Ahhhh…. today’s the day: my birthday! Well, my 28th birthday to be exact. Oh yea, and it’s also April Fool’s Day.
When I woke up this morning, I expected to feel older, different. Every year this happens, and I don’t feel any different (although my friends and family always make me feel special!)
This morning, I did! I felt more focused, more centered and that I had more to be proud of than any other year of my life thus far. Now, I know this is a food blog and not a diary-style blog, but bear with me today because, heck – it’s my birthday!!
I woke up with Lu nudging me and saying “happy birthday!” He always wakes up before me – he’s my alarm clock, because I sleep like a rock and I need someone to basically shake me or pour a bucket of ice over my head to wake me up.
When I look over at Lu, I felt it. I felt that excitement about my birthday, about my life and about the future. When I looked at him, my life was complete. I knew what I wanted, what I needed and felt grateful for what I had. All in about 5 seconds.
This year, I’m going to marry my best friend, launch a product into the marketplace and continue to pursue my dreams of making a name for myself!
There’s so much to look forward to, so much to celebrate and most importantly, so much to appreciate and be thankful for. After Lu left for work, I immediately wrote down a list of things I wanted to do today. I wanted to appreciate the little things that relax me and make me happy. I think birthdays are usually filled with so many celebrations with others, that we don’t always find time to enjoy it alone. That sounds very anti-social, haha! I just mean that it’s important to wish ourselves a happy birthday too!
So, I’ll be getting my nails done (you all know how I love a good mani) and going for a walk outside today (which I pretty much never do during the work day.)
Later tonight, I’m going to one of my favorite new restaurants (Talde) that recently opened up in Jersey City with my family – my grandparents, my parents, my sister and her boyfriend and of course, Lu. Every year, I spend my birthdays like this – with my family!
Growing a Business and Being Inspiralized
I thought I’d reflect a bit and talk about what I spent my 27th year doing (aside from getting engaged and publishing my first cookbook!) – growing my business and being Inspiralized.
Being Inspiralized, to me, means more than just eating spiralized vegetables (although I do eat an insane amount of veggie noodles!) Being Inspiralized means being an inspired, happier and healthier version of your original self. Never in my life have I felt so blessed, so happy, so fulfilled and so excited to wake up every day.
Not to mention, Inspiralized helped me reach my goal weight and feel comfortable with my body. I’m a work-in-progress, but that work doesn’t discourage me – it motivates, inspires and encourages me!
Each day, I wake up with Lu, make coffee and sit down to read the comments and messages that came through over the night. I don’t check any e-mails at first… just my social media messages.
This is my favorite part of the day: I get to see how people are finding me all over the world. Over the night, (11pm-7:30am EST), those in the UK left me Facebook comments, followers in Asia Tweeted at me, and those on the west coast shared their dinners on Instagram. It’s mind-blowing, humbling and amazing.
Never in a million years could I have expected this. When I sat down in Starbucks on June 26th, 2013 with my dinky old laptop that I bought when I first graduated college and started Inspiralized.com, I didn’t know where to begin. All I knew was that I was going to make it work. I was going to build this community and popularize spiralizing. Talk about the power of positivity!
Readers e-mail me often telling me about their passions and ask for advice on how to build them into a business and “go for it.” I get questions like,
“When did you know it was time to take that leap of faith?”
“When did you first starting making enough money to survive?”
“Did you build a business plan?”
To be perfectly frank, I didn’t know it was “time” to quit my job. It wasn’t pre-meditated, it wasn’t calculated, it wasn’t scheduled. I felt so strongly about my idea for Inspiralized that I knew my will to succeed would overcome anything. I didn’t have a business plan, I didn’t even know how you could possibly make a living off of blogging – it seemed so far-fetched, it seemed like only the glamorous could do it.
And let me tell you, there were times when I overdrew my bank account. There were times when I had to lean on Lu for help. There were so many times when I had to put ego aside and ask for help. This didn’t mean I wasn’t successful, it just meant that I was working hard and I needed support while I grew Inspiralized.
I had to give up trips to the beach on the weekends to instead write my cookbook or recipe test for the blog. I can’t just “take today off,” because my hours during the day are important for photography, cooking and writing. My money’s spent on ceramic bowls for food styling, instead of chic booties.
But you know what? It is all worth it. Every single minute of it.
There are still times when I feel like no one’s listening, no one knows about Inspiralized and I’m just a tiny little guppy in a giant ocean, struggling to keep swimming. There are times when things don’t happen as I’d hoped and those major setbacks are tough, really tough. But, the only way I know now is forward.
I’m still growing Inspiralized every single day – I wake up with Lu at 7/7:30am every day and I don’t stop working until late at night. Why? I want to be working on Inspiralized. I love what I’m doing, I love seeing you all happy with my recipes and excited over the cookbook and the Inspiralizer. Every day is different, new and an opportunity to do something special.
Life is full. And I’m thankful for that.
Happy April Fool’s, Happy first day of April and thanks in advance for all of the birthday wishes – you guys are amazing, I really mean it!