What happens when your prayers start to come true, and you can’t handle it?
That’s what I have to remind myself as my phone RINGS, SNAPS, and DINGS.
Sigh. I look down at my iPhone to see that it’s exactly 5:43 pm. WOW, where did the day go?!?! I still haven’t answered a third of my emails, my social media DMs are stuffed with unanswered wine requests, my fluffy edges are on the edge, I am still tired from my late night love fest with Canva, Eventbrite is my new BFF, the zipper on my favorite shift dress clocked-out before the end of its shift, the laundry is curled up on my sofa sleeping like an uninvited guest after eating a heavy Sunday afternoon brunch, my voicemail is STILL full, and YUCK… I just stepped on my three-year-old daughter’s random-gooey-fruity- gummy-goldfish-cracker mix as I try my very-very-very best to sprint out the door while texting “Girl, I am on my way!” I feel so awful that I am late for yet another “meeting” as my phone leaps out my hand, plops down, and proceeds to twerk back and forth on the floor as it buzzes, rings, pings, and dings. Did I just text myself? I roll my eyes, rub my temples, sigh, shrug my shoulders, and take a deep breath in gratitude that my phone still works as I grab and swipe my phone to hear the strong, yet kind, voice of my husband, asking the rather basic, yet very complex decade-long question: “Hey, love? So, what are we eating for dinner tonight?”
Let’s back up.
Hi, my name is Amy, and I created and run Sociologie Wine. This company, my company, is currently experiencing exponential growth. Growth that I prayed for for many, many moons – often with tears pouring down my mascara soaked cheeks as I was balled, crumbled in the corner of my closet. That is what my company is built from: blood, sweat, tears, and prayers.
When I started Sociologie Wines, I didn’t even have labels for the bottles. That’s right – my husband and I went to a major Texas liquor trade show with wine in glass containers, two girlfriends working as our promo models, and promises of fulfillment in our eyes. Guess what, we were a hit! Vendors loved the taste and our homegrown beginnings. We left with over 200 accounts! Praises be to God!
But not too fast, I learned the hard way that transitioning into the #womenwhoboss world snatches the edges of your entire ecosystem because you must elevate every day, and this often entails managing expectations, both spoken and unspoken, that were never a part of your existence before.
For me, this caused all kinds of confusion and conflict and shook my confidence to the core.
Just a mere three months after that seemingly successful show, I lost half of the accounts that signed up. As hard and as late as I worked, as long as I prayed, and as much as I cried, I wasn’t able to fulfill the orders. My big brand vision didn’t line up with my existing financial bandwidth, family traditions, and business structure. I was overwhelmed and struggling. So, I listened to the loving yet limited advice from loved ones and the false promises of an emerging distributor to deliver my very first big order to my largest retailer. I thought it was a safe solution to subsidize my struggles – the limitations that I was learning existed in my current business model, and the worrying of my family, which was louder than my own internal voice.
Guess what, the distributor failed to deliver. And it felt like all hell broke loose. I was receiving multiple calls and emails from all of my store’s central offices to make good on their orders –– and those were the accounts who were willing to give me more time, even if begrudgingly. Half just cut their losses, their losses being me. It was fight or flight time, and this caused me to focus –– not on all the voices around me, well-meaning or otherwise, but on my own inner voice.
My eternal grit took center stage
I rented a delivery truck, gulped a case of Red Bull and got on the Texas roads at 4:00 am at least three days a week to make wine deliveries to my all retailers. I had to make it happen by any means necessary – trust my gut, utilize my grit, and go hard. And I haven’t stopped.
For over five years, I have worked late nights and early mornings, through pregnancy bedrest (I got in a motorized wheelchair and went to that major account meeting!) and conflicts with my family, friends, and husband (it is hard to watch a woman work herself into serious health concerns). I learned how to fill those orders; how to fill 50 times those original orders. I learned to trust myself and my intuition. Through it all, I prayed. And to gain the knowledge and skill set to run a successful business… it’s worth it.
Today, Sociologie Wine is thriving. My dreams are coming true. My prayers are being answered, not only in my business life but in my personal life as well. So why, sometimes, do I feel like I am the prey to my prayers?
It turns out that balancing it all is the new skill set on the table.
I have always wanted a family, and when it came time, my daughter took years of pricey doctors visits, prickly needles, holiday surgeries, restless bedrest, and, yes, tearful prayers, to conceive. Now, as I watch this thriving three-year-old, self-assured spirit grow and develop at such an amazing rate, I know in every corner of my heart she is a priceless miracle. But at times mommy guilt seeps into my mind like tear gas. I find balancing spending time with my little miracle and spending time growing the business that I take such pride in her watching me run just feels like too much.
My husband and my marriage are at a beautiful place after a season of growth and expansion, which, inevitably, came with growing pains. Today we are falling into sync in a way that I…yes…prayed for. Staying mindful and present in our growth as a couple takes a-whole-notha’ skill set no one ever told me about.
I didn’t know that as life expands from answered prayers, it takes work to reorganize. Reorganize priorities, people, time. Figuring out what is needed in order to make the life of my dreams tick-tock into order has been a major learning curve, one that I often feel like I am failing.
I think back to my seven-year-old self and what she imagined as the perfect life – and how the truth of so many dreams are not fully understood until we begin achieving them. Maybe that is the beauty of childhood. We are able to dream unencumbered – without worrying about dinner and childcare and meetings and budgets. As children we see our vision, as women we materialize it. And materialization takes materials. But we develop these materials – these skills – as we age: work ethic, faith, sticktoitiveness, grace, generosity of heart, and, eventually, time management (at least for me). Adulting is not what I thought is would be, but it is a culmination of me.
So, with this in mind, I now welcome a grown-ass woman.
I start owning my own excellence and stop renting someone else’s standard of perfection. Standing proud as wife, mother, and boss – means being honest and intentional about what that means to me. And being honest about the fact that it is still a balancing act. I am just beginning this part of the journey and I accept every moment of it. This is how I continue to serve as a victorious vessel, and I do my best to enjoy the ride with a smile!
That is the first step – embracing these days of the GROWN-ASS WOMAN, which, perhaps, is to embrace the challenge of adulting on my terms. With that is to accept that some days will be hard, some will feel like a fail, some will feel like I’m running two days behind. But some will be glorious, some will be easy, and some will be wins beyond my wildest imagination. And this knowing, this accepting, and this embracing – sometimes, that has to be enough.
So now, that starts with saying a prayer of gratitude for my blessings as I step into my new day. But this time, I put on flats. I’m learning, if I’m going to be sprinting all day, it’s better to be comfortable.