I took a break. From my blogging, from a lot of things I was working on. From my happy place. From what brings me peace and a sense of accomplishment – all because of other people’s negativity. And in doing that, I went against the very foundation of what I hope to instill in my daughter. Never again.
I’ve gotten some slack over some things I’ve written. I’ve gotten backhanded compliments from those who think my dreams are just “too big” but find themselves too small to be honest. I’ve also gotten some “are you sure” and “but” statements about my breastfeeding boutique I will be opening soon. And I’ve certainly had some judgment passed on me based on the version of “me” that people used to see. Quite frankly, none of it should have mattered to me.
When I started the Blissful Breastfeeding brand, it was primarily for me. It was a way for me to openly document my breastfeeding experience in a judgement and negativity free space. I had spent so much of my life being a “negative Nancy” (not realizing that until a year ago or so) that I had surrounded myself with people who seemed to feed off of that energy. There was so much criticism, immaturity and judgement from seemingly EVERYONE that I knew that I realized I was outgrowing a majority of the people from that previous chapter of my life and few would recognize the beauty in what I was now focused on. I was also realizing that even trying to introduce these positive moments of my life opened the door for people to spew their negativity and unnecessary opinions my way. So I quickly found a way to disengage, share elsewhere and simply enjoy life.
Once I realized how much support and positivity from ladies I didn’t yet know in the breastfeeding community, I was hooked! Women were supporting one another, mothers were lifting each other up, and it was completely void of any negativity. I realized that my struggles and triumphs were valued and appreciated, what I had to say mattered and I was able to help others. The passion that I had already found in doing something so natural and primal proved to be an outlet that allowed that passion to blossom and flourish into something much bigger. The opportunities became endless and I found such joy in connecting with other women. I was allowing the real me to shine through because I was supported and loved by women who all had the same outlook on life. I continue(d) to evolve. And that feeling is addicting! I listened to direction from other ladies who wanted to see me succeed and decided to start taking some chances!
However, once I started my blog, I realized my blunt honesty had the potential to rub people the wrong way. And it did. I wrote one more post and then stopped for a month. I then started my business plan for Blissful Breastfeeding Boutique. In addition, I started a Go Fund Me because, hey, I’m a stay at home mom (thanks to my hubby) who wants to start a business – I should be able to find some support from fellow mommas. I shared that Go Fund Me and within minutes of sharing on my personal page I received a message from a “friend” asking if that was really a smart business idea…. ummm, salty much? I let that one sided conversation halt my plans for about a week and a half. And last but definitely not least – acquaintances of mine (friends to a family member) messaged me with judgmental assumptions about who I am as a wife and a mother, neither of which aspects of my life have they ever personally experienced or witnessed of me participating in. Their unfounded, awful (and dare I say hypocritical) words were on repeat in my head daily. I had allowed a virtual stranger to cause me to question the two things about myself that I hold most dear and pride myself in. But how was hitting the pause button on moving forward going to help me grow? It was time to put on my big girl panties and remind myself of why I started.
Not everyone is going to like what I have to say or agree with the decisions that I make. And my truth is going to be different than someone else’s. But that doesn’t have to be a negative thing. In fact, isn’t that the beauty that a lot of us miss out on? That everyone is so very different and unique and no one view or insight will be the same as another’s. I think that’s part of what helps us grow as individuals. Once we get past the point of being offended when someone’s opinion is different or blindly judging someone’s life, it opens the door for us to see something that maybe we hadn’t seen before.
Is my blog going to be blunt? Maybe sometimes it will be. But I will always be honest about my truth and always share my experiences from a true place because that is what I set out to do. Not only for me, but for anyone who reads anything that I write. I will always be truthful because my experience/insight/opinion may be one that someone else values or needs to hear at that time.
Is my business a risk? Sure. But when you are so passionate about something that it literally lights you up, aren’t you supposed to use that? To light a fire? To ignite your soul? To drive you to be a better you? I could do something to help women in a place where there is quite literally no support like what I’m able to offer. Think about that, I could do what literally has not been done. And I will.
Are your opinions going to differ from mine. Probably. But do you know me? Probably not. Were your opinions formed based on half truths and molded by what other people have told you? In some instances I can say with certainty that is the case. If you haven’t spent time with me in the last 6 months to a year, I can tell you now that I am most definitely different in almost every single way and all previous knowledge about who you think I am is null and void. I’m literally rewriting all of who I am into a better, healthier version of myself. I like to call it: Life (:
Why does any of this matter? Because I spent 99% of my life doubting myself. I spent 50% of my life worried about what other people would think or say and the other 50% of my life basing my decisions on those judgments and assumptions. And that is not the message I want to send to my daughter. As cliche as it sounds, I want my daughter to believe that she can do anything she puts her mind to. Because I didn’t. I missed out on so many opportunities and so much beauty in this world because I didn’t take chances and I didn’t believe in myself. For most of my life, I was unsure, insecure, and had a chip on my shoulder. I somehow felt that if I was gentle and genuine I would be seen as weak. No one ever got to know the real me. And as I continue to emerge, I realize that people probably would have liked the real me. The one who is uplifting, kind, positive, joyful, and loving. The dedicated wife. The patient mom. The woman who believes that she can truly do good things. The one who is passionate.
I recently posted this status as a reminder to persevere:
“People. Are. Mean.
When people don’t know who THEY are & what they want, they get easily offended by someone who does.
Some will say your dreams are foolish, dream anyway.
Some will say it can’t be done so why even try? Try anyway.
Some will tell you to stop taking risks (because they are afraid to take risks themselves). Take risks anyway!
Your own mind will play games and tell you you’re not strong enough. You are.
When people can’t control you, they’ll try to belittle you.
Sometimes those who should be the most proud of your successes will intentionally ignore them, making you question your progress.
But that’s no reason to falter or stop.”
I want my daughter to grow up proud of her mom. I want her to stand in the face of adversity and negativity, turn it into a positive, and push harder. I want her to fight to accomplish her dreams. And I want her to see her mother for someone strong yet gentle, determined yet thoughtful. She won’t be able to have those views if I allow negativity to dictate my world or hinder my successes or find a home in my life. It is my job to work harder than I ever have to define what “success” means to me. For her. It is my duty to teach her kindness and love all while pushing past the nay sayers to pursue my dreams. For her. It is my responsibility to be the best version of myself and continue to grow and evolve into a better me. For her. And if I allow anyone else to get in the way of that, I am doing an injustice to my daughter. I will continue. I will succeed. I will. For her. ❤️