In Life, We All Have People That Root For Us, And My Mom Was That Person For Me.
When I came on board as the Founding Editor of DailyVenusDiva.com in 2009 one of things that I vowed to do was feature stories and articles that inspired and educated plus size women. My goal was to do that by interviewing plus size women who defied societal limitations placed on them and by featuring plus size brands, industry influencers and news stories that kept our readers in the loop of everything relevant to them. After all, our motto is and has always been “Thrive In Your Curves.” This was the motto of Venus Diva Magazine, and as DailyVenusDiva.com began to fly in 2009, it was important to keep that saying alive.
Over the years we’ve helped women do just that and in return, our readers have helped me immensely. When I started with DVD, I was new to this industry, community, movement or whatever you identify it as. I didn’t know the key players nor did I know industry etiquette. I had never selected a plus size cover model before nor had I heard of the brands that I would eventually familiarize myself and form relationships with. When I stepped into my role as Editor-in-Chief, I thought to myself, “this will be a breeze.” Little did I know that I was joining one of the most trusted brands in the plus size community.
Over the years we’ve tried our best to stay fresh and relevant, never changing our focus, but adapting. Adapting is necessary as long as you remain true to yourself. However, one thing I never did was let readers get to know me personally. Over the years I tried my best to keep it strictly professional because I honestly didn’t know if you would be interested in getting to know me. To many women DailyVenusDiva.com is a mindset, a way of thinking and I didn’t think that Stephanie Penn had a place at that table, so I lived behind my computer and directed the persona of DailyVenusDiva.com without divulging too much about myself.
Many of you may have been wondering why we’ve posted less and less over the last six months and why things at DailyVenusDiva.com have come to a virtual halt. On May 1, 2016, the love of my life took her final breath. My mom, best friend, sister and #1 cheerleader physically left this earth and my world came to an abrupt halt. As much as I wanted to get up and report on the press releases that I’ve received since she passed away, I couldn’t find the energy to do so. To be honest I’ve felt this way for quite some time. Before transitioning in May, she had been in the hospital since December 2015 and since then I’ve been consumed with worrying about her health. When she went into the hospital in December I no idea that I only had a few more months with her, but she was my priority. The only things I had the energy to do was to work my 9 to 5 and come home. That was my schedule every single day. Anything else required a pep talk and more energy than I was willing to exhaust so I repeated my daily schedule of going to work and coming home. Even this blog post is taxing for me. It’s taking everything in my power not to just delete this article and keep these thoughts to myself. In the past I wouldn’t care that I’ve reached 574 words so far, and I would just say forget it, but not today.
It’s time for me to get up, open the blinds and exhale. Sure, there’s going to be an influx of emotions along the way, but I owe it to myself and my mom to keep going. She loved the work that we do with DailyVenusDiva.com. She was proud of what we stood for and will continue to stand for and she admired the principles that defined our mission. She bragged about the plus size industry and the events that I attended to anyone who would listen. Although she didn’t know many of my peers personally, she cheered for us all. With that in mind, my goal is to continue to give my mom something to cheer for in life and death.