Welcome to Your Story Matters!
One of my fav' blogs under VanessaJSimmons.com, as we share stories from some truly amazing women striving for their dreams, day in & out.
From Entrepreneurs, Executives, Creatives, Mompreneurs, and more...We hope to empower Millennial Females to share their stories & live their dreams!
Starting off, I'm honored to share mine with a very special article from Upscale Magazine.
It was through writing this piece that I realized not only how therapeutic it is to share a story like this, but how incredibly encouraging it can be for anyone going through similar struggles, thus making us all stronger. I only hope to inspire other women through my story.
Vanessa J. Simmons
Love On Top
Upscale Magazine Nov/Dec 2014
Family has always been the center of my life. I come from a large family, some famous, some not. Growing up in a blended family, I have been blessed to have a mom, dad, stepmom, stepdad, tons of brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and tons of love. I’ve always been adventurous and had big dreams, so when I decided to move to Los Angeles at 23 to pursue my career, being away from my close-knit family wasn’t a big concern to me.
When I first moved away, I kept in touch with family regularly, including visiting home often. But the further I focused on chasing my dreams, the more I drifted away from my family. Visits become limited to holidays and my calls became less frequent. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was losing myself the further I drifted away from my family. Not being close and in regular contact with the people who believed in me most had a profound effect on my confidence, and it started to affect my career goals. This made me withdraw from everyone and everything. I isolated myself. I was bombing auditions, I didn’t want to be photographed, I didn’t want to hang out with friends. I was painting this peachy image of my life to my family, but in reality, I was home in sweats, hiding from the world. Through introspection and counseling, I realized that I was depressed. I needed my family. I flew home and shared with them what I had been going through. My family admitted they noticed the changes in me and reaffirmed their love and support. I knew that I needed to rekindle my relationships with them in order to maintain not only my sanity, but my happiness. The closer I got with my family, the more I felt like myself again.
It was not long after that when I found out I was expecting my first child. While this was a surprise, it propelled my desire to strengthen and maintain family connections. Today, even though I’m still 3,000 miles away, I make a conscience effort be in contact with family members at least a few times a week and we visit with each other as often as we can. Mike, Ava Marie and I are blessed enough to have his family close by here in Los Angeles, who go out their way to make make me feel like one of their own.
For others who are trying to reconnect with family, I would suggest starting by just picking up the phone and calling your loved ones. Let them know how important they are to you. Put reminders in your phone to call them regularly. Just this small gesture alone, can make a positive difference in your life.
Being a Mother, daughter, partner and in law forces me to wear many hats on top of my career goals, so i have adapted the motto to work smarter and not harder, its something my dad told me years ago that flew over my head at the time, but i now see it paying off in big ways. Setting strategic , specific goals monthly allows me to flourish in ways I’ve always wanted but most importantly leaves time for family.
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