Jill’s Story: That Which Does Not Kill You…

Jill’s Story: That Which Does Not Kill You…

Can actually make you more beautiful. It’s not part of the standard cliche, but getting stronger, more powerful, more independent, more set in your convictions…

All lead to a woman who stands up straighter, a woman who looks anyone straight in the eye, and a woman who is a survivor, a woman who embraces who she is, and a woman who’s inner beauty radiates. Walk into any room with a big smile and you’ve already taken the most critical step towards being your most beautiful self.

I’ve had many times where I’ve been knocked down hard and wasn’t sure how to make it through the emotional storm. I know for a fact that four short years ago I didn’t stand up so straight. I didn’t feel great about myself, stayed close to home, and woke up every morning feeling sick. The worst of it came when I finally had to change the situation and walk away from everything. Literally. I went from bed to bed, from the bed to the couch, with the kids getting in bed with me. I was absolutely totally sick and defeated. I had no idea how I was going to put the pieces of my life back together. I remember going for a walk with my kids and my son Angelo told me that I looked like I should be walking on 8 Mile. That was a strong indication that I wasn’t looking so good. I was still the same person that I am today, but without that inner strength and belief in myself, my beauty was locked away in a dark place.

Then one day, the words that had been said to me a few weeks prior, “I don’t know what you’re going to do without me,” really resonated with me and challenged me to dig deep. I got mad. And I got up with fire in my belly and I looked at myself square in the mirror. I rolled my shoulders back, took off the baseball cap my kids’ dad had loaned to me during the dark time, and looked at my black hair, green eyes, and I called Kim Endean of Fabulous Faces. It was my first step towards reclaiming myself. With the entirety of my earthly possessions, I bought my steamer, my microderm machine, my towel warmer, towels, sheets, and my opening order of product. I then proceeded to find a salon from where I would run my business.

The rest is a magnificent history of hard work, my kids, their dad, and my family in my corner cheering me on and supporting me with my venture. If you ask Danielle from Hush how I looked 4 years ago versus how I look today, she’ll tell you I look like an entirely different person. It’s the truth. I stand up straight. I embrace all my flaws because the rest of what’s good is pretty damn good. I have sunspots on my face that I’ll continue to treat for the rest of my life, but I have great product for that, and my concealer is awesome. I get botox for the exasperated look I get on my face when I come home to a giant mess of dishes, laundry, and homework. I like my eyes and want to play them up, which I do with my lashes and makeup. My friends at Hush help me with my hair and inspire me to try new ways to style it. I surround myself with women who have had their own crosses to bear. They all have a story, they’re all strong and have a power that’s palpable. Incredibly, they’re all beautiful because what’s on the inside shines like a super nova.

My challenge to you is this. Look at yourself in the mirror and instead of looking at what’s wrong, look at what’s right. Start with that. The rest of everything takes a back seat when your pride in “what’s right” takes the wheel. Recognize that your imperfections are what make you who you are and that every single one of us has imperfections. I’m here to help you with what’s right and also with what you’d like to remedy. The hard work however, starts with you. Stand up straight today. Smile when you walk into the room. Look at all of your accomplishments in spite of your personal adversity and own your story with pride.

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