January 3, 2015
I’m speaking in a creative small business conference, Creative at Heart, tomorrow, and in getting myself mentally prepared to say the things I need to say to inspire others, I feel the need to lend a big virtual hug! After all, it can be difficult as a creative person to go out on a limb and take the leap of faith to own your own business! Let alone juggling being a mom, housewife, full time employee elsewhere, or any other position that requires loads of attention and care!
If you’ve been following me for a few years, then you’re no stranger to my story of triumph over my teenage days of depression, failed academia and hopelessness. For years I’ve trained myself to overcome mental obstacles or to find strength and hope in all road blocks that come my way. I occupy myself with tasks that make me feel value – that tap into what God gave me as my purpose. I’ve found refuge and passion for life by using my artistic talents to make the world happy and pretty and to help ME to see and focus on the happy and pretty. I’ve always been the type to use painting, drawing and writing as a way of expressing my imagination and emotions.
Being a creative person, surprisingly, has its obstacles. When I was in high school, the only class I excelled in was art – but ‘you can’t make a career being artistic’ they said. Starving artist was a common phrase – even in art school at JMU, where I spent my days studying for my BFA. When your passions lie with being artistic and creative, it’s easy to feel like your purpose or your passion isn’t being practiced. I used to think when I was younger “How will I ever be happy??!” – How do people go to work everyday NOT living their passion?
Over time, I’ve found my little corner of the world – my niche. Due to some very ugly-cry prayers for answers and prayer for guidance, I came to own my floral business five years ago. It was truly an answer from God – my heart was open to it and it ‘fell in my lap’. Over time I’ve changed it to suit my lifestyle, the workload I want, modified the business to enable a certain salary, grown it in a way that helps me to be an artist… And not ‘starve’. I can work and bring my baby with me. I’ve done it! I’ve stuck it to the man! I’m so so blessed to have found my way as an artist! my bills are paid – so, what more could I ask for?!
If you’re struggling with ‘finding your niche’ or figuring out your path, just know so many others are too! I’ve been there, and currently I have those moments. There moreso based around not having the time to sit down and think or dream about projects I want to do! So, I’m in a different part of a creative roadblock. But, just know that you’ll find your way!
To read the article about my story and journey from depressed drug abuser to creative small business owner and mom, that made the front page of the local paper, go here! I promise it’s a good read!
(I often have lots of emails about those struggling with depression whenever I share stories of my past depression. PLEASE, if you are struggling, I am not a medical professional. Although I totally understand and can offer a hug, that is the extent of what I can do. Reach out if you’re hurting – it’s more common than you think! If you don’t have someone to talk to, please call 1 (800) 273-8255. Just know, it gets better with time and life is beautiful!)