I sit here taking a break from the reality and chaos of my life. Some days are easier than others, and those many times I want to pull my hair out, I have to remind myself “I wanted this.” And when I say “this”, I mean the kids, the chaos, the loud screaming but happy children, the orders I get from my etsy shop, the stay at home mother/wife duties…all of it.
But how did I get here? And what passions of mine did I truly follow?
Let us begin at 17 years old. I was a skinny, scrawny kid growing up. At the time I had no idea I was walking around with a condition that they normally find at birth. A condition that for years, caused me to barely eat, always feel sick, and not gain weight. I don’t know the technical term, but let us look at our digestive systems, shall we? There is an artery that runs across your duodenum. Now in normal people, that artery is angled outwards so that it allows the duodenum the ability to balloon out as the food you eat begins to run its course down the digestive tract. Mine was angled inwards, pretty much pinching it shut. And as you know, the duodenum is at the top of the digestive tract, so if your food can’t pass through properly, it starts to back up making you feel sick, your body isn’t getting adequate nutrients, and you also can’t gain weight. Why do I tell you this? Because at 17 I wanted to join the track team. And my parents were afraid I would disappear if I joined from all the practices and running. (and we still had no idea I had this condition…we didn’t discover it until I was 26!) Being stubborn and hard headed, I joined and to prove them wrong, I dove into learning how to eat properly to fuel my body to run better. My love for nutrition began. One of the biggest things I learned that helped me maintain some weight was eating smaller meals around the clock. Considering that my system digested food at a snails pace, I believe this helped me alot during this time. The more I studied on proper nutrition for athletes, the more I wanted to go into nutrition and help others.
So off to Georgia Southern I went ready to tackle my degree and hopefully a new career…..
Only that didn’t happen. First year in and all the courses that didn’t pertain to nutrition bogged me down. I was a good student in that I worked hard for my grades, yet all these extra courses took my drive away and I decided to switch majors. So I decided on Child and Family Development. AND I felt like I was learning how to become an educated housewife. Which, as I type this, I’m laughing because if I knew then what I know now, THAT is exactly the major I should have stuck with!
But, I obviously didn’t because, well, like some kids, I went down the wrong path and partied my way out of there.
So what was a girl to do back at home and not in college? Find a new passion and drive. I have always been hands on, and also a very visual learner. In High School my Home Ec teacher would tell my mother I would make a great Home Ec teacher myself one day. So I did research and found a community college that was affordable and offered Culinary Arts. I immediately fell in love. I worked at Smoothie King making minimum wage, and that is what paid for my entire AA degree. Going into the kitchen to learn how to cook and then to go into the classroom and discuss what we did made learning for me so easy. Reading or discussing what we had done with our hands just connected with me.
It was there, that my baking teacher asked me to come do my internship with her one semester. She owned a small bakery, and said she couldn’t pay me but thought I would love the experience. She was right. I found my love for baking, and she loved me so much that she kept me on and made me a paid employee.
A few years later she closed her shop down and I went on to work for places like Ruth’s Chris and Bonefish Grill. But none of those were as satisfying or as enjoyable as the tiny bakery I had started my work in. I was also always told that I should either become manager or even start my own bakery. Yet, having that one thought in my mind that I wanted a family one day and I didn’t want to be married to my work, which either one of those would have been the case, I shied away from that.
A few more years down the road, I had surgery for my stomach issue…all is well now! (thought you should know!) And I of course got married into the military life and had three kids. Life long dreams accomplished, but also leaving my job behind.
But that didn’t mean I couldn’t still use my talents. As I look back on my life, and then look at my own children I notice what fueled me to dive into learning something, and HOW I learned it well. Personal issues have always had me learning about how proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can help certain ailments. Working with my hands has proven to be an effective stress reliever, and if all else fails, lifting heavy weights will do the trick. Having a vision in my mind and then going to work with fabrics, paints, whatever I have on hand, has also helped me to bring a part of me back to life when I feel the stresses of everyday life weighing me down.
So this is where I created my own side business thru etsy called RositaCreation. It started when I made pillows using old baby clothes I wanted to keep and my husband said it looked like something you could find on one of those etsy shops. I didn’t hesitate, and 3 years later I still have it running. What started out as just memory pillows, has grown to making quilts using old clothes. Its not alot of business, but every time I get an order, its the therapy I need to wind down at the end of the night.
So what passions did I follow? All of them. And do I still use them? I sure do. I get to share my recipes with you all. I get to teach my children how to bake, get creative and because I’m a visual learner, I’m also a visual teacher. So we do alot of hands on activities. And I also know for a fact that if you desire to learn something, you don’t need to wait for a teacher to teach it to you. You will learn everything there is to learn about it all on your own!