My life has been touched by some uber amazing women whose passion for life and the way they choose to live it have really inspired me. A few years ago, I started the She’s So Inspiring series to showcase these amazing stories because I knew that they would inspire others. Some of these inspiring women are bloggers, some are not, their lives are all different and they are all incredibly special. I am so honoured that they are sharing their stories and sprinkling a little bit of their awesome right here. May you be wom-inspired!
Meet Melissa Walker Horn.
I’ve known Melissa as Suger online for what seems like years, but we only got to meet in real life last year at the Bupa Blog Awards. We were both nominees in the Personal Blog category, and I was thrilled to be in such good company. I’m in awe of what Melissa has achieved on her blog, in her business and also on her you tube channel – it’s fab and I’m learning so much! I love her positive outlook and confidence and how she uses them to empower and inspire others. Meet Melissa, she’s so inspiring!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Melissa, but online go by my nickname, Suger. I’m 35 years old; married to a wonderfully ridiculous man. I’m from a large family, which matters and has shaped me. I like my wine dry, white and chilled, my clothes with stripes and an afternoon nap as often as possible.
Blogging since 2009 on my blog Suger Coat It; I run my own business or two and a secondary blog The Leave Home Blog about, you guessed it, leaving home. Being an Aries with a side order of ADD will do that to a girl. This desire to work for myself became the catalyst for turning my plus size fashion blog into a lifestyle blog for women who work for themselves.
My story is one of self-awareness and confidence, a gift I wish I could offer every woman and girl out there. Maybe one day, that’s what I’ll be able to deliver. Until then, I’ll help you figure out your Facebook ads, build a side-hustle and enjoy your life as you go.
Tell us 3 things you are and 3 things you’re not.
I am not;
Easy-going (I could’ve sworn I was!)
Complete this sentence, ____________________ changed my life. How and why?
Blogging changed my life. When I started blogging I was 25, trying to have kids and failing, I’d sold my first business, burnt myself out, was coming out of the worst bout of depression of my life, and had no idea of who I was, or what I wanted out of life. Having somewhere to express that, to work through it and develop was a gift.
What has been life’s greatest lesson?
My greatest lesson has been “what is meant for me won’t pass me by”. I only really discovered the language for this lesson in a conversation with friends recently. But that sums it up so perfectly. I’ve learned to trust, to have faith and to exercise patience. And that sometimes, I’m prone to force things to ‘make them’ happen; this is almost always a sign that it’s not going to work.
What is your biggest achievement?
Living a life that I created for myself. When I was younger, I felt the drive to tick those ‘life goals’ off my list. Get married, buy a house, have a business, have kids, etc. etc. I had never considered what I wanted my life to look like. Now, I can confidently say that this is it. For now.
What has been your toughest obstacle and how have you overcome it?
I’ve always struggled with my mental health. It’s not something that I have let define my life or shape its ambition, but it’s like taking a backpack full of ‘stuff’ along with you. As far as overcoming it goes, at times I’ve felt ‘cured’ and whole but bipolar isn’t the sort of disease that gives you a finish line. So, I persevere. That’s probably the best advice I can give about such things, to keep on going.
Viktor Frankl says “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.” Everyone needs a purpose, what’s yours?
I want to advance the position of women through confidence, self-awareness and self-sufficiency. I don’t know where that comes from, but it’s been something that I saw as an injustice since I was a child.
Why doesn’t my brother get called to help with dishes but I do? Why do people expect my mother to be responsible for our care when it’s my father who is home in the afternoon with us? Why do women take their husband’s name anyway? Who came up with that? All those things.
I questioned everything about this idea of ‘women’ and how we should exist in the world. So, levelling that playing field for women, even in the smallest, grass-roots kind of ways might just be my life’s work. I’m 35 though, what the heck do I know? Haha.
What are your words to live by?
Make yourself proud.
If you could have any mentor, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
I’ve had some amazing mentors in my life. People who have shaped me, built me up and kicked my ass when I needed it. In that sense, I’ve already been ridiculously blessed.
However, if I had to choose someone to add to my pack, I’d spend some time under the wing of Patty Jenkins (Director). Not because I want to make movies, but because I admire what she has achieved in her career as a creator. She is a woman in a field dominated by men and succeeded without compromising what she stands for.
If you could play hookie for a day what would be on your list to do?
I’d always head to the water. The beach near my house that is almost always deserted, with fresh bread rolls, butter and a hot chicken. It’s all I need. Oh, and a great chilled Sav Blanc wouldn’t hurt either. I’m a simple girl, really.
You do so much to help others, what do you do to take care of yourself?
To be honest, lately I’ve been terrible at making time for taking care of myself. I’ve found more and more excuses not to but when it comes down to it, none of them are good enough. For me, it’s exercise or reading that are my go-to reset and refresh habits. And after a conversation last week, I’m already making steps towards incorporating that time back into my schedule. Heck, I even picked up a work contract at the local aquatic centre to force myself! I’m too important to myself not to. We all are.
Thank you for sharing, Melissa.
Let inspire you a little bit more…
on the blog
and on you tube
Linking up with Kylie for IBOT.