As a marketing executive, I’ve spent my entire career supporting other people’s dreams, agendas and goals. I was consumed with moving up, forging ahead and succeeding. I reached a point where I was proud of my achievements. I came to America on my own as a teenaged girl, not speaking any English, and I worked hard to reach the top of the ladder as a senior executive at a global fashion company. Work was my life and I let it define who I was.

But who am I really? I never stopped to think about that question until that one day last year when I finally did. What makes me happy and fulfilled? What are my passions? What kind of lifestyle do I want? Is this the career I want to continue? Is it fulfilling my inner happiness? Where do I go from here? What’s next?

I decided to start a new journey on finding myself, exploring my hopes and dreams. I took a 10-day journey to Costa Rica to do something daring (surfing), something nourishing (yoga) and something cleansing (colema cleanse and liver flush, yikes!).

I also explored my intellectual passions — looking at art, attending film festivals and conferences. I even tried a life coach.

I had many days filled with anxiety and uncertainty, but fully disconnecting gave me the perspective I needed. I want to create and build something of my own. I want to have a family. I want to integrate my passions into my work. Every day, I learn about who I am, but now I’m more in-tune. I listen to myself, pay attention to how I feel and smile more every day. I celebrate, appreciate and value who I am, which in turn makes me do the same with others.