My name is Sharon Bart and I am a hard-working people pleaser and tend to forget about my own needs because I just love to make people happy. Unfortunately, that also makes me easy to take advantage of. I worked hard in the depressing, stressful health care industry for over 14 years. During this time, I was stricken by several things that seemed determined to take me down:
- A divorce which ultimately left me in a part of the country I only lived in because of my ex-husband. I never really made many friends here because we always thought we would return to where we grew up within a few years.
- A benign meningioma brain tumor, which left me with a lot of self doubt and insecurity. I was also judged unfairly by others because of the prejudice that comes along with brain tumors. You can have brain surgery and come out better than ever before. You don’t come out stupid or disabled. Those are rare cases.
- A diagnosis of an extremely painful auto-immune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. It is an inflammatory disease that usually attacks the spine but it can attack your eyes, your heart, and virtually any organ and joint in your body.
- A diagnosis of another extremely painful disease called fibromyalgia. Most people know by now that it causes widespread body pain.
- Chronic headaches from all of the above.
One very special person in my life told me that I always seem to pick the right gifts. I’m naturally always searching for clues for what people like and take note of it. I love to see their faces light up when I’ve picked a great gift. I used to look through catalogs for hours, circling what I would buy when I grew up and what I wanted for others. Even as a child, I wanted to open up my own gift shop. But the harsh reality of the fact that they don’t always do very well set in as an adult. I still wanted to have my own business, but I just didn’t know what I wanted it to be.
During my marriage, I researched a lot of family history. Again, I did more of it for others than I did for myself because I really didn’t know much about my own family. I sponsored two websites for a major genealogy organization on the internet and this sparked another obsession to create webpages. For the most part, all of this halted after my divorce. My dreams of a family were shattered and it hurt to even see it for the longest time. I’ve recently started it up again but this time with my own family and have had some success. I also have worked some on my ex’s family because I really don’t want my work to go to waste.
One of my other childhood dreams was to help animals in need. The only difference was, I just thought they needed a happy place to live and raise a family. I did come from a family of breeders though. Actually, if I hadn’t ventured to new territory, I wouldn’t have realized how bad the situation is. I’m from a small town where it was ok for animals to run freely so long as they weren’t causing trouble. I knew there was animal abuse, but I didn’t realize how bad the overpopulation issue was. The statistics at my local shelter are heartbreaking. I hope to eventually branch out with a non-profit to help with local animal rescue efforts here, but in an area that isn’t being focused on right now. There are a lot of rescue groups, but I feel they are disjointed and perhaps are competing against one another when they should be working together. Once I have been able to thouroughly research this issue, I’ll know what I need to do. But for now, my own dogs are reaching the end of their lifespan and I want to spend all the time with them that I can because I won’t be having more because it will allow me to help more animals and I don’t know what the future holds for me in the future physically.
One day all these issues were just swirling in my head and I decided to quit my job and focus on what I truly needed physically and emotionally. Thanks to my boyfriend, I was finally able to do that. There’s nothing like spending a lot of time with yourself to help figure things out. There’s no ones needs to scream at you but your own. I’ve been slowly fixing my house up between flare ups and now that the essentials are taken care of, I’m about to enter phase two of my endeavor and strengthen myself physically through arthritis aquatic classes.
Recently, I stumbled upon costume jewelry and I knew from that moment that it was going to be my first niche with my business. While I don’t collect it myself since I have been trying to eliminate the clutter in my life, I am enjoying learning about it. It was exciting to stuble upon my first highly collectible piece. I know someone is really going to enjoy adding it to their collection.
So there you have it, that’s my story in a nutshell. I am enjoying this new adventure in my life and I am looking forward to getting back in touch with that dreamy little girl who’s only barrier was that she was little. I just know things are going to end up well because the possibilities are endless.