I remember meeting Jessica for the first time and almost being bowled over by bubbliness. She was talkative, friendly, and never stopped smiling the entire time. I wondered if it was possible for a person to be so constantly positive. I bet myself that it was not.
After speaking with her multiple times, I can honestly say I've lost that bet. It's possible, and she's living proof.
It wasn't always easy being positive. A mother for the first time at 17, Jessica raised her son while trying to navigate an overbearing-yet-well-meaning mother and a vindictive significant other. She battled a deluge of negative feelings and inner conflicts, and battled a rough bout of Postpartum Depression. It didn't help that she was also saddled with the usual hardships that new motherhood always comes with.
“At midnight, when the baby’s crying and you can’t sleep, and you’re feeling like ‘what am I supposed to do’?" Jessica says. "That is the real, raw first-time-mom feeling. It’s harder at seventeen.”
These difficulties, paired with the stigma that tends to follow teenaged mothers, followed Jessica for awhile. It took a great amount of soul-searching and...well...life happening, for her to be able to finally cast those issues aside, and to finally become comfortable with who she was and what she had to offer.
Now, she runs a business as a coach who works specifically with mom-owned businesses. She has two more children who are happy and healthy, and her eldest proudly serves in the military. She's an incredibly strong believer in the fact that a person can do anything they put their mind to, because she fought through the doubt and the fear, and she knows others can, too.
That being said, she hasn't lost sight of the fact that no one is ever perfect. "I have a lot more compassion and understanding if someone makes a mistake." She says. " I know we all fall down sometimes. But I'm here to cheer for you, and to help you get back up!"
Jessica helps to make it incredibly clear that we all need to be our own cheerleaders, even more than we need to seek external ones. When we're certain of ourselves, there isn't a thing in the world that can stop us, and well...Jessica just wants us all to understand that. Even if she has to be the voice reminding us.