Peace, Love & Giraffes

Chasing dreams and adventure in South Africa

Fairway Fridays + Dealing with setbacks

From now on, Fridays on the blog will be “Fairway Fridays” and dedicated to golf! It is the reason we are in Africa, so I feel like I owe it to my followers to give a golf update here and there. Here it goes.

This is not an easy post to write, because it’s attached to disappointment. Disappointment is never an easy thing to face, let alone analyze and write about. But life is full of setbacks and if I didn’t write about the disappointment and disheartening experiences, I could never fully describe what my time has been like here.

The disappointment I am referring to is my husband not competing in Qualifying School. That’s right, the main reason we came to South Africa, for him to go to Q school and get his sunshine tour card, is not happening. Not to be dramatic, but it’s kind of a big blow. When you pack your whole life up in anticipation of something, and work your ass off to make it happen, you kind of, well, expect it to happen.

The reason he’s not participating all boils down to the fact that he’s not ready. He’s made some big changes to his swing in the last few months and his game is not at a place where he can compete confidently, so he opted out of it.

The disappointment comes from his own heart and expectations. Personally, I am not disappointed in him at all. I am actually proud of him for trusting his instincts and making a smart, calculated decision. He could have easily participated anyway, winged it, and competed poorly, resulting in a hard hit to his confidence, which is never a good thing in golf!

I see how hard he has been working on his game. He has the right coaches, a great training program and is eating right (or at least drinking the green juices I make).  It’s impressive how much time and effort he puts into it, and at the same time I feel for him because I know how much he wants this and I know how disappointing it was to not go to Q school. He has so much love and passion for the game and it breaks my heart that things aren’t just falling into place for him. Which makes me wonder, why aren’t they, and what do you do when a door closes? Do you give up? Choose another path? And when do you give up on a dream anyway?


I have a confession to make. I’ve been googling things like “how to find your purpose/passion” probably since 2008. I’ve always been very self-reflective. I have a wandering soul and find myself constantly searching for the thing that makes me tick, and that I also happen to be good at. There wasn’t much on the internet about the topic then, but in recent years I feel like the topic has exploded. It must be GenY, searching for happiness kind of thing (but that’s another post all together). Do me a favor and Google “finding your purpose” or “how to love what you do” or “make money doing what you love” and you’ll come up with thousands of articles.  The concept is if you do what you love and discover your life’s purpose, you will find happiness. Wham bam, easy as pie.

When I met Jono, one of the things I loved about him the most was how passionate he is. He has such drive for golf and competing and so much confidence that he would achieve his goals. I thought it was incredibly sexy. I guess sometimes we look for things in others that we lack ourselves.  He inspired me to promise myself that if I ever found that passion for anything I would give it 100%. I would never give up.

But what I’ve learned from watching Jono’s journey is that it’s not that simple. What the “do what you love” internet articles fail to mention is what happens after you make the choice to pursue a passion, to live a purposeful life, and to do what you love. They don’t tell you that it’s going to be f!*$ing hard. They don’t say how much you are going to have to fight for what you love. No one mentions how some days you’ll feel defeated and wonder why you didn’t just stay in that old, stable, comfortable job, or why you’re not at home next to your cat on the couch watching TV. They don’t mention that sometimes doors will close and you’ll face setbacks and you’ll have to decide what to do next.  Or that you might pack up your whole life for a reach for the stars goal that you can’t reach (yet).  That sometimes it takes more than “being passionate” to be successful and happy. And most of all that finding your purpose is actually the easy part, it’s taking action that’s the hard part.

Despite all this, and how cliche and idealistic this sounds, I will say that I don’t believe in giving up on dreams.  I believe as long as you love and enjoy what you are doing, you owe it to yourself and the universe to keep at it, no matter how tough it gets, and if you don’t know your passion, you owe it to yourself to keep looking, and doing the things you like until you do find it! Why? Because at the end of the day, it’s worth it. We only regret the chances we didn’t take, and do you want to be on your death bed saying, what if I kept at it? What if I didn’t give up on the thing I loved?

Jono’s door to Q school may be closed, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t another way for him to reach his goal. Q school is not the be all end of of his competitive golf career. There are many opportunities out there as long as his game is in the right place. At the end of the day he’s aiming for long long-term success, not just one tournament, so right now his focus is to continue working hard with his coach and enjoy the process.  I’m so proud of him.



By | January 24th, 2014 | SHOW COMMENTS (5)

5 Responses

  1. Steven says

    Play for money. You get better quicker.

  2. Mom says

    Jono we are so proud of your strength and determination keep it up and Nicole so proud of you for your support of your man love will keep you both going go to Cape Town and enjoy a romantic get away you both deserve it. Love you and miss youboth

    • Nicole_Ehrlich says

      Thanks mom, love you too! We know we are in it together and we’ll get through anything, We are sooo looking forward to Cape Town! Will post pictures 🙂

  3. Meg says

    What a great post! Brought tears to my eyes at all the love and intention behind it. So proud of both of you! PS I’m writing this from the show close of the PGA show here in Orlando. Saw David Leadbetter as he was interviewed on the golf channels ‘morning drive’ the other day.

    • Nicole_Ehrlich says

      Thanks Meg 🙂 And what a cool experience!