Why I Created Wander Girl

Hello everyone, I’m Carly Schlottmann, and I felt the best place to start was by introducing myself and telling you why I created Wander Girl.

I would describe myself as a fairly typical middle-aged American woman.  I have worked hard to move into a fairly demanding full-time career.  I care about being a good mother to my son and two step-sons, so I juggle a busy schedule in an effort to be an active participant and parent in their lives.  I care about being a good wife and partner to my husband, so I put effort into being present in our marriage and being present for him.  I care deeply about the home my family and I live in, the food we eat, the things we do, and the well being of our pets.  The mother I am, the wife I am, the employee I am, and the leader I am are all things that weigh on me heavily as I attempt to cram what seems like about 45 hours’ worth of stuff into a 24-hour day.  Then I wonder why at the end of each week the only thing I truly want to do is collapse, be left alone, and attempt to figure out why I felt so lost and overwhelmed at the end of each week.

Many women I have known throughout my life have echoed this sentiment.  You do not have to be a mother, wife, or even have a full-time career to feel the same way because there are so many different situations that lead to the same thing, it’s the loss of her true self.  Let’s face it, for a myriad of reasons women, in general, are guilty of sacrificing ourselves for everything else in our lives.  We will put ourselves at the bottom of the list for so long that we forget how to put ourselves first every once in a while.  Then when we do try to put ourselves first, it is so foreign, we feel guilty and out of place for doing it.  We tell ourselves that good mother and good partners use all their spare time to do for their children and do for their partner and that good mother and good partners should derive total satisfaction from that and that when you don’t feel completely fulfilled from all that self-sacrifice something is wrong with you.  We drive ourselves crazy.

I can say for me that I ran myself ragged trying to be everything for everyone, and manage all the roles I placed myself in.  I felt incomplete like I had somehow lost all these pieces of me and I didn’t know where or when I lost them.  I found myself at a point where my closet was consumed by clothing that resembled nothing of the fun, adventurous and diverse woman I once was.  My hair was in a perpetual ponytail, my makeup consisted of “the basics,” and that was all, my perfume was lotion, and every pair of shoes I owned were sensible, comfortable and about as sexy as an insurance seminar. Who on earth was this woman?  I was supposed to be this world traveling, self-confident, sexy as hell, master of my life who had it all figured out!  That woman doesn’t have mom jeans in five different shades…and even worse, pants with an elastic waist.  Something had to change.

So, I asked myself a simple question.  Who am I? I then allowed myself a little bit of time each day to explore that question.  What eventually came out of that self-exploration was the realization that I was a woman who lived an unbalanced life because I never left any time for myself.  Remarkably it was through the simple act of taking a few moments each day to explore the question of who I am that I was eventually able to uncover the imbalance I had created.  Once I knew this, I began exploring what was missing from my life.  I was able to ask myself questions like what activities would I enjoy trying?  What places would I like to travel to and why?  How much time did I want for myself each week?  How much time would I like to spend with girlfriends?  How could I incorporate that into my life in a way that didn’t take away from the mother I want to be and the wife I want to be?  It was through answering these questions that I started getting in touch with myself, but it also brought to light another problem.  I wanted to meet other women, build the friendships I was missing, and have those moments where we could relate simply to each other. A desire to laugh, cry, vent, bond, learn, and truly live grew within me, but I had no clue if like-minded women existed, how I would meet them, or where I should begin with my already overly busy schedule.  I didn’t know where to find another super busy, booked solid, woman like me who was taking the time to make new friends…wait, those women are all just as busy as me, and now I’m back to square one.  Or am I?

That was when it hit me. What if I figured out a way to create a centralized place where women could go when their schedule allowed that would provide them with the ability to interact with other women who are just as busy as them but seeking a way to bring that balance of themselves and friendships back into their lives?  And, what if I could provide these women with a bunch of resources that would help them efficiently learn about activities they have either always wanted to try or used to do but got away from?  Wait, maybe I could also add travel into the mix because travel and activities go hand in hand.  I would love to have a group of girlfriends to go hike with once a month, and I would love to have a group of girlfriends to go on a girl’s trip with once a year. I can’t be the only woman who would love to have these things in their life but not have a good place to start.

So, after many, many months of research, and many more months of hitting the drawing board I created Wander Girl.  I wanted to create a place for women that fit into our busy lives, allows us to explore and express ourselves, allows us to meet and interact with each other.  I wanted to center all of this around access to women who have the experience and expertise that would bring women together to try different activities or travel to new places that let us step outside of our comfort zones and build the balanced, fulfilling, and incredible life that we are all meant to live.

I hope that you will join me and together we can start a new chapter in our lives where we support each other on our journey’s, and we build the lives we always dreamed of living. Let’s become the women we want to be, let’s be the women we want our daughters to become, let’s be the women our sons admire, let’s be the women who are the friends to ourselves, our partners, and each other we know we can be.  Let’s try that new activity together, let’s travel to that new place together, let’s wander out into the world together and make it a better place because we are the best version of ourselves.  Join me, and together we can all Wander Girl!

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