A Look Back

thecuratedwoman: a look back

Picture: Allison Heine via Unsplash | Words: Alejandra Abouhamad

Ho boy, we’re starting deep, it seems. It’s okay though, because I am proud of the journey that I’m in. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, I’m proud of how much my mindset has changed and, even though I’m not exactly there - there being when my outer me fully reflects my vision - but damn am I far closer now than I ever was before.

Of course, I hope that not everyone’s journey has to be this uncomfortable, but I definitely think you have to be willing to dig deep down in order to truly get to know yourself. Elizabeth Gilbert talked in her book Big Magic about how the Universe buries strange jewels within us, and that the quest to find them and unbury them was creative living, but I think that we all have a second set of jewels, the ones that contain our innermost self, our true reality, the deepest, rawest version of us, untouched by the world, and the quest to find those, is curated living.


I’ve had a few moments of epiphany throughout my adult life. About two years ago I realised “holy shit I have no friends” and promptly worked on that, kicked my hermit habits and painfully but consistently put myself a bit more out there…and made friends, some of the most amazing people in the goddamn world, might I add, but my self-life was still the same, nothing in me had changed.

The biggest epiphany, the turning point, came December of last year. I had been working my ass off since August to relaunch myself as a design studio, I’d invested all the money that I had and didn’t have, and I put in work work work, but then crickets…nothing, nada, pure silence. It seemed to me that I had mal de ojo (evil eye) or something because I was getting “oh no, you’re an amazing designer surely you’re gonna be super booked!!” from my designer friends but clearly no potential client thought that.

Now, I’d like to clarify: I did not try to open a design studio with the sole intention of making money. For better or worse the switch that turns me from sloth to human is passion, so it was a dead-end if I ever thought to open up a business purely because of the money factor. I was, however, subconciously stuck in a mindset of “if I put in this hard work, you should be benefitting me, aka clearly I deserve to be successful.”

Truth Bomb: It doesn'’t work like that.

When I closed my design studio in December out of victim mode mentality - other things were happening but truly, I could’ve powered through it all and decided to take the easiest route instead-, thinking through the filter of my depression that “I’m not meant to earn a living doing what I love” or that “God doesn’t love me” or the best line I’ve had “I don’t deserve to ever know happiness”, when I looked back at my diary entries and reflected with utter horror the place my mind was it, that’s when I said: I have to change.


Unemployed, single, financially dependent and depressed, when I re-read the words that I’d poured out, I couldn’t believe it. Me? The preaching poster child for “it gets better :)”? I’m this down? When-How did this even happen?!!! I couldn’t make sense of it, it just didn’t match up, it was like I was trying to fit three puzzles into one single Picasso-style shit-soup.

Whatever it was, though, I only had one option: I either fixed it or fixed it. And I don’t mean lightly fix it, like put a band-aid on top and move on, I mean start from deep inside, get to know the me that apparently I’d kept hidden inside for years and try again. I was going to fully rebuild myself from the ground up, in every aspect of my life.

I made an oath, to myself, to my life and to the Universe. I said “hey, Universe, let’s start again, yeah?” and I swore that I would never go back again to that me. That was the moment that I stepped into the true nature of my journey and the moment I regained a power that I’d unconciously gave away, the power to be in control of my life - including actions and consequences - to be in control of my happiness, to go from being an end-user to being the one in charge of creating and writing my life.

Obviously, from December to March 3rd - when I’m writing this - there hasn’t physically been enough time and space to go to the other end of that transformation. This blog isn’t an autobiography, I’m not on a beach relaxing having already figured out my life and this journey has already passed, because I know first-hand that when you’re struggling with something and someone who’s already figured their stuff out tries to help and gives advice, it doesn’t come through. You need to see someone next to you in that same metaphorical mud to get the message across.

Let’s be there next to each other on that mud, let’s share our stories and let’s make this place a place of collaboration, healing and support; let’s make sure that from this year on we take back our power to get ourselves out of that mud and come out victorious. This life is your responsibility and yours only, you can’t put the responsibility in anyone else, you can’t give your power away, it’s not fair to you, and it also not fair to them.

So, I invite you to let me know in the comments who has the ownership of your life right now, and who is in control of writing the chapters that make up the book of your life. If that person is not you, and you feel ready to change that, I’d love for you to share with us that you’re ready to take ownership of your life to keep yourself accountable.

If you don’t know how to phrase it, here’s a little oath speech that you can fill in to make it yours: “I _________ (your name), swear that from now on I am in charge of my life. I swear that I will put in the work to make sure that my life is faithful to the vision that my inner self has of me. I’m stepping into my full power, just you wait and see.”

Much love <3