Special guest post by Chiara Valente, founder L’Arabesque Events.

What happens when you realize that a part of your life is over and that you have to literally start from zero –again? When you realize that you are already 34, you’ve lost your job – a job you liked a lot – and that after many years of hard work your hands are empty, you have built nothing of importance in your life?

Let’s admit it, you feel like a real loser, there’s no better definition for those feelings than that! And that was the way I was feeling one year ago, and at the beginning it was really hard. In addition, it seemed impossible to find another job, as hard as I tried, and I was very worried about my future….
Then my sister decided to open a shop. I started wondering: “why can’t I start my own business too? Why should I keep on waiting for someone else to give me a chance, I must be my own chance!”.

So I started looking on the web and I found that there were courses to become a wedding planner. I am a true romantic, with a deep love of art so I thought: “this might be ideal for me!” My friends were very encouraging of this career move, in fact almost everyone I spoke to said “Great! It really sounds like it’s the right job for you!”.

So I attended some courses, I read many books and spent hundreds of hours searching on the internet, but theory and practice are not exactly the same thing, are they? When the moment arrived to start taking action, I felt quite helpless and the whole plan seemed too big for me. I basically knew what to do, but not how to do it… I spent most of last summer feeling discouraged and frustrated. Luckily, thanks to the help of my family and friends, who had passed the word around of my new venture, I got in touch with the managers of a wedding location, who gave me the opportunity to work with them to a couple of events.  I also found my first clients -a young couple who asked me to help planning their wedding next summer! My first customers!!! What a responsibility, but what a joy!!!

A huge amount of  help to make this change has come from the web. Not only as a simple container of information, but as the place where I found real human support and friendship! First of all Michelle, who gave me precious advice and encouragement when I needed it most. Then I found a real family in the online community created by a great wedding planner and extraordinary woman, Silvia Bargagni, aka Magnolia WP, who, in a world of people thinking only to their interests, firmly believes that cooperation, mutual help, sharing knowledge, ideas and advice are the best way to work, improve and grow… and all the wonderful and enthusiastic people she is gathering around her are the demonstration she is right! And it is surrounding myself in this positive atmosphere that brings me more serenity and the will to face with more determination the new challenges in this job and all the difficulties it implies. 

So my advice is: surround yourself with positive people, who support and help you, because the moments of fear and discouragement can always happen, but if you have the right people near you, these moments can be faced and overcome!

Chiara Valente, L’Arabesque Events Wedding Planner

PS: and if you’re wondering: “the title reminds me of one of John Lennon’s songs”… well, yes, it’s not a coincidence. 🙂

I asked Chiara to write this post as I personally found her story inspiring and as this is a space dedicated to positive change, an ideal place to share with like minded people who are not willing to settle for a unfulfilled life. Please share with us what you  think of Chiara’s journey below.

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