So yesterday saw the start of a rather unexpected dream….
But to fully explain what I actually mean, I need to take you back 18 months.
BC, I had a very different life.
I had been working from home as a Massage Therapist, an actual dream I had for over 2 decades! I used to tell my clients when they asked how I had gone from working in the recruitment industry to rubbing their feet, that I had a bit of a mid-life crisis and considering I could not afford to buy a sports car and had absolutely no inclination to having an affair – a change of career was the only real option for me!
Stepping willingly away from receiving a regular monthly pay cheque was huge for both of us, but with Pete’s unwavering belief in me and his complete support, I took the uncharacteristic leap of faith mid-way through 2012.
It was scary, it was unpredictable…. did I mention it was REALLY very scary ……..and despite all of that scariness and uncertainty, I LOVED every minute of it!
It took time to build up a client base and to do that I had to take a giant leap out of my comfort zone. I have never been able to “market” myself particularly well – and somehow I found myself talking to rooms full of strangers about the benefits of pregnancy massage!
By the time September 2013 rolled around I had built my little business into quite a little home-grown empire …OK, well maybe not by Bill Gates standards or anyone else’s for that matter, but for me this was HUGE and I felt like I was on my way to bigger and better things. And in what turned out to be true of one of life’s little ironies, I had never felt better!
So while sitting in my Doctor’s rooms listening to her tell me that the result of the biopsy was not so good, my life as I had known it, came crashing down around me. And in that particular moment I hadn’t even begun to understand all the things I would have to give up.
I sent an email to my mail list of clients just before surgery to tell them that I would be unavailable for a couple of months due to some health issues….. yip, I clearly had NO Clue!
So after surgery when I couldn’t pull up my own pants and needed physio on a weekly basis, the fear started creeping in – what if I could only get back to my massage business….horror of horrors in the New Year!?
That last bit of delusional hope was dashed a month later when we sat in the Dent Doctors office and heard that the surgery was only the beginning ….six months of chemo ….. and weeks of radiation were still ahead.
Obviously devastated, for many reasons, but the one that kept popping up in my head was who on earth would want to be massaged by a balding, nauseas, possibly radioactive, boob-less woman who could barely lift her arms? Clearly I would need to review the plans for my future- when I actually could dare to think about it…
Sanity came from an unexpected source: I had taught myself to make ribbon roses from a tutorial on YouTube earlier that year, primarily as a project to beautify a pair of plain white voile curtains I was planning to use in my new outdoor massage area.
So as I sat on my lazy boy chair (a welcome home from hospital gift from Pete) sore, sad and pretty fed up with my life, trying not to think too carefully about the months ahead…
I picked up some left over satin ribbon and automatically started folding it trying to remember all the steps in making a rose. It turned out to be good therapy: I was keeping my arms active and my brain focused on something other than my circumstances.
I had no clue at the time that the skill I learnt as a bi-product of one dream would become the focus of an entirely new one…..
So I sat, day after day turning lengths of ribbon into roses – all colours, shapes and all sizes.
And one day the inevitable question was asked, just what the HECK was I going to do with all these roses cluttering our dining room table???
Soon they became brooches securing the scarves that concealing my flat chest in the days before reconstruction. They were attached to hairbands as I cut my hair in preparation for chemo and then attached to head scarves when my hair started falling out. I was slightly obsessed about hair…..and so began the rose Alice bands! When I was able to drive, I would go out and search for anything I could accessorise with a rose!
Throughout recovery days of chemo and radiation the ideas flowed and the roses kept on coming.
Each rose I made was never quite perfect and would never look the same no matter how hard I tried to get them to match. But I also found that I could never throw out the ones that “flopped” no matter how imperfect they were; I would just need to find another way of using them.
I kinda felt sorry for the little guys, and identified a little too closely with their sad imperfections.
Surely they could be turned into something beautiful… they just needed me to think of a new way to show off their usefulness and uniqueness! And so began the experiments with cake covers and cheese grater earring holders!
The imperfect roses became the symbol of my external and internal struggles, I suppose. Creating something beautiful from a distinctly un-beautiful situation.
I started giving out my pink rose brooches to the people who helped me along my journey. The nurses at the Cancer centre, the ladies at the Radiation Bunker, my physio, my plastic surgeon and the ladies in the office who always greeted me with smiles and encouragement especially on the days when I couldn’t find things to smile about. They certainly had no idea of the real significance behind the roses, and that was ok….it was kinda hard to explain…
Life was not perfect. The goodies I made were certainly not perfect, but they were made with great love, and soon the idea of a new business began to form.
And “Ooops-a-Daisy” was born.
Décor and accessories: Uniquely imperfect and handmade with love
Pete and I went to set up my things at a local indoor market yesterday…. another HUGE step and hopefully the beginning of a new, if somewhat unexpected dream!
“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”
― Steve Maraboli
“We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us–that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.”
― Emilio Estevez
“But life isn’t something that should be edited. Life shouldn’t be cut. The only way you’ll ever discover what it truly means to be alive and human is by sharing the full experience of what it means to be human and each blemish and freckle that comes with it.”
― Iain Thomas
“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”
― Amy Bloom
“Our imperfections make us unique as surely as our strengths.”
― Toni Sorenson
“There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.”
― Ziad K. Abdelnour