I wrote the article below about a year and half ago. It was a very difficult period in my life, but also a blessing disguise. It was the beginning of Salt & Pepper Co. My goal with this blog is to post new articles on a weekly basis that talk about entrepreneurship, gifting and design, and tidbits about me, my life, and my personal journey.
Today, I am going to share part of my story with you. It's deep, it's personal, but most importantly it's the truth.
My name is Mary, next month I am going to be 30 years old, and I could not be more excited! Some people freak out and panic, but for me it’s just the beginning. I am wiser, smarter, and in a much better place, not only personally, but professionally too. I have amazing parents, the most incredible sister, a beautiful home, clean running water, and food to eat. What more could you ask for? I have a beautiful life and I am so appreciative, but between you and me…I’ve also been struggling.
For several years now, I’ve felt lost, overwhelmed, sad, depressed at times, etc. I was so fearful and afraid of the future, and often times found myself rehashing something from the past. I was blindsided and I felt alone. (If you are reading this message, and you’ve been here or if you are going through it now, you know it’s a terrible place to be).
I wanted all this pain to go away, so initially I suppressed my feelings. I went out with friends, I buried myself in work, and at certain point I felt like the world was crashing down on me. I started to ask myself why me? Why is it so hard? I work hard, I am good at my job, and I give back. I felt like I was doing all the right things, but I still felt empty. Those of you who know me would never have guessed I was going through this because I put on a strong front. In actuality what I realized (over time) was that I wasn’t being true to myself. I realized that if I wanted my situation to change, I had to change.
So, for the first time, instead of suppressing my feelings…I started to talk about them. Instead of running, I decided to face all my fears, frustrations and problems. Through this journey, I learned some incredible lessons, and yes, there were moments when my heart ached, I cried, I felt weak…but overtime my strength overpowered my weakness.
There really is beauty in breaking it all down. Right now, I am happy and in a good place, but I know there will continue to be ups and downs because that’s life. It’s what you do with each of those moments (good or bad), that actually counts.
For those of you who don’t me, I am an entrepreneur. I have my own successful events business, and I have also tried a million and one ideas, in order to get to where I am today. I started a fine bottled water company, I worked with non-profits and raised over $100,000 for various organizations, I’ve done marketing, I wrote a book, and I developed an amazing line of products that sell online today. As you can see, I am a creative and with all of my ideas and various ventures…I didn’t just start them, I saw them all the way through. But at the end of the day something was still missing and I couldn’t figure it out.
Then about a month ago, I found this book, and it changed my life. My outlook changed, my perspective changed, my needs and wants changed. In fact, everything changed. For the first time (in a long time), I started to look at life differently. I felt alive and at peace with myself…and my goodness, when you find peace with yourself you can literally move mountains. It's an incredible feeling! So if you are still struggling like I was...I encourage you to sit with yourself, be still, and listen. Listen carefully - because deep down YOU do know the answers. What I have realized over the past few month is that I needed to find ME, and figure out my true passion.
Looking back at all the projects and businesses that I have been involved in, I realized that the one thing that was missing on my part was long-term vision. For example, if you asked me…where do you want to be in five years? I would give you a roundabout answer because in truth, I did have some idea, but it was very difficult for me to be specific. I knew what I wanted to build, but I couldn’t envision it growing. In essence, I couldn’t paint the full picture. I set goals for myself (I think everyone should), but I didn’t know WHY I was trying to achieve them. I think I was doing it to set some kind of meter or caliber of success. I was trying to calm my mind and reassure myself that I was getting there, and that I was doing it.
Throughout all of this, I started to become this person that I didn’t want to be. I would get jealous of other peoples’ success and I would compare myself to them. It was terrible. That’s definitely not me and I didn’t understand why it was happening. What I really wanted was less chaos, less proving, and less comparison. I wanted more contentment, more connection, and more love.
So, how did I finally get there? That’s a great question and I am glad you asked because I know you were thinking it.
Aside from taking time to be alone, reading books, and seeing a therapist. I started to think back to my childhood. I began to think of all the things I loved doing for fun, and how those things correlate to what I do today?
As a child, I loved going for walks in my neighborhood. I would walk past houses and imagine how much better it would look if they painted the house, changed the landscaping, etc. Now, for some of you who don't know me you'd probably say I wanted to be an interior designer or an architect. Good guess, but it is actually not the right answer. What I really love is branding, packaging, beautiful scripts, and typography. I love when someone hands me a design and I can help them make it better. It's what I'm good at, and most importantly it's what I love doing. That's part of the reason I enjoy planning weddings so much. I love all the details and small touches that collectively work together to create an overall style and design.
I also loved collecting miniatures. I know it sounds bizarre, but it's the truth. I collected mini perfume bottles, erasers, and pencils. You are probably asking yourself…ok, so how does that relate to what you do today? That's also a great question because initially I didn't even know, but I thought about it because it was a HUGE part of my life. If you think of anything miniature, it’s always very detailed. Those tiny details make my heart race. That was it…the details.
So, if I look at what I do today, and the two things I enjoyed doing most as a child…it all makes sense. Now I have the privilege of designing and creating environments for couples. I get to create escort card displays, place settings, table settings, etc. It’s pretty amazing how life works. Often times, the answers you’ve been looking/searching for have always been there…you just didn’t see them. Why? I don’t know. I think that’s personal and it pertains to your own personal story, and how you choose to live your life.
All of this self-reflection has allowed me to find peace with myself, and I can confidently tell you that I have FINALLY found it. Today, I can paint my future and not only with clarity, but I can actually visualize it, I can feel it, and for once I believe it.
Over the next few months, there are going to be a lot of exciting changes in my business. For starters, I will be adding a new service to Mary Noon Events. I will be talking more about this next week…and I promise you are going to love it. My new division is called Salt and Pepper Co., and wait until I tell you the story behind the name!! I’ll be posting inspirational photos and images of my work on the blog more often, and I will also be talking a lot more about entrepreneurship. My goal is to not only have a successful business and to be passionate about what I do, but to also inspire and encourage others to never give up.
I feel like I am finally becoming the woman I’ve always wanted to be. I am stronger and more confident than ever before, and I'm ready to embrace my 30's. For the first time ever, I started to love myself. If you are still searching for your passion - don’t stop. The answers are there and your dreams will come to fruition, but you have to be ready and willing to embrace the change.
So there you have it. That's my story. I'll be back next week with some incredible news so be sure to stay tuned.
From my heart to yours! Xoxo - Mary