What Are You Meant To Do?

When I was in college I loved makeup. I loved the transformative power of it, of making myself feel pretty, confident, or ability to express how I was feeling. I loved looking at the pretty colors and products, and the creativeness of playing with all the colors and textures.

When I was younger I had always used drug store products, or Clinique. But during my junior year I was introduced to the MAC cosmetics counter, and I was hooked. I couldn’t believe all the different colors and finishes, and how you could blend them together and create something totally new. I spent most of my hard earned bank teller money there buying the most outrageous colors to rock on my nights out, and sometimes at work. (There were a few days I decided to wear my brightest greens and blues to shake up my boring bank teller work clothes).

This was also the year I discovered Kevyn Aucoin, my all time favorite makeup artist. (If you don’t know who he is you have to look him up, he was one of the first celebrity makeup artists). My mom bought me his book Making Faces, and it was life changing for me. I had no idea of what you could do with makeup, and how you could transform yourself into the most glamorous version of yourself, or into someone entirely different. I would stare at the gorgeous photos of the women he worked on and try to figure out how I could create it myself. Once for a sorority formal, I used a gorgeous, glowy photo of Gwyneth Paltrow as inspiration for my own look . I didn’t come close to looking like she did in the photo, but I felt beautiful and sophisticated for trying.

After I graduated from college I would still have fun with my makeup while going out at night, but I never really thought about it as a career. I was focused on getting a “good job” with a good salary, benefits, the works. I never thought about what I would enjoy doing, or what I was meant to do. It was all about the “right kind of job.

After 10 years of working in careers and companies that stressed me out, I was done. I was depressed, and so stressed out I couldn’t get out of bed. Seeing a voicemail from my boss gave me such severe anxiety that I often wouldn’t listen to them for a week, or would delete them before listening. I knew I had to leave my career as a pharmaceutical sales rep, but I didn’t know what I could do to pay the bills, feel fulfilled and love what I did. I knew there must be something different out there for me, and that I was meant to do more.

I started to think about what I loved to do when I was a kid, and what I wanted to be. Like many kids, I wanted to be everything, but there were a few things that kept coming up. An artist, giving makeovers by doing makeup and hair, a teacher, or a counselor. I had actually tried teaching and found the long hours, impacted classrooms with no help and low pay not ideal for me. And I had gotten my degree in psychology but was struggling to find a job without a masters degree and the 3000 intern hours that needed to be completed along with it.

And then one day I was at a company meeting in Vegas I found my inspiration. We walked by a fashion photoshoot in progress in the casino. I watched the makeup artist touching up the model and I thought, that’s what I want to do. I spent the next few months researching everything I could to find out how to start a career as a makeup artist, and talking to anyone remotely connected to the industry that could help me.

I enrolled in Cosmetology school to become an esthetician, quit my corporate job after saving up enough to get by for the next couple months, and haven’t looked back since.

Over the last 9 years of being a makeup artist, I’ve grown my business, shifted gears, learned new skills, and it’s evolved into doing something different than I originally set out to do. Every shift I’ve made, lesson I’ve learned, failures and disappointments I’ve had has brought me and my business to where it is now, and on track to where I want it to go. It hasn’t been easy, and there have been many times I’ve thought about getting a regular job again. But I know that following this path of being an artist, an entrepreneur, a creative, and a coach is where I’m supposed to be, and what I’m meant to do.

I share this with you because I know so many women are out there wanting to do something different with their lives, feel more fulfilled, and make a difference in the lives of others.

Is this you? If you’re feeling stuck in a career you hate, uninspired in the work you do, burnt out, or unfulfilled, just know it doesn’t have to be that way. I hope my story will inspire you to dream about what you are meant to do, and maybe take small steps towards making it happen.

You got this, girl! And I’m here to remind you when you forget that you do.

xo,

Melissa



Achieving One Of My Deepest Desires- Motherhood

It's been a while since I've blogged, and I kinda have a good excuse. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I had a beautiful baby boy at the end of January! And if you don't follow me (you totally should!), then let me introduce you to my lovebug, Oliver. 

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Having a baby is something I had wanted for so long, and to finally have my miracle baby at the age of 41 was a dream come true. 

I had wanted to become a mother since I was in my early 30s.

At first I was waiting for the right partner. I met my now husband, and knew he was the one to have a family with. And then we were waiting for the right time- money in the bank, a home we loved, thriving businesses.. there was always a reason to wait till things were perfect to start our family. 

We realized that there is no perfect time to have a baby, and that if we wanted to have our own child, we needed to start now. But years went by and there was no baby. 

I decided to take matters into my own hands. I changed my diet to exclude all my favorite things- wine, dairy, sugar, gluten, etc. I started going to weekly acupuncture to increase my fertility. I meditated and tried to eliminate stress. I took countless supplements to try to correct nutritional deficiencies or boost fertility. I went through countless ovulation tests to track my fertile days. No luck. 

I knew I needed help, like scientific, modern medicine help. So we went to a fertility clinic to see if they could help us have our baby. We both got tested to see if there was anything "wrong" with us physically. All of our labs came back healthy, and we were labeled "unexplained infertility". I don't know what's worse, having everything coming back great and not knowing how to fix it, or having something come back negative. At least then maybe there's a chance you can heal it or make adjustments. 

I started doing treatments to try to get pregnant. IUIs (intra uterine insemination), medication, planned intercourse, we did everything we could. It was devastating to put so much effort and money into getting pregnant, and to have it fail every month. The more we tried, the more stressed out I got, and hopeless I felt. 

And finally, after 4 failed IUIs, our doctor told us our next step would need to be IVF. At the time, I didn't know how we could possibly do an IVF cycle with the extremely high cost. We decided to take a break and try to figure out what our next steps were.

In a way, it felt like a relief to take a break. I knew I had been stressing myself out way too much, and that I couldn't continue like this. 

I stopped the extreme diet and food depravation I had been on. I stopped taking all the supplements except my pre-natals and vitamin D that I had been deficient in. I stopped tracking my ovulation. And I gave up on stressing about whether or not I was going to get pregnant. I started trusting that our baby would come to us when it was meant to be, whether through pregnancy, IVF, or adoption. 

We started having fun again, and enjoying each other as a couple. And then, the most amazing thing happened. I became pregnant naturally on my very next cycle!

I remember my doctor coming in with the news that I was pregnant at my annual physical appointment. I felt so happy and excited, and had tears streaming down my face. The best part was sharing the news with my husband, and then our families. 

I had such a great pregnancy. I rarely felt nauseous or ill. I was tired in the first trimester but it felt like a nice break from trying to hustle so much for my business, and a great reason to nap daily. And I loved my growing belly.

On January 30th I started having mild contractions, that grew stronger and stronger until we knew it was time to go to the hospital in the early hours January 31. And at 6:14 am, my beautiful baby boy was born. There's so much more to his birth story, but I'll leave that for another time.

I share this story with you because if you're struggling with wanting to be a mother, getting pregnant, or feeling like you may be too old to get pregnant, I want you to know you're not alone. So many of us struggle with infertility, or even just the desire to get pregnant and not ready to start trying.

Keep faith that you will achieve your mommyhood dreams in one way or another, even if it's not the way you imagined it would look like. And stress is a huge factor in infertility, so don't let yourself dwell in negative thoughts and a stressful life. Put your self care and mental and physical health first, and take good care of yourself. And add fun and pleasure in your life! This is what was helpful for me, and I hope will be helpful and inspirational for you.

What's been your journey to motherhood? Are you a mom already? Are you wanting to be a mom now and struggling? Or are you trying to figure out if this mommy thing is for you? Leave me a comment below, I'd love to support you in any way I can.

xo,

Melissa