Life throws you curve balls, straight balls, and then sometimes a big elephant just sits on your heart and breaks everything in sight. Life is a beautiful mess, which is why I started TEA + PURPOSE.
Hey, I'm Carla (over there on the left).
I grew up a pretty joyful kid. I had big teeth and, for a while, smiled so large that you could see just how funky they were (the orthodontist had a field day, which resulted in 5.5 years of braces). I wore bright colors, wrote and directed plays (staring my younger brother and sister), and danced no matter what song came on the radio.
Life was simple, colorful and magnificent.
And then, over time, I started to hold back. I can't name a particular incident. I don't recall a scolding teacher or boy at school that pulled my pigtails and called me names. It was an invisible force that made my shirt colors dim. I started to sit instead of dance, letting my fingers tap on my knees instead of moving my little body. Like many girls at that age, I learned how to be a "nice, pretty, little girl" and hide myself.
I "learned" how to be reserved so that my big teeth and bright colors and dancing
wasn't offensive or incorrect or wouldn't hold me back from future success.
I learned how not to be myself, slowly by slowly, bit by bit, year by year.
I learned to value other people over myself. I learned
how to devalue my gifts so I could fit in.
Flash forward 14 years.
I'm working in downtown Manhattan in a great advertising job. My "dreams" were true: a job in the field I studied, a growing group of friends, loving family and a thriving social life.
And yet, something felt...off. I felt this void that I couldn't fill. I felt unease that slipped silently into uncertainty, anxiety, and then, yes, depression. I couldn't explain it, but I could tell you that it did NOT feel good.
During this time there were several teachers; many who were benevolent and a few who were merciless with their words and actions. But it was through all their teachings that I recognized what was calling from within me:
It was myself.
My authentic self.
It was the little girl inside of me, with the bangs, funky teeth and bright colored shirt trying to communicate with me.
It didn't look like it from the outside, but from the inside out, the little girl was asking--crying--to be released.
I let my life teachers' agendas and my current circumstances from releasing my true, authentic self--that little Carla. I was holding her in.
Despite my feeling this way, I still felt alone. I felt lost. Uneasy. Unsure.
And yet, deep down, in my soul, I knew it didn't have to be that way. I knew that change could happen and I didn't have feel so alone in the pursuit of my truest self. I thought to myself, "there has to be other women who are searching for the truest version of themselves."
tea+purpose was born from this journey of finding my truest self. It was created for me, it was created for you, it was created for us. It was created with one simple concept: to provide an environment to allow for your authentic self to come alive.
To be honest, my story is not that unique. Hundreds of books, guides, and seminars have been built discussing self-abandonment. I read them, dissected them, and yet, I was still going through it. Alone.
You can read all you want, but it's the act of going through it--really digesting and pouring through all your stuff--that brings you from abandonment to self.
I'm in no way close to fully understanding what rejoining with my authentic self looks and feels like. But I'm here to figure it out.
Which leads me to you
I don't want you to feel alone. I don't want that void to continue to grow. I don't want you to doubt and question the one person who will be with you always--yourself.
It's ok if you are lost. It's ok if deep down, you know you are hiding your emotions. And, hey, it's fabulous if you feel like everything is "right on track."
I just ask you--will you sit in it all, or will you at least give yourself the chance at reclaiming who you already are?
I want you to feel supported. I want you to know there's a place for you. I want you to to know that there is purpose, and truth, and love and opportunity.
Tea started as a part of me, but really, it's all yours.
Tea is a seeking, a connecting, an understanding. It's seeing the humanity in all of us. It's an understanding that we often can feel things-- which may feel like we aren't "good enough"-- and know that there is life on the other side.
Thanks for being a part of this journey.
All my heart,