Terri Simmons is a perfect ambassador, with her ever-present smile and genuine appreciation of people.
Always the helpful supporter, and no stranger to challengers (she is a mountain climber), she is the Founder of The GoTerriGo Foundation, and GoTerriGo, LLC.
She makes her living by wandering around finding kindness and inspiration through human connection.
Here's her story:
Six years ago, I found myself in the eye of the perfect storm, and it caught me completely off guard. My "perfect" marriage of 16 years fell apart and turned so cruel that I was shocked and felt I had no choice but to rise above and ride it out. My "ideal" job of seven years with the Film and Television industry took a turn that no one could have seen coming. Overnight, I went from being able to do no wrong, to not being able to do anything right, and my favorite boss of all time looked at me with hatred and disgust instead of pride, friendship and loyalty. Last but not least, my "trusted" dentist of five years suggested a process to straighten my teeth, and it did not go well. Turns out, I am not a suitable candidate for that type of treatment. Who knew? As a result, my dentist had his partner pull four of my bottom front teeth. All of these events happened within about three months of each other.
What's a girl to do when she finds herself living in Los Angeles and in debt, with a soon-to-be-ex-husband seemingly determined to ruin her life, a new job (you know the one with high pay and good benefits we are told to shoot for) that is stripping her of all self-esteem and confidence in her abilities, and also missing her front teeth? I wished my ex-husband love and light, no hard feelings, forgave him and myself. I gratefully and politely removed my self from my job. I found a dentist who helped me get my teeth fixed temporarily, then I packed up my Jeep, said goodbye to all of it, and drove to Denver. I was scared and excited, eager to start again, this time following my heart and doing what I love. Helping people.
I kept it simple when it wasn't easy. I kept it general, thinking maybe that would open up unlimited possibilities and opportunities, even though it seemed a bit unconventional (to say the least) to most everyone who knew me. I set my trailblazer's soul free, feeling like I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. That's when I began realizing the miracles that surround me every day. I kept giving away things I owned until I was down to only what would fit in my Jeep. The less I had, the wealthier I became. Having no home and very little income, I just kept driving and volunteering, finding kindness and inspiration through human connection.
From homeless to hopeful, my faith being bigger than my fear, I became "GoTerriGo" and dedicated my life to traveling around, volunteering, and pitching in wherever I could. No job too big or too small. My true intention was to blend "who I am" with "what I do," so as not to limit the scope of possibility. I introduced myself saying, "I'm GoTerriGo and I help people." Today I have my own business as an inspirational speaker and emcee for non-profits, I have a small, comfy apartment I call "home base" for the first time in years, and I'm starting The GoTerriGo Foundation, which will soon be vetted with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to support the siblings of children with catastrophic disease.
All of this happened because Life picked me up, shook me, and set me down on my path. It's been crazy, scary, exciting, confusing, fulfilling, and I've never been happier.