I want to articulate where I have been, why I have been gone…. my blog posts are lacking, my Facebook presence is nonexistent and you are probably wondering if I ever return a phone call or email. I have been creating The Pearl Girls.
Since January 7th, my priorities changed. Do I need to explain myself? I am not sure but I know many people wonder… friends and customers alike! (since, actually, many of The Pearl Girls customer become friends…) Why haven’t I returned you calls? Why has my business which once was so pressing faded in to the background to be replaced by a paintbrush and three day old and many days dirty work clothes. My cell phone, which I conveniently leave places glares at me with a magic 13. I wondered how possible it is to have 13 unheard messages and I wonder when I will sit down and listen to them. And when does your phone finally announce that the voicemail is full!
How do I explain to the people I care about, the business I care about that I am not home, not available and I just really don’t care how much they price jewelry, if they wish to buy more or what our travel arrangements are in Australia. I only care about the light yellow color I was rolling over and over on the walls. I only care about the feel of the paintbriush in my hands. I only care about spackling, screws, capping water and drain pipes, changing locks, painting and refinishing floors. I fantasize about children laughing and playing, women talking over making jewelry, over shipping boxes, visitors stopping by, open houses and worldwide travels. My day-to-day business mind has been left behind and I am fully immersed in creation. The creation of my dream, the transformation of this building, the building of this nest which will hold my dreams realized… This is birth, the birth of this dream which will plant the seeds of growth and flourish in the years to come. This is the birth of a dream which began almost five years ago when my son was born.
35 weeks pregnant…It was a Sunday afternoon and I was loading recycle bins in the back of my husbands truck. I was anxious to go drop off recycling so we could start the week with empty bins, having missed the garbage pick up, once again, on the previous Friday. Loading the bins into the truck, I had the sudden urge to go to the bathroom so I ran inside. What I thought was urine kept coming and coming until finally, an hour later, I called my doctor and discovered that my water might have broken. Going to the hospital my suspicions were confirmed and 28 hours later, at 10:30 PM on a Monday evening, my son Jack was born.
Being 5 weeks early, I had to stay in the hospital three extra days with Jack, for a total of a five day stay. In those few days and I discovered what true lonliness and fear feel like. By the second night, my husband went home to get a good night’s sleep and once moved out of the maternity ward to pediatrics, I no longer got to be the patient. I was the caregiver to this 5lb jaundice baby who doctors wished to observe to make sure he was not experiencing any complications. Three days later we went home, still jaundiced but healthy. Relief! My mom treated me to a baby nurse for the two weeks after we got home from the hospital. Ruth arrived the day Jack and I got out of the hospital and I fell into her arms when I got home. I handed the baby to her and I went to the kitchen to each a casserole, one of many I had stocked up on prior to giving birth. That’s when I felt it, the familiar tug I am now all too accustomed to… the tether which connects mothers to their children. At once I wanted a break, a rest, a safe haven and yet I knew I could never free myself from the desire to simply be by my baby’s side. To hold him, to care for him. The strange desire to be with my children at all times . It was the biggest shock to me after I gave birth.
The two weeks with Ruth flew by in a whirlwind of tears and emotional ups and downs like I have never felt before. In hindsight the first baby was easier than my second because at the time my sister and I ran The Pearl Girls together so she gave me so much time to “take off.” She was so generous and I only use the quotation marks in the oddly sarcastic way that business owners can never truly “take off.” There was no abandon but my load was certainly lightened and I truly cherished those first few months with Jack. However, unfortunately, frustration did seep in. I couldn’t stop it. I was tired, I felt so alone and I wanted to be with my baby and yet I wanted time to devote to my passionate business. Finally at 10 months old, I put my son in daycare. I always supported daycare, having worked in one in my youth, but I had thought I could do it all, work and keep my baby close. I was wrong… it was too hard for me. I put my son in childcare so I could devote some time and attention to my business but I also craved a better balance something that landed between full isolation and full stay-at-home mode.
At the time I was working with a business coach. She and I discussed at length the “why” behind my business and all I could say is I just want women to feel good about themselves. I do not know what that looks like because it looks so different for each of us. But, for me, feeling good is having something nice, having a cherished gift given to me as an act of love or appreciation. I appreciate things that mean something. Feeling good means having the freedom to do what I want and to follow my passion without sacrificing along the way. I wanted women to feel good because I wanted to feel good too. My friend Baraka calls it the New Matriarchy where the competition we now know is replaced by a sentiment of one for you and one for me because there is enough for all of us. Is it true we do not have to sacrifice, compete or give up for our everything? We can have it ALL, whatever our ALL means to us. I have hoped that was true as I lay in bed at night and dream my little dreams of peace, love and pearls.
I wanted a place I could work and keep my kids near. I wanted a place with other women that I could create and sell beautiful jewelry with while sharing our stories of life, love and babies. I wanted a knitting circle, a quilting group… I wanted a group of women free to be themselves, to come together and share and contribute without abandoning their millions of other duties in the process. This is what I wanted… a place where we could do great things where we could create things to make women feel good and where we could feel good too.
I am now emerging from this creation in anticipation of our Grand Opening/Open House this coming Saturday. I just realized it will be February 7th, exactly one month after I purchased the building we will be showing it off. A full month of this world wind of creation and I think I am finally exhausted and ready to get back to my first love of pearls and running The Pearl Girls. Finally, I will return your calls and emails and I CAN’T WAIT!!!
But I want you to know what I learned in these five years leading up to this ultimate creation. I am no longer alone. Surrounded by women I love and who love me, we have created this together. It seems so appropriate that The Pearl Girls is truly a creation by some amazingly talented and devoted women. And that just feels good. Thanks to each of our friends and customers who have been directly affected by this crazy move and busy state of creation we all have been in this month. It is the most wonderful feeling I have felt probably since the miracle of giving birth to Jack (and then Harry 18 months later!). Thank you for your part in making this creation happen!
And tomorrow we put up a fence (so I guess the creation never ends!)
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart,
I am a modern day treasure hunter who travels the world for gorgeous pearls and amazing adventures. I own a pearl jewelry and jewelry repair business, ThePearlGirls.com, with a cute retail store in Athens, GA. I also have a Pearl Travel business and travel blog at TheWorldofPearl.com.