I have a confession, and it involves black pepper.
I have been making jewellery for over 10 years. (For me, this is also known as 15+ years of trial and error.)
As a child, I never imagined I would be a jewellery designer and owner of a company. In fact, when I was little I was pretty sure I was going to grow up to be a broadway star, or Alannah Myles.
As a junior high school drop out, I had no reason to believe I could build ANYthing.
I remember the moment I felt like I had been "found out". I was at one of my first events, showcasing my designs to the world, hanging onto the table because my knees were so weak from nerves.
Someone came and asked a few questions.
Typical questions: How much is this? What is this made of? Who made it? Did you go to school to learn how to make this?
I buckled. I couldn't answer, I was so nervous, and I knew right then and there: "Now they, and everyone else, knows I'm a fraud."
You know those subtle but rattling voices that pop up?
It’s a chorus of “who do you think you are’s” and “too bad you’re not _________ enough’s”
Here’s where mine come from: I dropped out of junior high, moved out at 17, worked two minimum wage jobs, and had no hope.
I was told that with this path; I would never amount to anything. And the people I was surrounded with proved a bleak future.
I was told I could never afford to live on my own. So when it seemed like the only choice, you can imagine how terrified I was. I worked hard and never spent money on any extras. I made a point of never looking at my bank account because I couldn’t handle what I might see.
One day the bank teller handed me my receipt after depositing my check and it showed I had over $2000. I immediately felt awful, because CLEARLY there had been a mistake made. This was more money than I had ever had in my life, and how could a junior high school drop out with no dreams have saved this fortune?? I told the teller I think she had the wrong account.
Finally having all the evidence shown to me, I left the bank. Baffled.
First thing I did?
I went and bought black pepper. I hadn’t bought spices since I thought this was an extravagance I had no business having. It was my first big splurge.
When I think back on that time, I never could have imagined I would end up here. Following a dream, having a dream, believing I could even dream bigger. At that point, saving $2000 was the greatest achievement I had made. I hadn’t won anything, graduated from anything, proved anything. Except— that I could survive; alone and against everyone’s expectations, with peppered food.
My point of this story is this: You are not what others say you are. You aren’t even what you say you are. So what good does that do? It frees us to know this: if you are neither of these things, then you must accept and be open to being anything.