Today, my daughter informed me that she is just going to start telling people I am Barbie.
Aleigha is my oldest and at 14, she has a front row seat to everything that I am working to build. She sees the late nights and early mornings. She is the first to help out, picking up my slack when I cannot dig myself out of the to-dos. She switches out laundry, helps her siblings, starts supper, and keeps an eye on the calendar for details I often forget. She knows without a doubt the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into everything built over the last 2+ years.
And today she told me, “I don’t really know how to answer people when they ask what you do. So, I’m just going to start telling them that you are Barbie… because she does everything too.”
From the outside, it has to look messy. I’m sure my life appears to be a ping-pong ball that just can’t quite settle. And some days it feels like that, but mostly it just feels right.
I’ve always been the type that prefers movement over standstill, project over predictability. I am figure-it-out-er in every definition of the word. And I happen to be drawn to a lot of different things—very, very passionately.
For a long time, this bothered me. I thought, if I could just figure out what I was meant to be then I could run full force ahead and be the best at it. But every time I got a little momentum, something shiny would cross my path and I would go full squirrel, chasing after something new. It didn’t sit right with me for a long time. I questioned what was wrong with me. Why wasn’t I content? Why couldn’t I just be ordinary, clock-in, clock-out and be happy?
A few months ago, I read Marie Forleo’s book, Everything is Figureoutable. Within the book, Marie shares a story so familiar to mine, where she was jumping from one thing to the next, unsettled because she always felt like she never quite fit in. She shares how she struggled to answer the question of what she did for a living, until one day a little voice whispered in her head, “You are a Multipassionate Entrepreneur.” The day I read that line, I was like, “YES! I have a title!”
Nowadays, I throw my blood, sweat and tears into claiming the titles that I always knew where there. I am an artist. I am a writer. I am a business woman who works dang hard to make sure others are seen and heard.
This morning, I was listening to a podcast with Arlan Hamilton as a guest and this exact same topic was brought up… mind you the same day my daughter decided my new title was Barbie. The way Arlan described it was, “…to me it is all the same color, just a different hue.” And that basically sums it up.
You see what I have come to realize is that every little sidetracked-squirrel moment in my life had purpose. During the phase where I bounced around in many art mediums, I learned the time and value and effort it took to learn the craft of quilting, and collage, and restoration. This helps me now to understand the value of the makers we work alongside. The hours upon hours of business research I did and my former career prepared me to take care of my own business and find resources to take the next step. The journaling throughout my life lead me to writing, co-authoring a book, and founding Gritty Faith Magazine. And the abstract painting at my workshop bench whenever I was falling apart at the seams, prepared me to take my place as a Prayer Artist. All of it, as messy and disconnected as it once seemed, lead me here - to building the foundation of The Norway Center Store.
My birthday is coming up next week. It is always a joy-fueled yet difficult day. It is a reminder of my grandpa’s funeral the day I turned 31. It is a reminder of the hardest conversation that happened the night before I turned 32, when we found out Ang’s chemo treatments were not working. And it is a reminder that I am living well beyond a point that my sister was ever able to.
Every year, I remind myself that I have a choice. I can be sucked into the grief and allow the devil to steal my peace or I can celebrate everything that I have been given and the privilege of becoming another year older.
This year I am celebrating.
This year I am looking into my daughter’s eyes and remembering who I was at 14—full of ambition and curiosity of who I would one day become. This year I am going to celebrate the 20+ years it has taken for me to grow into the woman I am today and all the little squirrel-tangents it took to get here.
This year I am celebrating being alive, even if my life is messy and imperfect and doesn’t quite make sense to anyone else.
This year I am celebrating all the ways God has woven my path together and everything He has planned for me next because it is not my title that qualifies me for His calling.
So today, I invite you to share, what squirrel-tangent lead to you where you are today? I would love to know.
Hi! I'm Jessy, one of the co-owners of The Norway Center Store and co-authors of the book Faith Over Fear: Walking Angie Home. My husband Kyle and I live in an old general store, converted to residence, with our three kids, Ally, Charley and Rad and our German Shephard, Roxy. You will usually find me with paint on my clothes creating my next artwork piece.