High Hopes

03/01/22 .... the first day. I woke up bright and early at 7am, packed my things, hopped in my car and drove downtown. I felt like the lady from the movies. You know, the boss lady that hops out of her black car on a busy city street, designer bag and Starbucks in tow and goes into the high rise building with 25 floors. (mine only has 12, but work with me) I go up the elevator and eagerly push 4. I am grinning like a kid on their first day of Kindergarten. So excited, elated for this experience full of unknowns. Bags in my hand, I pull out my keys and open the door to my very first business office. I can't help but feel so much pride. I did this. I put my stuff down and just take it all in. 450sq feet, surrounded by windows and city views. Plants, all of the earth tones, and black girl magic vibes fill every corner. I planned a full 8 hour work day and I've never been so excited to get stuff done! Not even a week ago I was experiencing one of the worst days of my life, losing a friend. Now here I am celebrating this huge personal win. I started woking for myself in 2015. I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would be here. I always thought it would be so cool, but couldn't be me. I wish cal understood how shook I am. At the beginning of this year I wasn't even considering an office and now 2 months later, here we are.

The other day I came to the office to drop off some furniture and set a few things up and on my way I decided to blast one of my favorite songs, High Hopes by Panic At The Disco. The entire song speaks to me and I feel like I can relate because it speaks of having crazy big dreams even when your reality doesn't necessarily match up. The chorus sings:

Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn't make a killing
Didn't have a dime but I always had a vision
Always had high, high hopes
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Didn't know how but I always had a feeling
I was gonna be that one in a million
Always had high, high hopes

When I moved to Richmond in April of 2019, I was starting over. I was creating a new beginning and I knew it was going to be hard. I didn't plan on moving here until 2 weeks before I came. I had $500 from selling an old iPhone the day before I moved. I also had no job and no place to stay permanently. I had a wonderful friend who was able to house me for 2 weeks. I knew I really needed to make something happen in those 14 days. Those would probably be the most crucial 2 weeks of my life at that point. I either was going to make Richmond work, or I was going back home. I managed to find a job part time doing makeup, and another part time teaching art classes. I got on Facebook, found a room to rent and moved in within 10 days. From that point on, I knew I was going to have to work hard to create the world I was accustom to back home, and boy did I do just that. I made a 5 year plan, and got to work. By January of 2020 I was able to go from renting a room in an apartment with 4 other people, to getting a lease with just 1 roommate. I felt so accomplished at that point. Fast forward to Covid and my roommate gets laid off and in July tells me she's moving back to DC. I wanted to panic because this was not going to easy. I was able to transfer to my very own apartment all on my own. You couldn't tell me I wasn't the ish at that moment. I bought a brand new couch to celebrate this win! The couch was significant because it was the first brand new piece of furniture I ever had, and I bought it all on my own. Then my then girlfriend moved down to VA and we quickly outgrew my apartment. I was able to find us an amazing townhome and here we were on another adventure of growth. This place was amazing because I would have my very own designated office and studio space for the first time. It wasn't a shared space, it wasn't in the living room or my bedroom. It was its own entity. I just knew it couldn't get any better. We even got engaged there. Summer 2021 comes around and our lease is almost up. I told her we have outgrown this space and need a house. I was terrified because more space meant more of a financial commitment. However, I chose to believe in the business I had grown and moved us into a 3 bedroom house. It has a dining room and everything. I felt beyond proud of what I was able to do. I couldn't believe how much I was able to grow in such a short period of time. I looked at my numbers at the beginning of 2022 and realized I hit my 5 year goal! Holy crap!!!! How is that even possible? After processing that, accepting that win, and cheering myself on I asked, "what's next?" I didn't have an answer until Feb3 all of a sudden I thought, why not find yourself a space. Get out of your house, cultivate a work environment that you can walk away from at the end of the day. Create a space you can love and call your own. Here it is March 1, and im sitting in an almost complete office spade that I love, with a city view, and an amazing location. I'm able to continue to grow this creative world of mine and chasing this wild dream I had. I can say ive done over 500 weddings, hundreds of photoshoots, single handedly did makeup for an event thrown by the French Ambassador at his home, been published multiple times, was director of beauty for a show during Richmond Fashion week, worked for million dollar brands, worked with politicians, lawyers, doctors, and more. Did makeup for a Covid campaign with the CDC, and touched hundreds and hundreds of beautiful people.

I "always had high hopes for a living. Shooting for the stars when I couldn't make a killing. Didn't have a dime but I always had a vision, always had high, high hopes. Always had high hopes for a living. Didn't know how but I always had a feeling. I was gonna be that one in a million. Always had high, high hopes."


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