If you’re looking to live your best life ever, Tomesha Faxio has one piece of advice,
“Don’t get caught up in the ‘what ifs’!”
Faxio lives by this creed but it wasn’t always that way. It took her some time to figure out how to make sense of her experiences and desires. Yet, she is appreciative of the journey that has brought her professional and personal fulfillment today. By day, Faxio is an attorney for the lifestyle undergarment company, Spanx, Inc. – by night, she is a mother, wife, fashion designer, filmmaker, and all around creative.
Becoming an attorney was a choice Faxio made while in her final year at Spelman College. She enrolled into the Law School at Vanderbilt University and following graduation landed a job with King & Spalding, one of the biggest law firms in the metro Atlanta area. “I never really felt like I was in my zone exclusively practicing law,” Faxio told MsXFactor.
“From the very beginning I always felt like something was off, like I was wearing my Mom’s clothes but they just did not fit.”
She had an itch, but was not completely sure how to scratch it. It would be years before things began to make sense for her.
After leaving King & Spalding, she worked as a contract attorney for a smaller firm. As she worked with shoe designers on trademark issues, she began to re-evaluate her career. “Every job I had people loved me,” she points out. “But things are just not, the growth wasn’t there.”
As she reassessed things, her husband, who was in business school at the time, met someone who talked to him about the advertising industry. According to Faxio, the conversation led her husband to believe advertising was where his wife needed to be – but she was not immediately sure. He asked the person for advice – how could his wife, whom he considered highly creative, transition into something like advertising. “He was convinced that I could really be good at it,” she remembers.
“At the time I was so broken and desperate for answers. I really wanted to feel like I was in my zone. After our conversation I went to the website for Creative Circus, read what they were all about and what they offered and something went off.” Immediately the tears began to fall.
“It was like something woke up within me dramatically and suddenly.”
That was the fall of 2014. By the beginning of the next year, she started at Creative Circus, an Atlanta based school that prepares creatives for careers in the marketing communications industry. It was one of the best decisions she could have made at that time. While she stopped short of completing her studies, she admits that it was a necessary time of self discovery that helped affirm that she truly is a creative. However, she still found herself plagued by the ‘what ifs.’ “What if I had started here? What if I had been doing this longer? Where would I be now? I realized that everything works together perfectly,” she said. “That does not mean there were not moments where I spoke sternly with God. However, I had to remember that God is in control of things.”
Three quarters and one job change later, Faxio is now part of the legal team at Spanx where she has been able to accomplish more than she could have ever imagined. Here was her chance to marry all of her – to use both sides of her brain. Although, she admits that after the honeymoon stage in her new role, she felt a little twinge that something was still off. “I would go to these meetings with the creatives and I would feel somewhat left out because my role at the table was as legal counsel,” she remembers. “They are using the entire lingo I learned from school. I know that term. I know what that means. It felt strange to me.” Then one day, Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, said something in the meeting that created the spark Faxio needed. “’If you have a desire to do something, just do it,’” Faxio remembers Blakely saying.
“I left that meeting and decided to design a dress and do a documentary.” Through research, self-teaching, self-will, and desire, Faxio began the process of producing her first documentary an up-and-coming designer in Atlanta who mixes her philanthropic desires with her creativity – with her iPhone. It would take her nine months. “I taught myself from Google and YouTube about lighting, equipment, etc. I made the decision that I would no longer tell myself I could not do something that I had not even tried yet,” she said. “There is no reason to take myself out of the running when I had not even determined my ability.” She also learned that she has to refrain from expecting perfection ever – something failure has taught her, she said. “There really isn’t much stopping you,” she adds. “There really is a way.
I want to make sure I completely live a full life, do all I am supposed to do, turn over every rock and fill out my entire self.”
From where we stand, it looks like this modern day Clark Kent is doing just that!
Need a little help getting out of your rut so that you can pursue your passions too? Check out our What the Mountains Know series for concrete advice and practical steps to living your best life.