In my childhood, I was definitely very introverted. I was an introspective kid. I had all these deep thoughts and feelings about others and the world around me. I had an experience at a younger age, which really caused me to turn inwards even more. There was a time when I felt as though only my dog understood me. I have a very vivid memory of me crawling into my dog's dog house, barely fitting, but just sitting there, hunched over, petting him and crying.
And even though I had that experience, I've always chosen to look for the best in people. I love getting to know people, learning about what makes them tick. Why do they do what they do? What are they passionate about, what's going on in their lives? And I think part of the reason I do have that desire to get to know people on a more deep level is partly because of what happened to me when I was younger.
When I went to high school. I struggled with depression. I was in a really toxic relationship that I just felt stuck in. I didn't feel understood by my family and this person seemingly understood me. I knew that it was unhealthy and I could do better and I deserved better. And I got to a point where I almost committed suicide. And I just remember thinking, if this is all life has to offer, why do I want to be here? I felt so trapped and stuck and confused and worthless and all those lies were swirling around my head. But I also knew that I was stronger than this. I knew I had more to offer the world and that I would do great things.
Honestly, I have no idea how that seed of hope was planted in my mind, but I held onto it. It could have been my upbringing and my faith. It could have just been something that was innately born into me when I came into the world, I don't know. But I held onto it with dear life, literally.
I finished high school and I left that relationship. I practically ran off to college to start fresh. I wanted to be the Laura I knew was trapped inside of me. I knew I was fun, charismatic, kind, thoughtful and powerful. I just had no idea how to step into that power. I ended up getting my degree in social work. My desire to help people really drove me and I wanted to better the lives of others. But I also knew that a lot of the people that you come into contact with don't necessarily want your help. You're kind of an inconvenience. I wanted to work alongside people who desired to grow and become better and change the areas of their lives that were causing them pain and suffering.
So after college, I left to travel the world by myself. My goal was to be gone for two years. I had saved up enough money to hopefully make that happen. And honestly, I recommend this to any parent listening. If your child doesn't know exactly what they want to do, send them on a personal journey of self-discovery. Everyone around me was terrified for me. They were worried I was going to end up in some hole in the ground or taken hostage. I was not afraid. I don't know if that's stupidity or bravery, but I was not afraid. I knew in my heart that everything would be okay at this point.
I still wanted to open a wellness center. I envisioned a place where people gather to eat healthy food. With a social work background, I wanted disabled individuals, the elderly and the children to come tend to the gardens which would be super expansive and would supply food to the cafe. On my journey of self-discovery, I began to have a glimpse of my inner strength, and I would say it was refined by fire. There were so many moments, two that I can vividly remember where I broke down into tears, cursing out the sky, asking myself, "Why the heck did you do this? You're crazy to think that like this was a good idea."
Just like as I was struggling during my depression in high school, in my core, when everything around me was not going to plan, I knew I had to keep going and that my journey was just beginning. That was really the true beginning of me. The me I had hidden away and locked up inside. I no longer had to answer to anyone but myself. I could travel wherever I wanted, stay wherever I wanted, do whatever I wanted. So I sat down and I began to answer questions that I had had for a long time.
Questions like, why do I believe what I believe? What do you like? What do you dislike? Are you an introvert? What are your values?
Honestly, I didn't have all the answers to these questions. So I let myself explore the world around me like a baby. I tried new things and old things, and then I took time to reflect. Did that thing bring me joy? Did it make me a better version of myself? Does this stir my heart in a good or a bad way? I let my inner compass guide me. I truly believe a woman's intuition is a powerful tool that we all need to tap into. I began shaping the Laura I had been for so long because it was what people expected me to be. Instead I grew into my personal power.
I remember one day walking in Ireland and just breaking out into joyful tears. And right now my eyes are just tearing up thinking about it. I was exactly where I was meant to be at that exact moment in time.
I finished my travels and I returned back to the U.S. and I knew I wanted to open my wellness center still, but I had to gain experience and knowledge of running a business because I had none. So I began working at a coffee shop for a couple years and eventually I left shortly after becoming an assistant manager. I was there for about two years and I left because I realized I was wasting precious time and I was working for someone else and I wanted to be my own boss.
I had a deep passion within me. I still do. I started creating a business for superfood drinks and I wanted to open a brick and mortar store. After about six months, I was looking at storefront locations with a real estate agent. I came home one day and once again I sat down to reflect and I thought to myself, "why am I chasing after this"? I wasn't really passionate about running this type of business and it didn't really align with what I wanted my future to hold. So when I really looked inward, I realized that I had fallen back into this old pattern of chasing a life that I thought would make others proud of me.
After a couple of years of hard work, I decided to close that chapter of my life. That was just one of the many businesses that I have tried to create and have absolutely failed. My North Star was still there. My wellness center was still my goal and is my goal. Not long after deciding that the café wasn't actually my dream, I got pregnant with Luna.
I had morning sickness and I had gotten a Punch Needle for Christmas and decided to give it a shot and I was immediately hooked. This was it. This was a thing that I had been searching for. Right then and there I decided that my career would be this and this would eventually allow me to open my wellness center. It came so naturally, just like everything creative always had. But for some reason this medium, fiber and yarn, it just was different. It didn't require me to seek perfection as painting had or sketching had. I could be abstract and let my creativity flow.
So here we are today and I'm constantly growing, evolving and learning, and I have never felt so empowered and determined in my whole life. Motherhood lights a fire within you that just razor focuses what you want to do in this life. Everything I feel has led me to this point. All the lessons I have learned, all my values, gifts and talents. I never thought that I would find that thing in my life which brings me so much joy and fulfillment that I could call my career.
So why did I share all this? There are three reasons. First, I want you all to see that a life is a crazy ride and how you choose to respond to the challenges that are put in your path, change your fate. I chose in every situation to persevere and to learn. If I hadn't done that, my life would be unimaginably different. Without a doubt, I honestly cannot even visualize the catastrophe that my life probably would have turned into.
Second, mistakes are ok. Some businesses that you create will fail, but you simply have to keep pushing forward. Be responsible, but also be daring. Have huge dreams that feel unachievable at times, because when you have small dreams, it's so easy to become comfortable. If you want to be the best mom ever. Chase after that. If you want to be a kick-ass mom boss. Do it. The results are entirely up to you. When you take ownership of that, that is when you truly can create change and results in your life.
Third, come alongside your child when they are struggling and let them know that you are there for them no matter what. Share your failures so that they feel comfortable to share with you when they are in a phase of learning and experimenting and confusion and empower your kids to chase their dreams.