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Claudia DiMartino is a successful business woman turned actress and playwright. She took a risk and left corporate America.  She now shares her life's journey which helped her realize - it's never too late to go after your dreams.


Have you ever felt like you’re being stretched so much you’re about to snap?

I liken it to growing pains in children.

At the ages of about 3 – 5 and 8 - 12, children experience pain in their joints and muscles. This has been named growing pains. Most likely, this is attributed to increased activity instead of bones growing. *

There is a lot of pain and discomfort; and without question, crying.

I believe the same is true for adults.


For the last month, I’ve been stretched to the point I thought I would break.

At the end of January, I wound up in the emergency room. I don’t get migraines very often, but this day, I couldn’t function. On a pain scale of 1-10, this headache was a 10+.

I was able to get to my doctor. He examined me; and he was concerned enough to send me to the emergency room. He wouldn’t allow me to drive myself. So, I had to leave my car and take an Uber.

I was in emergency for six hours. It was very busy that day.

The doctor wanted to give me medication intravenously. I was not happy. I like to deal with health issues holistically; and the thought of putting medication in my system freaked me out.

After four hours, I finally gave in and allowed them to give me some medication.

It took about two hours; and the pain level came down to about a seven. I was released.

I took an Uber back to my car and was able to drive home.

This was a Tuesday.

On Saturday, I went to my solo show class at 9:00 a.m. At 11:00, class was finished; and I ventured outside to get to my car.

To say the rain was torrential is an understatement.

As I headed toward my car, I stopped dead in my tracks, as I took in the scene that faced me.

When I parked my car on the main boulevard, everything was fine.

Two hours later, the heavy rains caused the boulevard to turn into a river; and I found my car submerged in at least two feet of water.

I was standing in the rain trying to figure out how, not only to get to my car, but how to get in my car.

I decided to go for it. I waded through the water on the sidewalk and grabbed hold of a parking meter. Holding onto that meter for dear life, I searched for the curb with my foot.

Once I discovered the curb, I stepped into the street; and the water was above my knees.

I made my way to the driver’s side; and with amazing strength, I managed to get the door open.

Once inside my car, I got the door closed and realized water was sloshing around inside my car.

I quickly prayed, and lo and behold, my car started. Whew!

Not so fast!

Within seconds, the check emission system and engine lights came on.

I gulped; but took the chance to move my car and drive it home. I live about 10 minutes away.

Praying the whole way, I was so grateful I made it home.

I was drenched, irritable and hit hard with the realization my car could be totaled.

I did the only thing left I could do. I CRIED!

On Sunday, I couldn’t get out of bed. I was sooooo sick. I had no voice and couldn’t lift my head.

What a week!

On Monday, I had the wherewithal to call my insurance company and file a claim. It took a week for an inspector to come out, because there were plenty of other car casualties that needed to be inspected.

After another week - DECISION – TOTAL LOSS!

I now had a rental car and had to deal with negotiating a settlement and looking for a new car.

Just a month and half before, I decided to foot the bill for some major repairs on my car, instead of buying a new one. UGH!

I always try to look at the bright side. Here goes! If I had purchased a new car in November, the new car would have been under water in February.

There is a saying:

Stronger it is!


I’ve had some moments through this ordeal where I felt so stretched emotionally.

Buying a new car is, what I would consider, a major planned purchase.

My budget was not exactly allowing for this outlay of money. I’ve always owned my cars; and this would be the first time that I would lease. This just made me feel uncomfortable.

I’m still dealing with the financial aspect of this event; but, mostly, I’ve had to come through some painful realities that were outside my comfort zone. GROWING PAINS!

Through this ordeal, I’ve had to come face to face with myself and the need to grow from this experience.

I believe we’re never too old to learn and grow. Challenges should build character.


Through this, I decided I needed to deal with fear concerning finances.

I’ve always been extremely responsible when it comes to managing money.

When I was pulling in a substantial corporate salary, I was able to invest and save.

As I’ve pursued my dream of acting these last 17 years, I’ve had to adapt to a tight budget without the luxury of discretionary income.

Getting hit with financial surprises has been difficult for me. This pushed me to a very rough emotional place.

What I have personally found interesting is that I started writing this article about two weeks ago; but I came to a screeching halt.

I’ve come to understand that, unless I go through something and come out on the other side, I cannot truthfully express the lessons learned.

We all deal with our emotional struggles differently. My way of dealing with this need for character refinement was to cry out to God for help.

I had a meltdown; and without fail, the Lord answered my cry. It was bigger than money. It was being able to let go and trust Him.

As a woman of faith, my faith was being tested in an area that has held me captive.

I needed to be freed up.

I truly was spiraling downward and beginning to doubt everything, especially pursuing this crazy lifelong dream of acting. Again, I needed to be “responsible”.

I drove out to Malibu which is my place to pray and seek God.

Amazingly, it was my drive to Malibu that I received such a strong impression not to give up.

In California, we’ve been in a severe drought for many years. All this heavy rain has had a tremendous effect in turning the brown, dried, burned out mountains lush and green.

In this, I saw that what we think is dead is not and to believe that there is always hope.

A scripture I’ve held onto for years is John 10:10.

As I write this now, I have such a peace that it’s all going to be OK.

I believe that without the growing pains, life would not be as sweet.

May you grow strong in your resolve; and remember…it’s never too late to go after your dreams.

Claudia DiMartino


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