Behind the Seams with Krystal Chong-Hamre Author of "What the Hell am I supposed to do with my Life"

"I'm a reformed depressive and anxious mess, turned life lover, explorer and purposeful soul"- Krystal Chong-Hamre

Marketing Guru was a word synonymous with Krystal Chong-Hamre just a few years ago who held the title of Chief Marketing Officer and adviser to the board at her family business Honey Bun in Jamaica. During this time she was on her A-game and was instrumental in taking the company public and implemented the School Days campaign that had a reach of over 700,000 students. Life, on the outside looked perfect for the effervescent personality but on the inside she was silently suffering. Life became monotonous and while going through the daily motions, she suddenly discovered "there had to be more to life" and had an "Eat, Pray, Love" moment and left her corporate life behind and headed to New York. This journey led her to discover her true calling in life and is chronicled in her book "What the hell am I supposed to do with my Life". The Haute Lifestyle caught up with the newly married author to learn more about the book

H.P: You did something most people think to do but rarely actually do. At what point did you decide there has to be more to life?

KCH: Hahaha, Yes... But my hope is that more people will actually do it, so that they can get the most out of this one life we have! That’s the reason I wrote the book.
The point that I decided there had to be more to life was when I was at a high point in my career. I had done all the things I thought I was supposed to do to be happy; great education, great job, ‘great’ life and I just felt completely empty. And I knew more of those things… more money, more success, more recognition, was never going to fill that hole that I felt in my life. And I knew I had to try something else or I would live out the rest of my life with that empty feeling. And this is how my search and my journey began.

Meditating in the streets of Manhattan

H.P: Of all the places in the world, why did you choose New York?

KCH: When I knew I had to find a new path, I had no idea how to begin that path (again another reason I wrote the book… so that other’s will have more straight forward steps about where to begin and what’s up ahead). But even though I didn’t know where to begin, at that time, I knew I could not sit around and do nothing and let my life waste away. I was eager to find that thing that I felt calling me, that thing that would make me feel complete, that thing that I was put here on this earth to do. And one thing was for sure - I needed to grow in ways I had not grown before. I needed a change of environment to force me to grow like this. I was really drawn to New York because I saw it as an incubator, somewhere that would be a really powerful stimulus for that growth I was craving.

Sitting pretty with her pup Louie 

H.P: Was there any doubt in your mind that you might not have made it?
KCH: Hahahahahah!!! Oh my gosh! This question is hilarious! Did I ever have doubts that I might not make it?  ALL… THE… TIME!! I feel it all the time still - it gets less and less over powering, but it never goes away. Everyone who takes a chance on anything feels that way, whether or not they admit it - that’s just human nature. But for me, there was one thing that was stronger than that doubt; it was the deep desire not to waste this one life I have been given, my one chance here on earth. I was prepared to try and to fail, but I was not prepared to die, having spent my entire life unhappy, never having known what could have been, but always wondering. That thought was so much scarier than failure to me. And there were many times along the way, after I’d made huge progress that I’d have a whole new set of doubts and considered giving up, but at every turn, that desire for finding what my purpose was, was stronger than the doubt. Just find whatever your desire is that’s stronger than your doubt, and let that pull you forward.

H.P: Tell us about the Journey to “What the Hell Am I supposed to do with my Life”?
KCH: Basically, I did what the world told me I was supposed to do, and I realized that, that was never going to bring me true happiness. But because I grew up in a world that teaches you one thing, ‘money + success = happiness’ I was so lost about where to begin to find my own brand of happiness. I had struggled with anxiety and depression all my life, and this feeling of not knowing where my place was in life… feeling like I was living some life that wasn’t my own, made my anxiety and depression worst and it got so bad that one night, I hit rock bottom and I got to a point where I was desperate for change. And once I made that decision, deep within my soul that night, that I was going to do what it took to change and to find some meaning and purpose for my life, the universe started bringing all these incredible things into it. It was literally like magic.
What the Hell am I supposed to do with my life
The very day after I hit rock bottom and made the decision to change, I walked into a juice store, and this homeless yogi Rasta man came up to me and out of nowhere he said, “You seem anxious, do you want to do mediation?” And usually I would have been like, “Ammm no. Who the hell are you? No I don’t want to do some boho meditation with hippie pot smoking homeless man,” but because I had become so desperate, I became totally open to anything, and instead I said, “Yes.” This is Hado, the reader’s favorite character. And he became my spiritual guide and is today one of my very best friends.
That led to a whole sequence of events that saw me leaving my job, moving to New York, and going on one wild and crazy eat-pray-love type of journey, which led me to overcome my struggles with anxiety and depression. I’ve been off meds for years and am much happier and more peaceful than I ever was even when I was on them. But more than that, it led me to find a place of peace in my life, to find my purpose, to find work that brings me alive and that I can’t wait to wake up every day to do. And the journey led me to find my wonderful husband. And I just wanted to share that story and all the lessons I learned along the way, so that everyone who is struggling with the same things I was struggling with knows that they don’t have to, that they’re not alone, and so that they will have some straightforward practical action steps of what they can do right now to start transforming their own life. Remember, if you’re confused about something, it’s a good thing, it means you’re on the verge of figuring something out. Just focus on the solution and you will find it.

Krystal Chong-Hamre at her book launch for "What the Hell am I supposed to do with my Life"

H.P: Give us an insight on the “Author Life” (the process involved in writing a book) did you self-publish?
KCH: After my Eat-Pray-Love Journey, I got to a point where I felt a complete sense of peace in my life that I was in the right place in my life. And it healed my issues with anxiety and depression, and I just felt a deep sense of drive connected to what I wanted to do. In that very moment, the entire content of the book came into my head at once, and I had to grab a pen and write down in literally 20 seconds, the title for each chapter. Then every day for 3 months, I sat down to fill in the content for those chapters, and it would just come to me, like I couldn’t keep up with typing fast enough. I would be exhausted at the end of the day and honestly, in awe, after re-reading the material that was just written. I was truly blessed by being connected to something deeper than myself when I wrote this book. That’s why I believe in the content in it as much as I do.
Yes I did self-publish.

H.P: Tell us about the first time you laid eye on your now husband?
KCH: I could feel immediately that he had the most kind and generous heart. He was beautiful, of course, but what I really noticed was that he had the most beautiful energy. And to this day, whenever i’m around him, his energy is so calming, and he’s my biggest supporter. Once I aligned to finding my purpose in life, the universe conspired to help me find it, and bringing him into my life was a huge part of that journey.

Krystal and her husband Lasse share an intimated moment at their wedding | Photo Credits: Lexon Photography, Jamaica Gleaner

H.P: We just had to ask … who designed your Wedding Dress?
KCH: Galia Lahav, an Isreali wedding dress designer.

H.P: Finish the Sentence… I cannot live without my ….
KCH: Ability to ask questions, and dig deeper to find more behind the meaning in life and how to live it as fully as possible.

H.P: Finish the Sentence… On a Sunday night you can find me at ….
KCH: Curled up on the couch with my husband and our little dog child watching a movie under mounds of comfy blankets.

You can find the "What the Hell Am I supposed to do with my life" Book at the following places below

Book may be purchased in hard copy, e-book and audio book (narrated by the author) on Amazon here:
Or it can be found in Jamaica in Innovative Super Store, Discount and Lane Pharmacies, Bookophilia, Kerry Man Woman Home and Sangsters.


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