that and then thinking of these little kids that are going to grow up, their innocence is gone. And they’re going to experience the worst hell. You know, sorry. Okay.

Lindsay: It just killed me to know that these, I don’t remember how many kids it was, you know, maybe under 10 of them. But all of these little kids were going to go on this path that I knew so familiar, that I was so familiar with. And it’s a path of turmoil. It’s a path of sadness, loss of identity. And it just broke my heart because there are so many events in my life, right? That and I was just talking to my friend about this. There’s so many lives in my events in my life that I could have changed, maybe write. But there’s one event in my life that I had no control over. And that was the molestation there’s, if you want to talk about destiny, I guess that was my destiny. There is nothing I could have done to prevent that. The addiction, I use the resentment from that man to feel the addiction, right. And the addiction led me to bad places and bad people. Right? And those were my choices that I made. But that one event, I can never go back in time, no matter how much I do in my brain. I can never there’s nothing I could have done about that one. You know. So you This is after reading the articles and stuff. It really traumatized me. Oh my gosh. And I thought for some reason that I had been through so much therapy and all this stuff that I was cured, cured. And I wasn’t. So I was stationed in El Paso, Texas. Yes, yes. Okay,



Ari: Lindsay, once again, we’re out of time. And I think we can both use a break right now. I know it’s been very traumatic for you. It’s starting to get to me too. So we’ll pick this up at the next episode. Okay, let me just tell people, thank you so much. You’ve been listening to whispers in bricks. My name is Barry Sherman, I’m your host. Remember, if you feel like you’re stuck in the mud, like you’re spinning your wheels, like you’re wasting time in your career, your business your life. If you know you’re not enjoying all the success, satisfaction, and significance that you desire, then it’s time for you to book a call with me at www dot call with ari.com. Check out my whispers and bricks Coaching Academy and until next time, listen to the whispers avoid the bricks and never ever give up on your dreams mind.

91.  Lindsay Jewell Part 2 What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

90. Lindsay Jewell Part 1 Life is a rollcoaster the early years

Warshaw Ghetto

Lindsay Jewell Life is a rollcoaster the early years

by Ari Schonbrun


 Lindsay Jewell Life is a rollcoaster the early years


Lindsay Jewell has faced many bricks in her life she shares her journey with us. Her bravey in sharing her story is truly amazing. Reminding us that no matter how many bricks life throws at us we can overcome them. Part 1 is the early years. Lindsay faced her first brick at the age of 6 when she was molested. That caused her to battle depression and drug abuse as a teenager. She got married, graduated from college, was single mom all while struggling with a drug addiction that kept rearing it’s ugly head and causing problems in her life. We hope her story helps people who facing these issues or knows someone who is.

Show notes:




Episode Transcription

Intro Plays




Welcome to whispers and bricks. My name is Ari Schonbrun, I’m your host. Today I have as my guest, Lindsay jewel. Now normally when I do the show, when I open the show, I normally read a bio of my guests give you a little bit of flavor of what the guest is all about. And then I welcome them to the show. In this particular case, Lindsey has been through so much that there was just no way to put it into a short bio was impossible. So I said, You know what, I’m going to skip the bio, and wait to go straight to welcoming Lindsay into the show. And in her own words, I’m gonna let her basically tell you her story. And this is going to be I mean, you know, fasten your seat belts, this is going to be a wild ride. So without further ado, please help me welcome LindsayLindsay jewel. Hi, Lindsay, how are you?

 Lindsay: I’m great. How are you?

Ari: I am wonderful. And now that you’re here, I’m even better. Okay, so, as you just heard, all right, well, I’m gonna let you do the talking because this is all about you. And I think if it were me, people wouldn’t believe me. But alright, so you know, let’s start. I mean, and the bricks started coming to you when you were all been six years old? Correct? Correct. All right. Tell us about let’s go through from the from age six to age 13. How’s that?


 Lindsay: Yes, that is fine. So at age six, unfortunately had a event I was a victim of child molestation. So were some other boys and my brother. The guy was a neighbor of ours. And so when we when my parents went around, you know, we we played and this guy was also part of that boy scout. I don’t know if everybody’s heard about that boy scout stuff that was going on where there was a bunch of molestations going on. So this is back in the 80s. And you know, there are a lot of people have been sexually abused as children, a lot of them went underreported. Ours RS did not. Eventually what happened was one of the other little boys started showing signs or something, and his father knew something was wrong. And eventually he, he told what was going on. So hence, what started the investigation. So I was in kindergarten at the time. And you know, during this time, of course, I didn’t say what was going on, this man had threatened to kill my parents, if I told anybody what he did, let alone know the fact of what he was doing at age six. I mean, it’s just absolutely horrendous. So in kindergarten all sudden get pulled out of class, and there are two, which obviously now I know, are detectives. Back then I just thought police officers and you want to talk about scared and guilt are just all these feelings. You’re not supposed to feel it sticks go on inside of you. And these two detectives were asking very, very explicit questions about this man. And if he had done this, talk about private parts and stuff till this day. I’m very, it’s very hard for me to say sexual words like that, I guess, probably from that trauma.

Ari: Let me ask you something. When you were taken out, and you were with the detectives, were your parents there?

 LindsayNo, no,

I was in school. It was in school. And I mean, was there a teacher there? Was there anybody other than in that room? No. That’s a little That’s That’s odd.

This is the this is the late 80s.

Ari: Okay, no, all right.

 Lindsay: But, I mean, that was terrifying. Because, in my mind, this man was, you know, an adult, a friend, a trusted person. And when you see police officers, you know, something’s not right, I guess. And so after school was over that day, you know, my brother. I told him I was, well, he told me that same thing like some detectives We’re asking him questions about this man. But we never told each other what was going on because I just I don’t know, explain it. Imagine being that age, you don’t know what those body parts are for you weren’t told that nobody should do this. And you shouldn’t know any of that stuff. So it’s really embarrassing and uncomfortable. And we just kind of what’s the word? Just kind of said, Yeah, detectives came and talked to us about. I don’t have an officer’s name. But you know, we were just on edge. I guess. My parents didn’t know anything was going on. I remember, like having nightmares. But I still, like I said, wasn’t going to tell my parents what was going on? Because the man threatened to kill my parents if I did. So, so. So then, you know, an investigation gets started. And that, if that wasn’t enough, and this is part of children that are, you know, sexually abused, the other little boy sexually abused me, my own brother did. It’s not that it was nobody’s fault. It’s called a cyst. It’s a sick thing that happens to children is they call it grooming that they don’t you know, and, of course, my mind, at that age doesn’t associate any of this. Of anything wrong, or you know, something’s wrong, but like, it doesn’t. It’s not supposed to process that kind of stuff. Right. So then, I guess my parents, okay. Yeah,

Ari: no. So basically, you know, a lot of it’s been happening, whatever, but they actually caught the guy. And they ultimately had a trial and they ultimately convicted to him.

 Lindsay: Yes, we actually, as the trial was going on, we moved down the street, not far from where it happened. But this man came to our school to me, my brother’s elementary school saying here is our uncle there to pick us up. And I remember my mother running into our elementary school, like just, I mean, totally terrified. And I think till this day, that that man was going to kidnap us, and obviously, maybe do some bad and kill us. I don’t want confirmation. But why else? Would he come try to pretend to be somebody to pick us up? There is an investigation going on? You know,

Ari: right now, that wasn’t that wasn’t the person who molested you? Or was was that was the guy.


 Lindsay: Yeah, the investigation? investigation was going on, right? No, I can’t tell you how many years the investigation went on in my mind. Like, it wasn’t something I kept track of. I remember, like my grandparents seeing the man on TV when they finally you know, got a worn out for him. And he was on TV and shackles. And as a child, seeing that this is where I guess so much guilt just stored in me felt like I did something bad or we did something bad because he was an adult friend to us. And now he’s in trouble. So we did go to the trial. That was crazy. A bailiff went up to my father and said, Whatever you do, don’t don’t kill this man. It’s not worth it, you know? And I was just like, why would he say that to my father? You know? It’s it’s hard to wrap around. Being such a young child knowing that something bad happened, and somebody’s in trouble for it. And, you know, we’re part of it in a way I guess.

Right. So he was convicted, I think to what, 22 years in jail, 

89 and in 1989.

Ari: And then, I guess, ultimately, around the age of nine or so you moved to California?

 Lindsay: Yeah. After the trial was over. And stuff. My parents moved us to California. Yeah. And my brother started showing signs of germophobia started washing his hands a lot. And this is where I because the the family dynamics really changed. We never talked about what happened but we all knew what happened, I guess.


Ari: How many how many siblings were you? Your brother, okay, go ahead.

 Lindsay: My brother is just a couple of years older than me. So yeah. My mother was a night a night shift nurse back then and you My father engineer, so I think I saw all of this stirred up emotion everywhere. And they were focusing on my brother because he was starting to act out and do things. And I, for some reason told myself to not to just shut down to shut down. And I couldn’t handle anybody touching me. But I didn’t want to say anything. So I just learned to shove my emotions down. Because I didn’t want anything else stirred up in the household. You know, it was just, it was just, it was hard. And so yes, we moved to California. It seems like the logical thing to do. I mean, why would anybody want to stay in a place like that? So we moved to California, and California, my brothers started. Really, he went from a very, you know, just really good student to then dressing differently, acting differently, started vandalizing things started doing all sorts of stuff, causing a lot of commotion for my parents. So I became the child that, I guess kind of had the expectations of being good and no problems and stuff like that. And so needless to say, I was kind of feeling I guess, neglected, or just invincible, because my brother was getting a lot of attention. So um, you know, I tried to start dressing crazy, like Gothic or whatever. And just, I would never get the same kind of attention as my brother no matter what. But you know, California is a different breed of people, in my opinion. I was in second or third grade when we moved there. And I’ll tell you what, from California, yes. Yes.

Ari: Doesn’t was were you that younger, were you? I think you’re a little older now.

 Lindsay: So 89 is when he got convicted. I remember being third grade, when we third or fourth grade, third or fourth grade,

Ari: fourth grade makes more sense,


 Lindsay: doesn’t it? Okay, sorry. It’s been a long time ago. Yeah, that’s okay. Um, so we so yes, so when we get to California, people are very different. They’re, they just as my opinion, they are about status they are about looks. And so I found out very quickly, I didn’t fit up to standards with I wasn’t skinny enough. I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t this enough. And those just added on to a lot more insecurities, which I still suffer with today. Because of that, I mean, I developed faster than most girls. And then was picked on for that, you know, and that still stems with me today. All of these feelings of not good enough. And all this shame and just not feeling anything I guess. But

Ari: now that led to that led to you doing something else, when you were in sixth grade, what happened?

 Lindsay: Thank you, thank you. So um, I remember coming home from school and so already on top of everything that happened in my life, I’m carrying so much weight inside so much emotion, so much so much emotions that I don’t even understand at this point. And Adam, add a woman girl turning into a woman on top of it top of that, because I developed very early, you know, and I went into the bathroom and grabbed a shaving razor. I had watched a movie where somebody had cut their wrist who tried to kill themselves. So I took the cut my wrist up and instantly felt all of those feelings that were bottled up in me kind of dissolving for the moment because of the sting and burn really, of the cutting. And, you know, part of me felt a couple of things part of me felt embarrassed, like my parents are going to my parents are gonna see this they’re gonna get mad at me. And part of me felt relieved and so that cutting becomes an addiction to because it’s a quick relief of these emotions. Now my parents, like any good parents would because Cuz you gotta understand, we all know about these kinds of monsters in the world, right? And we might have Kids and stuff, but just hope that we’re not one of those families that gets hit with that. So no parents are given manuals when they have children of what to have what to do.

Ari: Yeah. How to deal with this. Sure. Yes.

 Lindsay: And so my parents did well, they put my brother in therapy, and then they put me in therapy. And back in the early 90s. It really more was, here’s some medication for your trauma. Here’s Prozac, here’s pills. They knew there was trauma, they knew there was an event that happened. And it was kind of like, let’s dish out pills. And so the doctors prescribed me. And like I said, I was like, gosh, I was like 1211 12 Getting, I want to say Prozac. Maybe it was the first one I’m not sure. And what did I end up doing all that I tried to take an overdose of it? And my mother gave me I think it’s called a capac syrup. It’ll make you induce vomit, right? She’s a nurse.

Ari: Okay, so she, you know what, at least she has that experience. She knows what to do. Thank God.


Lindsay: Yes, I don’t I can tell you if I knew I was taking a lethal overdose. I just knew that. I was. I mean, I don’t even know what goes on what was going on in my brain except I, I didn’t like what I was feeling inside. And I was starting to see that my existence. Just, I didn’t like it anymore. I felt horrible. Inside. It felt damaged. I felt invincible. I felt. I mean, unpopular. I felt like I had no friends. I felt like I didn’t belong in this world. They didn’t fit in. I mean, so I didn’t, I didn’t. I think I kind of knew what I was doing. But probably more for attention seeking at that point. You know, also, you know, the fact of seeing my brother get all this more negative attention, but at least it was attention. Right.

Ari: So, so then came then came the Gothic scene.

 Lindsay: Yes. So I’m from California, we make another we moved around a lot. Okay, so my dad thought it was in his best interest to take another job into in Texas. And so we moved to, to Dallas, Texas. And at this point, my brother had ran away, right, he ran away and was still in California. And finally the police found him and brought them to Texas, it was just me and my poor parents. But so we started another school and let me tell you that difficult to that is difficult to keep starting schools in the middle of semester or in schools, semesters or whatever and get to know people or didn’t say goodbye to friends that you made and that becomes something in itself too. Right? And so yeah. Now my my brother was getting so much attention and had seemed to have so many friends because he was dressing you know, quote unquote cool like the skateboarders, the Gothics. Or, you know, where the chain and stuff and hanging with the bad crowd. But he was getting, in my opinion, everything that I wanted, like, I felt like I couldn’t make a friend. I had like one friend, I wanted popularity, I wanted to feel important. And so yeah, I started trying to be like him, I guess. And you know, it just like I said, for some reason, maybe it’s just because I’m the girl and the baby girl like the attention my parents were like, a lot rougher on me than my brother. I think that’s because like I said they I had the expectations to be the the winning kid, I guess, you know, which is why I’m probably a perfectionist, which is horrible. But

Ari: how old were you when when you started smoking and when you started to dabble in drugs and alcohol.

 Lindsay: So that was about so I’m 13 and this is why we moved to Texas so my brother smoke cigarettes, so I you know, thought he was cool. And that’s really the only reason you ever start smoking cigarettes is because you think you’re cool smoking cigarettes. So 13 and my, my brother was the first person that gave me drugs, which was I think we was weed back then. And then there was another drug there. Do it and think of it I think he had opium on he knows that exists in this world anymore like opiate opiate to do but like the opium Right. And, you know, I was following his footsteps, I guess. And so that was my first experience of altering my state of mind, I guess with with substance and I didn’t, I don’t have my body doesn’t react well with with, with weed, I get sick. So I just it’s not appealing to me. Same thing with alcohol but the only time I drank is when I wasn’t legally supposed to. And that’s probably because of the excitement of doing something like bad or something. Because when I came 21 It was just like, it’s no fun. I’m allowed to do it. But, um, so So yeah, there’s till 13. And then we move on. We we ended up moving to another place in Texas, right? So my god starting a new school again. And it’s because my brother was kind of was acting out. And so they thought if we move schools and then to get a fresh start, you know, things will be okay. And this is why my whole life I feel like I need to run away I think.


Ari: Okay, so now. All right, your next phase is you move from not to not to terrible drugs to cocaine. Yep. Yeah. Right. And you were worried about 15 I was 15 when you got addicted to coke.

 Lindsay: I was never forget it.


Ari: So what happened then?


did you go for treatment? Did you go?


 Lindsay: I did. I did. So when I first got so I was, you know, in that Gothic scene, I did play in a band and was a little punk rocker and stuff. So in my eyes, that was part of the seat and drugs were a part of the Rock and Roll scene, right? But it’s just crazy. How there are things in your life, you’ll say, you’ll never do like, you know, I’ll never I’ll never do this. I’ll never touch this drug. I’ll never do that. And you end up doing these things. It’s crazy. Because I’ve described before remembering the dare officer come to our school and elementary school right with all that drug kids. While these videos is horrible videos of the effects of drugs, and it terrified me like why would anybody ever want to do this? It’s horrible. So at 15 I was just I was with a friend and she wanted me to meet some guy anyways, they had cocaine and this guy have laid out my initials, he spelled my initials out and coke and and my first thing is like, No, I will never do that. Because I remember all the bad things I was told about it. Right? Right. But the part inside of me that wanted to feel something else, right? Did it did it and my the first time I did it, I didn’t feel whatever I was supposed to feel I didn’t feel the effects until the second time I did. Coke again. And that’s when I felt the immediate feeling of what I will explain in that moment as an adolescent way is what heaven on earth felt like what? No, no painful emotions, I felt strong. I felt socially accepted. I felt strong. I felt good inside. And that’s why we get hooked on drugs and chase them for a long, long time. Right. And, and not to mention the fact that some of my friend’s parents were like, corporate executives doing coke having cocaine parties, and you want to talk about enticing how that looked in my eyes. Like these people are wealthy. And these people have fun. They had tons of people that have Playboy Mansion parties. I mean, so to me, I started developing in my head that’s the life that I want. That’s that looks like such a great life. This drug feels good. Money seems it must come with it right? You know, the status of Coke was like that rich people did it and it’s just some life that I started believing that I wanted. But within a month of doing the drug I quickly knew quickly started knowing that I was addicted to it. All the money all the little money that I had saved up I had like a few grand saved up. It was gone. It was gone in a month and And we were literally giving pennies to a dealer. I mean, and another sick fact that people some people know about some people don’t is that you’ve got a lot of drug dealers out there that are better have meaning 18 plus years old, they’re selling drugs to minors. And not only that, trying to mess around sexually with minors now being like a 15 and 16 year old girl when an older guy is hitting on you, right? In your distorted mind, you think you’re cool or something? And I don’t know why I don’t know why. Or maybe that was just me. I don’t think I was the only female that felt that way. But really, that’s what we call like a pedophile, you know? Absolutely. Yeah. And you know, so yeah, my addiction. Coke will take you down pretty quickly. It’ll take take you take you to places you don’t want everyone to be at. And I eventually told my mom, I think she saw the signs I was isolating. I lived up in my room. I mean, I was going through about an eight by sorry, go through an eight ball a day, which is I don’t know how much it cost nowadays. But that was a lot of money, especially for somebody who’s in school and working for for 25 an hour. You know. And my mother Yeah, that she put me into a kind of adolescent facility for addicts and mental health. I think, too, we were able to do our schoolwork there and stuff. And I did good. I did good there for a second. But

when I look back now, I would find it I remember finding like a guy that I claimed with you know, or, and kind of was substituting that from the addiction. And I think a lot of addicts understand this. And that’s why they say don’t get into relationships that we all know the tricks of the trade is we try to substitute one thing for another. And we usually try to substitute relationships that probably aren’t the healthiest thinking that will get away from the drug addiction because we really don’t want to face ourselves. Right. So it’s just a bandaid. Just another banding. Right. So

Ari: did you did you ultimately graduate from high school?

 Lindsay: I did. I did. I did. I ended up finishing out with just like the last six months with the home school my mother had even put me in like a Christian school and I got kicked out for cocaine use and she even put me there was even like a little like little high school they had for kids that had substance abuse problems and we got you aid and stuff like that and once again I stayed sober for nine months but um I met a guy there who was a heroin addict and I was labeled myself as just a coke addict right so in my sick world I thought he doesn’t like my drug and I don’t like his drug and we could have this happily family and be sober the rest of our lives it’s just it’s just the way my mind thought back then. And you know I stayed clean but a lot of the times two addicts will relapse together you know I think at this point in my life i i just wanted some acceptance some love that I was searching for. I thought that I could find that and other people I thought that they would help my healing process but yes, so I did I did graduate high school I did go to college and I would have these these sober times right I’d stay sober and do what I need to do you know go to college and then my addiction would resurface somehow usually because of a relationship when I was in school I went to community college for I went to a few different colleges but um you know I would stay sober like I said and then meet some guy needed meet somebody and everything in my life was so intense like every relationship I was in was so intense and and it’s kind of like an addiction in itself and then something would go south or something and I go back to my coping mechanism because by this time in my life I’ve established that drugs make helped me cope with things I don’t want to feel right and but at this point, I chasing a high that I’ll never get back those one time feelings of the euphoria and stuff too. don’t exist anymore, but you chase it for years. You know? So I’m

Ari: Lindsay, thank you so much for sharing your story, at least part one. We’re out of time right now. So what we’re going to do is, we’re going to pick this up within the next couple of days. And, and I really want to thank you for being so forthright with your story. Really, really, you know, I’m humbled by the courage that you have in order to do this. And it’s so important for my audience that they should, you know, they should hear this and understand what it’s all about, in case they’re in that position. But I think I think what you’re doing is is journalists, in general, very, very heroic, and I my hat is off to you, but we will get back to recording next time and we will continue on with the story. You’ll be listening to whispers and bricks, and I’m your host every show but remember, if you feel like you’re stuck in the mud, like you’re spinning your wheels, wasting time, your career, your business your life. If you know you’re not enjoying all the success, satisfaction and significance that you desire. Then it’s time for you to book a call with me at www dot call with ari.com. Check out my whispers and bricks Coaching Academy. Until next time, listen to the whispers avoid the bricks and never ever give up on your dreams. Bye for now.

91.  Lindsay Jewell Part 2 What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

89. Carmen Davailus A Story That Needed To Be Told


Carmen Davailus A Story That Needed To Be Told



Carmen found her second calling in life documents the stories of families and people with dementia. Having worked40 years as a nurse, she met a couple the wife had dementia. She saw their struggle and realized how important it was to share their stories and other families like them dealing with dementia. So she documented their lives in photos, wrote a book, and started a non-profit to document and help those with dementia. Carmen faced her struggle with the disease when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2020, and she realized how isolated patients with dementia were. So she started a Youtube channel and podcast to document their stories and help them feel less alone. She reminds us to always find joy in life and hold on to that.Carlos Acosta is a father, husband, and successful business owner but life wasn’t always perfect for him. He has overcome many bricks including a divorce and a car crash that almost left him dead. He healed from his injuries with the help of his family. From that moment on his life changed he no longer takes one moment for granted. He knows that your life can change in an instant. He hosts a podcast focused on seizing the day. He reminds us to take nothing in life for granted.

Show notes:




Episode Transcription

Intro Plays



Ari: My guest today is carrying the valence. Very interesting individual. She’s a mixed media visual artist, inspiring audiences around the world with humor and a compassionate way of telling stories with images. During her 40 year nursing career, she worked with 1000s of people seeking meaning and connection during challenging times, and continues to do so with her camera. She’s an international speaker inspiring audiences using photography and storytelling, and as an award winning author of just see me just see me. hyphens sacred stories from the other side of dementia. Coma is also an Alzheimer’s slash dementia advocate and founder of doggies for dementia Foundation, a 501 c three nonprofit corporation, using photography to capture family memories and raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. Doggies for dementia has been featured on both NBC and ABC. Please help me welcome Carmine de Vacas. Carmine, how are you? Good. All right. Welcome to whispers in bricks. Have you been?

Carmen: Great, great. Thank you. It’s carmine. By the way car, man.

Ari: What did I say? Car mine mine? Oh, yeah, I apologize. I did have I did have a very good friend whose name was Carmine. So I apologize for that. But Carmen like Carmen Sandiego, I guess right?

Carmen: That’s right.

Ari: Yeah. Okay. You can tell I have kids?

Carmen: That’s a good question. Where’s Carmen?

Ari: Yeah. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. So as you know, the name of the podcast is whispers and bricks. And the whispers are those voices telling you what the right thing to do in life is, and they represent the good in life. And the bricks represent the bad things that we go through in life. And let’s be real, everybody has a brick thrown at them once in a while. Some more, some less, some bigger, some smaller. But we all go through things. All right. And the interesting thing is that very often, we think to ourselves that when we’re going through something that that we’re the only ones going through that situation. And that’s why I started this podcast, in the first place to let people know that they’re not the only ones going through and there are others going through and there are others who have succeeded in breaking through. Now, you had an interesting life. You were a nurse practitioner, right? Yeah. But But I think your life changed when you met a couple who came into the clinic. when the wife at a young age had dementia?

Yes, yes, correct. 

Ari: Can you can you tell

us about that? Tell us what was going on. Tell us about that.

Carmen: Yeah, that was rather a magical day. For me. I’ll just say that. So yeah, 40 years as a nurse, and so I’m getting kind of close to 60. At the time this happen. And I was working in a clinic neurology, which is for specialty in dementia, Alzheimer’s, and a couple came in, they had scheduled kind of last minute it was a husband and wife and the wife had early onset Alzheimer’s disease, meaning that her stage was early. However, she was young, she was in her late 50s, I believe. So the onset for her was younger than most I mean, we think of Alzheimer’s disease affecting mostly the elderly. But there are many people that who are in their 40s 50s and even early 60s, and, and so I wasn’t sure why they had come back in and when I entered the room, they were crying really hard. And I just thought all the things that go through my mind what, what could this be? And they totally took me by surprise. Because what they had said was first they prefaced it with I know you’re not going to do this. I know you’re not going to do this because it’s too early. But the the woman with Alzheimer’s said I want to interview hospice so that when it comes to that time for me, which mind you could be yours I had, but when it comes for that time for me, I don’t want my husband to have to do this by himself. And I know I’m not going to be able to help him. And it struck me as one of perhaps the most beautiful displays of love and compassion as they’re both hugging each other and crying and dreading this horrible day that she might need hospice care or send actually running toward the end of her life. But she wanted to ease his burden and ease his pain, knowing she will be there physically, but not be there emotionally to help him with that. And it was an epiphany for me, because I had been thinking all along and meeting with families and I was very fortunate and that the group I worked for just kind of gave me if you need 30 minutes, if you need 45 minutes, whatever you need to talk to the families to support them, go ahead, which is like crazy is like unheard of in the medical field, right for nurse practitioner, and we didn’t have a lot of medicines to offer or hope of a cure. But we had our presence, and they allowed me to, to use that to the, to the best of my ability. And, and I just kept thinking somebody needs to tell these stories, somebody needs to tell these stories. And this day, and that couple, it just hit me like you, you need to tell these stories. They’re not capable right now. But others need to hear


Ari: And so you decided to step up to the plate and say, You know what, somebody’s got to write it. And I don’t see anybody around you that will so I guess I’m gonna do it now. So, but it was like, it wasn’t right away about writing the stories it was first you started photographing people, is that not the case? Which actually, which actually, in turn led you to write a book?

Carmen: Yeah, kind of my first thought was, I need to tell the stories, I need to write this book. And I am not a writer or an author, I’d written a few professional papers, but in no way knew about writing a book. But I had this, this feeling so strong, the drawing the compelling need to do it. But I couldn’t imagine doing it without the photos. And I was an amateur photographer for sure. I’d never even taken a class, the somehow like I thought I could write a book. I thought, yeah, I could do these portraits, too. And it just has to happen. We have to tell us, we have to tell the full story and show the images. And of course, there’s this time of one’s life when they have Alzheimer’s disease in the family. That’s not the first thing they think of, hey, let’s document this. And photos, you know, and, and so I knew it was kind of a an out of the box thought. At the same time, it was this calling for me that I just could not I could not ignore

Ari: And that ultimately led to as we as I read from your bio, doggies, what was it called?

Carmen: Yeah, dogs for dementia. Yeah, so just see me the book. So I followed about 13 families for about ended up being about two and a half years, almost three is my naive self thinking, I could write a book that six months, this will be done, this would be great. And of course, it took a lot longer, which was a blessing Are you because I got to know the families I met with much better he’s I read be there for birthdays, and I would be invited for holidays and for special things. And a lot changed during those two and a half years, which made the stories even even more beautiful and more full. And I said, you know, like, I would like to post these pictures and tell the stories on social media, let’s raise awareness. Because one of the common, one of the few common themes of the stories were the isolation and the loneliness, people felt and abandoned that by other family and friends and just felt like people did not understand them and what they were what they were going through. I’m like, hey, well, let’s share these stories. Let’s let’s talk about it. And so I started posting it on social media to raise awareness and into actually was a way of honoring their them and their stories, and the photos. And what I found was the photos that included the family dogs, which I was always happy to do. I’m a fan. I’m a dog lover. They were more candid and more. They were more fun and it showed more personality. And those were the most popular ones. And popularity equated to people actually reading the stories and falling in love with the families the way I did. And having that those feelings of compassion and awe for their challenges and their triumphs and that so doggies for dementia I said well what do we do then for to meet people is to include dogs.

Ari: Well, now when when did this? When did doggies for dementia actually start?

Carmen: Well, I started it. So as I wait, I kind of retired from the nurse practitioner world love photography. During this time, I got, you know, I love photography. And I love photographing and telling the stories through the images. And I essentially retired from my career, and started doing portrait photography, so photographing over a variety of situations and people and just practiced and practiced and learn and took classes. And I’m pretty sure I can have a master’s in employment now after how much work and in time and an effort but I loved I loved it so much. And so my business, Carmen’s legacy productions, I photograph the families with Alzheimer’s and, and those to telling their stories, but I did not charge them for that. That was a piece I gave to them. And then eventually, people were saying, you know, Carmen, that sounds and looks like, like a nonprofit, you probably need to separate that and make it a nonprofit, so that you can do more with it, versus being a part of your for profit business that you’re not charging for. And so that was officially, officially was March of 2020. Which, of course, we all know what happened then. But I’d been doing it for a couple years by then.

Ari: Okay, so and that that leads to my next question, because I wanted to ask you the reason I asked you when did it start was because obviously, we did go into COVID. And my question is basically, how did it affect you? How did it affect your clients? And how did it affect your business? Yeah.

Carmen: Oh, boy. So what a loaded question, Ari, thank you for that. Yeah. So I’ll you asked me first, how did it affect me, being I photograph people and I’m with with, with people, and also are very vulnerable. people with Alzheimer’s and the elderly, I really couldn’t do my, my business in that sense. at all, I was out there photographing what was happening. But as part of that storytelling, but it’s not an income earning. And, and also during that time, in fact, a year ago, at the time, around this time that we’re talking today, I was diagnosed with cancer during this pandemic time. And so I couldn’t be around my friends and family. And I lived alone at the time. And I had a real I thought I understood things pretty well what it was like to feel isolated and lonely, and people don’t understand. But certainly during that time, I got a really good firsthand view of that, and and also being hospitalized without any visitors allowed. And everybody’s wearing a mask and, and I’m being told I have cancer. So that was a rough time, which I’ve recovered from completely. So I’m really grateful for that.

Ari: So that was that was quite a brick that you basically got hit with. Yeah, no, no, it’s bad enough that you can track the cancer. But to do it during during the COVID pandemic, where you know, you’re literally all alone. But it did help you. Okay, you did hear some of the whispers, because you started to understand what others were going through. Now there’s it’s one thing to see it, it’s one thing to be in it. And you saw it initially, but then you’re actually in it. And I’m sure it just changed your whole we must have changed your whole perspective on this, correct? 

Carmen: Yeah, it did. And I you know, an effort before surgery and treatment and all I needed to go through all these screening tests. And screening tests themselves aren’t a big deal, right? But they’re scary, wondering, what’s it going to show? And, and I remember laying there and they’re going to do this cat scan and the gals are putting in the IV and they’re talking and they said so. So this is you’re having some pain or something like that. And I said, No, I have. I have uterine cancer. And they literally took a step back. And all the chatting that had happened before. And the small talk, it was just silence. And I do I cannot read their minds. I don’t know if they were feeling like oh, I should have read that or we should have known or what the thought was but that feeling when when those with Alzheimer’s would say as soon as I tell them Buddy, and families are like, they literally will back away. They did literally take a step back if the same thing happened to me. And, and the feeling that I had at that moment. I mean, tears are just coming down my eyes, not just because of what was happening, and I was alone, but because of the response. And I’m sure they were doing the best they could. And it was their response didn’t realize it. But it was, it was profound to me. I mean, it’s two years to the around this time, and around this time of year I start, it’s like, it kind of comes back to me what that was really like, which is not a totally bad thing, because it reminds me of just how, you know, blessed is used a lot, but just how, how grateful and blessed I feel to have people around and to be healthy. And that that was a one kind of a one time situation for me, which is which is different than for people with dementia, you know, it goes on.

Ari: Right? Yeah, but But it’s, you know, and your reactions around you and the anniversary of whatever, you know, whatever you’re going through, you’re no different than I think most people who have gone through something, I mean, I I get I get a little depressed sometimes around 911 I get you know, a little antsy I get, you know, I you know, I want to, you know, just stay to myself sometimes just go away and just walk by myself. So we all have a way of coping with the anniversaries. All right, but as long as we don’t let it, you know, destroy us, you know, but let us let him help us, you know, it helps to make us stronger. All right. And that is that’s what’s that’s the key. That’s what’s so important. But let me ask you this. At any point in time, in during your career, or whatever, did you ever reach a point so low, where you said to yourself, you know what, I give up, I can’t do this anymore. It’s just, I can’t for whatever reason, you know, I just want to curl up into a ball and die. But if you and if you did reach a point that low, obviously you’ve come out of it, you’ve come back, you’ve made a great comeback, and how did you do that?

Carmen: Well, I’ll talk about my second career then the photography and and an author and such with donkeys. So during the time of this, of COVID time, and not being able to photograph the families, like we have set out to do, like our mission is the other piece, I really felt like, oh, how are we going to do this? How are we going to do this, and we’re a nonprofit. So we rely on donations and, and sponsorships and things when we’re not able to do the work that we set out to do. And I thought well, I really kind of went back to what we were talking about the feelings of that isolation and loneliness. And I did a I did a Facebook, I did just kind of I did a search about isolation. And some there’s caregivers for compromise. There was a group that were primarily but not only but but many families whose loved ones had dementia and were in in they were all in some kind of a long term care where they were locked out and not able to visit not able to see their loved ones. And the more I read the more I heard their stories of they’re watching their loved ones decline where they don’t recognize them anymore. And they can see them through the windows and there are there are wondering with good reason is the is there protect protection, meaning locking the doors and not letting people in worth the results, which is people declining rapidly and not knowing their families and feeling like like, what? And they look through the window go What did I do wrong? Why am I in jail? Why don’t you come see me and heartbreaking and they they couldn’t come in they couldn’t hug them. They couldn’t see them and some wrote how they were invited in to see their loved one only in the like the last hour of their lives when they felt like it was one hour. And it flabbergasted me. I mean, I knew times were tough, but I didn’t ever think about it from that perspective. And so I started reaching out. I said, I’d love to tell your story. Tell me your story. And let’s part of raising awareness because this is a current event in our in our country. And while I can’t photograph your loved one, I can tell your story. And so we built a YouTube channel and end up in a podcast sharing Stories of areas called experts dig in with donkeys for dementia. And those are the family experts stories. What does that like? And then I did I talked to professional caregivers and, and, and psychologists and we were in a crisis here. We haven’t been in a situation like this before. We don’t know what’s the best thing. But we’re watching people die in front of us of what, what else can be done. And that was our raising awareness, which really helped mold our mission even stronger. And we adapted, we adapted till we could get out again.

Ari: Yeah, so let me ask you this, who is the one person that you can point to? That you would say had the most influence on your life? And why?

Carmen: Yeah, you know, I, I know, you say one person, I think about the, I’m gonna if I lump it into the families that I’ve worked with the, I mean, it seems almost like a luxury type thing. You have a photo shoot, you get some video of your loved one talking and conversing with you. And, and then you get these prints and, and then they’re honored. And and, you know, it it. And I thought that’s really a beautiful thing. Until I attended a few memorials and funerals. And I was there and people would know who I was, before I even opened my mouth, people I’d never met, because it was that profound and that important to them. And it is something that they would keep forever. And when I’m having hard days, you’re at my desk by myself in my sweats and for any day out, thinking, When am I going to do? How are we going to do this? I think about them. And I think about how important important isn’t even the word is so much more than that profound for them. And they describe it as you know, this, you know, a precious gift and priceless to them. And that is at the most influence because it keeps me going in spite of the challenges of a new nonprofit. Which are there over there?

Ari: Absolutely. Absolutely. Let me ask you something. Are you married?

Carmen: I am I am now I’ve been married almost a year, a year in May. 

Ari: Oh,wow. Yes. First Time?

Carmen: No, no, not the first time. Okay. Yeah. But he he was not I met him shortly after my cancer experience. I call it that it was two or three months after? Yeah.

Ari: Do you have any kids? Yeah,

Carmen: I have one son who is 35. Now. And interestingly, you know, you talk about 911 and things. And he was, I think 11 or 12. And that happened. And it you know, that’s a very vulnerable age as well. And he, from then on, said, I’m going to be in the army. And I know he wanted to do his part. And I just kept thinking maybe he’ll grow out of it. Because I was a single mom, and he was my whole life. And, but he didn’t. And he took you took his experience. And he was badly injured in war. And he took his experience and as a singer songwriter, because he found music healing. And his first many of his first songs were about that experiment about the connection he felt with his army buddies and things and, and then when he threw in what it must have been like for mom, so that was really good to hear. Because it was pretty horrible. Yeah,

Ari: wow. Yeah. So is he okay, today?

Carmen: Yes, he has, you know, he had injury. Yeah, some issues, but he’s doing really well.

Ari: That’s wonderful. That’s wonderful. And he’s put it to music. You know, music is such a soothing thing.

Carmen: And, you know, I have to say one of the things I learned, I mean, 40 years in the clinical world, and I loved what I did, but I never felt like it was it was going to be it for me. I always knew there was something else but I didn’t know what it was. And I raised him I said look at that, you know, you might be outside the box which you end up doing and but be open. I’m you just never know if your kids are listening, you know, here you are true. When he started talking about it, and he didn’t even learn to play guitar Delete. He was in Iraq. I mean, when his sergeant I think taught him and and so when he started talking about it, I think it’s a food Danger Danger, but at the same time I’m like, you know, you got to follow your heart and and take those risks and and do that, because I think they’re your biggest regrets are the things you don’t do? Not the things you do.

Ari: Yeah, absolutely. So before we go, are there any words of wisdom that you would like to share with my audience something a takeaway for my audience?

Carmen: Yeah, I think we’ve, you know, we’ve touched on it already. We talked about going through the hard times, and then coming out of it, that life is kind of this up or down rocky road, if you will. And I think sometimes we have a tendency as humans, that when it is good, that we don’t enjoy it fully. And we’re not finding the joy in it, because we’re still worried about well, what if, what if, or this could happen, or that could happen? And I knew, like, you know, I’ve heard that new moms worry so much about their newborns that they forget to enjoy the time that they’re worried about it. And I think we we perpetuate that in a lot of different ways. And, and I would say, I mean, just find the joy. And and just, you know, you may have to walk through the dark of the night at times, but find the joy and and focus on that to not just the Dark Knight focus on that joy. Also. I certainly learned that and working with the families with donkeys for dementia, we find the joy.

Ari: That’s awesome. Now, we did mention that you did write a book. Can you tell us a little bit about the book itself? Like what’s the name of it? Where can people buy it?

Carmen: Yes, yes, sure. It’s called just see me sacred stories from the other side of dementia or just see me and it’s available on Amazon. I believe it’s on Barnes and Nobles as well. And anyone who reaches out to me and said, I’d like to have one this autographed. I take care of that too. Because I know that’s kind of a special thing. And I’ve dedicated I’ve written and dedicated to various family members and mail them and I love doing that. So they could just reach out to me so my email is Carmen car and E N doggies. De og de ie s for dementia.

Dot orc. Is that for the number four or f o r? Yeah. So

dog is de OGIESFO are dementia.

Okay, so dog is for dementia.com

Okay, all right. If you go to the website, and you say contact, I’m the one who gets that. And the website is for dementia.org.

Ari: Okay, awesome. Great. So now if people want to get in touch with you, we know that they can do that we know that they can get the book. Well, Carmen, thank you so much for coming on the show. You’ve been a tremendous inspiration to me, and I’m sure it’s my audience. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You got a lot of heart. You’re very courageous woman going through what you went through and just not giving up. I think it’s absolutely amazing. So, thanks so much. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing great work, the world needs more Carmen’s. That’s for sure. And again, thanks so much for coming on the show.

Thank you. My pleasure.

You’re listening to whispers in bricks and I’m your host Ari Schonbrun. Remember, if you feel like you’re stuck in the mud, like you’re spinning your wheels, wasting time, your career, your business your life. If you know you’re not enjoying all the success, satisfaction and significance that you desire. And it’s time for you to book a call with me@ www.whispersandbricks.com

91.  Lindsay Jewell Part 2 What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

88. Carlos Acosta Your Life Can Change In A Moment


Carlos Acosta Your Life Can Change In A Moment



Carlos Acosta is a father, husband, and successful business owner but life wasn’t always perfect for him. He has overcome many bricks including a divorce and a car crash that almost left him dead. He healed from his injuries with the help of his family. From that moment on his life changed he no longer takes one moment for granted. He knows that your life can change in an instant. He hosts a podcast focused on seizing the day. He reminds us to take nothing in life for granted.

Show notes:






Episode Transcription


Intro Plays





Ari: Welcome to whisper secrets. My name is Ari shoberg and I’m your host. My guest today is Carlos Acosta, or Carlos Acosta Rodriguez. He’s been an apple Consultant since 1990. He is also the creator of the podcast one day less, and the FM show sublime. He is also an audiobook producer and radio broadcaster. Carlos is passionate about his work loving everyday is experienced personally and professionally. He cares about his clients giving them the best advice so they can perform better every time with Apple’s technology. One day less is about really giving the famous words Carpe Diem, a practical meaning in your life. The Sublime show on FM radio is a good vibes time, through special messages of beautiful music from the 80s and beyond. As Carlos puts it, impulse and inspiration come from different sources. I am a car accident survivor. God left me here for a mission a new purpose. Life is a gift. Enjoy it. Please help me welcome Carlos Acosta. Carlos, how are you my friends?


Carlos: already? I’m glad to be here. And other. Thank you. For my


Ari: pleasure. My pleasure. Now, you were you were born in 1966. In Mexico, correct?


Carlos: Yes, yes. I’m Mexican. Oh,


Ari: very good. Now growing up. I understand you’re an avid tennis player, since like the age of 10. Can you tell us a little bit about that? What was you know, how did that happen? What was going on?


Carlos: Well, you know, my father loves sports, a sport available for him. So he introduced us via my my siblings to play tennis at a young age. And it’s been a pleasure for me playing that sport since then. Because it’s very competitive. You know, it’s very health healthy for the mind, you know, to, to learn winning and learn losing. It’s been a great experience for me playing tennis. Having my cramps, my friends, I’m sorry. I might, I might if it’s so.


Ari: Wow. You know, and it’s interesting, because tennis is one of those rare sports, that it’s all you. I mean, you know, there’s nobody else there’s no, you know, it’s not like a team sport, so to speak basketball, you know, there are four of the guys on the court with you. So if you’re slumping a little bit, they can pick it up. In tennis. If you’re slumping, it’s all you right.



Carlos: You know, it’s that’s the beauty and what I love tennis, because you need to finish you need to cross the line, and nobody else to stop to do in the middle of the game. You need to finish. You have to face your demons in the middle of the match. Go on. And that’s wonderful. Because that’s the that’s real life. Right? Nobody can change plays with us in general. I believe that’s something that we need to do. Right work life. So tennis is that that’s the beauty of the sport.


Ari: Wow, that’s great. Now, you are a father of two you have a son and a daughter. Right? Both are in their 20s. Now, you also mentioned that you were divorced and then remarried. So let’s start with worthy any of the two children was your first wife?


Carlos: Yes, yes. From for my first wife. It’s actually


Ari: both kids. Both kids. Yeah. Okay. And like, what happened? How long? How long were you married? Before you divorce?



Carlos: About 1314 years? And then well, it was time to pathways. Because because, you know, here in Mexico, the tradition says that you marry forever. I came in that extract type of life. And it was very difficult morally, you know, consciously because you need to Pathways against society in a way right? Right is not ready for you to say I’m going to divorce. So being divorced very hard as itself. Then you have to face society and friends and family. So it’s hard. I live to tell that. So, of course you need to go.


Ari: Right. And you went on and then you met another woman, I guess, right? Yes. And you got happily married? A wonderful


Carlos: lady. Yes. We’re very happy fangirl, and we’re thriving in life. And it’s been now almost eight years together. Oh, wow. Okay. And that’s, that’s good. Because, you know, there’s, there’s like an after life after the divorce and after life. And sometimes I say, No more marriages. For me. It was more for me to marry again and to be happy again.


Ari: That’s wonderful. Now, you started a business as a computer systems engineer in 1990. And I gotta be honest, you know, the name of the broadcast, the name of this podcast is whispers and bricks. And the whispers are, you know, the the whispers represent the good things in life, you know, God whispering to our minds and whispering to our hearts and telling us what the right thing to do is. And the bricks represent the bad things that happen to us. You know, if we’re not doing the right thing, then God throws a brick at us. It’s very simple. Now, everybody in the world, I don’t care who you are, what you are, has had a brick thrown at them at some point in time, some kind of a brick, some had more bricks, some had less bricks, but everybody goes through stuff. Now, looking at your, at your backgrounds. All right. Yeah, it’s true. You did get divorced. But then you remarried. You have two wonderful children. You’re you have a business. Things were looking really, really good. And everything was going hunky dory. And it was like Carlos, man, you got the world at your feet. You know, you’ve you’ve really got it made. And then you get hit with a major break. And I’m talking about the car accident. Tell us about the car accident.


Carlos: Well, it’s you know, it’s something that you always say, maybe you and me can say that will never happen to us. You know, this life is good. Everything is going great. It should be that way, every day of your life. And then I had a car accident. I woke woke up 10 years later asking what happened to me. I am here in the hospital.



Ari: How long? 10 days or 10 days? Yes. Okay.



Carlos: Yes. 10 days, in coma, in ICU. fighting for my life, doctors fighting for me. And family. They’re wonderful brothers who helped me when I was, you know, almost dying. And then, as I was telling you, I woke up asking what happened to me? I didn’t remember the accident to date. I don’t remember the accident. Or something. I don’t know what was in there.


Ari: So that was that was in that was January 3 of 2008. Correct? Correct. Now, you don’t remember anything. But were you were you driving? Were you? The passenger? What was what was the story there?


Carlos: Yes, it was the passenger. The driver fell asleep on the road. And then we crash into something maybe a rock maybe a wall? I don’t know. Thank God, not other carrier. Other persons. It was an I think from the road. And then they told me that happened. The driver told me that apologize to me about the accident. But you know, when you’re the co pilot, the copilot is the the chief of death. In Mexico, we always tell that when you’re besides a driver, that’s the most dangerous seat to be. Because that’s when you receive the most injuries when you you know, again, that happened, a big break in my life, something that I never imagined that could happen. And when I asked what I was doing in a hospital and told me you had a crash car accident, I didn’t believe that, you know, I pinched myself in there because I believe it was a minor. Wow. No, but nothing happens after I pinch myself. I say well, this is real. It was an accident. And you know, it was very hard for me to understand. Because you always think that only good things happen to you in your life. And so far, so good for me that year. 2008. But then reality struck me and it was very hard for me to understand that. You know, the question is what why me? Why me because I think everyone does have this right? but when it happens to you, you ask yourself, and you ask Kevin and just go and just people why me?


Ari: Why me? Right? So you had you had like, I mean, this was major, you you, as you said, you almost died, you had internal bleeding, you lost a lot of blood. I think, as from our previous discussion, you told me they had to take out your spleen. And then, I mean, it was just like, you know, you caught pneumonia, you had blood in your lungs. I mean, this was just this was not this was major major. So how long? How long were you laid up?


Carlos: Well, I was in the hospital for one month, and then three months in a wheelchair, recovering. Also, it struck me economically, I had to pay the medical bills. So it was, you know, like, six months that I was out of the normal, my normal life, fighting for physically, mentally, emotionally, you know, a big fight all those months, because you are not prepared for that you’re prepared to leave normally, like, we all do, when nothing happens in your life. And then this, and it was for me. And obviously, you know, before and after, in my life, and you do question about Locke, and life, what about, and you know, a lot of people have an opinion about what happened to you. And you will know which one to, to be the real one, to believe, right? And you have to, you have to wait for yourself, there’s no other way you have to do it for yourself, to know the truth by yourself internally, in your heart in your mind and to and to make conclusions about this episode in life?


Ari: So, let me ask you this, like here in America, you know, we have medical insurance do they have? Did you have medical insurance in Mexico? Or? And if so, you know, how much what did they cover? Did the cover anything? Did they cover most of it? Some of it? None of



Carlos: it? Yes, well, we have only what is called private insurance, you pay for it and an amount you decide with a company. But you know, to make things worse, I I wasn’t paying that insurance that I have most of my life. There is the for my tip, because it wasn’t a tip that I I had a car accident. So days before the trip, the company called me and told me, you you need to pay this bill. And I said, Well, I will pay after the trip. I was sure nothing will happen to me. You know, Murphy’s Law? Yeah, in happened. So I’ve even have my private insurance stuff. I cost me so much. There’s public public health systems in Mexico, but with a lot of these deficiencies. You know, I couldn’t be there because it was not good for my health for my recovery. Sadly, Mexico that happens, you know, the, the Social Security from the government is not very good to date. And that happened to me, and I had to pay the bills, the medical bills, and, you know, there was no other way.


Ari: Just curious, were actually because you just reminded me, like, Where were you going? You were in that car with somebody else? I don’t know who that was? Was it a friend? Was it? You know, a business acquaintance? And where were you going?


Carlos: You know, at the time, I was divorcing, also, okay, was with a lady that I thought was going to be my, my partner present and the future that at that time, right? She was driving and took a pill for a runny nose for like, and then that was the reason that she felt asleep.


Ari: Yeah. Sure, though, all those, you know, those cold medications, they they tire you out tremendously. You really shouldn’t.


Carlos: You know, and I believe it was the truth. And then I was not in Mexico, because the lady was from panama, panama the country. So I was in Panama you know, in Panama City, in the capital. And then we went to a town not far from the from the city and in the road, that that was the time of the accident. So I was very, very far from my I have relatives from my family very far from Mexico. So it that complicated? The whole? For sure,


Ari: for sure. So how well How far is it from? From Mexico to Panama?


Carlos: Went from my city. I was born to Rome. Yeah. I’ve heard right now, but in the room is 5000 kilometers away?


Ari: Oh my god. Okay. It’s a trip. That’s a trip. So you were stuck, you had to pay medical bills, right? And what I understand you sold your business, your house, like everything is literally your your left penniless, basically. All right, and you didn’t, your health wasn’t so good. And you still had two little kids to support?


Carlos: Yes. So, you know, you want not not literally, but you want to kill yourself, because you say, I am responsible for these kids. And I want them to be in, you know, I had a good life in, I was very wealthy, before the accident. And then I had to pay for everything and lost everything. So I feel very responsible for that. My family helped me a lot, thank God, they helped me and my parents, my brothers and sister, they helped me and that was, in the time that I couldn’t perform my work, you know, do anything because I was in a wheelchair, I was still recovering from a lot of health issues. So of course, it was a very dark moment in my life.


Ari: At that point, I mean, did you ever did you get to the point where you were so low that you said, You know what, I just can’t do this anymore. I don’t care my dreams, forget about it, I’m just gonna, like roll up into a ball and die. You know, just just get to that solo. And if you did reach that point, what brought you back? In other words, obviously, you came back. Alright. And you, you know, you rebuild your life? How did you manage that?


Carlos: Well, for me, it was, of course, a time of sadness and depression. And what helped me was that I am Catholic, I believe in golf. And after a while, after the accident, I knew by myself that I was lucky to be alive. The message that I was sent from heaven was the life continues gone, and you have things to do in life, I am not taking you yet. You live needs to fulfill a lot of things that are not still accomplished. And, you know, life is a gift, you know, now that, for me, that was my inspiration, you know, because a doctor also told me after the accident, you know, to wear these clothes, have time for nothing, you’re here, you know, you can think of the doctors, wherever you live, you can think, but it’s a miracle that you’re here. You do are here because of small miracles are a big miracle, whatever you want to think I got a lot of about that. And I, I concluded that that was the truth. And you know, that propels you after a long period, of course of sadness, and depression and not knowing what to do with the money with your kids with life, because I was physically impaired. But after that, you know that you’re here for a reason. Every one of us is here for a reason. And, you know, I don’t wish that you need to be in an accident to remember that to other people. Because we forget about that we take for granted a good life. And sometimes it goes away in a moment like happened that, like it happened to me. You know, the accident, maybe was two seconds, you know, when she fell asleep, and we went out on the road and we crashed. So it’s just a moment that changes your life forever. So it’s, you know, very, it’s a big impression for me. And of course, it was in a positive way that I say, I need to go on, you know, I need of course, it life will never be the same. It’s not the same anymore. But it’s not the same also for improving unit we need to improve. We need to be better for ourselves and for the ones we’ll have, the person’s will have.



Ari: Right? Absolutely. And I think, you know, this was I again, you know, as a 911 survivor, I’ve had the same situation where, you know, by the skin of my teeth by miracles, that’s how I survived. And so I knew like you that God put us here for a reason. And I think the reason was to inspire others, to teach others to tell them, you know, it’s time to start changing your ways become better. I know that you have been, you know, you’ve been very, very touched. I think God touched you in a certain way that, you know, brought you to this conclusion. And now, I understand you’re, you’re going out there and you’re doing the talking and you’re doing the speaking, you’re telling people, Hey, you don’t have to go through what I went through, in order to change learn from what I went through and make the change now by yourself. Don’t Don’t wait for you know, don’t wait for that brick. Alright, just listen to the whispers Am I right?



Carlos: Yes, totally. Believe me, you know, I have the same problems than then before the accident. But now, they are so small compared with big problems, like losing your life, right? Or almost losing your life. So I have still problems like every person, you have to pay the bills, you have bad days, you know, dark days. And that is something very different for me right now compared with after, before the accident, I’m sorry. Because now it’s a different perspective. And every day, I think God and my surroundings might be people, the people, I love that they are with me, and life itself. Because it’s, for me really is a miracle. And you know, you don’t need to be dramatic about that you will need to do something dramatic. Just go on with your life, and work and do what you have to do. And that’s it. But at the same time, you know, big problems in the past are now small problems. Or not that big. Because what now it’s a big problem is not having life. Right?


Ari: Correct. You know, somebody once said to me, don’t tell your god how big your problems are. Tell your problems. how big your God is.


Carlos: It’s like, yeah, I totally concur with that.


Ari: Yes, you’re absolutely, absolutely. For me,


Carlos: you know, I’m not 100% physical, you know, I have a my left hand, works at clinical, because I have numerous injuries in the nerves. Also, my, I don’t have the spleen. So it’s something that life goes on without the spleen, that’s great. But you don’t have either have the spleen. And also my right foot is affected because I broke my heel in pieces, my bone. So I can work, I can run I play tennis. But life is not the same. Of course, I have a you know, a big understanding about that. But I am standing up, I am driving, working making things and you know, life is a it’s a gift. Again, it’s something that you don’t know when it’s going to end we can testify that you and me and you know the people, the wonderful people you have interviewed here in your wonderful podcast, I believe they can say that. Yeah, that’s


Ari: if you had to point to one person who would you say had the most effect on your life? My father, your father? Interesting? Yeah. Why?


Carlos: You know, I can tell you that she was a saint, you know, his team started from nothing about in money or, you know, he was really cool. And he thrived through life. He had a big business. He was an example, in values, in morality, in a big example, not by telling you what to do, but doing the things he always set us to do. Doing, you know, a wonderful example of life. So my father was along with my mother, of course, because my my father is has gone to heaven, eight years ago, my mother is still here. Both of my my pillars, my, you know, the foundation of what I am, I hope I have a wealth of course, I am something better for for them to be proud of. But at the same time, they gave me the basics, you know, the to do a wonderful life. And my father, especially because maybe we are both men, you know, gave me a big example about not being like a sheep, you know, like everybody else but being special and different. In a good way, you know, do don’t do the things that other people do just because they do that not you do special things, you know, things that have value and honor and honesty, and, and go on with your life. And, you know, for me, he was the example and I miss him every day. I know he’s in good company, we hopefully will be there. You know, he was something that I learned, even when I was, you know, not that jungle, but now in a nation, like for his 50s. I remember that example from from him.


Ari: And so, let’s let’s fast forward to today. Did you start you rebuilt your business? You’re still doing the, the consulting and the with Apple and still doing that?


Carlos: Yes, yes, it and you know, of course, three years of going something, you can’t become a specialist, right? I believe that’s for everyone that dedicate to something, you become really good. You do strive for excellence in what you do. And I’m very happy for that. Because I love what I love very much what I do to help people with the Apple technology. Right. And they I have clients that are from 2025 years ago.


Ari: Wow. Yeah, those are those would be good clients, because those are the people who are probably not very tech savvy, because they didn’t grow up with technology, the way you know, some six year old kid now can knows more technology than I do. You know? And let so let me ask you something. If people want to get a hold of you, they want to either talk or they you know, they’re going through their own struggles. And they’d like some advice or whatever. Do you have like a website or an email or something people for people to get in touch with you?


Carlos: Yesterday? You know, I can share that with? You know, I’m happy that somebody can relate to us and be touched by by person like that. And I hopefully I can touch them too. And you know, my email, it’s Carlos. T. rc@yahoo.com.

So it’s Carlos TR see@yahoo.com. Yes. Okay.


Ari: In Facebook, they can find you by Carlos Acosta. Okay. Mexico a little bit,

You know. All right. Awesome. Well, Carlos, listen, I want to thank you so much for coming on my show. You have an amazing story. You were, you were definitely saved for a purpose. And what’s nice is that you you figured out what that purpose was. And that’s so important because many people go through things, and they don’t realize that they you know, they’re given a second chance, and they don’t bother doing anything about it, but you you’re given a second chance and you’re doing the right thing with it. Congratulations. You should have much success going forward. And you know, you should you’re an inspiration to, to me and to all of my listeners as well. So thank you once again, you’ve been listening to whispers and bricks, and I’m your host, Gary Sharma. Remember, if you feel like you’re stuck in the mud, like you’re spinning your wheels, wasting time in your career, your business your life. If you know you’re not enjoying all the success, satisfaction and significance that you desire. Then it’s time for you to book a call with me at www dot call with ari.com. Check out my whispers and bricks Coaching Academy. And until next time, listen to the whispers avoid the bricks and never ever give up on your dreams. Bye for



91.  Lindsay Jewell Part 2 What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

87. John Tarnoff The Second Act Is Possible


John Tarnoff The Second Act Is Possible


John Tarnoff is a career coach, especially for people over 50. He teaches people how to pivot their careers and use failures as success. A lesson that his long career in Hollywood taught him. Being a very volatile industry, he faced many job transitions for many reasons. Then, in 2001 he had a startup that struggled due to the recession. Then, he heard a whisper telling him to go back to school, which led him to his current career helping others. He reminds us that sometimes everyone needs a reset and that your second act is not only possible but great! If you need some inspiration about a career shift, this episode is for you!

Show notes:



Episode Transcription


Intro Plays





Ari: Welcome to whispers and bricks. My name is Ari Schonbrun  and I’m your host. My guest today is John turnoff. John is an executive and career transition coach, speaker and author who supports mid and late career professionals in defining, planning and achieving more meaningful and sustainable careers. I think I need this guy fired 39% of the time during his 35 years of film producer, wow. studio executive and tech entrepreneur, he learned how to turn setbacks into successes in a volatile business. He reinvented his own career at the age of 50, earning a master’s degree in spiritual psychology to share his career lessons with others going through similar challenges. Since leaving entertainment in 2010, John has coached individuals groups and led career workshops for University alumni, including for UCLA, Cornell Carnegie Mellon, corporate coaching clients have included Bank of America bridgewater associates, Levi Strauss, soft bank, TD Ameritrade and thrive global global. He’s the author of The Best Selling Boomer reinvention how to create your dream career over 50 and has created four courses on the multigenerational workforce for LinkedIn learning. Please help me welcome John. Turn off. John, how are you?


John: I’m doing great. Thanks for having me on the show.



Ari: My pleasure. My pleasure. What’s a year out where you’re in California?


John: I am in Los Angeles. Angels.


Ari: City of Angels love us. And yes, city. That’s true. That’s true. Okay, great. Well, as you know, the name of this podcast is whispers and bricks, the whispers of those voices telling you what the right thing to do is, and they represent the good in life. The bricks represent the bad things that we go through in life. Now, we all know that life is not a straight line, there are many ups and downs and many bumps in the road. People get hit with bricks all the time, the issue is trying to listen to the whispers before those bricks actually come or listening to the whispers after the bricks come. Now let me begin by asking you this. You spent 35 years in film production. I don’t know if we’re supposed to if we’re supposed to deduct the 39% of the time that you were fired. But let’s not go there right now.



John: I kept working I was fired. But I got right back up and kept on going.


Ari: There you go. Well, you know, I’m sure many people my audience would be very envious of your career. Let me ask you this. How did you break into film production? What What was that career like? It must have been like, really, really exciting. Now?


John: It you know, it is it’s it’s very tailored to cities, it’s the best of careers, it’s the worst of careers, you know, you’re working with some really talented, smart, exciting, thought provoking people creating something out of nothing, right? You’re working on large scale, collaborative industrial sized projects. There is something very empowering and exhilarating about being in film production or TV production, when it’s working. The problem with the industry is that it’s very hard to have a straight line with it. It’s a very unpredictable world, you’re trying to second guess the future tastes of the American there, the global public, and what they’re going to want to watch. And, and there’s a great line from the amazing and talented screenwriter, the late William Goldman, who prefaced his book called Adventures in the screen trade, which was his memoir, with the line. The first rule of Hollywood is no one knows anything. And it’s true, because everyone’s got an opinion, but no one really knows. So you’re you’re trying to kind of navigate in this very uncertain environment. Look, entertainment attracts very talented, wonderful people. It also attracts some schmucks and people who are in it for the greed for the power for the glamour. So you know, you’re trying to kind of wade through the muck a lot of the time to find In the gold, and it can be exhausting to do that.


Ari: That myself from my own curiosity, you were, I guess I mean, correct me if I’m wrong hobnobbing with this with the stars.


John: You know, there’s very little actual hobnobbing hub, you know, you kind of are fed a diet of it on TV, because you’re watching all of the, you know, the awards shows, or the your watch Entertainment Tonight or whatever. But you know, most, most people just kind of have their normal lives. And they’ll go out to restaurants and the paparazzi shots of stars walking around, going to the market. That’s probably a better representation of what life is really like. It’s just kind of life. And when you go to work, you work really hard. And it’s not glamorous at all, being on a film set is probably the least glamorous thing that you can imagine where you’re working long hours, six days a week, with very little sleep, shooting on strange schedules, in strange locations. And it’s strenuous work, you’re either very into it and getting the scene done, or you’re waiting around, or you’re moving from one location to another. It’s grueling.


Ari: Wow. So let me ask you this. You were you, as you said, you were fired 39% of the time that you will work in there? What would what would like what was some of the bricks that you got hit with along the way? What was sure.


John: So so the reason I talked about this 39% thing. And by the way, this, this came to me, as I was preparing for a TEDx talk, which I did in 2012, which kind of launched me on this particular direction that I’ve been going on now for the last 10 years, as a as a career coach. And I was trying to figure out, so what qualifies me to be up here talking about career transition, and career reinvention, which was the topic of the talk. And I kind of did my little calculation, I kind of listed all the jobs that I had had, and what happened at the end of that job. And so six of the jobs of the 18 jobs I had over the 35 years, six of them, I left because I went on to another job, got another offer. Five of them were things that just ended. So films that I had produced that were done consulting deals that were done, no harm, no foul, but then there were seven jobs where I was fired. And so I just did the math. And that came up to 39%. And I thought that’s a funny statistic, because who talks about the the percentage of time in your career that you got fired? No one wants to talk about that. My mother used to say to me, why are you having a hard time holding a job? Right Jewish mother wood, and, and the truth of it is, it’s a volatile business. And I wasn’t fired necessarily because I was doing a bad job. But, you know, I was working at a studio, the studio had changed. The new guy came in swept clean waters on people in, you know, all sorts of all sorts of reasons. And in some cases, sure, I clashed, you know, with, with the people, the person I was working with, or it just kind of wasn’t working out. And, you know, then the last job I had was a really interesting was a really interesting story. I was working at DreamWorks Animation for most of the 2000s doing, really, people work, not really production work. And they were changing directions after the after the the 2008 recession, the company decided was going to change a different direction that they had different agendas in terms of their finances, and how they were going to be profitable, etc. And a lot of the initiatives that I was working on were kind of fed, they were done. So I actually when I initiated this, I went to the CEOs who I reported to and I said, Look, this is a strange conversation to be having. But is there anything left for me to do around here? And she was kind of taken aback and she was she kind of turned bright red. And she said, look, look, I have to preface this by saying you’ve been great. You’ve kind of took this department and kind of created this amazing thing with our with our staff and all that in the programs that you’ve done. She said, But I have to be frank with you the way we’re going? I don’t think so. And she said, Look, why don’t you? I mean, everyone loves you here, go around, see if there’s something that that makes sense for you to do that makes sense for someone else, some some other projects, you can get involved in department initiative. And let’s see if we can keep you on. And I did that. And there really wasn’t anything I really wanted to pursue this kind of education, staff development kind of role that I had taken on while I was there, so I came back to I said, you know, I think I gotta go, we negotiated this exhibit, it was very friendly, which is kind of unusual for Hollywood where there’s so many tempers and, and stuff goes on fights break out. So you know, it’s all over the map as to why why I left these jobs. But the point of it is talking about the 39%, you got to bring it back to this is that getting fired is not fatal. Right, you’re going to recover from it. And the point of talking about 39%, is that you want to realize that in a world that’s changing so fast, you’re not going to have the same stability in your job that you had, if you’re working 2040 years ago. So you have to adjust to this and realize it’s about finding a better fit. And using that as a springboard to really drill down on who you are, what’s the value you provide, and come up with a what I call a client a candidate centric approach to taking control of your career.


Azri: Yeah, well, we know, you know, I spent the better part of my working career on Wall Street. And it’s interesting, I’ve seen the metamorphosis of, of being employed. And you know, it used to be in the old days, you, you know, you you got a good education, you went to work for IBM, you worked there for 40 years, and you’re tired and his game over. That’s right. And, and if you had a lot of little jobs on your resume, it would be suspect people would go, you know, why did you have so many different jobs today? Hopper? Correct. Today, they want to know, if you said, Why did you stay at one company for 35 years? Could you find another job?


John: That’s true? That’s true. Now, you know, and I think this goes to the idea. And I got asked this question just yesterday, by someone who said about their resume. So I’m, I’m concerned that I have all these all these different jobs. And I said, Look, there’s a pattern to this, to your career, there’s a pattern in these jobs, there’s a portfolio that you are building. And what you want to do is, look at each of the positions that you’ve had and figure out what did I learn in that position that helped me in the next one? And the next one after that? And how do they all weave together to create this, this image of who you are, what you deliver, and how unique you are through the combination of all of these different jobs that you’ve done, and use it as a strength really redefine yourself through that synthesis as a uniquely qualified individual.


Ari: Let me ask you something. Are you married?


John: I am divorced, but I am 10 years into an amazing relationship with a wonderful one.


Ari: Okay, so here’s my next question. In that time period, where, you know, during the 39%, did you ever get to a point where you were like, so low that you just said, you know, what, I give up? I can’t do this anymore. To heck with my dreams, you know, I’m gonna roll up into a ball and die. And you know, and I don’t care anymore. And if you did, if you did reach that point, so low that the next question would be is, how did you recover? How did you get out of it?


John: So I don’t think I ever seriously got to the point where I was ready to hang it up. Which is not to say that I didn’t have low points. And I will, in terms of the whispers in the bricks, I will I will give you a really perfect story. I think for this. I had a startup tech startup in the bubble 9019 9095 into 2001. April 2001, the NASDAQ tanks, everything starts to deteriorate.


Ari: We in this era, I remember it well.



John: Well, yeah, sure you do. Yeah. And so all of a sudden, most of our investors in this company were east coasters, and they all of a sudden, three guys call us up and say we’re coming out tomorrow. Let’s we gotta get together. We got to cross everything off your calendar. Were coming out. So these guys came out. And they basically said, look, you’ve got to reorganize. You’ve got to, you know, going to take another close look, yes, you’ve got this big deal. We had this big telecom deal going on this technology that we were doing, which eventually went away, because everything tanked after this. I mean, people were going to fight me you remember this, so? So coming out of that, I thought, What am I going to do? It’s now it’s now 2002 My partner and I have been trying to kind of keep this company going with with with toothpicks and spit. And we’re kind of barely surviving where we’ve got some staff, we’ve got a sales guy, we’ve got some, some engineers, we were just kind of going job to job. It’s not sustainable. And I come home one afternoon, one Friday afternoon, and I lived at that time in the Hollywood Hills, nice little house that I’ve had since 1981, you know, had got married in that house raised my daughter in that house. And I’m out, we got this cute little swimming pool in the backyard, and I’m raking leaves out of the out of the pool, on a Friday afternoon, and I slip I fall into the pool, I cracked my leg on the way down on that side of the pool. And I hold myself out of the pool and and my ex wife comes running and group drags me into the car takes me down to Cedars Sinai Hospital and patches me up. And then the next day or so I’m sitting in the in the living room. And I’m kind of staring at the ceiling, I got my leg up on on the couch, I’m thinking, what’s what, what’s going on here? What what is the message? And a voice says to me, I got the whisper, go back to school. Wow, literally. And I thought, Okay. And I realized in that moment, I thought, Okay, this is right, I need to shift my perspective. Because I wasn’t gonna go back to the jobs that I had had, working for the studios, I’d kind of like put that behind me, I didn’t really, you know, keep up with a lot of these people. I wasn’t interested in that work anymore. But I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So the voice said, go back to school. So I decided to go back to this spiritual psychology program that I have known about, which was set up as a way for, in many cases, older professionals who were looking to pivot to careers in counseling to do this, but a lot of people who I knew some people that graduated from this program, they weren’t just because they needed a life change, they needed a refresher, they needed to kind of drill down on who they were, what their value was, where they should go. And this is how I got the DreamWorks job, because I changed my attitude about myself about what I want it to do about how I presented to the world. And it was an invaluable experience. It was a it was a pattern interrupt, right, it was a reset. And sometimes you need that reset, you need something to really take you out of the way you’ve always done it. Right, because it is likely wrong. If you keep doing it the same way over and over again, things change, you want to change with the way things are going you want to you want to upgrade yourself to the next level. So that’s kind of the kind of a poster experience for for career reinvention.


Ari: Wow, you know, it reminds me of when, when I used to I had, you know, good people that were reporting to me. And, and it was like, you know, I’d ask a question, like, you know, why are you doing it this way? You know, because to me, whatever they were doing didn’t make sense, right? Whatever it was. And I said, Why are you doing it this way? You go, and you know what the answer is? I’m sure

you because we’ve always done it this way. This is the way

we’ve always done it. Yeah. Yeah, I go. Do you know what the definition of insanity is? I go what I said, doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. That’s insanity. People, this is what you’re doing. Okay, you’re all insane. Right, I hear you. So, you know, I hear let me ask you this. Who is the one person you would point to to say that had the most influence in your life and why?


John: You know, it’s gonna be a strange answer. But, but


Ari: I’ve heard a lot of strange answers to this question. So don’t worry about it.


John: It’s my it’s my daughter. I have a 29 year old daughter


John: that a strange answer. I like it, who is


John: who is just a complete inspiration, who has been through her own trials and tribulations as you might expect, young millennial growing up in today’s world, but she has just demonstrated this quality of self awareness, resilience, and a some kind of a willingness or an ability to, to understand her limits, understand how far she could go without going too far. And it has been it’s not been easy for her necessarily, and she’s done a lot of healing out of out of what happened between her her mom and me and, and she’s done an amazing job and I just have this tremendous gratitude for her and For, for the human being that she has become known as becoming.


Ari: Wow. That’s That’s pretty amazing. That’s really, really amazing. Let me ask you something and this is for my own personal knowledge. You’ve heard of Stephen Hill. He used to he was an actor. He was sure


John: absolutely Mission Impossible. Stephen Hill. Yes. Yes, absolutely.


Ari: Okay. My question to you is a Did you ever meet him? No. Okay. A


John: little bit a little bit before my time. Okay. Interesting.

: I got the business a little bit later than that.


Ari: Yeah, I just I find it interesting. He was an Orthodox Jew. Yes. Yeah. And,


John: and they, and they actually, they actually rearranged the production schedule, on Mission Impossible to let him leave early on Friday to go to services.


Ari: Yeah. Yeah, I always found that fascinating. And I think he had he had an effect on on a lot of Orthodox Jews, because if he could make it in television, right, why not me, you know, and people’s writing and people people went on like that. So I found that fascinating. I heard once I never met him, he lived up in Muncie, New York. And I heard somebody once tell me that they had asked him about, you know, Hollywood and everything else. And he goes, stay away. Just stay away, you know? Yeah. Which, you know, but you know, and then I always think to myself, you know, it’s always easy. It’s always easy to say that, when you’ve been there, right? You know what I’m saying? But if you haven’t been there, it’s like, yes, they always show up. Because just because you had a bad experience doesn’t mean I’m gonna have a bad experience.


John: And that’s true. I think that the interestingly that I think that the business is getting as gotten a lot more. Well, it’s a word normal, a lot more a lot a lot friendlier, perhaps a lot less club wish than it used to be. And behavior I think is improving a little bit, I think the you can’t get away with being a screamer, the way you used to. And, you know, stories of, of executives throwing telephones and assistants, and literally, that just doesn’t happen anymore. And I think one of the great things about living in an age of increased transparency is that it’s harder to get away with bad behavior, which is good.


Ari: Yeah. Although I will tell you that that still exists on Wall Street, or at least it was still it’s still existed four years ago. That’s when I left, right. I mean, guys throw in telephones breaking screens, you know, getting all you know, it was it happens. And I stress


John: I stress. Yeah, yeah. But I think it’s getting better. I mean, you’re sure you’re still you still have people who are doing this and who is there. Some guy in the in the in the Biden administration just resigned the Science Guy, because he apparently was toxic with people. Yeah, yeah, complaints. And


Ari: so let me ask you this. Let me ask you this. If somebody came up to you today and said to you, John, you know, how do I get to Hollywood? How do I make it what? You know, what, what kind of advice would you give them? If any, what would you pull the Stephen Hill thing goes stay away?


John: No, I would say look, I for for 10 years, up until last year, I was co running a graduate program in entertainment management panel in Los Angeles for Carnegie Mellon. And it’s a it’s a great program. And it’s for for young people who want to be on the business side of entertainment across film, TV, music and games, streaming, you know, everything that it’s becoming and the the truth of it is there is a real business here and if you are interested in being on the business side and you find the the the art and commerce, the intersection of art and commerce fascinating, which I certainly always did. There is definitely a way through it through school through working your way up through the through the trainee programs and internship programs. And whether you’re trying by being in on the business side or being on the creative side. You want to be really proactive about deciding what you like what your what your what your what your orientation is. What are you What are you interested in? Are you interested in comedy interested in drama you like sci fi? You like you’d like TV, like movies like music? And, and build a team build a network of people around you peers. People who can Be supportive. And and work your way up. And it’s it’s definitely possible to do it and you can build up a great group of people around you and a great team and a great career.


Ari: Wow. All right. So then let me ask you this, let’s let’s say with this if people want to get in touch with you, whether they want career advice, whether they want coaching, whether they want, you know, just to schmooze just to say, Hey, I spoke to that guy. What would be the best way for people to do that? Yeah, but Website, Email, what are


John: the two things I would suggest? The easiest thing is to is to find me on the website, which is, strangely enough, John turnoff.com. So JOHNT, ar, N O F F as in frank.com. And you can also find me on LinkedIn, there’s a lot of information about my practice on career coaching on my LinkedIn site. So you just search for me on LinkedIn, and it’ll come up and I guess I have the I have the good luck to have an uncommon name. So there aren’t too many John turn offs out there.


Ari: Yeah, I was, I was gonna say, Well, John, thanks so much for sharing your story with me and my audience. I wish you all the luck in the world going forward, I know you’re doing a lot of good because you’re helping a lot of people, you know, career changes and the like, you know, you get to be our age. And you know, some people they whatever, they get stuck and they don’t know where to go and who to turn to or whatnot. And you’re filling a very, very needed void that that we avoid that needs to be plugged basically and you’re you’re taking care of that and my hat’s off to you and I I wish you all the best going forward.



John: Thank you. Thank you, Ari Thank you for having me on the show thank you for for helping spread the the message that the second act is possible it is accessible and and there are ways of going out and doing it and claiming your you know, your your sustainable future.


Ari: Thanks so much. You’re listening to whispers and bricks, and I’m your host, Ari Schonbrun. Remember, if you feel like you’re stuck in the mud, like you’re spinning your wheels, wasting time in your career, your business your life. If you know you’re not enjoying all the success, satisfaction and significance that you desire, then it’s time for you to book a call with me at call with ari.com and check out my whispers and bricks Coaching Academy and until next time, listen to the whispers avoid the bricks and never ever give up on your dreams. Bye for now.