Setting Free

Freedom…” — George Michael

This past Easter and Passover weekend was incredibly, overwhelmingly, and critically painful in its clarity. Two near seizures, a revelation that I’ve been living in a still-commercially-zoned (AKA illegal) space, that prestigious law firms might be implicated in a much bigger fraud scheme and the constant refrain of, “this was not what I wanted from this move and chapter in Bermuda” followed by losing my phone in a cab when it was actually on my kitchen island right next to my hand, caught me up short. My brain was having a critical breakdown.

How had I gotten caught up in this horrifying web that was sucking me down a never ending and dark rabbit hole. How had a suitcase of 6 months of clothing that was supposed to start my burdenless journey into life, hopping around the world put me nearly $300,000 into an investment in a “rental” I had actually BUILT?! I had promised myself when I sold my place in New York I would never “own” again, but here I was OWNING an entirely new set of furniture and kitchenware. Sheets, glasses, hardware, rugs and a FIREPLACE that I’d actually imported to install here.

I’m sure some of you think that sounds amazing! But it was never what I wanted. But if not, how did I end up here? So, late on Sunday night as I lay in bed trying to calm down, I forced myself to ask “What do you want? Really? You are one of the few people in this world that can ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING YOU WANT. So, what is it? You are SO GOOD at supporting everyone else in uncovering what they want. Why can’t you do the same thing for yourself?

And as I lay there, George Michael’s voice crazily started playing in my head IN MY SLEEP… louder and louder. FREEDOM… FREEDOM… Hold onto my FREEDOM. And I realized. Once again, I’d fallen into the trap of fulfilling someone else’s idea of who and what I wanted to be. Someone else’s idea of a fulfilling life. Someone else’s idea of a dreamhouse complete with gas fireplace and professional cooking equipment. Someone else’s idea of a den with a bigger laundry facility and TV than room for people to be comfortable.

And I knew, I had to cut this “not me” Bermuda-based storyline short, along with the attached 5-year lease tying me to a situation I never had wanted. Delaying the beginning of the Life I DO WANT. Rudderless, nomadic, with nothing but a suitcase, dog and laptop attached. Before it’s too late for me to really live after so many close calls with death.

And this morning, still vibrating from the surreal but all too lucid music-video dream-state and its all too clear message, I started cutting those ties, and instead, put the plans I really want into action. Portugal in a year; with nothing but a suitcase, my dog, my laptop, and my life in tow.

Holly Lynch is a 20+ year ESG and DEI communications veteran, board member, strategist and investor who has helped individuals and companies tackle the toughest challenges, transitions and transformations in their worlds. Having survived countless life setbacks and two rounds with terminal cancer, while seeing the country-wide collapse of the systems and safety nets for the most vulnerable in and outside our communities, she is now shifting her life and career trajectories to focus on coaching and consulting with those facing down fundamental shifts and transitions as they try to adapt to change while rebuilding their lives and businesses during these unprecedented times.

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