My husband looked at me and said “Why don’t you take some time for yourself tomorrow,” his eyes slid towards the counter and eyed my copy of Exposed that had been sitting there, still wrapped in its protective plastic cover, for nearly two weeks “I know you’ve been wanting some time to read that.”
Maybe he could tell by the tone [read: decibel] I had been using with my kids. Or maybe it was the way I wanted to pull my hair out at every piece of not-so-great news we had received in the process of buying our new home. Whatever it was, he was right. I needed some time to myself. Uninterrupted, guilt-free, time to myself.
I had asked for a copy of Exposed as a Christmas gift, in November, knowing it would sell out. Unfortunately Santa didn’t have the same foresight I did and they indeed sold out. Luckily for me Jasmine decided to order a reprint and I was able to order a copy for myself.
The next morning I slid Exposed into my bag and quietly went out the door lest my kids realize I was leaving without them. I arrived at the Barnes & Noble Starbucks cafe and looked around. The coffee was still brewing and there wasn’t a soul in sight. I was the first person in the store. Walking toward a small table at the window with the morning light slanting across the top, I put my things down and heard a cheerful “Hello.” Within minutes I was set up with a grande breakfast blend and a toasted asiago pretzel. My heart fluttered a little as I cracked the spine of the publication but the minute I saw the first page and Jasmine’s words, I knew I was in for a treat. I looked at the newly arrived customers and held the cover up a little more to show off what I was reading.
Three hours passed and I sighed as I tucked my temporary Piggly Wiggly shoppers card into the pages to hold my place. I wanted to read it cover to cover in that three hours and I could have. But I found that after every segment I put the book down and took a few minutes to process the words and think of how her experiences applied to my own business.
As the mid-day sun glinted off the hood of my car words like “struggle, decisions, and sacrifice” appeared in my mind like words on a chalkboard. Jasmine recounts her story and makes it clear that her success didn’t happen overnight. I already know that my weakness in life has been wanted everything NOW. Actually, make that YESTERDAY. Patience has never been my virtue.
I arrived home and after doing some mommy things I put the kids down for their nap. I retrieved Exposed from my bag sat down, eager to read the second half of Jasmine’s journey. Now, two coffees, a green tea, and a chai later I finally turned the last page. And exhaled. I hadn’t realized I was holding my breath, it’s not as if this was a thriller where we don’t find out who the killer is until the last minute of the movie. But it was thrilling to me. To read the success of somebody who didn’t have anything but passion and drive at the start of her business. To read the success of somebody who, in the industry, was initially a nobody and is now a name heard everywhere you turn.
At a time in my business when I am in a position of starting over, moving to a new location where nobody knows me or what I do, and my business could as easily fail as succeed, Jasmine’s story has given me hope. And inspiration. Jasmine, if you read this, thank you. Thank you for putting into words what many of us have trouble defining. Thank you for sharing your journey and opening your mind up to let us pick around at your thoughts. And most of all, thank you for never giving up.