My twenties were tumultuous. Always trying, forever searching --- for a job, a purpose, for something...anything --- and continually trying to make sense of it all. And then one day, I turned the page on 30. But it wasn't the numerical value that phased me (I could care less). If anything, I found myself embracing this new decade with open arms because for the first time in my life, turning 30 gave me the courage to let go of my inhibitions and delve into my passion for creativity.
Three years ago, many of you know that I started a food blog, namely Spicy Green Mango, as a way to share my culinary curiosities with the world. What many of you may not know is that at the time, I was also juggling a full-time career and pursuing my MBA (thankfully having graduated this past year...woo hoo!), all while inadvertently dabbling in wedding planning and food styling to satiate my creative lust over the summers. My days were spent traveling incessantly for work, while my weekends and evenings were consumed with school, homework, and class project meetings. I was pulled in every way imaginable, and much like the financial spread sheets that were haunting me in my sleep, I was out of balance. I needed to ground myself in the things that inspired me the most. And the most magnetic of those pulls was from the creative world --- the hours I spent drooling over Pinterest images, and foraging for any source of visual or literary inspiration I could possibly find. And it was in these moments that I learned to embrace my passion.
The founding of CHANDARA CREATIVE has been a long journey, and as I reflect, I am reminded of a diagram that was widely circulated via Facebook. It was a diagram of success. For many of us, we'd like to think of success as a linear path, one that takes us from point A to point B. But in my reality, success has a been a path of squiggles, dotted with a series of setbacks & detours, punctuated with flashes of self-doubt, yet illuminated with moments of inspiration and heartfelt words of encouragement. You see, never in my wildest imagination (and I do have a pretty crazy one) did I ever think that my love for children's books, whimsical doodles, artistic expressions, and all things edible would turn into anything but a hobby. And while everything is still a work in progress, it's progress, nonetheless. As I set out on this path, my hope is for you to join me and share your path of squiggles by remembering your stories of disappointments just enough to humble you, but also celebrating your moments of triumph just enough to inspire you. For as a wise friend once told me not so long ago:
"It's always risky when we share the hard moments we went through, but...it also humanizes us. And these experiences are what connect us to the next person --- to remind ourselves, to remind each other, that life is hard, and that the journey is long. But when you have friends, family, and an entire community rooting for you, nothing, I repeat, nothing, can come between you and realizing your dreams."Well put, Julia. So go ahead. DREAM BIG. And don't forget to surround yourself with only the greatest people. Because these are the people who will enable you to weather the most tumultuous moments of your lives, and they are the same people who will come to celebrate in your life's proudest accomplishments & lift you higher than you ever thought possible.