I sipped homemade carrot-orange juice from a 32 oz. Ball Mason Jar with a 3" pastel yellow paint strip wrapped around its bottom half. The jar was a lingering reminder of what I came to call the Etsy Shop Disaster of 2016. It was a time where nothing I offered online was selling, and I primarily gave away hordes of free content. I was scattered and overwhelmed, admittedly desperate. So I did the unhealthiest thing possible and maxed out a credit card at Michael's. I painted inspirational wooden signs and mason jars you could use as decorative flower vases. After not selling a single jar or sign through the actual Etsy shop, I formulated my own herbal teas. The teas sold out, but my production cost far surpassed the revenue.
A year later, I sit here half snuggled in bed with a cat that's lived 87 lives by now, feeling like I've weathered a lifetime with every entrepreneurial endeavor gone awry. I survived below the poverty line for three years, beautifully coming into myself amidst the immense stress of just getting by. Instead of securing a J.O.B., I've stayed the course of my calling. I've held any shred of hope and insight in a vice grip—taken every opportunity to live my dream. I grew up being taught that people who take "handouts" are too lazy to help themselves. That's probably why I felt so ashamed for living with my parents going on four years in my late twenties, or allowing my partner to step in and pay my bills when I couldn't anymore.
Yesterday, a friend showed up on my doorstep with bags of food. Her little son handed me bunches of bananas, organic fruit and vegetables . . . bags upon bags of snacks . . . rice and pasta, quinoa . . . the most delicious chocolates I've ever had . . . toilet paper . . .
"See . . . there's always more than enough for all of us!" my friend imparted the wisdom of kindness to her little one with bright, happy energy, holding her arms in an open hug that communicated wellbeing. He beamed the biggest smile, lifting each goodie up high and handing it over. When the cabinets and fridge were as full as they'd ever been, he slipped on my neon green dishwashing gloves and stretched out on the couch, while me and his mom settled into deeper talk.
"I haven't had this much food in the house at once . . . in years," I confided through my tears in an emotional moment of appreciation. It hit me that I'd never had this much food for myself at once in the entirety of my adulthood.
"You have to have food, girl. Not having food is just silly," she asserted nonchalantly with complete motherly love.
A wave of relief enveloped me. I hadn't realized how much I needed the help, until it was given.