teri’s designed life

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I hope you have a great Memorial Day planned! I myself am planning on a day of relaxing, running, and continuing to perfect my football throwing abilities with Erwin in the park. I’m getting better every time.

Today I’d like to share a sneak peek into the life of one of the amazing people who applied to be a Dream Reporter. Her story touched me so much I knew I needed to share her story here on MML. With Teri’s permission, I present her Designed Life.


Teri’s Designed Life

My personal statement is “endlessly learning, and searching for things that inspire me or at least make me smile.” My overall dream is to Live a Handmade Life. I have the intention to live a creative life, and develop my art business I formed a few years ago called Vieira Girl that until recently was just a hobby a creative outlet for me.

I have taken drastic steps in my life as of December and quit my job, bought a condo and recently retired at age 31. I know the idea of retiring at age 31 is strange but actually for someone like me it is pretty much unheard of working that long.  My life started off with me being born with the right half of my heart missing.  My childhood consisted of two parts trying to be a normal child and endless days, weeks, and even months in a hospital. To this day that hospital till seems more like home then most places I have lived in my life.  My defect can never be cured so I constantly have to have heart operations every few years to keep things working correctly.  Needless to say I was discouraged from ever going to college, living on my own, and working a full time job. All of which I insisted that I do.  I did it for a few reasons, one because I thought the experience would outweigh the side affect of my disease, and one because people expect you to do them and the satisfaction of doing something that you were told you never would do by some is motivation enough.

It wasn’t till I was 30 when I realized this wasn’t fun anymore, I cherished everything I did but I woke up one day and realized that I was  just surviving to get through the day. I was in a job  I didn’t  love,  and  an apartment that was falling apart with a landlord who didn’t seem to care , and a boyfriend who moved to Europe to follow his dreams of becoming a professor.  So I gave myself a year to really decide if struggling everyday thru the pain of this disease was worth what I was getting from life.  The answer was no. So I decided to retire from working, and pursue what I really love.

So I downsized my life, I had an apartment of things I accumulated from 10 years of living and working in the Boston, and I bought a one room condo/ loft in a suburb by the sea in Massachusetts. I only brought items that I loved, that I needed, and that would inspire me to create the life I wanted.  I moved into my home in late January.  I quickly realized unpacking my stuff in my new place that I was lost.  I somehow thought that if I just changed my life dramatically that I would know what I wanted.  I was so wrapped up for years going thru the motions of day to day; I didn’t really stop to realize that I got lost somewhere. I was so busy trying to keep on pushing, just hoping that my next great experience will be worth the physical pain that I never realized I lost who I really was.  So when I didn’t have that daily routine, the daily struggle I have to say I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I spent February trying to recover, and relax and just try to regroup myself. Don’t get me wrong the last 10 years of living on my own, working, traveling, and friends all those experiences were worth it and I would do it all over again. It just got to the point when it wasn’t and I guess I realized that I lost myself along the way. As March approached I found myself dreaming again, feeling inspired by things.  So I set for some personal and professional goals both of which I hope I will find myself again in the process or rather the journey it would lead me on.

My overall goal is to Live a Handmade Life, which I started a blog about last year, I really like to develop that over the next year. Living A Handmade Life to me, is about incorporating good pure food, quality products and  giving one a sense of being able to create things that not only will make life better but also will make us better people. So in order to start myself in this journey of Living in a Handmade Life, I broke down this year’s intentions into personal and professional as follows.

My personal goal this year is to get in the best shape, and to be a healthy as I can.  Due to my heart defect the concept of running off my extra weight isn’t one that I can ever do.  I will never be able to run. Exercise for me consist of walking or riding a bike and while I was working I was putting my body under too much stress already I was not able to exercises much for years.  Now I am feeling better and have energy again I am starting my journey on getting healthy and in shape.  As of April I started doing moderate exercise and now I am starting on a new healthy eating plan involving organic foods.

My professional goal is to define what direction Vieira Girl is going. Develop a business plan, product line ideas, and challenge my creativity.  Vieira Girl mission statement “creating items to inspire” the concept of loving ever item I am selling and being inspired by what I create.

Needless to say, I just started my journey to Live a Handmade  Life all though it has started dramatically  with me deciding that I need to live for myself, and not waste time on doing thing I do not love doing, and really trying to find myself again.  I know how precious life is, and have battled the thin line of life and death way to many times for comfort , but I have to say I think that in doing so I have a sense of life and it’s unbelievable beauty and  I already love every breath I get from living it.

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  1. Leigh

    Just visited your shop. Love the falling in love print. Inspired by your desire to live a handmade life. Good luck with everything!

  2. Leana

    Wow Terri! Very admirable chasing your dreams as you are. Wishing you all the best.

  3. Piper

    Wow Teri – your story is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing it – it’s wonderful to hear how you’re going about chasing your own dream. I love the intention behind your blog and your store – such a great idea and wonderful way to approach life.

  4. Heather

    Very inspiring post! I really admire that you are living and defining what success is for you on your terms, in turn it gives others courage to do so.

  5. Lori

    Hi Teri, this is very inspiring! It does take guts to ‘retire’ at 31 but you know your body and know it needed to be off. I’m glad you listened to it and are now taking care of it. Living a homemade life and doing what makes you happy is living a life with intention and happiness. And what could be better than that? It sounds like you have things on track and I wish you success in your business. Your art is beautiful.

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