I finally did it!

It’s Friday, August 26 7:52 am as I write this entry. I waited so that I could caption how I’m truly feeling.  Tomorrow is the day I launch BloomingAugust.com, and I’m freaking out on the inside.

Why?  I’m usually very private, quiet in group settings (unless I’m urged to say something), and quite the introvert (I actually  didn’t have a word for my personality until my recent adult years).  There are moments where I am comfortable and come out of my shell, however, if you don’t know me very well, you may not see this side too often.   Truth is, I may not know what to say, haven’t found a common ground, or just tired. Over the years, I’ve made a conscious effort to “turn on” and be “upbeat” when I’m in public. I also make a point to stay home when I’d  rather paint, bake, do my hair, or catch up on much needed rest rather than hold a conversation. Not because I don’t like people, this is how I recharge. When I have not done these things after a long week, the last thing I want to do is hang out.

I have to be really strategic about how I fit in this time, being that I’m married to an extrovert. When he’s off work and ready to let loose – he wants to invite people over the house, go to spades tournaments, wants to go out with friends, stay out late… many times at the last minute.  Me on the other hand, I need to prepare for those moments or else I’m a total dud, a wallflower, and don’t have much to say because I’ve probably waited all week just to begin my next painting or make my next dessert.  I am my best self after doing things that bring me joy, at home, with not many people around.  Some call it weird. I just know my boundaries and would rather have the energy to enjoy all the wonderful people in my life, in that moment. It comes off more natural with little effort this way.

So why am I starting a blog if I’m such an introvert? This is the complete opposite of my normal and is forcing me to interact with the world I would otherwise not do in my personal life.  I’m opening myself up for the world to judge me and potentially opening up a can of worms that will possibly lead me to a life where I’d have to be social… This is what scares me!  But deep down inside, I know that it is time to remove the veil.

For years I’ve talked about wanting to be a professional Pastry Chef, among many other things. Those who have known me over the last 10 years are familiar with this idea and have tasted my work. However, during this time I’ve been on a journey that has led me to this very moment and discovered who I really am through a series of events.

Exactly 10 years ago, I moved out of my parents house for the first time and moved back to Los Angeles, CA from my family’s new home in Houston, TX. I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  It was a journey I decided to take and had to convince my parents that it was necessary. It has certainly been a roller coaster, but I wouldn’t change anything.  I eventually graduated from college, set myself on a career path, married a handsome and smart man, attended culinary school, and became a mother.

As I celebrate my 33rd birthday tomorrow (August 27) and launch Blooming August, I can recall many events that have deposited little nuggets to my enlightening.  However, there are two moments that really hit home.

Event #1:

After I gave birth to my son, I found myself in the hospital for the next 3 weeks, 2 of them in ICU with tubes attached to my body, fighting for my life.  It was far from the natural birth I had pictured in my head.  I could have died… years later, all I keep thinking about, besides being grateful to still be around and see my son grow up, is that I would have left this world without achieving my dreams. (I was 3 semesters into culinary school when I found out that I was pregnant, and decided to put school on hold for a while.)

It’s now been 3 years since my son was born.  Quietly, I had been suffering from PTSD, which my therapist named it, and never healed mentally, or emotionally, from my experience in the hospital. I prayed for understanding and healing… it only came when I sought a professional who could help me sort through my feelings. I often had flashbacks of painful moments, visuals of the expressions on people’s faces around me, and I’d be emotional when I’d see the scars on my body. At the very thought, or in the middle of trying to explain to a friend what happened, I’d be in tears.  I did not understand why this happened to me. Then there were times I felt that I became unpleasant to be around.  I became angry and desperate to figure out how I can “heal” spiritually and put myself on a path to doing what I love.

Which leads to event #2.

I took a job last year that I thought was going to catapult my career and finally make some real money until I can actually do what I love for a living.  It turned out to be nothing I expected.  I’ll spare the details… however, 3 months in, I finally saw the light and it was very clear.  Why am I spending so much time pursuing something that I really do not want?  I found myself so busy doing life and working long hours that I had not baked or painted anything for months at a time, and did not take enough care for myself or my true desires.  In other words, I was miserable and creatively suppressed. Needless to say, I was very disappointed that I had not made myself and my dreams a priority.

Soon things began to change, and I immediately went on a creative binge.  It was like everything that I had been holding inside finally had a chance to breathe.  I created multiple paintings, I’ve made numerous desserts, a few DIY projects, and I committed to the boundaries for myself to do these things and recharge. The real healing had begun. As I wrote in my journal, I cried on the realization that I was miserable because I focused on what I didn’t have.

This August marks one year that I began seeing a therapist, and I’m happy to say that I no longer need one.  During this time, I realized that these experiences were God’s way of speaking to me. Telling me that I am special, I am talented, and the world needs to know.  My story is unique and important.  If I want something in life, go after it.  I’ve been developing the idea of Blooming August since this realization last Fall and the day is finally here, where I’ll share what brings me joy. I’m a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend because of it.  I’m a better person.

Some things you will see on this blog are what I do in my spare time:  making food from scratch (my personal favorite is something sweet), simple art projects that you can certainly do yourself,  and stories like this one (I promise it will be shorter), in hopes to provide some inspiration for  you to live the life you love as well.

If you are already living your dream life… Kudos to you! I’m right behind you and was probably inspired by your story as well.  If you are not… don’t wait until a traumatic experience to give you that push to FINALLY take a major step. However, if a life event does happen and you’re still here to tell it, like me, take this as inspiration – the time is NOW. You really only have one life to live.

Years ago, I read a story about a man who lived on acres of land that was supposedly full of diamonds.  According to the parable (I’m paraphrasing), the man searched and searched his land, yet he found nothing.  One day he gave up and sold this land for dirt cheap and began searching the world for diamonds. Never finding what he was looking for, the mans’ health deteriorated and later died.  One day while the new owner walked throughout his property, he stumbled across something shiny, a diamond, and eventually discovered acres of diamonds in his own backyard. Had the previous owner not given up on his land, he would have found the diamonds he been told about.

This story touched me in a way that I’ll never forget.   How often are we the same man that leaves one particular place to go on a continuous search for something, that could be right where we already are?  Sometimes, we have to look within ourselves and start there.  Have you ever heard the saying, “Bloom where you’re planted?”  Well, I say “Create where you’re planted.”  I know who I am, where I want to be, and I know that God is with me every step of the way.  I am creating the life I want to live…right now.

Welcome to Blooming August!

 

Peace and Love,

Yasmin

 

 

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