// 20 March 2019
By Geraldine Leyden / Serenity Ten
“Self-evolution” is a topic close to my heart!
My self-evolution journey began when I found myself wandering around my house one morning totally lost with no sense of purpose. I looked around at what was once a house full of noise, laughter, tears and tantrums and I now witnessed empty rooms and silence.
At that moment, I realised my proudest achievement of being a mother to three beautiful children had gone into retirement. My kids are grown up now, flown the nest and they no longer needed me in the way I wanted to be needed. I had a job, a husband and a home but something was missing.
Why was I scared to embrace this next chapter of my life?
I had spent most of my younger years wishing for the next chapter. For those times when my kids would be self-sufficient and I had more time to myself, how exciting! Now it was here, staring me in the face and I struggled to come to terms with the new found freedom.
I had worked for other people all my life and wanted desperately to channel all this new time and energy into something for me. Something I could be proud off, strive towards and set new goals for.
The one thing I was totally passionate about was fashion, so I started to brainstorm. I came up against so many hurdles in my own mind, doubting myself at every idea I came up with. I was almost 50 - how could I ever start up a business and get people to take notice of my ideas? After a very restless night’s sleep I got up, went down into the kitchen with my notebook and pen and everything started to flow.
I knew a physical shop was out of the question to begin with so I decided I would pitch the idea of an online business to my friends and family to get their thoughts. Ironically though at this point I did not own a laptop (nor did I know how to even switch one on) so understandably I was anxious about the response I would receive. I built up the courage regardless and I shared my idea expecting lots of laughs and negativity, however the response I received was the complete opposite! Once I realised others believed I could do it I started to actually believe it myself.
I believe women of any age can be anything they want to be, it is our own selves who put the greatest fears in the way.
Self-doubt has killed more dreams than failure ever has, so I got the ball rolling, got my domain, website, and Instagram set up with very little hassle by researching and asking questions. I went to a fantastic trade show in Birmingham and secured some stock and set my launch date. What could go wrong, right?
The week before my launch date I fell and badly and broke my kneecap. I was in a full length cast from my hip to my ankle, requiring surgery, in immense pain and unable to drive for 12 weeks. But my venue was booked, the invites sent out and the show had to go on, nothing was going to stand in my way.
I went to the grand launch of “Serenity Ten” with a long silver sequin gown (channelling my best Oscars red carpet style) whilst underneath I was sporting a huge full length cast on my leg, trainers (sparkly one’s mind you) and crutches! Every girl’s dream fashion accessory, right?
The point is, I could have given up. I could have called time on dream before I had even gotten started, but I realised that nothing in life comes easy and you have to put your best foot forward (quite literally in my case) and not let obstacles get in the way. Was it easy? No, of course not. Was it worth it, absolutely!
I put myself out there in every way I could, I joined every local group involving women I could find on social media and attended every event and coffee morning by myself to network and meet like-minded women who shared my vision of supporting each other. Serenity Ten featured on the catwalk of Belfast fashion week in October and suddenly my dream was turning into reality.
In a short space of time, I have grown my Instagram from 0 to 1500 followers. I love my life now, even the uncertainty each day brings I view as an opportunity not a challenge. As a woman approaching 50 this year, I have learned that I am more than a wife, mother, daughter, sister or friend.
I will not be defined by these labels alone as I am ME with my own idea’s, inspirations and zest for life.
Please learn to love yourself for who you are at whatever age or stage of life you are in. Never be afraid to take chances and most of all believe in yourself. Be your own best supporter! Do something that scares you and enjoy every minute of this beautiful life we are so fortunate to breath every day.
Lots of love,