This week I took a long emotional trip back in time to put on paper my journey as a designer and lifestyle expert. I was told my eye for aesthetics and attraction to beauty were my weaknesses, and now these have become my strengths. Back then, I wanted to be like everyone else – today I embrace my inner gifts and abilities as just that: gifts that should be used and shared with others.
I remember when I was quite young I would often spend time rearranging our family’s living room for fun while my parents were out. It wasn’t long before even my mother’s friends would ask that she bring me along when she went visiting, so I could give my opinion on rooms, furniture and paint colors. When I lived on my own, I left a string of rental properties looking like designer show places – much to the delight of my landlords. Along the way, I met people who understood my passion and even loved me for it. I continued putting my “eye” to use when I purchased Rosebrook Gardens in 1996 and began what would become the foundation of who I am, how I design and how I communicate to others – and bringing to life my design style known as Casual Luxury.
It’s not really that pleasant to look back at times when I was teased, bullied and humiliated as a child for being different, but it has its rewards. As I get ready to celebrate a birthday in April, I’ll also celebrate that I was born this way and all the gifts that I have been given. It’s hard not to notice the media focus lately on the topic of how difficult it is to grow up different, in particular, the “It gets better” campaign. I’m so thankful for all of you who enjoy visiting my site and reading my blog; if I weren’t “different” none of it would exist, so I encourage you to pass this message along to the young people in your lives.
Things do get better–with love, patience, perseverance and knowing you’re not alone.