So much has happened in the past five years for Morgan Yearout. In fact, a lot has happened since her last article in 2020, which reflected on her return home to the United States. Morgan also mentioned that before diving deep into the last five years, it’s still insane for her to fathom that her hop across the pond was that long ago! She uses the moving abroad milestone to benchmark other events in her life and often thinks it was just three years ago… Time sure does fly when living out your dreams!
First, let’s rewind to 2016. What was the most significant thing that you learned?”
The most significant thing I learned in 2016 is we can’t believe all the lies we tell ourselves. In my case, the lie I kept telling myself as I prepared to quit my reliable and engaging corporate role to be a language assistant was: “I will never be gainfully employed doing what I love again.”
Our brain likes to play tricks on us and magnify the risk tenfold. I’ve learned over time that the more we subject ourselves to “fear-inducing” things, the better equipped we are to challenge our thoughts because we have a personal history of success. I like to call it micro-dosing on my fears. It gets me out of my comfort zone and expands my realm of understanding in many facets of life. Had I trusted those thoughts, I wouldn’t be where I am today with five years of incredible experiences while being gainfully employed doing what I love!
What caused a shift in your thinking in 2017?”
The most significant thing that shifted my thinking is when I started to have grace for myself. I know it’s such a cliché, but honestly, I used to be incredibly critical of myself. I’m naturally a high achiever, and if I missed the mark on something, I’d dwell on it. However, if other people underperformed or let me down, I would rationalize and justify it in their favor.
The time abroad gave me space from everything I knew to be “true.” It enabled me to reevaluate my life and the key drivers behind why I was so hyper-critical of myself. I have learned to see the beauty in the messy and be joyful because I’m not ruminating on past transgressions. I now evaluate my snafus for learning with a much kinder lense and move on quickly.
How will you best remember 2018?”
I experienced the whole gamut of emotions, from the high highs to the grief-filled lows. My mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer again; a death sentence. I expedited my pop-up wedding in San Diego so that our immediate family could have a vacation together. Despite knowing that this year would be her last, our time was filled with love, and we made beautiful memories. Soon after, I was approved to work remotely. I spent 70% of my first year married back home in WA, tending to mumsie.
My mom passed away in September, and the support I received from family and friends was immense. I was grateful to have my husband jump on a flight the next day to help me through the grief by being present. I’m not much of a talker when it comes to deep emotions. I mainly just need hugs, time in Mother Nature, and to run. There were many tears shed on the treadmill.
In 2018, I also celebrated the pregnancy of a friend and my own. I drove cross-country; reuniting with friends and family along the way. I spread my mom’s ashes in Oahu, surrounded by immediate family, and planned her Celebration of Life. I scuba-dived for a second time since becoming Open Water certified. And, I subsequently broke the record for revenue highs at the hotel that I was revenue managing, landing us in the Top 10 of all Texas hotels. See, high highs, and low lows. Life is crazy beautiful, and I always look for the silver lining, especially since I’ve experienced quite a few devastations in my life.
What was your major personal/professional development of 2019?”
I grew a baby! That’s a big deal I hear. Professionally, I toyed with the idea of leaving a perfectly fine role to open a newly built Marriott hotel upon returning from FMLA. I reflected on my life with the current property and where I wanted to go long-term. It was a lot of deep contemplation because the team I worked with was incredible, true experts, and great humans!
It would have been easy to rest on my laurels, but I really didn’t want to keep living the same day on repeat for the next 20-30 years, and I was up for a new challenge. I interviewed a couple of times for the Director of Revenue position at Hotel Drover, an Autograph Collection by Marriott, in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, and officially started in February 2020.
Where did 2020 take you?”
I officially started the role of Director of Revenue at Hotel Drover in February of 2020! In retrospect, it was divine timing since COVID-19 hit Texas hard in mid-March. The new hotel was still under construction with limited staff, and plenty of operational planning, budgeting, sales, and system configuration required to prepare for our 2021 Grand Opening. I remained gainfully employed throughout 2020, despite so much hardship in the hospitality industry.
When COVID-19 first hit, our offices closed for a month, allowing me to work from home, an environment I thrive in. I even started taking a daily lunch break, something I rarely do when in an office. This time allowed me to walk my sweet little baby, listen to podcasts, and enjoy nature more frequently. I even found myself logging overtime because of the flexible work environment. It’s easy for me to get carried away on projects and lose track of time when working at home. I become so engrossed with projects that I lose all track of time as a result of interruptions being rare and there not being a looming commute.
We also had friends move in for a few months. We often drove to Houston to visit the in-laws. Constantly surrounding ourselves with company resulted in daily entertainment and a deeper sense of connection than in a typical year. It really makes me think that having multiple generations and/or quality roommates later in adult life isn’t such a bad idea. Another plus was to have extra hands to love our child.
How would you sum up how your life has gone so far in 2021?”
Revenge travel is definitely a thing these days, and I’ve been making up for “lost” time celebrating life and adventuring! I have been to four weddings this year (three domestic and one in Mexico). I jumped on a flight to visit a former language assistant in Arkansas, ventured to Washington to visit friends and family, and celebrated the hubby’s birthday with friends in Fort Lauderdale. Finally, I had a former language assistant and roommate from Madrid visit me, had a childhood best friend visit from WA, attended three baby showers, and welcomed children from dear friends and family into the world! On this personal level, I am so incredibly grateful to be healthy and participate in all these things!
Professionally, we successfully opened Hotel Drover in March 2021! It was no small feat attempting to open a hotel amidst the pandemic, but we did it, and we are honored to welcome many guests each and every day. I shared this labor of love with friends and family during the pre-opening celebration. These types of accomplishments can’t be done without a strong support system, and I am so thankful for those that rallied behind me because heavens knows the past year wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies.
Taking the time to slow down and reflect deeply on the last five years has been insightful for Morgan. This interview allowed her to look in from the outside. Reviewing her thoughts at length for pivotal decision times and visualizing the “most” impactful scenes, as if in real-time, has been hard on occasion. However, Morgan still finds herself smiling with gratitude because she is so proud of the evolution of her mind and the strength of her heart over the past five years. The journey has been a wild one and Morgan will continue to dream big dreams and challenge her fears with proof of success from lived experiences. They say “proof is in the pudding” and Morgan couldn’t agree more.