Welcome to 2020! And welcome to my blog... This is my next chapter - and it feels fitting to toast a lovely farewell to the last decade - which is also a toasty way to share some of my background since I’m new around here. I guess you know my name is Alesha - so let me now tell you how the last 10 years of my life have led me here.
Honestly, I thought I would have completed more of my goals in the last decade. But I never expected I would have been thrown off course by so many unexpected miracles, adventures and opportunities. And I did survive some surprising twists.. And survival is noteworthy!
Amidst the surviving, my life was freckled with some events that changed me permanently. For the better :)
- I met the love of my life, Lee, in January of 2010; I was instantly moved. My daughter had just turned eleven, and he had a seven and nine year old. Talk about being in the very midst of raising children! And what a way to begin a decade :)
- Lee and I fell into a love that revolved around healthy communication and geeking out on taking good care of our kids. Eventually we chose to blend our families; we married on a new moon in August of 2011, in Zion National Park. It was a very small, inspired ceremony.
- I acquired enough inventory to screen print a few batches of t-shirts, onesies, totes and dish towels in my kitchen so I could peddle my wares at art festivals and farmers markets in the beginning of the decade.
- I was connected with professional opportunities to grow my graphic design business, be the editor of a health and wellness magazine, work in an art gallery in the middle of the desert, and collaborate with a few non-profit organizations that assist women and girls.
- In 2014, I joined a non-profit board of a brand new organization for local girls, which keeps me heavily involved in our local community, from volunteering to pro bono marketing and design services.
- I learned a lot about mental health and I learned that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.
- I joined a local women’s giving circle that grants money to girls and women in my local community in the areas of safety, health, education, economic advancement, leadership and personal development.
- I admittedly struggled emotionally and mentally, lost my mind a number of times, and really had to dig deep to find solid sources of support.
- I learned a few ways to cultivate my own inner resources to pull through some rough times, and at the same time, I learned how to ask for help from others; I learned to lean on my husband for his support a number of times.
- Together, Lee and I delved into everything we could to support our children through some challenging teen years; we faced obstacles and joined together to overcome those difficulties in ways that we never, ever expected.
- Managing a freelance career, part time jobs and a daily carpool meant that I dropped the ball a few times, was voted a total villain, and drove a mini van for a good while (with the BEST seat warmers..).
- Raising children, and specifically the children I was blessed to care for, cracked open my heart and gave me a different kind of purpose on this earth. That change in direction led me to this moment, where I am now launching something new. Something that embodies a couple of decades worth of goals, dreams, skills and studies. Something that I can grow through my love of art and humanity, that can make a difference beyond my own circle. A place where I can use my voice for more than just belting out song lyrics 947 times each day.
I am deeply grateful for what the last decade has given me. As I look into 2020, I look forward to connecting to other like-hearted humans. I am compelled more than ever to create in a way that inspires others to feel and connect in ways that matter. I am inspired to make things that create awareness, bring joy, shine a light of truth and light me up with purpose. And I am inspired to give back some of the goodness to those who need it most.
In a world where I have the ability to create my own artwork, products and even curate my mark on the world to some extent, I feel a personal responsibility to share with those whose voices have been drowned out by louder voices; to give to organizations who are on the ground doing the work of helping people restore their dignity and build more secure futures. I am in the position I am in today because I was given a hand up at some critical points of my life. I wanted to be able to do the same for others, so I decided to get back into making products and donating 10% of profits from all products to non-profit charities that are doing the work of helping others in real, tangible ways. Fun, creative products + giving back = a good feeling; a very good feeling for me.
May the next decade show us where we can come together, person to person, realign with values that remind us we are all here in this together, and that we all deserve dignity, love and safety. Cheers to choices to begin anew. May 2020 bless all of our tootin’ hearts.