Updated: Feb 3, 2019
Author: Samantha Hicks
Just after 6th grade, my parents moved us from Hamilton to West Chester. Right into middle school I was the new girl. I walked into a district where everyone knew everyone despite how huge the district was. I heard names I never knew and would never know all while missing the names I left behind. Teachers, friends, neighbors—25 minutes away. To 11-year-old me, that drive felt like an hour. At least that’s how my mother made it sound at the idea of having to drive me for visits.
The move itself was not as intimidating as the community I was suddenly forced to take part in. They were rich, distant, and unwelcoming. I spent all six years holding my books with both hands and looking at my feet with each step. I went from class to class without any chit chatting. At the time, I was just me. Later is when I found out that, socially, that was frowned upon.
I had no voice. I had no opinions (until I got home, where I felt comfortable). I was very shy, and when I did speak it was very quietly. It was my daily goal to have as few people look at me as possible. On presentation days, I failed tremendously, of course. The point is: I was a nobody—or so I thought.
College was not any better. If anything, I was forced to move forward being intimidated rather than run the other way. That’s what college is all about right? Learning the hard way that life is just doing the things you don’t want to do. If it’s not, I did it all wrong. Send brochures now, maybe I can do it over?
Once I graduated, I felt free. No, not the “I can’t believe I never have to do homework or study ever again” kind of free. I felt like there were no more expectations to be someone I wasn’t.
That is the truest freedom. Homework and studying, however, I was not done with.
I took over the books of my father’s company. I was put into a position of authority without experience or an authoritative bone in my body. This is when my life began. This is where I was able to find my voice. This is how I was challenged every day to do things so far out of my comfort zone and so far out of my vision of “who I am.” Boy did it suck.
Two and a half years later I am now running a second business. I can confidently say, I had no idea what I was getting into. I just spent two years being forced out of my comfort zone and now I’m going to push the boundaries even further...willingly? Yes. Absolutely yes.
You’re asked as early as 5 what you’re going to be when you grow up. But they don’t expect real answers until you’re about 14. My real answer: a mom. And since that age, it’s exactly what I would say. That’s just the simple answer, though. Ask me today? I want to be a Homemaker. A mom, wife, chef, maid, mediator, mentor, chauffeur, teacher, etc.
It isn’t until 10 years later that I realized, I don’t want to be a working mom, but I also don’t want to be a Stay-At-Home Mom with no financial accountability. So, when I started telling people “My maternity leave is going to be a year long!” very matter-of-factly, people just looked at me with a sure-you-are-sweetie look. I kept getting responses like “Are you allowed?,” “Can you afford that?,” and “Why?” My answers were not always given matter-of-factly, and they were never thought about for very long.
All I knew was that I wanted to make it happen. I also know that I will make it happen.
That’s when I started considering working from home. I was already my own boss and I already had a few opportunities to choose from. Younique being one of them.
I became a Younique customer in 2016 and shortly after my first purchase my consultant presented the opportunity. Two years later, she still couldn’t get me to press that join button! I was so hesitant and had no confidence in my ability to succeed.
However, once I’d made the decision to join, the hesitation left the building—only for the doubt to enter.
I decided to join Younique right after Christmas of 2017. I had just bought a few bundles from my Younique consultant for gifts and was starting to explore the idea of being a Working Mom vs. a Stay-at-Home Mom. I knew of residual income and network marketing from my own mom dipping her toes in with a company called Juice Plus+. My mom is a very passionate person, so naturally she joined a company that is genuine and true to her beliefs. I was in the first stages of choosing a path on my own journey. I wanted to do the same.
Now, when I decided to join Younique, I didn’t jump straight onto the website, click join, and pay my $99 + tax! Instead, I thought about it. I thought about how to join, what joining meant for and to me, what would happen after I joined, and where joining could take me in the future.
I needed to research. I needed to talk to women who lived this life I so badly wanted to live. I needed to read articles, watch videos, hear people’s stories. I wanted to make sure that this huge life-altering decision was going to be the right decision for me.
Eventually, I realized it didn’t matter if I thought it was the right decision for me. It didn’t even matter if I thought I was ready or not. Suddenly, I just knew that this was the path for me. Not because the doubt disappeared. Not even because I researched myself into confidently clicking join. I knew because I felt drawn to it. I felt like I was made for it.
Younique is so much more than what they sell. They encourage you to be yourself, shamelessly. They validate your past, present, and future self, teaching you how to love yourself, shamelessly. The sisterhood is so positive and, with a girl who has never been able to make friends, it’s exactly what I need; shamelessly.
As soon as I felt this revelation, I waited for the $99 to show up in my account and I clicked join. I was as anxious as ever and I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. But once the transaction was complete, I felt calm. The calm swept through me as if dissipating the doubt and anxiety. It was amazing feeling the serenity of knowing this was the right decision. Still, 85 days in, I feel grounded in my decision to join. My decision to take control of my future. My decision to design my own dreams; and make them come true!
That is just the easy part, though. Next comes the hard part.
Having a dream and knowing, with every part of your being, that it is within reach is the easiest part of your journey. Being able to go from “You know you get quieter at the end of each sentence.” (-Ninth grade History teacher) to “If you want to share the video, I would appreciate you so much!” (-me on Facebook Live) is a journey I will never fail to screech about. It’s a blessing and a pleasure to be who I am today. And when I get to talking about where I’m headed, I’m like a kid in a candy store, so don’t even get me started.
I will end on this note: You can do this too. It doesn’t have to be Younique. It doesn’t even have to be network marketing (because God knows there’s tons of those opportunities). What it must be: Yours.
Find your passion. Find yourself.
I know, it’s easier said than done. But everyone knows that experience of when their mom walks into the room that thing they couldn’t find was right in front of their face the whole time.
This is the same thing.
But this time, your mom can’t help you look. You have to gain the courage to look. It’s going to be hard. You’re going to want to give up. I still have my days. What I didn’t have back then, however, was the overwhelming desire to reach out and grab the dream I’ve wanted for 10 years.
Your dream is within reach, too. You just have to see it.
S & B would like to introduce you to some friends of ours who will be contributing their voices for a new page on Millennial Pink: Pink Ink.
In November, we welcomed our friend Samantha to tell her story. In solidarity, all of our contributing writers submitted photos for #NoShameNovember. All of us have aspects of ourselves that may not be glamorous or accepted by society, but we will not let those things have power over our perceptions of ourselves.
My name is Brittany and I'm not ashamed of my Hidradenitis Suppurativa. I remember at the age of 13 being teased for sweating more than some of the girls in my class, so much so that I bought clinical strength deodorant. All this did was give Dove a few more dollars of my family's money, shake my self confidence and kickstart the disease that lay dormant in my body until puberty — HS. HS is a type of cystic acne for which there is no cure. It's ugly, painful and something I'll live with possibly for the rest of my life. In high school it was one reason — besides my overall apathy toward men — that I didn't date and thought no man would ever want me anyway. Now, at 24, I just don't care. It's something I deal with that I don't think diminishes my overall beauty, and any man who cares about me shouldn't care about my HS. It's not contagious, it's just annoying. xo B
My name is Shyann and I am not ashamed that I don’t want children.
It has been at least 14 years since I threw out my baby doll and decided that kids just aren’t for me. When I was a child I didn’t even want to play with other children and as an adolescent/early adult I didn’t want to babysit them either. Most of the people I’ve encountered have made comments along the lines of “you’ll understand when you have children of your own,” “you’ll change your mind someday when that special someone comes around,” “enjoy that sports car now before baby,” or “raising children is a life-changing experience like no other.” Despite years of studying childhood development and child rearing across cultures, it is true that I cannot claim to understand every facet of parenthood, but I know enough to be sure that it is literally life changing--and my life is just settling into what I want.
Kudos to all the great mommies and daddies out there, we need great parents now more than ever--y’all are really taking one for the team! As a proud feminist, I support a woman’s right to decide if she wants no kids or ten kids (assuming they are duly provided for).
I’ll end with a suggestion to check out Melanie Holmes’ book, “The Female Assumption,” about the pressures facing women and traditional rites of passage, particularly motherhood.