I started something new and something big for me. It’s on my ME list. This is a list I will share with you soon, because I am changing almost everything. I want to give more to myself, more to my family and more to others. And, most significantly, I want to see more people. Face to face. I want and need to step away from the screen and into the real every day that surrounds me. I want to feel good about myself, good about others and I want to do good for the world we live in.
A Long Time Coming
We lost a baby I desperately wanted last year. A baby that I still miss every day. A baby I still long for. Whether or not we will have one more child is unknown. On the day I went in for my surgery, I carefully removed all of my jewelry in my room. Through tears, I placed my diamond earrings in my jewelry dish. I removed my wedding ring and my engagement ring and laid them next to the earrings. Finally, I removed the crystal necklace that everyone associates with me. The necklace my husband gave me when we found out we were pregnant with our first child. I had no sparkle that day. My glitter was gone from my body and that day was the last day I would wear jewelry for a very long time. It was also the last day that I sparkled, inside or out, for a very long time.
I was in a very dark place after saying goodbye to that lovely life. It was months before I noticed that I had never put back on my jewelry. My ring finger, my ears, my neck, all unadorned and ignored. Like my heart, ignored. Like my life, ignored.
When I opened my eyes one morning, I went to brush my teeth and noticed my wedding rings and placed them on my finger. I felt comforted. I meant to make my marriage better and I wanted to show my husband my heart with his ring on my finger. I needed him to know that I was committed to getting better. I put on my necklace. I reached for my earrings and found only one. I looked everywhere. It never turned up. I felt like I was trying to put back the pieces of me and that my tiny missing earring was a constant reminder of what we had lost. I continued to work on my inside, but I made little progress on my outside appearance.
Then One Day
Just a few months ago I flew to D.C. for my mother’s 60th birthday. My mother is full of light and love and sparkles inside and out. She is a lover of God, her her family, her friends and of jewelry, high heels and Betsey Johnson dresses. My mom is my rock. She is my best friend. I watched her come down the stairs for our birthday brunch cruise in her fabulous dress with all of her accessories and a smile that could brighten the darkest day. I was hit with a load of bricks. I had not smiled like that in a long time. I wondered how she could bounce back. She lost her 2nd sister to cancer just a couple of years ago and I know her heart was broken. She never stopped taking care of herself, her family, her friends and the community around her. I think staying engaged helped her to keep going. I borrowed some jewelry from her for our morning out. It felt good to feel pretty. I thought again of the promise I made to myself and my family to start taking care of myself and I reflected on the idea that perhaps sometimes making ourselves feel good on the outside might help feel better on the inside. The old emotional chicken and egg.
That jewelry made me feel pretty again. The sparkle made me smile. It was Stella and Dot. My sister had just started as a stylist and I bought a few pieces. It sounds silly but with that, I started wearing jewelry again. Just a few things to liven up my daily uniform of jeans and a white or black shirt. It may seem small, but this tiny act of caring for myself was huge. It was a turning point. It meant for me, that I could shine. It meant I was okay with not hiding and hoping I would go unnoticed but instead beaming when a stranger paid me a compliment on my jewelry and then told me I have a beautiful smile. I slowly started to come out of my shell.
I Found My Earring and What I Needed
My new jewelry came in the mail and I took it to my room to put away. As I was re-arranging some things to fit my new baubles, I saw something sparkling in the corner of my jewelry box. I could not believe what I was seeing. My tiny diamond earring was there. I don’t know how it got there and I don’t care. Ridiculous or not, my life changed. I was by myself and I laughed and the laughter turned to tears and those gentle tears turned to racking sobs as I released the anger I felt after our loss. Finding that earring was cathartic.
I called friends I had abandoned and set up coffee dates or a wine night. I was honest and open about where I was and I might have scared some people, but such is life. I needed my friends and I needed them to know where I was and I wanted them to know that I was on my way back. It was hard. I was not apologizing for my grief, but for perhaps being unaware for a very long time of the things that they had experienced. I had ignored everything.
I realized that as hugely supportive as my online community has been, I need hugs. I need to be social. I need to just chat. I hid behind my screen for a long time and I needed to come out. To cherish my old friends and make new ones. To be a part of my community.
Skip to Just a Few Weeks Ago
I decided to jump all the way out of my shell. I became a Stella and Dot stylist. Why? I have a job and I have made a successful place for myself online. But that’s just it. I need people. If a little sparkle can help me, it can make anyone feel just a little but better about themselves and their day. It was not just about making an outfit. That’s great, to be sure. It s about not forgetting about ourselves. About treating ourselves and our loved ones to something special every once in awhile. At the end of the day, I’m doing this for more sparkle for me and for you, both inside and out. Getting together with girlfriends, trying on jewelry, talking about our lives, perhaps drinking a little wine and making new friends. It is good for the soul.
Getting Gorgeous and Giving Back
I made a commitment when I started this to give something back from every show. Every single one. Here is the deal. For every show, my hostess will get to choose a charity and I will donate 25% of my proceeds to it. For every show I host, I will donate a minimum of 25% up to 100% of my proceeds.
This month, for my first show, I will be donating 25% to The Urban Ministry Center here in Charlotte. The Urban Ministry Center is an interfaith organization dedicated to bringing the community together to end homelessness, one life at a time. The other 25% will be donated to Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts. If you have a suggestion of the best place to give, please let me know. I am researching but would love to hear where the money could do the most good. Want to help me? Check out all of the great jewelry, handbags and scarves!
I am excited to start this new adventure and get back to being me. It’s like spreading sparkles and smiles.
Half of the Stella and Dot line is under $50 and all of it is lovely. If you are looking for someone hard to buy for, grab a gift card and make their day! Orders placed by December 17th will arrive by Christmas via standard shipping and if you are a little late to the party there are faster options. Of course, if you are looking to sparkle in 2013, no worries on delivery. If you want to just say I love you, check out the $19 Love, Light and Courage bracelets. Here is the light bracelet.
I want to sparkle from the light within and I want to share that light with as many people as possible.
There will be more changes coming in the next year. From the blog to my house to my family to my heart, change is coming and I couldn’t be more excited or more ready. Thank you for joining me on this journey and for being there for me this past year. I may have seemed distant, but the healing was hard to start and I am coming back. Your support has not gone unnoticed.
Now, go ahead and get gorgeous! Do a little shopping and know that the extra sparkle will make someone’s day! Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
If you want to help you can shop or you can share! I am just starting this and getting the word with your help would be awesome.
If your are here in Charlotte and would like to host a show at your home, you can give back and get gorgeous with a little free jewelry from the amazing collection. Or you could come to my next show. Just leave me a comment and I will add you to my super awesome sparkly people list. If you are one of my online friends, you can run an online trunk show. Just let me know when and I will be happy to set it up!