project 30 – Melissa

9 Apr

I met Melissa in October at Jen Pastiloff’s manifestation yoga retreat and I couldn’t be more thankful that she was brought into my world. She’s become a big energy in my life in a very short time. We just click. It’s been easy to open up to her about things that would normally take me forever to trust someone with. There’s an easiness to our friendship. She also cracks me the f*ck up! Seriously, she’s got a funny line for everything. When I asked her to do this q&a I knew that she would bring something special to the table but when I read her finished piece, I was blown away. It’s so honest and so real. So so so good. It made me like her even more, and I didn’t think that was possible! Enjoy.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

I took on other people’s drama and let things affect me so deeply. Lots of tears and energy wasted on things I couldn’t control. Focusing on what you can change and learning to say “NO” is the difference between your 20s and 30s.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

It’s funny how some the best things happen out of the worse circumstances. I tore my Achilles tendon that ended my ballet days, left my job because I was disabled, and moved back in with my parents for care. Chicago was starting to feel small so I left. In exactly 6 weeks post-surgery, I moved to Los Angeles and created a new life. I also eventually changed careers. My favorite memory is my drive and how outgoing I was. I lived it up, made solid friendships, broke some hearts, had my heart-broken, was living a life most people could only dream of, pulled some crazy shenanigans, and thankfully made it out unscathed.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

Sadly, I thought life would be like Sex and the City. I would be some sales and marketing exec for a healthcare company, living in Chicago, settling down with my now-ex (Mr. Big), and starting a family.

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

My life was in pieces and I was rebuilding. Around 29, I lost my best friend/baby sister to her battle with depression through suicide and was an emotional wreck. Though I had a solid core of friends, I felt so abandoned and depressed. I didn’t date for a year, because I couldn’t imagine opening myself to anyone else or even sharing the fact that my sister decided to leave this world on her own accord. I finally decided to stay in LA after commuting back and forth the year prior. I was working as a fashion editor in a toxic environment and struggling as a freelance wardrobe stylist crashing with friends while looking for an apartment. It was such a dark time, but made through with an incredible support system, a wonderful therapist, and my faith.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

I’ve come a long way and have gone through a metamorphosis to become the woman I am today. I have faith that things will fall into place. Yes, I fear that I won’t find a partner or accomplish my TV aspirations, but I can only control my actions and manifest! I suffered the greatest loss I can only imagine of losing my baby sister (my right arm) and learned you come into this world alone and leave alone. That was the deepest valley so I only look towards the highest mountain.

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

I’m so much more comfortable in my skin and body that I was before. Growing up training as a ballerina I had a love/hate relationship with my body especially by my breasts (which people would pay for). I have learned to listen to body and be more conscious of what goes in it, leaving the abuse of my 20s behind. I also used to have to be out all the time like I was constantly looking for something. Now I love my own company and love my space. I will always be the social butterfly, but there is no place like my home, a glass of zinfindel, jazz, and a good book.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

Working as a TV host and having a successful personal styling business

A partner (Which is way more than a husband, because it should be a true partnership)

A loving family of my own

Giving back to young females by educating them about career preparedness and self-esteem issues

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

“Love and respect yourself completely”



Chataigne Style



12 Responses to “project 30 – Melissa”

  1. rachel April 9, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Melissa, when can we get together?? We have so much in common, and so much to talk about. I especially love what you said about letting things you can’t control affect you so deeply. ❤

  2. Janice April 9, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    Love this! I feel blessed to have met both of you last fall and read your words every day. Melissa, you are one in a billion!

  3. the usual bliss April 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Super inspiring. Everyone has a story! Thanks for sharing!
    Thank you, Kate, for this series. I love it.

  4. Sandra April 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Love this series! Thank you for introducing such fabulous ladies 🙂

  5. Talia April 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Beautiful! Melissa is one of the kindest, most loyal and inspiring people I know. She is always so positive and it rubs off on everyone around her. I am lucky to call her a friend. 🙂

    • Melissa Chataigne April 9, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      Talia! Thank you for your kind words. I feel the same and fortunate to have you in my life. xx

  6. barbarapotter April 9, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Hi Melissa, first let me say you are so beautiful and I am glad I met you there as well.
    Second, I love what you have written. So sorry about your sister I did not know that. You have such a beautiful face and smile and soul that all you dream is already on it’s way.
    Lovely post.

    • Melissa Chataigne April 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      Barbara! So glad we met and thank you for creating two beautiful daughters I’m happy to call friends. I need to hear that inspiration today. xx

  7. Melissa Chataigne April 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Reblogged this on Chataigne Style and commented:
    Hi readers!

    Here’s a great interview I did with the lovely and talented Kate McClafferty. I hope you enjoy it!

  8. Danielle Paige April 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Beautiful and honest! Melissa is a gift to the world! xo

  9. Erin Haslag (@WELLinLA) April 16, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    Loved meeting you at Kate’s housewarming party and reading more here. Inspired 🙂 I also love this view of the husband/marriage piece of life: “A partner (Which is way more than a husband, because it should be a true partnership)”. So true, so true.

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