As I grew up I always enjoyed crafting, I was never really an artist – far from it! In high school I was affectionately known by many of the football players as the poster-making cheerleader – I would make so many signs to show my school and team spirit. I also got to dabble in photography and page layouts as the yearbook editor my senior year of high school.
In college, my creative pursuits were put on hold for a bit. I did, however, manage to get most of my college photos in albums for different events, birthday parties and dinners.
After college, I headed to law school (yay me!). Even though this was one of the most challenging times of my life – I became known as the Martha Stewart among my friends. I would make holiday goodie bags and drop them off in the school mailboxes for my friends. I would use cute bags and fill them with candies and homemade cookies (amazingly, my baking skills took off during law school). It was in sense a coping mechanism, it was my way of entertaining, celebrating and bringing levity in the midst of a serious time.
While on breaks from law school I would go back to my desire to become a scrapbooker … I would buy stickers, albums, pens, and how to books on fonts. I definitely wanted to pursue this hobby, but I lacked a few things:· Basic Scrapbook Supplies (tape runner, paper cutter, etc.)
· And knowing just where to begin with my photos.
So, alas – I graduated from law school and started my job at a law firm in Southern California. Professionally speaking – I was on the cusp of meeting the single biggest goal of my life – to pass the California Bar Exam. Well, this did not play out exactly as I anticipated … Day one of the Bar Exam (July 2002) came after a completely sleepless night, the morning of the exam I am literally bawling to my dad on the phone that "I’m not going to pass", and here’s the ticker --- when I get to the exam an “old flame” greets me (and he’s NOT surprised to see me there, he knew I would be there) and is seated in the same row I was. Needless to say, I was off my game --- I did not pass.
Bar Exam Take 2: I returned to the Bar Exam (February 2003) after 2 long months of studying and working with a private tutor. I would be damned not to pass the test this time! So, on May 24, 2003 I found out as I was driving to be a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding – I PASSED THE BAR EXAM!!! WOO HOO!!! More than anything from this test, I learned that it was about self confidence, stamina, massive memorization skills, stamina (yes, I said it twice) and knowing how to take “the test”. I am so glad that I figured it out on the second time around.
You may be asking – ok – she just jumped from talking about her scrapbook albums to her ultimate professional accomplishment – how do these relate to each other? Well, for me it all boiled down to self esteem and believing in myself. The confidence I initially gained as a child – knowing that I was loved and had a family that only wants the best for me was what I needed to carry me through this difficult time.
After I passed the Bar Exam my job duties at the law firm were quite demanding … I still didn’t seem to have the time I needed to pursue my scrapbooking. I began attending a monthly scrapbook evening with my friend and I soon knew what materials I needed to make a scrapbook! The scrapbook evening soon became scrapbook parties are my house, and at that point all of my friends were encouraging me to become a Creative Memories consultant. So, finally I made the commitment to become a consultant.
Today, my scrapbook business is taking a new path --- I not quite sure where it will lead --- but I find that exciting. Scrapbooking now means sharing my expertise with others, organizing events that provide the “time” block necessary to get to scrapbooking, and being hired to do custom scrapbooks for others who are not so creatively inclined.
If you would like to speak with me about a specific custom scrapbook project or attending one of my events, please contact me.
Rina Gonzales is a Creative Memories consultant, scrapbook events host and can be hired for custom scrapbook projects. She is also a lawyer and lives in Riverside, California. Her favorite scrapbook subject is her almost 1 year old baby nephew.