I've been working hard the last few months at overcoming my fears and following my dreams. So I'm running a series of interview with inspiring people to see what part fear has played in their life and how they've overcome it to live life their way...
Hey! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! I’m Stephanie Violet and I have a little blog called The Quiet Lifeof Violet. I’m 26 years old, married to my dreamy high school sweetheart and I’m Mom to our first child. I’m currently building a company that hand-makes good-for you bath products, with an emphasis on organic ingredients and pregnancy-safe products. We live in Northern California, about 50 minutes from our hometown where we met 10 years ago. We’re so in love!
Is the life you lead now the life you've always dreamt of?
Growing up, I never really dreamed of a certain type of life. I have always had artistic inclinations and love being surrounded by creative people, so in that sense, yup! I knew I’d be married, but I never really knew what “being married” meant and boy, it’s amazing. Getting to see the person who makes me feel whole everyday is just such a treat and I’m so, so thankful!
When you have faced difficulties, what has been your inspiration to keep going?
I have face difficulties in my life. I’ve had cancer four times, lost my right leg, my right lung, part of my left lung and a part of my digestive system. It’s been rough and so very hard on my poor little heart, but my soul is strong and I’m still here!
Honestly, when I had cancer the first time at age 11, I didn’t understand it. If you’ve never been around death or suffering, you just don’t understand it at that age. I knew that my parents were upset and that just killed me inside, so I tried to do whatever they told me to do.
When you’re an adult, cancer is MUCH different. It’s a total mind-swirl, LETTING yourself get so sick and making yourself go back to the place where you know you will feel like total crap. Everyone around you is sad and hurting and you know that it’s because of you and that a heavy burden to carry, even though you know you didn’t do anything to carry such weight. I had a really hard time getting myself to keep going during second bout with cancer and chemo, at age 21. I knew that I didn’t want to die, but I certainly didn’t enjoy the surgery, doctor’s visits and chemo. My family got me through again… and my future child. My Mom and I had a serious talk one day and I told her that I would do it for my boy. I even named him. When ever I was thinking of quitting, she would remind me that it was about more than just me. I had to fight for him.
I’m so glad that I did.
Fear affects us all at some point. What part has fear played in your life and how have you overcome it?
Fear is in my life constantly. I worry about every little cough or ache. I worry hard-core before each scan. The time after getting a scan and before the doctor reveals the results is kind of like standing at a fork in the road. THE road. What ever the results say, which I have no control over, will form and shape the rest of my life I’ve been VERY lucky for the past (almost!) three years. And now, I’ve got this beautiful boy, MY boy, THE boy, growing inside of me, who ads a whole ‘nother layer of worry and fear to my world.
How do I deal with it?
It’s a delicate balance of accepting, embracing and calming the fear. I never deny the fact (to others or myself) that I’m scared, never push it away. It’s there, it’s a part of me and this life that I love and want to continue living so much. After accepting it, I really cherish the fact that the fear lets me live so deeply! Without this fear, these trials that I’ve been put through, a whole layer of my appreciation for life would be missing. When you realize just how amazing, beautiful and special everything is, only then can you really appreciate it all.
What advice would you offer on following your heart and living your dreams?
Accept your life! Acknowledge the hard things and learn to work with them. Don’t be afraid to be different. Be respectful of others. Remind yourself that you ARE worth it and that you ARE good enough. Don’t be afraid to tell someone that you love them. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Pause each day and pick out three things that you’re thankful for – if one of the three includes a person, don’t hesitate to tell them. Love hard.