Monica is a mother of three and lives in California with her husband and kids. Monica has been inspiring me for months when I found her podcast About Progress. Monica has shared her struggles with being a self-proclaimed “Perfectionist” and how she lost herself during that time. She struggled with trying to be perfect while experiencing other trials. 

Well, it’s a mixed bag, I suppose.  I was so hell-bent on being a perfectionist at everything that I lost myself.  Truly, I was (and still continue to be) my own worst enemy.  Things came to a head in college when I reached the end of my rope with eating disorders and depression/anxiety.  I was a shell of a human being.  As I battled that, I learned that my aspirational drive had to take a backseat.”  

The past ten years Monica has worked on becoming healthy—spiritually, mentally and physically. She is finding her way through her family, hobbies, faith and other passions. She realized that it isn’t about being perfect, but it’s “About Progress”. Monica says that she isn’t afraid of failure anymore. I’ve been working on that though, on actually giving myself goals and dreams to aspire to. I think the difference lies in what I learned both through those hard OCD years and the following years where I still didn’t feel like “me.”  The difference is self-acceptance.  I can now work hard and reach for the stars, but I’m not doing it to prove myself to others, or even myself for that matter.  Right now, I’m trying to get back some of those old aspirations I had growing up, even if it’s just getting back to my old very-determined personality.  But I’m also allowing the “new Monica” in as well, the one who isn’t as scared of messing up.”

Monica has learned so much from her parents. They worked really hard to accomplish their dreams and through their struggles taught her how to cultivate the life they wanted. Monica shares a story of her father and how an incident when he was younger really impacted him.

When my father was 7 years old, he witnessed the death of his 9 year old brother, Dean.  They were on the farm riding the same horse, and the horse had a heart attack, and crushed my young uncle.  His death changed my dad’s life, and as a result, it changed all of ours.  The perseverance of my father and his parents, their strength and endurance, their ability to move forward and press upward--they passed that all on to us.  I wish I had known him.  My oldest brother is named after him, and I named my most recent son after him.  I believe there is a real power in that name, and it’s an honor to have my son carry it on.”

Monica shared with me a few other stories on her mom who lost two brothers and two nieces. She said that she has been able to learn from those family members who experienced such tragic loss. 

Monica has really grown and began helping others through interviews on her podcast. 

I asked Monica if she could tell her grandchildren and great-grandchildren anything what she say? Her response was close to perfection.
To not limit themselves, to constantly aspire to be better; but to also accept their innate value as sons and daughters of God.  I would also tell them that life is hard; it can strip the marrow from your bones, it’s so, so hard.  But that’s the whole point.  So they better not just endure, but learn to endure life well and cultivate joy along the way.”

 I love this quote by Hal Elrod "Keep in mind that you're not supposed to "figure out" what your purpose is, you get to make it up, create it, decide what you want it to be...Focus on growing and being the best you can be, pursuing your dreams and inspiring others to do the same. That's your purpose." That is what Monica does, she doesn't just say it but she shows it.  I absolutely love what Monica is doing and the motto of her podcast "It's not about being perfect, it's About Progress." That just says it all.