Don’t you just love receiving snail mail? Especially, surprise Amazon box snail mail?! One day (when I was a new mom), I found a mysterious package in the mailbox. I excitedly tore it open to find a book. I read the title, “START.” My good friend, who was probably tired of listening to me talk about my hypothetical illustration company, was sending me a message, and I finally listened. Just START. Do it.
It sounds easy enough, but for someone (like me) who analyzes and critiques and plays the “what if” game, it took a very long time for me to begin. I was a new mom four years ago. I had just moved away from all of my people to the country where I knew no one. I left my job so we could pursue my husband’s career, and became a stay-at-home-mom. After working all my life, staying at home sounded like a vacation, but I was wrong. Oh so very wrong. It was hard, gritty, and I’ll admit, I spaced out on Facebook because I missed interacting with people older than my 6 month old son. I was feeling sorry for myself. Something had to change.
That Christmas, I received a box of art supplies from my parents, and I promised myself I would put it to good use. I began painting during naptime. (Precious, sacred naptime.) I signed myself up for a calligraphy course. I practiced. I started to sketch almost everyday. A couple of years passed, and our family was blessed with a sweet baby boy. I continued illustrating and sketching, probably deliriously, but I did it, and I started a Pampered Chef business to pay for my illustration supplies.
I STARTED two business, one to fund the other. I remember saying, “self, you got this!” The following month, I took my 7 month old baby in for a doctor’s appointment where they told me he had global developmental delays. I got in the the car with my son and literally bawled my eyes out. Suddenly, everything was uncertain, but there was one thing I held on to. I watched my tiny, little baby have the will and perseverance even the strongest people lack. I wanted to be like him. In that moment, I resolved to not make excuses, follow through with my commitments, and to just…start.