When I talk about my clothing line, the questions I get asked the most are, “Do you have a fashion background?” How did you start? How did you know what to do?”
These are all good questions because – I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to start. I was teaching English courses at a college, and all I knew about fashion was that I loved buying clothes and I loved wearing them.
So, I found a night class in Chicago called The Business of Fashion – a class for entrepreneurs who had no formal design background, but a concept for a clothing line they wanted to bring into reality. Signing up for this class was a pivotal moment in my life – where I went from having an idea in my head to actually taking action, thereby, demonstrating my commitment to the Universe. The class was expensive. It cost $600, which seemed like a crazy amount of money to spend on a silly idea in my brain, especially when we’d just had a baby. It was also a big inconvenience for our family – I was still on maternity leave and the class met 2 nights a week, for 6 weeks. So I had to leave my 3 month old son at home with my husband or a sitter. The entire plan seemed highly selfish and unnecessary.
Mom guilt set in immediately, and I had to ask myself some difficult questions. Why did I need this class right now? Shouldn’t I be home, savoring every moment of new motherhood? Why did I want something else, and did it mean I didn’t love my son or being a mom the way I should?
I felt like if I didn’t completely envelop myself in motherhood and all its glory, I wasn’t fully in love with the experience. I felt that by taking the class, I was putting myself ahead of my family. I felt like everyone who graciously jumped in to help me by watching the baby, was secretly judging me for leaving him.
I felt like a bad mom – or at least, unappreciative for what I had.
We know we are capable of love across multiple spectrums. We know we can love our spouse differently from one year to the next. We know when we bring a second child into our world, we love him or her just as much as the first. We don’t understand how our love expands, but it does.
Let’s flip my feelings of guilt and betrayal and look at the truth instead of the illusion I was cycling through my head. The truth is that my love for my new baby and my experience bringing him into this world is exactly what inspired me to create my clothing line. The truth is that my husband and my family were happy to help me out by watching the baby, without judgement. The truth is that by taking action in the class, I was expanding my gifts as a mom and a designer, and therefore creating even more abundance in all of our lives. The truth is, there’s always plenty to go around – love for your baby, and love for yourself.
Believing you can’t create and nurture a child at the same time you are starting a business, launching a career, or pursuing a creative passion is the same as thinking you can’t love your other children as much as the first, or that you can’t fall more deeply in love with your spouse year after year. There is always enough love. And, there’s a way to take small, thoughtful action towards your dreams without overwhelming yourself, or missing out on motherhood. I followed through and took the class. I learned to appreciate my family and my husband more than ever. I stood in wonder at the human capacity to love and create, nurture and grow, through motherhood, as well as my creative pursuits.
Preventing yourself from discovering a piece of you that you didn’t know existed is holding back your capacity to love. If something is nagging at you, answer it – even just a little. Maybe it’s a business, maybe it’s a sport, maybe it’s a daily ritual. Each small step towards a desire adds up, and eventually becomes something amazing. Like your beautiful family you never thought possible, you won’t even recognize the end result.
With every small, seemingly insignificant creative pursuit, you hold the ability to create greatness.
Where are you being called? There’s an easy first step – take it.