Sometimes we choose to hide our feelings away rather than pick up the pen and express them. And sometimes, you can’t keep pushing those feelings out because they just keep re-emerging until you acknowledge them. It is sort of funny how it happened…
While soaring through the clouds in the airplane on the way to Vegas last week, I couldn’t help but feel the presence of an old friend who passed away just over a year ago. I started to think about it and realized his spirit always seems to keep me company when I am near the sky.
He was often with me when I lived in Colorado. I always felt his presence as I looked to the most beautiful mountains on my daily drive. He kept me company during my commute but sometimes made me cry.
When we moved back to Spokane, I stopped feeling his presence. It was like we went back to normal elevations and I wasn’t close enough to the mountains in the sky to feel him any longer.
But then, I took this flight, and his spirit decided to visit me again. And out of the airplane window, all I could see was the mountains.
At one point in my life, he was my best friend. And at one point in Connor’s life, he was his best friend. And then, he introduced us. I owe him all of the happiness he has given us and I hope he knows how thankful I am to have known him. I will never forget his smile, laugh, and jokester positive attitude despite his health which he struggled with his entire life. He had big dreams for a teen who knew there was only a short time to achieve them and he lived every day like there WAS a tomorrow for him. It was this kind of example that he set and why so many called him a friend. I miss him very much and I think about him every day.
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 09/24/2014
For Connor’s birthday, we celebrated in Las Vegas this last weekend. We had a ton of fun walking the strip (with blisters and aching bodies to prove it), shopping, people-watching, and even got to experience Fremont Street, Cirque du Soleil’s “O” and met Siegfried in his Secret Garden at the Mirage. It was hot, in the 90’s and 100’s the whole time, so I am definitely appreciating the slightly cooler weather back here at home. Here are some pictures of our trip:
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 09/17/2014
Ahh, the county fair! The fair, for me, always marks the end of summer and the beginning of my favorite season, Autumn. I love the ambiance the fair brings; it is sort of magical and nostalgic with the lights, food, animals, sounds, shows, and people. This year’s fair did not fail to please, either, even on a Monday night. The weather was perfect and we were lucky for the warmth, despite the last few days of cooler winds.
As soon as we arrived, we grabbed some food and ran over to the first show, the hypnotist. I have been to this show several times before, but the hypnotist changed it up a good amount, and it may have been the most enjoyable one I have seen yet. We also spent a good amount of time playing with the animals, and I found my future pet, a large Flemish rabbit. They were adorable!
My favorite part of all was visiting the Palm Reader. Several years ago, Connor and I came to the fair and had our palms read by a mysterious brunette. We were skeptical at first, but both of us had an amazing experience and an accurate reading. This year, we wanted to find her again, and I was so excited as we were wandering and looked over to our left, recognized her tent, and saw her sitting at the entry and smiling, looking back at us as if she was expecting us. Only I got my palm read this time, but Connor sat next to me. Not only was she accurate about the current experiences I am having in life, but she also was consistent with facts that she mentioned at our first reading, such as the gender of our future children. She knew about the recent deaths of my grandfather and a good friend. She knew about my past but said my future was bright.
If you have never done a palm reading, I would highly recommend you to try! The experience is always reassuring and leaves me with a positive feeling moving forward. It encouraged me to continue along the path I am walking, and not to give up because we can be successful at whatever we set our minds and hearts to. It is just what I needed to start the new season with a fresh outlook on life. Enjoy the last days of the summer and embrace the new season!
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 09/10/2014
Since moving back to Spokane from Denver, I have really only had one thing planned — spend time with family. I definitely missed them while we were away, and summer was the perfect time for Connor and I to return (most everyone was on vacation from school and work). Unfortunately, summer is coming to an end. Everyone is preparing to get back to the daily grind, and even Connor started working again. All of a sudden, I found myself sitting at home by myself, left trying to figure out what’s next for me.
All of this was already in motion when I got an email from Kabbage* asking me to take part in their campaign. Kabbage* is a provider of small business loans, and their campaign is all about sharing dreams. They asked me — “what are your goals for the future?” and “how do you plan to fulfill them?” Well, I’d like to think that everything in life happens for a reason and after a fairly disappointing letdown while job-searching, I was left pondering what I planned to do to move forward. A lot of ideas had been bounced around, but I feel like there is nothing better than an essay or blog post to really think deeper and make those thoughts and ideas become a reality. So for that, I would like to thank Kabbage* for reaching out to me because their timing couldn’t have been any better in giving me the push I needed to re-evaluate my dreams.
“You’re an artist, man. Your job is to break through barriers. Not accept blame and bow and say thank you, I’m a loser, I’ll go away now… You want to be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make ‘em wonder why you’re still smiling. That’s true greatness to me.”
-Claire from the movie Elizabethtown
So, I didn’t get the job, but was that meant to be? I have always wanted to have my own business. Maybe this situation is a blessing in disguise, telling me to get started now, rather than the alternative: it never happening. After much thought, I realized starting my own interior design business could potentially solve all of the dilemmas I have recently been facing. I have been so sucked in to what is normal to society (i.e. the 40 hour work week) and I have become less and less happy with such little time I am able to spend with my husband and family. My dream business allows me to break free of society’s “norm” regarding hours spent at work (working from home to be around my family), having flexibility when business is done (scheduled around family time and vacations), and having passion for each of my hand-picked design projects. I want to be the one determining how my life is spent. I don’t need much, but my hope is to grow my business just enough for me to provide my family a home, enriching adventures, and a life full of life!
Steps to Reach My Dreams:
- Build a Brand & Business Model
- Invest in Myself: Purchase software, supplies, and equipment <—Kabbage* can help with their business loans!
- Network: Get my name out there, build a client base.
- Nail It: Put my heart into every project I have the opportunity to work on.
- Market It: Use projects to advertise and gain interest from potential clients.
- Grow It: Continue to build and define my brand, invest in what I need, network, nail it, and market it!
I definitely realize it will be a lot of work at first. But I hope to hit the ground running and have it a bit more refined in a few years. I think the initial sacrifice will prove to be more than worth it in the end. It’s about realizing a necessary part of life (work) doesn’t have to take over our lives. In fact, I hope for it to be a pathway to more simple living. More family living. More life at home living.
*Non-affiliate link. Thoughts and opinions shared are ALWAYS 100% my own.
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 09/03/2014
Past musings about the mountains in Colorado, with photos from this last weekend’s trip to Silver Mountain…
“As I drove to work this morning, earlier than usual, I noticed the mountains looked different. The sun hadn’t come up just yet, but the sky was bright enough to see the outline of the mountains far in the distance. Below them sat a city; night was still upon them. Their lights, twinkling and glittering all different colors. Few had already awaken to see the mountain majesties in all its glory.
I realized, each night as I return home, the mountains disappear behind me. I forget of their existence. And each morning I awake, I have still not remembered them until I turn the street corner in my car, where suddenly, they stand before me. Each morning, I realize I have missed their presence. Each morning, I revel in their beauty. Each morning, they look more beautiful than the last. A change to their color, their shape and carvings, their highlights and shadows; each morning it’s different. I long to get closer to them.
But if I was closer, they wouldn’t look the same. I may not even see them if I was so close as to be within them. The grass is not always greener. So here I sit, in the distance of the mountains, admiring their beauty from afar.”
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 08/27/2014