I believe that you can do anything you set your mind to. I also believe that along the way you might fail. You might crash and burn so hard that you don't see how you will ever be able to pick yourself back up again. I believe in second changes, and redemption. Lord knows I've been through enough to know that even when you make huge mistakes, the world has a funny way of working itself out if you just try hard enough to make things right.
You guys, I want to keep it real today. This journey has not been easy. It still isn't easy, but it is really good. If you were to have asked me 8 years ago where I saw myself today, I don't know if the answer would have been very good. I've struggled with depression in my life and at one point wondering if I would ever be happy again. As a young and confused girl I went through some things I wouldn't wish on anyone. At that time I didn't know who I was, who I wanted to be, or where I wanted to go. I was lost. I leaned on my family during one of the darkest periods of my life and for them I'm grateful. I pray that I never experience that sense of darkness again because it's not a fun place to be.
After I met Shaun the sun started to shine more. The trees seemed greener, skies bluer, and the flowers smelled stronger. I still had a ways to go, but things got better. He was my missing piece. He made me see that I deserved to be happy. He showed me every day what love was all about. He gave me hope that even people who screw up and make mistakes deserve second chances to find happiness. He believed in me. He helped me find my voice again.
For so long I went with the punches. I settled for okay. I settled for "this is what I should do", not "this is what I want to do." If anyone knows me, they know that I've worked everywhere. Seriously, name it, I've probably worked there. For so long I felt like a drifter, just trying to find my calling. Before I had Riley, I found myself in an accounting job. It was a good job. It was a wonderful office with some incredibly smart and talented people. They were so kind to me and helped me learn the ropes. It was good. It was comfortable. I probably could have had a very long career there and been okay. It would mean long hours away from my family, but it would pay the bills. I would be contributing.
Then I had my daughter and everything changed.
It was just a few weeks before my maternity leave would be over when my Husband came home to find me sobbing on the couch, nursing Riley. Sobbing. Tears I had not experienced in years. Tears of pure sorrow imagining what my future looked like and all the hours I would be pulled away from this beautiful little human. 70+ hours December-April. Could I do that? Every year? That night my Husband heard something different in my voice. He knew I would not be going back to work, and that we would do whatever it took to keep me home with her. I had finally found my voice and it felt so good. It was the first time I truly put my foot down for something I felt whole heartedly was the right thing to do. It meant that we had to make sacrifices, and face some financial hardship, but we did it.
I've always worked. Since I was 15 I had a job. It may not have been ideal, but I always worked hard. I knew making the decision to keep me home would mean that I have to find some ways to contribute to the income. I started getting after my Etsy shop which was great, but not enough. I had to do something big. I had to find my niche, and my voice.
This is where things got interesting. What am I good at? Where do I even start? I'm creative, I knew that at the time, but how do I channel this? How do I set myself apart? How do I make a difference?
As a little girl I always kept a diary. Writing for me has always been an outlet. A way to make me feel better. I love flipping through the pages of the past, even the bad times because I can see how all those moments have led me to where I am today, and where I'm going. Instead of dwelling on the past I decided to pick myself up and make this life what I wanted it to be. I wanted happiness, I wanted freedom from the jobs that never fulfilled me, I wanted freedom from the past that weighed me down for so long. I started to write and find my voice again. When I received an email recently from another mama telling me that she was in tears reading my words because they spoke to her, I knew right then and there that THIS is why I'm here. THIS is my why. THIS is right where I'm meant to be.
While I don't have all the answers and I'm still figuring things out I can say without a doubt that the moment I decided to take my life in my own hands, everything changed. I found my happy. I found something within myself that made me see that I can do this. I can achieve everything and anything I set my mind to because if I keep working hard, things will come back around. Even for someone who never thought she stood a chance at happiness found it. I found it in all the beautiful things this life has to offer. Friends, family, and LIFE. Stop, listen, breathe, just be. I'm learning with every situation to be more present. I'm learning how to be a better listener. I'm learning that my creative soul was born to do great things.
When life leaves you feeling empty handed, light it up and show them what you're worth. Set the world on fire with your passion, and with your voice. I never imagined I would be sitting where I am right now, doing what I'm doing. Finding myself again has been the most beautiful thing. I can't believe there was a time that I didn't think I deserved this. I thought because of mistakes I've made, I didn't deserve a second chance. I didn't deserve redemption. Well, I do. It wouldn't be life if we didn't fall down, if we didn't hurt people we love, if we didn't feel like we've screwed everything up. I can almost guarantee I'm going to fall down again, and hurt people I love, but now I know that it's okay, because that is life. That is living. I now know that one mistake isn't going to set the tone for the rest of my life. It's okay to fail, it's okay to admit you were wrong. It's okay.
Speak up. Find your voice. Run with your passion. Chase your dreams, even if it seems impossible. I believe people are rewarded for hard work.
At the end of the day I want my family to be proud of me. I want Riley to see her Mom as someone who worked her ass off so that she could have the best life possible. While I may be missing out on the security of a paycheck from my old job, I get to cover my girl in hugs and kisses every single day. She gets to see her mom so happy, and in turn makes her happy. I love that Riley has given me a new purpose in this life. She has no idea right now how much she has influenced me, but someday she will know that because of her and her Dad, I have found my voice and I am so happy.
Thank you for allowing me to share something intimate with you all today. Finding my voice again and sharing this journey with all of you is something I do not take for granted. I'm beyond grateful for the continued love and support with both my business ventures. I am so glad you're here with me. Cheers to the future.