Hello Y’all! I’m back writing, I took a little break because my last blog about Suicide Prevention in September caused a lot of people to judge me, brand me a bad influence on kids, and boycott my candy store. Personally, it affected me. I am a very sensitive soul and being told I was a bad influence on kids really hurt me. But the support I received from my friends, family and customers was all the encouragement I needed to continue with my passion for writing.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all my family, friends, and followers. As of end of October, my Life After Lemons Facebook page hit over 3,000 followers and this weekend, my Life_After_Lemons account on Instagram hit over 130 followers. The Candy Store has a 5-star rating thanks to loyal customers who posted in the reviews. Without my family, friends and followers I would not be where I am today. I would not be following my childhood dream. Before I started building the Candy Store dream, I had so much support from 1,800 Facebook followers who faithfully read my blogs. They encouraged me to follow my dream and I helped them move on from lemons in their lives.
I have been told by some people to just create another Facebook page and website for the blogs. I thought about it for maybe a second, but they go hand in hand because without the blog, there would be no candy store. Even my logo is changing if you noticed on the Facebook page where it is still a lemon, but it has candies in the lemon to signify the merger of my two worlds. I would not have had the confidence, to leave a job in the corporate world to branch out on my own, fulfill this dream, without the blog readers/supporters.
When I started the Life After Lemons blog in October 2016, I did it because I wanted to help others. This is an outlet to allow me to talk about things I have gone through or am going through. I talk about what I felt at the time and how I got through the lemons. Sometimes it wasn’t easy writing because it brought back bad memories. Other times I enjoyed writing because of the good memories.
Friends and family tell me to forget about the past. It was George Santayana who wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I had to look up who said that, but I always remembered this quote. There have been times in my life, where I have repeated an action from my past because I forgot the result the first time. Some may say writing this post right now is going to hurt me like the Suicide Prevention one did in September, I’m hoping they are wrong and that those reading this and following me understand the meaning behind it is for you all to get to know me better, including my passion for candy and writing. I write about the past and I don’t forget about the past (no matter how painful at times) so it is not repeated. I write about all of my lemons to help others who are either currently going through something similar or have gone through it, but still struggling because we as a society are told not to talk about certain subjects.
As I have said before I have gone through things that most people could not handle nor comprehend. I also know others who have gone through worse and are an inspiration to me. You are already on my website if you are reading this, continue onto read the “About Me” section and read my other blogs, especially the one called “Introduction to Life After Lemons,” you will get an understanding of what all lemons I have faced in my life and why writing to help others is so important to me.
Through all the lemons, I have managed to be positive a majority of the time. Some have told me I think unrealistically because I look at the glass as half full. Maybe. All I know is faith has kept me here on this great earth for a reason. As I discover things about myself, one of the reasons is to help those who are going through Lemons in life, this includes adults and kids.
Hearing how I was being judged because of one blog hit me very hard because if you read the blog post and read about me on my website, you would know that I wrote it to help others, not to offend. I was branded by some people in the community as a “bad influence” to kids. Parents kept their kids out of the candy store, even when their kids wanted to come to the store. I wrote an apology on my Facebook page and got a lot of support about my original Suicide post. I cannot thank those who supported me and that post enough. I love you all.
I am very real person and sometimes too honest about things. Basically, what you see is what you get in me. I am not perfect, not even a little. People assume a lot before actually asking me or even reading about me. If you want to know if something is true about me, just ask. I will tell you instead of being judged. I love York, SC and I plan on living here for a very long time and growing my business to increase visitors and tourism. Yes, I feel I can be an integral part of the growth in York. The candy store can bring in visitors and tourists. There is a lot I have planned over the next year to increase my candy store business in York, but need to have support of the community, business owners and local government to make it happen.
People will continue to judge me and potentially boycott my store, I get it, I’m different than what they are used to. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am sensitive (some say I’m oversensitive). I am open and honest about who I am, what I’ve gone through and I write about it. I will give my opinion if asked. I am passionate about the City of York growing and I have new ideas. Plus, I’m a Northerner. I will love you even if you judge me.
My blog is my outlet to help people with Lemons that happen in life. It is how the Candy Store came into fruition. My blogging is not going to stop. I will continue to write because it helps so many people. I will also write fun stuff about candy and the store. Last week I wrote about the infamous Oops Bags in the store.
The candy store is my lifelong dream. I dreamt about it when I was 12 and it came to life when I was 48. Instead of me being considered a “bad influence” on kids, maybe I should be looked at as a good influence, someone who never gave up. No matter what Lemons were being thrown at me I kept going. Trust me, there were times even in the past couple months, when I could have easily given up my dream, but I kept at it and I will fight to keep it going. Wouldn’t you want your kids (or even yourself) around someone like me? My store is full of positive sayings, it is bright and cheerful. I want people coming into the store and forget about the bad things going on in this world, just for a few minutes.
I also want people to know if they are going through something and feel no one would listen or understand that I’m here. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a therapist, but I am a good-hearted person who will listen. I want to help others. I want to brighten people’s day and make them smile. I want others to know someone does care.
November 15th is “I Love to Write Day.” When I was in school (elementary through college), I never would have envisioned that someday I would have a blog where I regularly write. I always disliked writing (except poetry) because as you probably notice with my blog, I’m not perfect, so I would not do well in writing classes. I’m sure an English teacher would give me a low grade for the grammar, punctuation, and run on sentences within my blogs and you know what, that’s ok. My writing comes from the heart. While the Candy Store is a love and my dream, writing is a passion.
Follow your dreams and your passion. Don’t let anyone discourage you from being yourself. People will judge you, but remember that is because they are not happy with themselves and the only way they can feel better about themselves is to judge others. Don’t listen to naysayers when it comes to your dreams and passion. I have had a lot of naysayers (and still do) and I made the mistake of letting them in my head at times and that’s when I make bad decisions or screw up. You know what, that’s ok too. Only you understand your dreams and your visions. Believe in yourself and anything is possible. If you ever doubt yourself just look at me, I shouldn’t be here doing what I’m doing. If I listened to naysayers, disguised as supporters I wouldn’t be here. Close your eyes and envision your future and your dream. It may take you 36 years, like me, to achieve it, but you will. YOU WILL!
As corny as it may sound or in this case, reads, remember you all matter to me and I will love you all even if you don’t love me (or yourself). I have not fought to get to this point in my life to give up now. I will not give up on my blog, my candy store, my essential oils, or my life. I will not give up on you even if you give up on me or you give up on yourself. Sometimes life sucks, sometimes life is fantastic, and sometimes life just exists. We all have a purpose and we all matter. We need to remember that we and life are not always perfect, but both are so worth it.
I’m going to share with you a few quotes that I hold near and dear to me that get me through life:
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt
“Courage is being scared to death…. and saddling up anyway.” John Wayne
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Two roads diverge in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius