I grew up in a single mother household. To this day I attribute that to all of my strengths as a woman. So, as hard as it is for me to write this. I want to let everyone in on the dynamic I held with my mother, because I feel it is very important to understand who I am as an entrepreneur. With that being said, no matter what…this is just my story. Above all I love my mother, and realize she did the best she could under any and all circumstances. It was her past, and the abuses she endured as a child, that helped me become the strong person I am today.
I always watched as my mother struggled to keep food on the table and a roof over our head. She would go from boyfriend to boyfriend, always looking to men for security. She taught me at an early age, if you want something in life you have to really work, and sacrifice, for it. I didn’t learn this because of her actions, but because I wanted to be nothing like her.
I think that is where my desire to become a financially independent woman began. I knew I always wanted to have a family, and a husband. But I also knew I wanted to fall in love with my soul mate, and if I wanted to maintain financial stability…it would be up to me to make sure it happened. That way I would never have to really “depend” on anyone anymore. Mainly because I couldn’t really depend on anyone in my family…period. Up until the age of 16 I felt I had no one, with the exception of a few family members who lived in Miami at the time.
Boy, was I WRONG! That mental attitude left me with a heavy pressure to seek out money. Rather than happiness. Even though I was seeking the money, to attain the happiness. I was all mixed up and I eventually began to realize, those were two things I never really had. I was a broke student, too scared to leap after my dreams, on the path to my ultimate goal…financial independence. Meanwhile, my dad was paying half of my bills. In the end, I was just like my mother. Held back by my own fears, and not completely independent.
I was a hard worker, an honor student upon the completion of my Bachelor’s Degree, had double major/double minor undergrad in business, retail management, and fashion marketing…and had not a clue in the world! Why? Because the one thing I never really learned growing up was, self-worth. I was so busy proving to everyone, and to myself, that I was nothing like my mother…. that before I knew it I was stuck in a job I hated, a relationship I hated, and a family I hated. I was caught up in a never ending cycle of self-loathing, and self-hate.
I started to realize when I was about 25, the similarities between my mother and I were parallel…and I suddenly became okay with it. At that point, I was forced to accept the good with the bad. Like her; I want nothing more than to have a happy and caring family, I love to cook and be at home, I am uber-creative and am happiest when I am creating something, I am quick to say what is on my mind, I am strong willed, I have a great sense of humor and style, and I have the desire to become an entrepreneur with the ability to become a great leader. However, like her, I was also suffering from an eating disorder, I was emotionally unstable, and full of fear. And it was then when I kind of started to realize the root of my eating disorder, which really opened my eyes. My grandfather ingrained into my mothers head that she was unworthy for even herself to love, and she believed it. She believed it so much, that she unknowingly passed it down to me.
With every abusive relationship she was in, she taught me that she was not good enough. I was not good enough.
The ironic part of it all is one thing that really helped me turned my life around was meeting my husband. He saw things in me that I could not see, and accepted me just the way I was. So all this time I was seeking something I thought would come from myself…and it actually came from a man. SERIOUSLY!! This left me so completely confused…but that is a topic for another day. Not to say that he was the only one thing that got my head out of my butt, discrediting all of my hard work, but it was the love I received from him that was the final touch I needed to really start to blossom. It was the love I had always wanted. From my mother, from my father, from my step-family….I finally felt like I was the most important thing in the world to someone. No matter how fat, skinny, sad, happy, or emotional…or WHATEVER I was, he just loved ME.
The lesson I took from this experience was, no matter who you are there is someone out there that loves you. Just the way you are…and if others are capable of this love, you should be too. Life is not all about money, popularity, material objects, and how good you look in a pair of jeans. Those are not the things that make you a good, happy, healthy person.
For me the most important things are now to love and to be loved, and to be physically/mentally healthy. From there I think so many more personal attainments can be met.
Surround yourself with good people, whom you admire. Cut the negativity out of your life, whatever the source may be. Begin to appreciate who you are, not who you think you want to be, and BELIEVE in yourself. Believe you can do anything, and be anyone. NEVER be ashamed of the little things in life that make you happy. Even if that means spending your last dime on a dinner date with friends (my personal guilty pleasure, hah!).
Well. I think that is plenty enough for today. Hope everyone has a fabulous week, and a fun weekend!