Recently, I’ve been asked by several people, “So why did you give up your career and dedicate your life to traveling?” And, I point them to my essay, “Controlled Burn,” in the new Kindle Series, “The 10 Habits Of Highly Successful Women.” [Click HERE to buy now – you’ll love it I swear!].
In the essay I describe how (according to Amazon):
“[Paula Froelich] was a raging runaway star in the media world. But at the apex of her career, she had to blow up her life and set a controlled burn to learn what real success is.”
Because, yeah – despite looking like a big old success and supah-stah, deep down I hated my life and felt like a fraud. For several reasons outlined in the essay, but too long for this post. It was by taking a hot minute [read: four years] off and traveling that l that I got my bravery, boldness and self back. After the jump are select excerpts from the piece:
Hello, I’m Paula Froelich. Doesn’t ring a bell? But I’m familiar somehow . . . You’ve seen me somewhere before but just can’t place it, right? Right? Maybe you didn’t hear me the first time: I’m Paula Froelich. Still nothing? Maybe you are unaware that I used to be kind of a big deal. I don’t want to embarrass you or anything, but I did write the New York Times best-selling novel Mercury in Retrograde, edited a national gossip column for almost a decade, and appeared on your TV every night yammering about the foibles of the rich and famous for many of those years. If you don’t believe me—you can Google me.
By the standards outlined in the Froelich Family Guide to Life (an oral manual), I had not only been successful, but I had made it. I had a seat at almost every dinner party in town, photographers took my picture on many a red carpet, and I made enough money to be able to buy my mother’s house, so she didn’t have to deal with a mortgage. I hung out with a group of other successful women and our exploits were featured in newspapers, magazines, and websites. Hell, I was so successful that when I was thirty, I even wrote a book about how to be successful.
Even though this is a series on successful women and their success secrets, this essay is different. This is not your typical “How to Be a Raging Runaway Star” story,or, not unlike one of my previous books, a stairway to riches and fame written by a naïve yet arrogant thirty-year-old who needed to pay off her student loans. This is a story about how, at the apex of my career, I had to blow up my life and set a “controlled burn” to learn what real success was.
 Okay, listen, I swear that’s me. I just look a little different now. I used to have straight(ened) blonde hair and wear a ton of makeup that would rival any RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant. In my defense, looking like a cracked out transvestite wasn’t really my preference
– for TV they have makeup artists available to on who really spackle the stuff on an inch thick. It’s like a rule. Kind of like wearing clothes in block “TV Friendly Colors” – you know, the hot pink, greens, teals, and blues which morning
T! Nine Secrets of the Rich and Famous That Will Take You to The Top – also available online!
From later in the book (after I’d burned down my life):
As insane as it sounds, I had to learn how to behave again. I had to admit to wrongdoing. To learn how to apologize. To learn how to be a human being I was proud of. To learn how to be honest with myself. More than anything, I had to learn how to trust myself.
And some things you can only do on your own. In unfamiliar surroundings.
And so, because I couldn’t leave my house, I left the country.
I’d like to excerpt more, but they’d probbaly sue me. So Buy the book! And let me know what you think…