Apologies for such a lengthy post, but the backstory is important and shows how our actions, even the smallest, can affect others in a big way. Our actions and the way we treat each other can even change the direction of someone's life. Mistreatment can lead someone into a darkness while kindness can bring them back to the light. That's exactly what Joy Merryman, the kindest #GIRLBOSS I know, did for me - she brought me back to light with a random act of kindness. And at that moment, I desperately needed one. For Joy, it wasn't a big deal, but the smallest gestures can affect us profoundly. I'm truly blessed by the crossing of our paths.
Meet Joy - The kindest #GIRLBOSS I know!
I "met" Joy Merryman on Instagram right after I began blogging, just a little over a year ago. I saw one of her posts HERE featuring THIS leopard phone case. She is the owner of the Joy Merryman Store, a store full of her beautifully designed cell phone cases for Samsungs and iPhones, and they just happen to be my favorite cases.
Joy's originally designed cases are made to order and of the highest quality. She has every design you can think of from marble to plaid, slim and tough cases, monogrammed, and in every color. I love THIS pink marble or THIS Aqua marble case. (Of course, I have both of them!)
Joy's cases have been the star of many of my posts over the past year. They're the business, what can I say?!? You love them so much, you hesitate upgrading to a new phone because your favorite case won't fit anymore.
FALL 2017 FAVORITES - GINGHAM CASES
In addition to being a talented designer, Joy is an absolute sweetheart with a great sense of humor. So of course, she became an online gal pal quickly. Her witty comments and lovely disposition - always sincere and real. I've liked Joy since our very first interaction, but didn't realize just how amazing she is until I received a message from her a few months ago in June.
LA LA LA LEOPARD FAVORITES
If you know me personally, you know that I'm all about women treating each other with respect and supporting each other. I don't have patience for catty behavior from women directed at me and will not associate with those who behave that way.
I've become fairly good at picking up on mean girl vibes quicky - even by simply shaking hands with someone I'm meeting for the first time. I have zero tolerance for these toxic women. And if I can give one piece of advice - if you know any women like this, cut ties, and get them out of your life immediately!
During the first half of this year, I was experiencing a great deal of struggle. We all have times of great stress related to family, relationships, work, finances, etc... No one walks through life without running into stressful times. And no matter what beautiful photos and posts you see across social media channels and blogs, NO ONE HAS THE PERFECT LIFE. Unicorns and mermaids don't exist, sadly enough.
I had one disappointment after another within a span of a couple of months and was emotionally drained. Two very dear family friends and co-workers betrayed and hurt me several times, and I was completely shocked and devastated. During that same time, I was dealing with a tough time in my marriage that was strained already And the topper to it all, my company closed and I lost my job and work family of eight years due. The snowball of issues was too heavy, and staying positive was becoming tougher by the day.
J By Jilly, at that time, was only about six or so months old, so I threw myself, wholeheartedly, into developing my blog and brand. I began networking with fellow bloggers and getting involved with local and national organizations. It was terrific initially. I met some fantastic, like-minded, supportive women. But, unfortunately, I also encountered a few wolves in sheep's clothing.
One woman, in particular, displayed behavior that was shockingly deceitful, manipulative, spiteful during only our second time seeing each other. But, I blame myself for getting caught in her cross-hairs, because the first time I met her, she gave me a bad vibe that I chose to ignore. I will NEVER make that mistake again!
That charming and seemingly sweet woman masked who she really was we met for the first time. But, during our second encounter when she realized I saw exactly who and what she was (a narcissist) and stood up to her by calling her out on her nonsense, her claws, horns, and fangs came out. I'd never been talked to or treated the way she did by anyone in my life up to that moment. She was absolutely malicious.
The days following that less-than-pleasant incident were tough. I began reevaluating my goals, direction in life, and was considering shutting down my blog and social media pages. I felt terribly low and questioned what I was doing. I kept asking myself what was the point of it all. I took a break from blogging and social media and focused on my family, friends, and searching for a new job. And after week or so, out of the blue, I received this message:
I was looking through my Instagram feed and noticed that you haven't posted in a week. I'm missing your posts because I like them so much! I swear, I want to buy everything you show on your feed - my wallet hurts,LOL! Hope you're doing well!
I remembered that you liked the Aqua Onyx case and was thinking of just sending you one, but I want to make sure I have the size right (7 Plus?) and if you want a monogram at the bottom :-D If you like, pick out a few of your favorites and let me know. My gift to you!
I received a care package with five of the cutest iPhone 7 Plus cases and the sweetest handwritten note from Joy a few days later. (I'm giving four of them and goodie bags to giveaway winners - info below on when, where, and how to enter.)
I definitely owe the end of my pity party to Joy. She caused me to realize that the people that really count in your life and support you, are the ones that always appreciate and recognize your efforts. They help you stand when you fall, call you out when you're being an ass, celebrate your success, forgive your failures, and miss you when you're gone. They deserve for you to stick around. But most importantly, they deserve to be have the very best you.
Joy's kindness changed the direction I was moving in, which would have been the wrong one. She snapped me out of my funk and stopped me from feeling sorry for myself. And, her kindness inspired me to pay it forward and do something nice for someone daily.
I usually don't have to look very hard to find someone in need of some kindness. Making someone laugh when they're embarrassed, taking a few minutes to talk with someone who's lonely or needs some advice, being mannered and respectful to others - even when they're nasty and disrespectful to you are all ways to spread a little kindness. Grand gestures are nice but not necessary. The smallest things sometimes count the most. For me, the little things are everything.
So, my challenge to you - be kind to those you know and those you don't, be supportive, give back, try to tell and show the people in your life that you love them each day. Small gestures and random acts of kindness can bring about change in a magical way . We've had so many natural disasters and tragedies occur one after the other to include several hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and more. Now is the time when you can support, give, and ultimately make a positive, lasting difference in someone's life. THAT IS THE POINT OF IT ALL! - Jill xoxo
P.S. - I'll be hosting one to two giveaways each week over the next few weeks on Instagram HERE as tokens of my appreciation for all of you, my loyal subscribers, followers, and friends for your love and support!
Enter HERE - Joy Merryman iPhone 7 Plus Case & Goodie Bag (4 winners) - Ends 9/24 11:59pm EST
*Follow me on Instagram HERE.
*Follow Joy Merryman on Instagram HERE.
Click anywhere below to shop!
PREORDER iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Cases NOW : HERE
- iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Cases are in the works. Our cases fit your phone so precisely that we are making new molds to allow for the 0.02mm size increase in the new iPhones. Your new case will be tailored to your new phone. Please expect a 5 week wait at this point. Shipping dates will be updated as we know more.
- iPhone X cases will begins shipping mid NOVEMBER. - Your scheduled ship by date will be adjusted after purchase to reflect late November for iPhone X." -Courtesy of Joy Merryman Store.
*Preorder information courtesy of Joy Merryman Store.