A Year in Review: Becoming the (Wo)man in the Arena




“Like a phoenix rising from the ashes!”

I had always loved that idiom, and as I left my job and old life behind, I’d frequently use the saying to motivate myself, feigning a sense of confidence about the year ahead of me. If I’d learned anything from Nike commercials, it’s that fear and defeat are necessary experiences on the road to ultimate triumph. Right? All I knew was I was ready for my reincarnation.

It had been a year and a half since I learned about the pay-gap in my salary, an experience that left me in an incredibly dark space marked by: lack of sleep, severe anxiety, and a deep disappointment in both myself and a company that I had trusted dearly since starting as a 21-year old intern. I tried everything from taking melatonin to switching up my diet, but nothing seemed to help until I started experimenting with CBD and cannabis.

With the use of cannabinoid therapy, I was able to regain my sleep, add some extra bounce to my workouts, and allow more positivity to guide my healing process.

Over time, the combination of fitness and cannabis not only improved my physical state and appearance, it empowered me to regain control of my anxiety. In doing so, I was able also able to reframe the way I approached life (and it's setbacks). I was thankful for the growth I’d been able to achieve by using cannabis as a self-care tool and I knew that sharing the experience would become the mission of my next great adventure.

But then it was November 2017, and there I was, within the first few days of my new life, and still no sign of a phoenix. And while the weeks directly after leaving were punctuated with pangs of sadness and isolation, I pushed myself to do all the things I always said I’d do, if I just “had more time”.



I cooked all of my meals. I talked to my mom more and finally got around to teaching her how technology works. I drew diagrams with Crayola markers to explain wi-fi networks and the differences between Apple, Google, and Facebook. I’d use them to write out little homework assignments like, “take a screenshot”.

I got certified as a personal trainer and read books about topics that I always felt I should know more about. I stopped feeling awkward when I talked to people about cannabis and gained confidence in my new life-vision. I took singing classes.

It was like I needed to leave my job to become the adult I always envisioned I’d be as a child.

Now April. And I was ready to work again.

I was ready to start making moves towards the vision, and rather than wait until I had a sure-fire business idea, I launched Cyntivee on Instagram and invited the world to participate on my journey to re-introduce cannabis as a fitness and wellness tool. I decided to build an educational platform and present the scientific and practical lessons that I needed to learn when overcoming my own initial fear of cannabis.

I knew that through Cyntivee, I wanted a community to learn how cannabis works and how to consume and dose these products properly. I want a space where one can master their understanding and explain it to their parents so that maybe they can avoid using pharmaceutical drugs, too. When they go buy these products, I want them to feel informed and safe.

Over the past six months, the vision for Cyntivee has begun to take shape alongside the skills needed to carry it out. I’ve tried my hand at being a CEO, model, photographer, writer, analyst and whatever other role has been needed on staff. And while moving across roles has been a superb educational experience, it has also been highly uncomfortable and pushed me to reconsider my long-held desire for a phoenix-like experience.



I’ve realized that when you feel every bump in the road of launching your own business, nothing feels like a meteoric rise. There are no powerful phoenixes, just awkward ducklings.

If nothing else, this year has taught me that regardless of what happens, I am a stronger woman than I ever was just by virtue of subsisting within the throws of effort. And so, as year two of my new life commences, I ask that you join me on a new adventure, and stay tuned as I ditch the phoenix dreams and become the (wo)man in the arena instead.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

~The Man in the Arena by Teddy Roosevelt,

To follow OUR journey or learn more about cannabis as a wellness/fitness tool, visit cyntivee.com or follow us on IG!



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