Thursday, February 20, 2014

Luck Doesn't Happen to People Who Don't Take Chances

One day while sitting at home, I was watching Oprah Winfrey and she said "Luck doesn't happen to people who don't take chances". That has stuck with me ever since. Whenever I think of taking any risk, I hear that in the back of my head. Just think about it for a second, how can anything happen without you taking some action to try to make it happen. 

Fast forward a few years and here I am yet again watching another Oprah moment about Vision Boards. If you follow my Facebook or Instagram, you already know the story. I posted quite a lengthy post last night, and the response has been overwhelming, so I am interrupting today's regularly scheduled blog post to expand that post. Here I am watching Oprah and these women create vision boards on these big poster boards and while I was sitting there, thinking, are these women serious? I also kept thinking back to the collages I made when I was a teenager. You know the ones -  you find all these pretty pictures in magazines and collage them together like a poster? I couldn't have been the only one who did that, right? I thought hmm maybe there is something to this visualizing thing. Maybe I will create a board. 

I decided to make one using Power Point. I started finding images for healthy family and life and to be more Earth friendly, you know, safe things. Things that were obvious. Then I decided to put a picture of someone getting a manicure and a stack of money. I had finally, after 10 long years finished my bachelors degree and had a great job in Human Resources. But I still wanted to own a salon and do nails. I still wanted to be my own boss. As much as my job should have made me happy, it just wasn't what I longed to do. It was a safe job with a good paycheck. I worked with amazing people, but it wasn't my dream. 

I put a shack on the beach. We were living in VA at the time, right near the Potomac River, in this tiny little town that was so small, it wasn't even on a map.  I am just not cut out for small town living. I couldn't wait for John to get the next assignment and I wanted to be on the beach sooo bad. John was in Greenland at the time and we were waiting for our next assignment. He updated his base preferences to FL and MA bases. (We're from MA, so if we had a shot at getting our preference, we wanted to be on the beach or near family for a few years.)

Lastly I put a cartoon of a group of friends. That was probably the hardest thing to put on the board. It meant really facing my feelings. (I hate facing my feelings or anything remotely sappy. Yuck!) It's not that I was friendless, but in a way I was. Every friend I had near me had been friends I made through John. They were all the wives of people he worked with. I was busy working and in school and with my kids, that I made very little time to make my own friends. I am also quite shy if you don't know me. Put me in a room with strangers and I freak. I wouldn't talk to anyone, unless someone came up to me. Once you knew me, all bets were off, you couldn't shut me up! Still can't. I so desperately wanted to make my own lasting friendships. I wanted someone I could call when I was having a bad day or when something awesome happened. I wanted girls nights. I didn't always want to be the evil mean HR lady or mom. 

That was 6 years ago. Yesterday while going through emails and comments, I saw a trend. So many people were looking at my life and saying, I wish I had your… You're so lucky you… I wish… You're so lucky… I wish… You're so lucky… And I thought, wow, is that what people see? Did I really make it happen? I thought, if only you knew how LUCK happened. I took chances, I put myself out there and luck happened! We got assigned to FL near a beach! After 15 years of willing it to happen, after putting it on a vision board and actually visualizing it, it happened! I couldn't get to FL fast enough! I mean, I really couldn't! I quit my job about 6 months before we were set to move to FL, I had John jump through hoops that would allow me to leave VA early for FL. (Normally the military member will finish their remote assignment, come home, and pack up and move their family together. I did it while John was still in Greenland.) I took care of everything on my own and then John came home for a visit from Greenland and drove with us to FL, and then he had to go back to Greenland and I was on my own in a strange state with my kids and no friends around and no job! I had a cousin who lived an hour away and just knowing she was there helped so much. I was basically on my own for 6 more months until John's assignment in Greenland was up. To this date, that has probably been my biggest challenge. Being on my own like that taught me some major independence. I am so thankful for that experience now. It was scary, but exciting. And did I mention, I am 1/2 mile from the beach?! When it all got to be too much, I would just go take a walk on the beach and watch all my stresses just wash away. Oddly, as scary as it was, I never felt more at home. I never felt like I belonged in a place more. This is were I was meant to be. This vision board was working! WAHOO! That was almost 5 years ago now.

Then I joined It is a site where you can meet people with shared interests. I joined when I moved to FL. But for the first 6 months, I didn't go to any meet ups. The thought of going to anything that was being held by strangers on the internet felt so strange. Especially for someone like me that has difficulty talking to strangers. I waited until John got home from Greenland. Then I cautiously went to a meet up. I think only 3 other girls went to that one. I had fun. They were nice. I could do this. About an hour after I got home, I got a friend request on FB from one of the girls and it said we had a friend in common. WHAT? How? I didn't know anyone here! Turns out she grew up with one if John's good friends that he made in basic training. What are the odds? I kept going to meet ups and now I have so many friends made through that group and through the people I have met. Women like me, with interests like mine. I always have someone I can call and meet for lunch, dinner, drinks, shopping, you name it. Don't get me wrong, I am still shy(ish) and still struggle with that part of me. I still find myself pulling back and not seeing anyone for weeks at a time. My friends get that about me though and they will leave me alone for a few weeks and then pull me back out. They know I need that recharge time. It's like balancing my old me with my new me. 

Lastly I started the blog which led to Cult Nails. That has to be the craziest thing of all. I still struggle with not belonging in this world of amazing bloggers and business women. I still struggle with pushing myself and asserting myself on behalf of Cult Nails. I am just not out going like that. When you see me at a show, or speaking, you would never know it. I push myself, I do it and while I do it, I love every second of it! I wish that was me 100% of the time! But after each event, I always need that recharge time. To process it all, so I can do it all over again. I am still working on myself every day. I want this dream to continue so bad, that I will do whatever it takes. I'll take every up and down. I'll do it no matter how hard. Maybe one day I will feel like I belong or I made it. Or maybe it's better that I never feel like I get there, so I keep pushing myself. I've also made some amazing friends through blogging! I think some of my best friends, some of the women who get me most are other bloggers. Some I haven't met in person yet, others I get to see more often. But none the less, they are amazing and inspiring and I'm lucky to have them in my life. 

I love that you guys see amazingness. It pushes me forward every day. The reality isn't always so glamourous. But I made a choice when I started my blog, that I would post positivity. I would not post negativity. I would push other women (and men) like me up and as a result push myself up. I am no different than anyone who wants or wishes. I see other bloggers, IGers, Business woman and wish and want too. And I think what did they do to get there? What can I do to get there? My post last night was because even if one of you feels like I do, dreams like I do, wishes like I do, to know that you just have to take a chance and LUCK will find you. Because you see, luck isn't really luck at all, it's your willingness to put yourself out there and take that chance to receive whatever is coming your way. I fully believe in visualizing yourself in the moment of whatever it is you want now. Put it out there, picture yourself there. Take the first step towards getting you there and watch what happens. Reach out to people you may not have thought to reach out to. (I so need to remember this one!) Make it happen. Skip over all the negativity and focus on the positive. Take a chance, you got this! 


  1. This is such a great post and so very true. Everyone has a back story and challenges we have to face to take step towards where we want to be. You have to create your own success! I enjoyed reading your story and experiences. When you organized that first meetup for the nail girls in Orlando 3 years ago that changed my life. I had been riddled with extreme social anxiety and rarely left the house. That meetup was the first time I met people that I felt I didn't have to put on a show for, it was the first time I realized I was enough just being myself, and it was the first time I made true friends in my adult life. That one meetup completely changed my life.. If it weren't for you organizing that meet up, I don't think that would of happened to me! I admire you for your all of your accomplishments and your authenticity. I'm so thankful to have you as a friend. <3

  2. Maria,
    Thank you for posting this up...I have recently become re-inspired to make some of my old, dusty dreams come true. I've been a recluse and fallen out of doing much of anything social so I can relate to your journey into making friends (again for me.)
    I needed to read this post to keep pushing me forward to realizing that I am NEVER to old to follow my dream and that doing work I am passionate about is not only possible, but a MUST.
    Thanks for putting yourself out there for the rest of us who may or may not be following the path you've made.
    Hugs from your first fan,

  3. What inspiring words, Maria! Thank you for opening your heart and your arms and letting us all in. I, too, work on myself each day. Not always easy, but so worth it. You should be so proud of the woman you are today and the one you will be tomorrow! I wish you much happiness & success. And luck :-)