One year ago today I waxed poetic about my amazing grandmother and how The Sweetest Occasion came to life. On that day, now over six years ago, I was about a year out of grad school with a fancy MBA, witnessing an economy that was literally crumbling before our eyes. In between printing, folding and mailing my resume countless times a week, I started a little blog. After a handful of posts I told my family and friends about my new pastime, which was sincerely designed just to keep me from going utterly stir crazy in a time when the world seemed bleak, layoffs were plentiful and jobs were scarce. I wrote every day. I spent time fiddling with Photoshop to improve what were my very rudimentary skills at the time. I went from reading a small handful of blogs to reading dozens. I poured over my favorite shelter magazines. I clipped, I shared, I wrote and in doing so I discovered a passion I had no idea could exist in my life. And somehow, now six years and far more than 3000 posts later, here we are.
[Just a tiny handful of highlights from the last six years. See links below!]
A few months back I wrote about my long winding journey to becoming a full-time blogger. In the last six years, the one thing that has remained constant is the joy that The Sweetest Occasion has brought into my life. I spent nearly three years at a job that taught me so much but left me feeling emotionally scarred. I was married and then divorced. I bought a house with a big inground pool and sold that house only two years later. I said goodbye to city living and relocated back home to the Thousand Islands region where life is more family-centric and more joyful than I ever knew possible. I doubted myself. I wondered if all my missteps and failures defined who I was. I questioned how a lifetime of being a workaholic, first as a student and then as an employee, could have landed me anywhere but someplace utterly amazing. I had done everything I was supposed to do. I had all the accolades, all the degrees, all the awards. I had checked all the boxes. And so many more times than I can tell you over the last several years I’ve felt like it has all been for naught.
Then, over the last couple of years, I realized. It did. All of that work, all of that passion, it landed me precisely where I was supposed to be. The twists and the turns made the tunnel seem endlessly dark at times, but ultiamtely life brought me to the place, to the work, to the people with whom I was meant to share my heart. In the end, I landed someplace more beautiful and more amazing than I could have ever dreamed of while I was living through the darker times. Now I’m living that dream. And it’s nothing like the dreams I had setting out, but it was worth every setback and every lesson I learned to wind up where I am today. Sometimes, if we let it, if we give ourselves up to the universe, if we clear our hearts, listen to our guts and have a little faith in ourselves, our dreams realized can be even more amazing than our dreams wished.
So today, as I reflect back on the first six years of The Sweetest Occasion and what it means to me, what I really want to do is to encourage you. Wherever you are in your life, whatever you’re feeling in your soul, trust in the journey. If you’re not where you want to be yet, keep working. If you’re feeling like hope is lost and you’ve messed it all up, remember that each new day is a chance to make life beautiful. I still have plenty of days where I doubt myself and moments when I’m convinced I’m doing it all wrong. In those moments, I pause long enough to look back and reflect on where I’ve come from and then I forge ahead. The last six years have been good. But, honestly, I can’t wait to see how amazing the next six years will be! Thank you for sharing the journey with me and remember, life is what happens when we’re busy making plans. As it turns out, maybe it’s better that way. xoxo
[Row 1: DIY Mini Bouquets | DIY Ribbon Flower Necklace | DIY Hanging Flower Chandelier | Row 2: Strawberry Cheesecake Pudding Shots | Homemade Infused Vodka | Grapefruit Fizz | Row 3: Sky High Raffaello Cake | Strawberry Milkshake Cake | Banana Cake with Honey Frosting | Row 4: DIY Party Animal Candles | DIY Glitter Vases | DIY Floral Centerpieces | Row 5: Stacey’s Golden Birthday | Brunch with Minted | A Summer Picnic.]