Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary McCarthy.
Mary, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been a professional freelance writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and the web since my daughter was born 25 years ago and I wanted to stay home with her. When we moved to the coastal Chesapeake Bay, I fell in love with beachcombing and sea glass.
I had some sad things happen in my life like the loss of my sister to suicide and found that returning to the shoreline provided peace for me time and again. I studied and became a Reiki master, founding thehealingbeach.com with the idea that I could do online healing beachcombing sessions with people who can’t get to the beach, and send them beachcombing finds from the session.
I’m also Education Chair for the North American Sea Glass Association and Executive Director for The Sea Glass Center, so I enjoy traveling to coastal arts shows around the country to help people identify their beach finds. I have a children’s book coming out next month called “I SEA” that I co-authored with California publisher/designer/photographer Kirsti Scott, where kids can hunt for hidden beach finds on the page; the book benefits ocean conservation.
I am turning 50 in May and never stop learning- I’m taking scuba diving and photography so I can more fully experience the disappearing landscape of the Chesapeake Bay. My most important role in this life is Mom to Sarah, 25, Molly, 21, Faith, 16 and Bobby, 13. I love kayaking, and every day my first question is always “When’s low tide?”
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Writing isn’t a very financially rewarding career, you have to constantly be out looking for the next gig. I have been fortunate to find stable editorial work over the years.
Mental health issues have been a challenge in my family. My sister’s suicide was devastating, and we have also dealt with a number of other mental health and substance abuse challenges with family members.
It’s really important to talk about these issues on behalf of awareness and prevention. It’s ok not to be ok. You’re not alone. Depression and anxiety are common and crippling, and there is help.
On behalf of those who love you, please remember the importance of self-care.
The Healing Beach – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I like to share the beachcombing experience with people and the healing power of beachcombing. The sounds of the shoreline, sunsets, and sunrises, and the relics of the past that we can keep as souvenirs of our time at the beach. I’m most proud when I get messages from people thanking them for sharing the beach because it made their day to be able to hear the waves or see a sunset.
One woman came to me at a show crying because her husband had been in a coma and the only way she could “leave the hospital” was from watching my live beachcombing feeds on Instagram. She just missed the beach, and I was so happy that I could help her feel like she was there for a little bit until she could get back. So for me, that’s what it’s about- just sharing the beach with people.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I hate that success is traditionally defined by money because I haven’t really figured out how to make any yet. Ha!
Someday I’d love to have my live beachcombing feeds on Instagram become a real show on Netflix or Discovery or Travel Channel, so I could share beaches, and beachcombing finds with people around the world. I know a bunch of beachcombers worldwide, and I think it would be fun to walk their beaches with them, talk about their favorite finds learn their stories, and share their experiences with other beachcombers worldwide.
So professionally, success for me would revolve around developing the concept of my live beachcombing feeds in one way or another to make them sustainable. As a writer, success is marked by books, so I have a few more of those I’d like to put out as well. To me, success is never about what you’ve done and always about what you’re working on next.
Also, success isn’t about money; it’s simply the journey we all experience in our lives of just getting through it. (“Embrace mediocrity” is my life slogan. ;))
I am proud of the human beings my four amazing children are becoming as young adults. Nothing brings me more joy than they do. My family is my heart.
- Website: Www.marytmccarthy.com
- Email: marytmccarthy.com
- Instagram: Www.instagram.com/marytmccarthy
- Facebook: Facebook.com/marytmccarthyauthor
- Twitter: Twitter.com/marymac