Marcello Pedalino, Author
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Highlights from the Celebrate Life Book Tour and helpful articles on self care, mindfulness, and personal growth.

Finding True Love and Happiness: Starting Over (Again) at 40.

Ryan and Kelley on their Wedding Day overlooking NYC

Ryan and Kelley on their Wedding Day overlooking NYC

It’s never too late to start over, find true love, and internal happiness.  I did, and at the age of 40.   

I was a single dad of 2 beautiful girls; had a good job as a Retail Real Estate broker yet it was a career that was unsatisfying; and submerged in the horrific dating scene, which meant countless 1st dates that went nowhere.   And even though I had a great family, lots of friends, and surrounded with love and support, the reality was, I wasn’t happy.  This was my 3rd career which meant starting over and reinventing myself was becoming routine, but the real void in my life was that I didn’t have a partner to share anything with.  In my times when feeling sorry and reflecting back, I would ask myself, ‘How did I get here?’ ‘Where the hell am I going...?’

In April of 2011 I remember getting a call from my dad saying ‘I just had a very interesting phone call and there is a great business opportunity for you!’ My dad was an Area Developer and Multi-Unit franchisee in the concept Massage Envy for the past 6 years and I worked with him closely in this, so retail franchising was a world that I was accustomed too and had a strong interest in.  The call he got was from a Massage Envy colleague who was also part of another franchise called European Wax Center.  The opportunity was to buy the development rights and become the Area Developer for EWC in Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh greater metropolitan markets) and Northern Ohio (Cleveland / Akron / Toledo markets). Pittsburgh??? Cleveland???  I said… Its 6 - 8 hours away!!! How could I possible do that? My dad looked at me and said, ‘Where there’s a will there’s a way; and if you really want to do it, you’ll figure it out’. So I figured it out.

In October of 2011, I took a leap of faith, and with the financial help from my parents, signed the contracts and became an Area Developer and Franchisee.  Shortly thereafter I took another leap of faith, left my job and hired a Pittsburgh based Real Estate firm to find me a storefront.  I was scared beyond belief, financially levered to the max, and embarking in now my 4th career.  October 1, 2012, I opened my first European Waxcenter.  Here I was, starting all over (again) at the age of 40…!! 

So I now have the professional piece of my life figured out, but my personal life still had that void.  That would also change at the age of 40!  Tuesday August 9, 2012, when a random chance meeting at a local restaurant, forever changed my life.   I had just finished working out at the gym and attempted to grab dinner at the café across the street.  But as luck would have it, it was closed.  The restaurant next door was open and decided to give it a try.  I sat at the bar and noticed this very attractive girl across the way.  She had a beautiful face, beautiful eyes, and a nice smile.  I had attempted to make eye contact with her multiple times, but she didn’t look my way often.  She was too busy on her phone (she’ll kill me for saying that).  I had never approached a girl at a bar while flying solo before, so I was very much out of my element.  I struggled to figure out what my ‘big move’ was going to be, and the only thing I came up with was to try and find a reason to sit next to her, but what would I say?  I was drawing a blank.  The other problem was the bar was crowded that night and no seats were opening up.  Just my luck...  I had already finished my dinner, but still no available seat next to her.  The summer Olympics were on the TV that night so I waited for about 45 minutes, using my interest in the games as a reason to hang around.  Finally when the seat next to her opened up, I jumped off my bar stool, walked over (still had no idea what I was going to say) and out came, ‘Is anyone sitting here?  I can’t see the TV well from where I was sitting!’  There you have it.  That was my big move!!!  We talked, drank, and laughed for hours.  2 days later we went on our first date. 

That was the last 1st date I ever went on and the last 1st kiss I ever had.  1 year later we moved in together, 2 years after that we were engaged, and 2 years after that, on March 24, 2017, we were married.           

Marcello Pedalino with Ryan and his daughters, Lilly & Ella.

Marcello Pedalino with Ryan and his daughters, Lilly & Ella.

Today, at the age of 46, I am a multi-unit franchisee where I own 2 stores in Pittsburgh, have sold 20 franchisee licenses as an Area Developer, married to the most amazing, beautiful, and selfless person I know, (who is also my best friend), have a solid family unit, and my life is finally complete. I honestly have nothing to complain about. And this all didn’t happen until I was 40 years old.  Go figure!  Now, when I ask myself, ‘How did I get here?’ It’s a very proud and exciting answer with a completely different story. When I ask myself ‘Where am I going?’ I am clear and focused on where my future is headed.  And when I ask myself ‘What time is it?’ the answer is ‘It’s time to Celebrate Life!’

Guest Blog by: Ryan David Glastein

Marcello Pedalino