The Inside Story of Trish Fortune, a Heroine's Journey (personal essay)

She’s not one of us.
— Childhood message
Heroine Journey.jpg

“She’s not one of us”  was one of the primary messages of my childhood. I never fit in. All of my friends moms were stay at home moms. My mom was an ambitious corporate executive fighting to prove herself worthy to the old boy’s club. She spent her days locked away in an office, in a time in history where men made deals on the golf course. It was painful to watch my heroine return home late every night, stressed to the max and exhausted.

I spent my Summers at our community pool. While me and my friends played like fish all day their moms built their nest in a horseshoe patter poolside the two-foot section so they could keep a close eye on their kids, soak in the sun, read novels and gossip about working mothers neglecting their children and missing out. I was a member of that pool, but I didn't belong. I never understood what they had against working mothers, like my mom. I was a self-reliant kid who resented being treated like a needy child. I greatly valued my autonomy. I could be trusted to look after myself. Besides, my mom was a complete badass who slayed all day.

You must be perfect to be accepted, to be loved.
— Childhood message

I was part of a family I loved very deeply, but even at home with my parents and little brother, I was unsure if I belonged. When you are raised by perfectionists everything you do is picked apart like roadkill to a turkey vulture. I was never good enough. Constantly under their scrutiny, I strived harder to be “a good girl.” It seemed the message I was receiving was “you must be perfect to be accepted, to be loved.”

So I strived harder to do better, to be better, to get “it” right.

I was “too sensitive,” at least that is what my family reminded me of every time I showed vulnerability - when I got too real. I would build up my courage once more only to be cut down to size with phrases like “who do you think you are?” And “don’t get too big for your britches, young lady!”

I’d “get an intuitive hit” about someone or something, but when I shared my insight with my mom, I’d be told, “you don’t know what you’re talking about.” This rejection birthed serious self doubt; and even more serious self-loathing.

My intuitive muscle lived a wispy existence my entire childhood. I constantly questioned and critiqued myself. I took over their role - picking myself apart. There was so much wrong with me. I lived riddled with shame. 

By high school, I was overcome by shame for my vast imperfections and sense of failure. I was sure I was never going to be good enough.

I dreamed of dying—not by committing suicide though, just somehow miraculously ceasing to exist.

I used to pray to God to bring me ‘home’—I would say ‘do over’ just like when you kick the ball out of bounds in a game of schoolyard kickball. I prayed this prayer more times than I could count and—well, nothing changed.

Graduation was coming up fast. I was terrified by all the talk amongst my elders of what was next for my life. I had no plan. Time was running out for me. I locked myself away in my bedroom. I desperately dropped to my knees to pray my ‘do over’ prayer.

I began to bargain with God.

“Show me the way to health and I’ll dedicate the rest of my life to helping others find their way.”

That day, at the age of seventeen, marked the turning point in my life.

I made the choice to take personal responsibility for my health and well-being.

I also made a promise to God to pay it forward.

I began my hero’s journey to take back my power, to discover who I really was beneath the shame.

As a recovering perfectionist, striving for excellence, the fear I was inherently flawed drove me toward liberation.

I began the journey to self-love through improved health and personal development.

That path led to lasting transformation.

Looking back from the joyful life I live now, my heart is filled with gratitude for that dark night of the soul, as it has served me, and others, very well. This younger version of me seems like another place and time.

Life is now easier, more fulfilling.

My heart is full of peace and joy.

I belong to me.

This led to the realization that I belong to my family; and I belong here - wherever here is in the moment.

Optimal health is the master key to joy. I have become the locksmith.
— Trish Fortune

I kept that childhood promise. With the purest of intentions, I’ve made it my life’s work to facilitate others on the road to optimal health - unlocking their greatness. Optimal health is the master key to joy. I have become the locksmith.

My fear of not being good enough drove me to learn, study and apply everything I could get my hands on in the area of health, healing and wholeness. I became a researcher, living in the self-help section of Borders Books and Barnes and Noble. I was up to my ears in research studies in my college library. I believed I didn't truly know a subject until I could teach it. My college curriculum was filled with the sciences of human movement, psychology and nutrition. The more I learned, the more I realized how much more there was to learn. I discovered a new label for myself, I was a nerd that loved research - I ate it up (still am..still do). It gave me power and confidence, dispelling my childhood fear that I was stupid.

I felt completely empowered for the first time in my life.

The process of getting to know myself seemed like a necessity for living a good life. I listened to motivational tapes while driving to work and running the trails. I unlearned the limiting messages of my childhood and began reprogramming my brain. I started to like me. At some point, I began to embody the wisdom of these texts. I know because my friends began accusing me of “being a self-help book.” I took it as a compliment, it was true sign I was on the right path. My mantra became - the better I am, the more healed I am; the better I serve.

I discovered I had the courage to live out on the bleeding edge.

I was holistic when holistic was somehow taboo. A Reiki Master that prayed you’d opt for a personal experience instead of turning to the woo-woo, new age descriptions found on Google.  I became a Life Coach with the intention to combine my background in fitness, massage and bodywork, therapeutic nutrition and psychology.

I was an innovator of true wellness coaching before there was ever such a thing.  

With over twenty-five years of knowledge and experience, I am an expert in health, healing and wholeness.  It is my greatest passion.  I have a burning desire in my belly to be a positive force. While my friends were busy reading the latest murder mystery, love novel or watching reality TV to see what bizarro thing would happen next, I was immersed in research and working with clients.

I’ve helped thousands of women and men create optimal health and well-being.

As your guide, I help you map your road to freedom so you too, can achieve the health and life you deserve.

Don’t put your health and happiness off a day longer.

I’ll show you how to wholeheartedly

love your body + your life.