I’ve thought of writing about Carrie Johnson several times since I joined YouBeauty. She is one of the most interesting and fabulous people I’ve ever met, and her inner and outer beauty makes her a perfect match for this column. But her life took many turns on the way to her current sense of inner peace, as you’ll see below.
I first met Carrie when I was referred to her last year as a guitar and vocal teacher for my currently 9-year-old daughter. We went to the studio and met a petite, energetic, red-haired, tattooed teacher, with tight jeans, tall boots and an undeniable vocal gift. Since she is the coolest adult ever to a little girl aspiring to be a singer, my daughter’s lessons are always a favorite part of her week. But music is only the beginning of the lessons embedded in Carrie’s life path:
Follow Your Passion: Since she was young, Carrie knew she wanted to pursue music. She’s recorded 8 CDs of original music, had a phase of celebrity with a hit song, and toured the country as a performer. Though life has evolved, and there are now other priorities, she remains true to her passion—continuing to perform throughout New England, writing and recording original songs in Connecticut and Nashville, and teaching. It’s important to hold onto your passion, as a form of expression and a connection with your core self. It can help you find happiness and meaning in life, and can contribute to making you your best and most-real self in relationships.
Persevere: Clearly, any level of success in the entertainment industry requires dedication and effort. But beyond professional goals, there are personal issues that require perseverance. When she was only 7 years old, Carrie’s daughter was diagnosed with bilateral ovarian cancer. Thankfully, she is fine now, but that type of terrifying and heartbreaking experience required major emotional stamina. If you face this type of situation, remember to support yourself throughout the process. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally as best you can, and let other (positive) people in your life reach out and help.
Deal with your Demons: After many years of denial and struggle, Carrie accepted that she was an alcoholic and got the help she needed to get sober. Currently clean and sober for six years, she has found the inner strength to make positive choices for herself and her family. Of course, it wasn’t easy. Tackling big challenges is supposed to be hard work. But it pays off in the end, with a much greater potential for true fulfillment in life and overall wellbeing. Carrie also struggled with an unhappy and stressful marriage during this time, but found the conviction and strength to move on when she got sober. This brings us to the next life lesson…
Hold Out for the Right Love: Rocker chick Carrie is now married to Pastor Peter, the Assistant Pastor at a small church. She describes him as “one of the greatest gifts of my life.” They compliment each other perfectly—he helps her to rely more on her spirit and her faith, and she helps him be more open-minded in his view of the world. The right love didn’t come quickly or easily, but it came when she was ready for it, was able to embrace it and be fully present in the relationship. Rushing to have a relationship for the sake of having a relationship rarely results in true interpersonal contentment. You will be much happier overall when you find the right love, even if it takes a little patience.
Stay True to Your Style: Now no longer in her twenties (or thirties), though she easily could pass for much younger, Carrie presents herself appropriately for her age. But she is also totally true to who she is. She is still clearly a rocker chick, but a rocker chick/mom/teacher/preacher’s wife. The essence is conveyed in a thoroughly approachable way, which facilitates the other aspects of Carrie’s life.
But this life lesson isn’t just about self-presentation in appearance; it’s about being your true self as you go through life. Most likely, your concept of your “true-self” will evolve over time, but the core remains. Be connected to who you are—your passions, your challenges and your strengths. Stay true to yourself and you’ll set the stage for individual, interpersonal and professional fulfillment.
If you’d like to read more about Carrie and her music, check out www.carriejohnsonmusic.com.
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