10 years ago I made a commitment to myself inspired by my grandfather who had just passed...
He was an artist, he built with his hands, and was so loved by his family and community. He was also a hot headed fiery complicated man, a Golden Gloves Boxer champ in his youth and not to be messed with in any context: a Leo through and through. As the family held vigil for several days as he was transitioning, and throughout the funeral and memorial ceremonies, what struck me most about him and changed my path forever was bearing witness to a man who lived his life on his terms and took artistic, unusual paths of self employment and agency. The Frank Sinatra song, ‘I Did It My Way’, perfectly encapsulates my grandfather’s spirit in this life.
At the time I was turning 30 and had spent just about the whole decade very sick with Lyme, oscillating between a semi ‘normal’ life and being an absolute shell of a person. Oddly enough, my music career started to pick up speed in my mid twenties while I was deep in the throws of treating Lyme, PICC line and all. It’s a very weird experience to perform on a main stage for MTV2 while also having an IV attachment that’s coming out of your arm…I cut up pantiehoes to make it look like I had a cool arm band, as opposed to a medical device attached to my body.
A few years later, the music path was a toxic mess (a path I wouldn’t truly reconnect with until about 2 years ago), I was working a part time job for MAC Cosmetics, which I enjoyed but was still having a very hard time keeping up with due to Lyme and being a sensitive soul…nothing like standing in a shopping mall to zap your energy something fierce haha. I had always wanted to create something that I could build from my heart and bring to the world, and I thought music was going to be that exclusively. I was working my part time job to help make ends meet as I tried to figure out what my next move was.
I had been making jewelry on and off since I was about 9 years old, and collecting all of the rocks and crystals I could get my hands on since I was even younger than that. Through all of my trials and tribulations with Lyme, I had gone deep in the waters of metaphysics and healing, became a Reiki Master, did copious workshops and guided meditation workshops with my sister and our project, Twin Tree Healing. Ultimately I just wanted to create something that could be shared with the world that would remind people of their strength, their heart, and their potential. The depths we go to when working with our shadows provide unshakable strength, and I wanted to be able to provide a place or a guidepost along the way for those passing through…let them know they’re not alone.
I decided to quit my job at MAC almost on the spot. I was in so much pain and was so exhausted and knew I needed to channel what little energy I had into a new direction or I would never make it. Thankfully I was making such little income from it that the risk didn’t feel as it would if I left a higher paying job. I know this experience of taking a leap is different for everyone. But this beginning isn’t a story of ‘I quit my job and started my project and it just blossomed from there!’...If I’m being totally honest, those stories bring up my shadow haha because that has not been my experience.
This story is about making a commitment to my heart and building my life around what is truly important to me. This story starts and stops over the next 10 years…and I really only truly made that leap 2 years ago…the life I lead now has non negotiables and is centered around LIVING; which for me, means being present with myself, with my loved ones, with nature. Spending time just soaking up my life, pausing and reflecting that life flashes before us and our time is our most precious resource. Stare into the eyes of the ones you love and soak. that. shit. up. You will be rich beyond your wildest dreams. You will live a life worth living.
Since the start of Hawk Couture, I went through years where she was my main focus, and years where I barely kept her afloat. As I began healing from Lyme I began a Masters program for Functional Nutrition & Therapeutic Herbalism at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, which, needless to say, dominated my time and energy. During this time I worked as an herbalist at The Prana House (shout out to my girl and the founder of The Prana House, Jacque) in West Chester and kept Hawk Couture alive only barely by making designs to sell at the shop (ps. Hawk Couture is still carried there)(pps. This is where Leann and I met!).
When I completed my Masters, I realized that I wasn’t built for seeing clients all day long…although my health is much better, I still don’t have that kind of energy. What I knew though is that I LOVE to make things…whether it’s jewelry, or music, or herbal products…I friggin love it. So I came back to Hawk Couture with my full energy and here we are.
If you have made it this far in reading, I thank you for your time. There’s so much to read and watch these days, admittedly I have a hard time keeping up even with the things I’m interested in. I have such tremendous gratitude for you all, and a super special place in my heart for those who have been with me for years, through all the ebbs and flows. I hope this story opens a little space in your heart that inspires you to believe in your purpose and to commit to your heart. In my experience, it takes persistence and consistency to really build something. It really gets good when you start cultivating your community and team full of incredible humans, like my girl, Leann. Couldn’t have gotten here without her.
So my question to you today is: what is really important to you? What does a life well lived look like to you? Although we can’t control…well basically anything outside of ourselves…we can start by soaking up any and all good moments that pass us by.
Here’s to your beautiful heart.