I am inherently one of the world’s biggest people pleasers. I have the hardest time with failure and I’ve always been motivated in life by making my family, teachers, and friends proud of me. Even as a kid, if I threw a tantrum or acted up for my mom, I’d spend the rest of the day asking her incessantly if she still loved me (spoiler alert, she did). The one and only time I ever brought home a C on a report card in math and disappointed my parents, I worked my butt off until I brought home an A even though I legitimately can’t multiply 4×4. Nobody particularly likes to fail, but it’s always been important to me to make it look like I have my act together, even though I feel pretty clueless most of the time.


Jess back when she was in culinary school.


I’ll always be the same old eager to please Libra that I’ve always been, but something definitely shifted in my twenties. I attended college and became a kindergarten teacher where I was immensely unhappy because it just wasn’t for me. I distinctly remember someone asking me in the teacher’s room one day what I wanted to do with my life and I said I wanted to be a cake decorator. I honestly shocked myself when that came out because I couldn’t figure out why I chose to be unhappy every day doing a thing I didn’t like because I thought it was the norm. It was at this turning point that I stopped trying to do what people expected of me and became the kind of person who relentlessly pursues their passions, even if it’s not always the easy route. I enrolled in a culinary school where I worked 8 hour days teaching and then spent another 8 hours in class, getting out at midnight and then driving an hour home. It was crazy, and I looked and felt like an actual Walking Dead zombie most of the time, but I was finally surrounded by people who shared my same passions.

Today I can finally say I get to decorate cakes, among other awesomely fun baking tasks. Every day I am motivated by getting to be creative and making things that people enjoy.

I know there are a million cliches about never working a day in your life if you do what you love and all that, but it’s so easy to work hard when it’s something you value. It’s even easier to work hard when you get to make Willy Wonka style cupcake creations with bins and bins of candy. I guess the moral of my story (sorry, I’ve been reading too many bedtime stories to my one year old) is that it’s okay to be a people pleaser, but when you find that one thing that you love doing more than anything in the world, you’re so much more willing to go above and beyond.