Badassery Magazine April 2018 Issue 23 - Page 31

G rowing up, I was one of those kids who always had her head in the clouds. I lived in a world where everything was possible. I dreamed about being a jet pilot. A famous actress. An astronaut. Even an Olympic athlete. I saw a future as an innkeeper or a published author. I gave myself over to the winds of fate and was so convinced everything I dreamed would come true, even if I had no idea how to make it happen. I was so lost in dream land that I gradu- ated with high school with stellar grades and zero prospects. I ap- plied to a total of zero colleges. Not even community college. I had a ton of dreams, but no di- rection. Fast forward through a stint in the Army, an “I do” in front of the Justice of the Peace, and a trio of kidlets, and my life’s direction was handed to me. And I went along. It was easy to accept a “dream” of being a wife. A mother. To accept a path that was about taking care of others and figuring out how to make a home. To forget everything about myself and do what had to be done. And I did just that. I forgot all of the impossible dreams and settled for the practi- cal. In the years that followed I can’t say that I was miserable or unhap- py. I was just empty. I changed diapers, did laundry, cooked meals. I got a job, worked when I could, earned a paycheck and just existed. And then one day, on the way to work, it was like an aneurysm of awareness erupted in my brain. All of that suppressed want and need and desire came on like hell- fire. Suddenly, I was fully aware of my lack of direction and purpose. I needed to take back control of my life and live up to my potential. I needed to know that I could leave my mark on the world. I needed to find my shiny pearl of accomplish- ment. It was about that same time that fate tapped its friend, serendipity, and I found myself out of a job and in possession of a credit card with a ridiculous limit. It was a risk, but it was my chance, and I reached for that brass ring and grabbed it. I launched my first full-fledged business, The Sensible Gourmet, in 2004. My mission was to find and sell amazing gourmet foods that were fun to try and easy to give. Everything we sold cost $25 or less and I purchased amazing products from women- and family-owned companies all across the country. I decided on a consultant-based business model and at its peak, there were Sensible Gourmet con- sultants in 23 states. My house became a warehouse and I became a one-woman cor- poration. I designed catalogs, or- dered product, stocked, packed, shipped and sold. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t making a profit. I was in love with my business. And I had remembered how to dream. In my mind’s eye, I was on my way to becoming the “most Sensible woman in America.” If the Sensi- ble Gourmet was a success, I was sure The Sensible Home and The Sensible Baby would follow. The possibilities were endless, and I could see myself doing it all…even if I had no idea how I was going to get there. And then, like it often does, the universe decided there was more for me to learn. And a new path to explore. Fate also tag teams with luck, and as luck would have it, my husband was reassigned, and the housing market tanked. Fifteen months later, with our savings depleted, a house that wouldn’t sell, and a business that was paying for itself, but not paying me, I felt it neces- sary to go back to work. We need- ed a steady paycheck and I had run out of time to make The Sensi- ble Gourmet work. I fought the good fight for almost a year, worked full time in the cor- porate world and then came home and worked for myself, but even- tually something had to give. The decision to close my business was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. At the same time, it came with a huge sense of relief. And a large lump of debt. But, it wasn’t long before I revert- ed to old ways. Practicality was the order of the day. A fantastical future required more than I could give. I settled for safe and stable. It took several years before I found the courage to saddle back up on the horse of business. I launched First Page, Last Page, a freelance editing company in 2013. I had found something I could give my 30