Henry David Thoreau once said,
"It's not what you look at that matters . . .
It's what you see."
And I for one, believe him.
My name is JJ.
I'm a metalsmith and mother.
A wife and daughter,
a dirt road dreamer.
Sometimes I'm not sure at all how I got here.
And then with the crack of a four-year-old's smile,
. . . I fell in love.
Life is funny and time flies faster each year-
as I'm sure you know from your own story.
My plans would have taken me far away from this small town,
had life let them,
but sometimes I think a greater force is laughing at me,
even as it hugs me close.
I hug it back between punches.
My world has been a coaster ride since 2006-
long before that, actually, if you want to get technical.
But let's keep it simple here-
today, I'm riding high.
I don't have all the answers.
I can't claim to understand why it's worked for me
when others struggle constantly to make ends meet.
But I do know this:
I support my family
with an art degree,
working as a jewelry designer
in a small farm town in rural Carolina,
in a rock-bottom economy,
selling a *non-essential* product.
Nobody needs what I make.
Nobody needs what I do.
But I'm surviving.
I'm THRIVING, world . . .
It simply should not be.
But then again . . .
it's not what you see-
but how you see it.
A layoff several years ago and the
realization that an art degree wouldn't get me far
in this town, in this marketplace . . .
Honestly, how many options does a girl like me have when
daycare costs are through the roof,
gas prices are on the rise and the sad fact is that
it's going to cost somewhere around $1000 a month
just to be ABLE to work?
Necessity is the mother, however . . .
It's all in the perspective.
So I started on my own,
with the rosy glasses bestowed on me by supportive family and friends.
I have a small studio on the county line where I
keep company with my two dogs and sell my work
via the internet.
It's a humble business,
but it's all mine.
And through the struggle of starting this dream and living it out,
and found me again.
. . . because I just keep growing.
Rosy Revolver has been my bread and butter.
My creative outlet.
My independence when I felt lost in the crowd.
this alter ego I've created.
But she feeds me in ways I can't explain.
She makes me better.
We give life to one another,
that creative energy and I.
I've learned over the past several years that
That we really can change.
That there is inspiration everywhere,
most often in the shadows.
I've learned that I am able, that I'm so much stronger than
I used to give myself credit for.
And I've learned that others are as well.
I blog for this amazing site called
Rural Women Rock.
And I'm honored,
because it wasn't that long ago when I felt I had nothing to say.
Nothing to offer.
Today I'm proud of myself
and humbled by the amazing customers and friends
I've made during this whole experience.
I've learned much, I've hopefully taught a thing or two-
I'm claiming what's mine while somehow learning to give.
I'm walking sober on solid ground.
Here, nestled deep amongst the tobacco and cotton fields,
far away from a city life I was once planning to live-
I've embraced my roots and my wings.
It's not easy.
It's an endless albeit *crucial* task,
and we owe it to ourselves to listen hard to that inner voice
whispering that restrained shout of,
* * * * *
Thank you, Kasse, for featuring me on RWR.
I'm honored and hope that this post provides
some inspiration to your readers.