I set an intention of creating a tribe of women who believed in each other, held space to support each other and who I would love to go have tea with and sit and talk for hours.
Sponsor Tribe Love is a way to share unique businesses and skills from some of this tribe with you. I have so much gratitude for their support and all they offer to the world.
Meet Tory Marsh. If you were part of August's Joy Up you may already know Tory. She is friend, master-mind partner, and my teacher of how to believe in abundance. Welcome to Mama Space, Tory, thank you for digging deep and sharing your beautiful story.
As a child I was one of those good at everything types. Tops in the spelling bee, only girl on the boys soccer team, playing the piano in church kind of kids. I think they call them high achievers now, but then, it was just what I did. So, when dreaming of my life in the future I saw nothing that I could not do. Which also made it hard to pin down and target, since the world was wide open to me.
I loved hard. I lived cautiously, I was afraid of when someone would find out that I wasn't truly perfect. I had a hard time with concentration, I was great at multitasking but would often get lost by my next project before the first was the best it could be... luckily, things were always a bit better than good enough. But for me, I didn't know what I was capable of since I had never really pushed.
I was prescribed Ritalin in college after a slew of anti-depressants with varying effect (Prozac made me steal, and Zoloft made me make unnecessary appointments that I wouldn't go to).
There was what felt like a big chunk of time when I felt my life was really hard. I was moving slowly through a very foggy time. It was all unclear and people were dropping like flies. It took all I had to put one foot in front of the other. This segment of my life had it's most punctuated moments when I was 29; starting with a dear friend found dead on my bathroom floor the morning after my Christmas Tree Trimming Party. Two months later my sister was killed in a car accident. My boyfriend left. A good friend fell out of a window to his death. My college roommate died of colon cancer. Coming to a head a few years later with my best friend's fatal heart attack. Five hard years of broken hearts and patching myself together.
What I came out with though was a true commitment to living beyond my fears, living each day with the only goal of doing what makes me happy. At each loss I reminded myself about happiness, and did the best I could to figure out what that meant for me. Sometimes it meant letting the city see my tears on the subway as I rode to work. Or, it meant a Netflix marathon of the entire series of Lost. My pain and searching brought me closer to myself than I had ever been before in full awareness. It was filled with the shedding of expectations, hurt, old patterns, and pushing boundaries to test where they lie. But, with that came the freedom to feel, to test, and to live. Since living was my goal. True living. It took time to figure out what that meant on a personal level. I didn't just wake up knowing. And I really didn't know what to look for or if I'd know when I found it. I honestly believe we do the best we can in every situation, and sometimes that situation calls for Jack Daniel's.
Looking back on it there were plenty of great experiences happening at the same time, like assisting famed Minimalist Sol LeWitt on a giant wall drawing at Trinity College (my alma mater), or working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Or the years spent managing restaurants for famous celebrity chefs who taught me invaluable secrets of food and success on a daily basis. Or my time working for Quintessentially, the world's leading luxury lifestyle group, where I spent all of my time dealing in exotic locations and extravagant living where I learned that anything truly is possible, as we made those dreams come true on a daily basis. Or how I was layed off from my job just in time to attend Institute for Integrative Nutrition and step into this next part of my life. However, at the time none of these things seemed to make sense or that there would one day be a reason for it all.
The reason I share this, beyond Hannah's gift at providing a safe space, is to let you know that there's all of us in everything we do. Had I planned to start a chocolate company, I probably would have made different choices... like, say, go to culinary school. But, for me, it has always been the journey. And, I believe it's in that journey where all of the sweetness, magic, and purpose is to be found. To go with what makes us happy, to feel complete, and to remain open to what the Universe provides is such a gift. We have all we need at any given time, we just need the courage to believe it. Having healed my own health, and life. It has found me again in the kitchen. My creativity, my passion, and my experience... all coming through in handmade chocolates.
So, in answer to Hannah's question to me... Where did your chocolate come from? There's my answer, all this and more. It holds every bit of my love, hope and happiness and is my gift to you.
Thank you for giving me a place to share the other side of my story.
Tory is generously offering a giveaway of a bracelet box of her delicious (yes, I've savored them) raw chocolates to one lucky Mama Space tribe member. Simply leave a comment and tell us what you love to combine with chocolate. I love that sprinkle of sea salt! Tory's packaging is one of the most beautiful I've seen.