I like to write. It allows me to be my creative self and let the thoughts run free. After writing as a reporter in college, for The Shorthorn newspaper, I wrote about Greek Life, Hurricane Katrina, college programs and events, fashion...now I get to write about myself. I want to take the time today to tell you about my adventure and next chapter being in my 30’s. So my true friends know I like to have fun and tease about not revealing my exact age, and it’s not because I’m ashamed of my age, I actually LOVE growing older, wiser, more confident. It means that I can be my true self with each passing year because life is flying by so why not live fast, live slow, live young, live however the fuck you want.
VPQ. Short for Venturepolish. Well it’s not the acronym obviously, but actually after “venturepolish quartz”. I shortened it because venturepolish can be a mouthful, and marketing wise it’s easier to remember. This venture has always been in the back of my mind, ever since I was a little tot, pretending my room was a storefront and I was selling everything in it to my little brother and sister. I remember my scrawny arms would push my white floral matching side table to the opening of my doorway and that was my register and that was it, you could come in and shop my room. I didn’t have one of those Lil Tykes toy registers or anything so I made up my own using a shoe box or whatever would resemble a state of the art cash register and the side table drawer would be where I kept the money, or “trade” my customers ( bro and sis) would give me.
I had so much fun running my own pretend business! Then I grew into yard sales, then garage sales, Kool Aid stands (since Lipton’s lemonade cost a little more $$$). I ran those shops to their fullest potential and I had fun doing it. Forget the Barbies and Tea Time...let’s set up shop! I distinctly remember one of my neighbors coming over and checking out what I had to sell at my 2nd Yard sale in the summer of 1993, and since we were an Air Force family, my parents had bajillions of Air Force pens! Apparently government pens shouldn’t be sold...at least that’s what he told me. “You know you’re now supposed to sell these. It’s illegal”. I thought, uh oh, dun dun duuuun! Me and my 10 year old brain just thought. “Yea. OK...” I had no clue that these pens held the secrets to the U.S. government? He walked away once he knew he wasn’t going to get an explanation out of me and I lost a customer, but it was fun having that first disgruntled interaction and I learned something knew that day. I ended up taking them out of my inventory. Not because he told me to, but I knew if he complained others might too. It was a thrill to know that an adult was so concerned about my little business and interested enough to reprimand me as if this was a legitimate business! I laugh to this day about it.
I think that’s how I got the itch. You know that weird feeling you can’t get rid of, but you grow up learning there’s a status quo and an order you need to follow in society. That was me for 25 years. Went to school, graduated high school, then graduated with Broadcast Communications in college, partied in between and blessed to find my party partner for life. My 2nd real relationship. I hadn’t been with anyone seriously since my senior year in high school. I had a chance to be a reporter in Montana when the opportunity came up...and I chose love. To take a chance and stay with my boyfriend Ryan. I married him at 29 and we provided each other with adventures, love, laughter, and support. I knew I had to provide for my new little family now, so I got the waitress jobs until I could get the corporate jobs. I worked, and worked, and worked. I went on a path leading into fashion retail, but it wasn’t my path that I wanted. It gets all zig zaggy until you realize it’s that way for a reason. I think it was stated exactly right in Think and Grow Rich. Learning along the way and staying open minded helps as you climb up hills for each challenge, and with each challenge you face, you gain a skill. It’s an upward scale. I probably misquoted but it’s like that. With each “meaningless” job I had, I learned how to run inventory, visual merchandising, cashier, customer service, business development, managing, discovering different cultures in a company. The right ones and the wrong ones. Observing and soaking in everything I ever did has led me to this. Owning and running my own business. That itch came back again and again and I just didn’t get it. It’s one of those things where you know you’re done ignoring it. Ignorance was bliss and so was getting a steady paycheck. But it’s so much more satisfying to know that I will control and be responsible for my pay, my time, my lunch breaks, my time off, culture, business development, and grow it into something I would have never imagined. I visualize about it of course, and creating something out of visualization is never exactly what you expect it to be...it’s even better. Having my husband help me through tough times helps too. If I don’t have the mental capacity to push through something hard, he’s my coach to get me there. Who was Rocky’s coach? Mickey? Well that’s how I feel our relationship is like, he’s getting me ready for the fight. Pumping me up with so many push ups until the next fight. Like Mickey said to Rocky, “the fact that you’re here and doin’ as well as your doin’ gives me what do you call it, a''motivization”...” I can actually picture Ryan saying that each time with a crackly voice whenever I feel like it’s too much or too hard. He tells me he’s been visualizing our life and what we are going to have in the future, and I keep living in the moment, grateful for how far we’ve come together.
I’m happy that I give him “motivization”. I want to do that for him and others. Let people know that if you were like me with this itch you can’t scratch and it’s been bugging you inside and out, just know it’s less scary than what you think it is. Yea sure, the free falling feeling never really goes away, but it's also a feeling of excitement everyday. I wake up and say man, this is my adventure and my story I’m creating, and I don’t have to rush into a meeting right now! It’s weird. I still can’t shake that feeling like I have to be somewhere or have to be working 9 to 5 constantly. If you’re more structured and you want to go off on your own, and that 9 to 5 schedule helps, that’s great! But for me, I like to have more flexibility and know that it’s OK not to keep working until 5p. Cut it off at 4p and work a little here and there around 8p, because I’m a night-owl. The tension IS letting up though, the feeling of not knowing if my routine is enough or if it’s right. One bit of advice I would like to give to you...trust your process. Know that it’s right. It’s all an unknown path that you’re discovering to pave the way for others. Be that pioneer, because every path is different, there isn’t a set playbook. We are making our own.