I’ve been totally MIA for a while now but with lots of exciting things happening! I wanted to take a moment this evening to share a bit with you all of what I’ve been up to lately, and to share a little part of my story and what brought me to where I am today.
For the last three and a half years, I worked at the sweetest little oyster bar in Boston. It wasn’t my passion to be a bartender, but Neptune was one of the most inspiring places I’ve ever worked – and it was so accidental. I think the best things happen on accident, don’t you? I couldn’t have asked for a more kind and generous boss, my co-workers became family to me, I learned about food and watched one of the best chefs I know prepare the tastiest dishes. I designed and letterpressed two invitation suites for co-workers and a couple of holiday menus, too. I tasted delicious wines every shift, learned about the best restaurants in Boston and was motivated to work my booty off. As good as I had it and though I appreciated what I had every single day, I needed something to drive me, to push me further and challenge me and to spark whatever passion was left in me. That’s when I started Yours Truly.
Like many women out there, my blog became an outlet for me. It was something to hold onto so that I wouldn’t lose sight of what I thought I was really supposed to be doing. I love pretty paper and letterpress, the sweet details of gold foiling, edge painting and charming calligraphy. I love everything about it. I loved the simple, feminine + romantic designs seen in wedding invitations. Rather than starting my own line of invitations, I decided that I wanted to open an invitation and stationery boutique where I’d represent all of my favorite designers, meet with brides and look at pretty things all day long. I signed up for a weekly business planning course at the Boston Center for Women + Enterprise with hopes to take out a small business loan and start my little shop. In the last few weeks of the course, we dove into the financial aspect of a business plan and BAM, reality hit. What made me think that anyone would invest in me, if I didn’t have any money to invest in myself? Not a decent amount, anyway. So, there I sat, with my incomplete business plan and idea. I accepted that it wasn’t the right time for this idea and tucked it away, Shawn and I were purchasing our first home together after all and I needed my savings for that.
I had so many ideas crammed in my head, but none of them could support me financially. So, I searched, for hours on end, for the perfect job. I scoured blogs, craigslist, emailed random companies I wanted to work for, everything from magazines, event companies, wedding planners, letterpress studios, etc. I even looked at the job listings on Comcast OnDemand… oh the shame. I was pathetic at one point, had no energy and no hope. I convinced myself that I was wasting my time worrying over silly things like pretty paper. This past fall, I told myself I was going to give it one last shot and if it didn’t work, my plan was to apply for nursing school. Wayyy off from anything I ever thought I’d be doing… but hey, nurses are always in demand I thought, it’s good money, and I had a few nurse friends who could guide me. Deep down I knew I wouldn’t be happy but I kept telling myself, a job isn’t always about being happy, Melissa. And all of those people with dream jobs out there that inspired me? They were just a small percentage of the workforce… and I wasn’t lucky enough to be one of them. I told you, completely pathetic.
I gave it one more go-around. I applied for a position with Style Me Pretty (my dream job!) back in October, for the third time that year. I kept my fingers crossed and waited. I was a ball of stress, convinced that I was losing my hair even. Thanksgiving rolled around and I thought for sure they had already found the perfect candidate, after all they did receive hundreds of applications, how could I possibly get it? The Monday after Thanksgiving, Shawn lost his job. We were unhappy and hopeless. We needed security and at this point I felt like I should give up on chasing my dreams, whatever they were now…
December came and went quickly, Christmas and New Years lifted our spirits, but with the start of January, I felt the opposite of renewed… I was exhausted and dreaded the months ahead. I checked my email inbox like a mad woman, every. single. day. Like 20 times a day, #crazylady. Well, one fine day, standing in line for my weekly Panera lunch treat, I was checking my gmail. Thank the lord for modern technology, how would we live without being able to check our emails while waiting for turkey artichoke paninis?! It was Style Me Pretty. They wanted me to do a phone interview that afternoon, one hour away. Yes! I did a silent clenched fist hooray and I think I had the goofiest looking smile on my face while ordering my lunch.
Fast forward to today. I was that candidate, the one I thought I lost the job to. I work for the fabulous Style Me Pretty and I still have to pinch myself! I get to look at pretty things all day long, work with some of the most talented vendors and I’m learning so much from the amazing team I work with. Of course, there is more that goes into what I do, but the point is that I am so grateful. Grateful I stuck it out. Thankful for my persistence. And my stubborn attitude that didn’t let me give up on myself and my dream to be happy everyday and truly love what I do. I don’t know what my future holds and I’m not worried about it, because I’m happy now, right now.
I believe that every one should sparkle, every day. Even if it’s just for a moment – to put your best foot forward and to reflect on the little things in your life that make it so wonderful. I’m thankful for every moment that has led me to where I am today and I wouldn’t change it one bit. No matter how hard the struggle is, you gotta keep going and appreciate the things that sparkle in your life. If you can do that, well then you’ll realize you’ve always had what you wanted.
I designed an iPhone wallpaper tonight to remind myself of this daily. Feel free to use it, I hope it will inspire you!