Maybe the business started as merely a hobby and a desire to stay home with my crotch creations, but the ins and outs of business soon start to intrigue me. The art of success becomes my favorite mystery, though it has little to do with money. I just want to prove that I can do it. I’ve always been unnecessarily stubborn in this way.

    How does one achieve it anyway?

    I start to spend hours upon hours in between coats of paint, advertising on Facebook and Craigslist hoping to get noticed by our locals. I continue on this way, every day, hoping it will pay off in some way. 

    My mind involuntarily flashes to a childhood memory. I can still hear my dad’s voice inside my head. “What are you, stupid or something?”

    His look of disgust is etched inside my mind and I can still hear him like it was yesterday. “You’re useless. So stupid.”

    The words still sting. I shake them from my head dismissively. 

    Soon my days turn into nights and nights into days. With each passing day, my motivation is dwindling, and my migraines are increasing. 

    What’s in this paint anyway?

    Another Friday rolls around and I am arriving late yet again. With Kalynn on my hip, I stumble into the shop door. Glancing at the clock, I shake my head in disappointment and set my things on the table. The sense of impending doom is back again, along with it, is the voice that hates me.

    You’re a waste of space. This shouldn’t be this hard. Everybody else can do this. What’s wrong with you?

    Hours fly by me. Between juggling Kalynn, the shop, and custom orders, the time has gotten away from me. Again. Shit.

    Scrambling for my keys, I grab Kalynn’s things.

     “We gotta go, baby. The kids are out of school.”

    “Ready to see the kids?” I ask, buckling her in the car. She beams up at me. 

    I smile back at her, but in my mind, I’m already focused on my to-do list. 

    On the drive home, it all spins around in my mind. Dinner. Homework. Housework. It’s never-ending. Rubbing my eyes, I pull into the driveway. 

    When I step inside, I immediately want to run away. The house is a disaster. From the looks of it, you’d never be able to guess that I take medication for my ADHD. Unless you count their side effects. Lately, the only thing they seem to be doing is sucking the creativity out of me. The realization of this sets something off inside me. In a moment of spontaneous tears, rage, and side effects, I flush my meds down the toilet. I watch the little orange pills swirl round and round with a smile on my face.

    Shit. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that. 

    It doesn’t really matter if I should or shouldn’t have, the damage is already done. Fuck.

    I spend the next week on the couch, barely able to move. Consequently, I start spending more time on Facebook.

    “Whatcha workin’ on?” Jose asks me as he enters the room.

    “I created a Facebook group.”     

    Maybe this is my ticket to be able to work completely from home.”

    “Maybe,” he says, shrugging. 

    “You’ll see,” I promise him. “Wait for it.” 

    A month later, it turns into exactly that. It’s completely ideal if I’m telling this story honestly. 

    Working from home in my jammies? That’s the real dream!

     With custom furniture orders more than keeping me afloat, the justification to close my shop is an easy one. So I impulsively do just that. Rather than hurriedly selling off all of my furniture, I decide to display it in the small, local vintage shop that is right next door to my shop. Somewhere along the way, she and I become great friends. 

     With my newly found blocks of time, I’m able to begin catching up on projects that I’ve been neglecting and meaning to finish. 

     Suddenly remembering I have an old and forgotten wooden radio in the garage, I head out there to grab it. When I open the door, the garage is a mess, but I try not to think about it. Instead, I scan the cluttered room for the radio.  

     Spotting the radio, I climb over antiques and other thrift store finds to get to it. Standing beneath it, I reach for it. It’s heavy and massive in comparison to me, but I ignore this. Lifting it anyway, my back pops and stops me in my tracks.

     Holy fuck. What was that?

     The swear escapes my lips, but I feel no relief from it. Minutes go by that feel like hours, and I still haven’t moved. I can’t. I’m seemingly stuck in place.    

     Well, guess you’re done for the day.

     When I’m finally able to move again a few minutes later, I hobble back to the living room. 

      Way to go dumbass. Lift with your knees! Your knees! 

    My self-lecture is in vain. It’s too little too late. My back is seriously fucked. Admitting my defeat, I sprawl out on the floor for relief. To my horror, moments later, I get stuck there too. 


    In this moment, stuck to the floor, unable to move, I realize just how important my back is. 

    I’m useless, just like my father said.

    Sickly, I laugh at this.

    As I’m lying there helpless, Kalynn comes up to me and stares at me curiously. I don’t blame her. I know I look ridiculous. 

    “What doing mommy?” She asks me in her child-like sentence, tilting her head.

    “I don’t know, baby. I have no idea what I’m doing.” As the words leave my lips, I can’t help but notice the honesty in them. 

    “Silly Mommy,” she giggles at me, laying helplessly on the floor.

    From a bird’s eye view, it probably looks like she just kicked my ass and laughed. Even through my 

    pain, I find this funny and her amusement adorable. 

    Jose walks in the door a few minutes later and throws me a death stare.  

    “What did you do?”

    “Hurt myself, but it’s cool.”

    He looks at me skeptically. Mostly just because that’s his resting face. 

    Back to blog


    I am loving reading your blog! So relatable! Keep doing you! Xoxoxo!

    Krista Martin

    Love these stories. I can picture it and feel the emotion, so that is definitely an accomplishment in my mind! I usually can’t get anything to hold my interest for more than a minute, but these stories do that for sure!

    Kelly Mancini

    Love your story

    Jess thank you so much for sharing these stories with me and all of us I thoroughly enjoy reading them and look forward to each new one that comes out
    Carole coffman

    I really enjoy reading your work. Like so many of us , our fathers were not our fan club president. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger . Never give up . Thank you for your honesty. You have helped heal more people than you will ever know.

    Andrea Bauldry

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