By Heather Niccoli
It is truly strange for me to sit here and write this, 365 days to the date from where HaveHeart began. I was terrified then. I wasn’t scared of running my own magazine, creating something different or whether it would be a success. I was terrified of what it might mean to know that I might actually be on the threshold of another one of those “failures” in life that turned out to be something good. It wasn’t terrifying in the negative sense of the word, but more like when look out at something and can’t grasp the vastness in front of you. You know it’s beautiful but you almost can’t take it in. Yeah, I knew my magazine was small. I knew it would be a bitch to monetize it and run it by myself. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. But I didn’t care. It was real and I didn’t give a shit.
Over the year, HaveHeart grew. You can absolutely say that I grew, too.
You might be wondering to yourself, “Hold on for a second. Who is that woman on the cover? Where’s the cover woman interview?” Well, HaveHearters, time’s a changing. You’ll start to see some differences in the way we do things around here, and the two biggest ones will be 1. Our cover women and 2. We will be in print. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s take a moment to find out who this woman is.
This is my mom.
Now let’s get the story straight. I didn’t put her on the cover because I wanted to be sentimental because I love my mom. No way. My mom might even be pissed I put a picture of her up for the world to see. I think the potential lashing will be worth it, because my mom gave me something I’d like to give to all of you: Courage. And courage, my friends- is what we all need more of. Not the ra-ra cheerleader crap kind of courage. I’m talking about the nitty gritty kind of courage. The kind of courage when you feel like the wheels are going to fall off your car but you’ve got to drive on somehow. Let me tell you what I mean.
My mom’s name is Debbie. She’s from New York, and yeah, she’s still got a killer accent that she throws around this small town in Idaho where we live. I still can’t pronounce “quarter, water, or radiator” like a normal Idahoan should. My mom came to visit her family in Idaho when she was on her way to San Francisco to study medicine. Like one of the lucky ones, she met her soul mate (my dad) in one of those old-school hipster situations you love to hear about. They dated for a short time and then *swoon he gives her a cigar band as an engagement ring until he can get her a proper piece of gold. They’ve been married ever since. Thank God for my dad’s prowess of his hot rod and shaggy hair or I would’ve never lived! Where was I? Ok, back to mom.
My mother is not the type to go rushing over when you’ve fallen and scraped your knee. She’s more the type to point out- hey, kid! You’re still alive! Get back up and keep on going! When I first had my heart broken and told her she gave me this look like: don’t tell me some guy is going to break you down like that! This kind of belief in you forces you to stand up, shake yourself off and say, hey! Damn right, I’ll be ok!
I want you all to move into 2015 with that mentality. We’ve heard and been through it all, haven’t we? I get it. 2014 was really tough for some people, and in same ways it was hard for all of us. My mom would say that today is a new day. Who cares about the past? It was then. This is now. Let’s have the courage to forgive our mistakes, the weight we didn’t lose, the days we were bitchy, the times we cried ourselves to sleep, or the negativity we chose to let weigh us down. Because you know what? It takes courage to be positive. It takes courage to stop pining after what you don’t have and appreciate what you do have. It takes facing yourself, your faults, your shortcomings and your failures. If you don’t like something: CHANGE IT. My friends, it is as simple as that. (That’s also why it can be difficult, but who said it had to be easy?)
My mom taught me how to stand for myself in life. That doesn’t mean I don’t fall down or feel massive amounts of guilt/anxiety or failure. It just means when I am scared, I keep going. We’ve all have the rare and beautiful opportunity to chase our dreams and make our lives what we want it. We just have to remember that when we’re sad, upset or feeling discouraged- it’s all part of the process. I want you to picture my mom’s strong New York accent telling you to pick yourself up because this year is yours. Did you hear me? I said this year is YOURS.
If you haven’t yet, check out my latest venture: Home&Harvest Magazine. It’s a new print magazine with a section for HaveHeart. It’s been a HUGE success and I’m about to print the second issue. How’s that for chasing a dream?
I want to thank you all for reading HaveHeart. I want to thank all of my writers who make HaveHeart what it is. Thank you to our readers for sharing, liking and supporting our mission. You made this year fabulous because you cared enough to be a part of it.
Mom, thank you. You were the first, last and will always be the cover woman in my life. I hope everyone who reads this takes what I said about life to heart. Take it from my mom- you can, you are and you will be strong enough to do what you want to do. So go do it. And don’t forget how very loved you all are.
Here’s to 2015 and to HaveHeart! Happy 1 year Anniversary!