It’s New Years Eve, 2014. It is a transition time. A metaphorical shedding of past self, an opportunity for renewal. And so it makes sense that this post would be about my life over the past year. And what a year it has been.

I became self-employed, I fell in love, I turned 30. But it hasn’t all been roses.

I battled (and still do) with anxiety and depression throughout my twenties. This I discovered through a series of anxiety attacks that would wake me from a dead sleep in the middle of the night. The combination of an unhealthy relationship and a demanding career at a really poignant time of growth in my life was debilitating. Through that relationship I lost my spark for life, I just plain lost myself.

In life facing betrayal and loss, after throwing your everything into making it work, knocks the wind right out of your lungs.

Ending my relationship with both my partner and my career over the course of about 3 years is what has allowed me to be able to write about my healing process and essentially, I believe, my recovery.

At the time that my relationship dissolved I threw myself into my career. I worked hard to be successful in my position, and it paid off. I was making annual bonuses, training, and being a leader of industry in my city at a prestigious make up brand. Fortunately things took a turn when my views were no longer synching with the ‘team’. I say fortunately because the best thing I’ve ever done for my career, my sanity and myself was to step out on my own.

I have been a freelance Edmonton Makeup Artist, solely, for just over a year now, and I can tell you that it was more than scary taking that first step. From the moment I pressed send on my resignation email I haven’t looked back.

It was around that same time that something inside of me clicked and I knew it was time to start feeling again. I spoke with my doctor and we decided I was ready to stop taking my depression medications.

When I try to culminate the reasons and strategies I may have come up with or used to get me through the last year I can think of only one major thing. A realization. -I am in control of my own life. So simple, right?

Before this, my decisions were always based on a series of thoughts about everyones needs but my own. An abusive partner-don’t make him angry, don’t talk too long with someone from the opposite sex, don’t wear that skirt; a demanding job- what time do I need to be at work for my 9 hour shift, often times getting home at 1030pm just to be back at 9am, keeping the peace and setting the tone for a staff of over 20, helping hundreds of clients and customers a week to look and feel their best. I was being pulled in so many directions at all times and not one of those directions I felt I had any control over.

Sure, I chose to enter a relationship with this person, I chose this job and this career. So why was I feeling so out of control?

Throughout all of this one thing did remain constant; my love for my art. My connection with people and my ability to bring the beauty out of someone was my bliss. No matter what I was dealing with personally I drew confidence and strength from connecting with everyone that sat in my makeup chair. My work, not my job, was my home away from home.

When I hit the glass ceiling at work it felt like my rock bottom and I knew I had to say goodbye. My benefits, health coverage, 3 weeks vacation a year, salaried position at one of the largest makeup retailers globally—all of that security—I walked away from with my head held high. I would now have only one boss and one employee. Myself.

The first thing I did with my new found freedom?

I got a dog, who needs me. Not a depressed me but a steady, consistent and strong me.

I made things official with the ‘man-friend’ who is so supporting and loving. He helped me create a make up studio and my new ‘baby’ the website you are currently visiting.

I’ve been blessed with an abundance of new and old supporters both of my work and my career. I couldn’t be happier with the path my life has taken. I embark into my 30’s with a renewed sense of who I am, a stronger sense of what I want and what is most important in life, the human connection.

Should my path cross yours somewhere in this new year, I hope we make each other smile and feel beautiful.