3 Things I've learned in the Last 3 Years
Life lessons have been coming at me quickly in the past 3 or 4 years, whether I feel ready to learn them or not! The past 2 in particular - getting pregnant again, having a baby with a completely different temperament than any other baby i’ve ever met, ever, dealing with a difficult work situation, building a social following - there’s been a lot going on that has made me reevaluate how I handle situations and how I view myself.
So today, on my birthday, I’m sharing with you the 3 things I’ve learned about life and myself in the last 3 years.
1. I can’t please everyone, and I don’t have to try.
This one is kind of obvious, but for me, it was a huge lesson to learn. From very early on in my life, I was a pleaser. It started with the need to please my parents (my mother, mostly) and from there it went to friends at school, and teachers and friends in dance class (who, no matter what I did, always seemed had something negative to say about me), boyfriends, coworkers, bosses, to now, my husband, kids and even the folks on social media. But guess what, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE! If raising this feisty little girl of mine has taught me anything, it’s taught me no matter how much you give to someone, how much love you pour into them, they can still be unhappy and throw their spaghetti in your face. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love me back - but maybe she didn’t want spaghetti. After dealing with a boss who never once said ‘thank you’ for a job well done, I stopped looking for praise from her and others and started giving it to myself!
“Damn, Mikaela! You got that report done in record time, great job!”
”Your children are so smart & well-behaved, you’re doing a fantastic job as a mom!”
When I started bigging myself up TO myself, it made such a big difference in how I interacted with people. My (old) boss especially. Her words no longer cut like they used to. I stopped cowering from speaking my mind at home and at work. And I realized that not everyone is going to be happy with what you do for them OR for yourself, and that is okay!
2. I am strong.
For some reason, I have the tendency to downplay the things I’ve done, as if they’re nothing. From moving here to NYC (twice!) with 1 friend, no job and no apartment of my own to having a devastating miscarriage just before my 36th birthday and getting pregnant again with Christian 3 months later. I am braver than I give myself credit for. Getting pregnant again at 40 (so that makes me 43 years old today, if you’re counting!) after 10 months of trying and failing, and deciding to fight through the fears of being an older mom and the complications that could potentially come along with a “geriatric pregnancy” was no easy feat.
But I did it.
I knew nothing about running a business, about how to buy clothes wholesale or creating an ecommerce shop, shooting my own product shots or marketing - but I started my own clothing business and run it alongside my 9-5.
In my late 20s I moved to Hawaii alone, with no support system and no friends, to follow my love of Hawaiian dance. I practiced, I performed, I healed and made a life for myself there for those short 6 months - after never living more than 30 minutes away from my family.
And still, I find myself writing these things out as a reminder to myself (not to boast or to brag) that I AM strong, God always has my back and as long as I believe they will, things will work out.
3. Do it scared.
If you’re not even a little bit scared, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough! Put yourself on the edge of whatever next step you fear and take that leap! Can I tell you how terrified I was to be vulnerable and even admit to my husband that I wanted to have kids? In my head I thought…why bother? We met when I was 33, and I assumed my eggs would be all dried up by the time I was 35. LOL. He would talk to me about having a family and my immediate reaction was to change the subject. It wasn’t until he confronted me about my obvious dismissal of the subject that I faced my fear and told him the truth - that I in fact, DID want to have a family, but was afraid I wouldn’t be able to.
From switching careers to starting my own business, my greatest accomplishments have come from me stepping into the fear instead of running away from it. So, with that, I am diving into my fear of the next steps for me and announcing my very first in-person style workshop!
Join me on September 22, 2019 in Brooklyn, NY (location TBD) for Mimosas and Mixed Prints, where I will walk you through how to mixx prints, giving you live examples and my tips and tricks for putting my mixed print looks together. I hope you will join me!
So… that’s it! Those are the things I’ve learned in my first 3 years of my 40s. I hope in some way my lessons have inspired you to love on yourself, to stand in your strength or to take a leap of faith. ❤️