We all have a unique story to tell. Whether you finally started your dream business at the age of 52, you were the first in your family to go to college, you’re a single mom working hard to provide for your kids, or any number of situations you might find yourself in, hear me when I say this: your story is what makes you significant. No matter where you’re at in life, you are so worthy of loving what you do and doing what you love. And honestly, your stories are exactly why I believe that each and every human being can attain a life that is wonderfully meaningful, endlessly valuable, and lovingly beautiful. We can all live la bella vie.
I was born Veronica Patricia O’Shea, although I’m better known these days as Vikki, and I am a first-generation Irish American. I am number 5 of 6 siblings, so you can imagine how growing up in the in-betweens as a child of a wild, sometimes crazy Irish family taught me many things–most of all, courage.
Courage comes from the French word “coeur,” meaning heart. I remember being told early in life that we were O’Shea’s, and we could do anything we put our hearts and minds to. Somehow that made sense to me and I believed it, leading me to pursue courage throughout my life and developing a heart that challenges me to blindly pursue that which I should not have. This innate instinct is something that I cherish and honor as a hallmark of my family and one of the most important pieces of my heritage.
Perhaps that is why I was so fearless in my early years to pursue what I loved and why I believed that I could do anything that I wanted to do. I have ventured through many creative endeavors. Seriously, you name it: hair and beauty salons, retail clothing boutiques, aromatherapy essential oils, bath and body manufacturing, health and wellness, a boutique home store, and interior design. I’ve done a bit of everything, and I personally think I’ve been pretty successful along the way.
Yet at the start of every venture and in the middle of success, I’ve always had a nagging feeling that I’m undeserving. Who was I to do these things? Somehow, everyone is going to figure out that I really have no clue what I’m doing. But here’s the thing: at one point or another, everybody feels this way. They say it takes 10,000 hours to be an expert, so the only way to achieve your dreams is to act as if you’re already there. Set one foot on the path; work hard; persevere; because with a little bit of luck, the road will come up to meet you.
When I realized this, I began to understand that uncertainty and fear are what cause the most tremendous growth and expansion in our lives. In the midst of amazing success, both financially and personally, sometimes I still didn’t feel good enough. But by uncovering my inner critic and bringing those shadow parts of myself into the light, I’ve come to love and accept my inner naysayer while understanding that finding peace and purpose in the face of self-doubt is the real success.
Now, at 60-something, I am moved to share my experiences as a serial creative entrepreneur. For much of my life, I’ve been a creative introvert, deeply craving anonymity. However, the ways in which we communicate with each other are changing so dramatically between generations. While the internet and the social media sphere often get a bad rap, I’ve been learning from some incredible thirty-somethings that social media can be so much more than vanity shots and curated lives. It can be a wealth of knowledge, community, and idea sharing that will unite us across our individual walks of life. As a result, I think that it’s time that I step out from behind myself and begin to share my journey with the world. Ultimately, I believe that it is more important now than ever that we share our experiences and our stories with one another.
So that’s why I’m adding another layer to my design business, La Bella Vie, and beginning something new through this blog, social media, and our eventual store and community. Because it’s about something way more than me telling you about coffee table spreads, travel guides, or holiday party planning (although I promise you, there will be plenty of that!). For me, it’s about reminding folks that there is something so special inside of them. It’s about reaching down inside ourselves, finding the deeper meaning and truth in life, and creating our very own artful lives.
If you would like to accept my invitation to live la bella vie, I would absolutely love for you to join me on this perfectly imperfect journey. I can’t wait to celebrate the many young and old souls that are making a difference and share all the beautiful things I have learned along the way.