Hi friends! I wanted to share this piece that I wrote on the @sleepandsparkle Instagram account earlier today. Apologies in advance if you’ve seen this 2384829194 times already on my other forms of social media.
I’m going to Capitol Hill! I am so freakin’ excited to join Julie Flygare and Project Sleep in advocating for increased funding for sleep related research. You can follow along on Instagram @curioussparkledirt where I’ll be posting over the next couple of days.
What does this have to do with SLEEP&SPARKLE? I was diagnosed with Type 1 Narcolepsy earlier this year and came up with the idea for SLEEP&SPARKLE two weeks (to the day) after starting treatment. The medication I started taking woke me up for the first time in my life and allowed me to function and follow through on tasks – like creating an online store to sell the things I make – that previously had quite literally only existed in my dreams and hallucinations.
Narcolepsy makes it difficult for me to stay awake during the day, can cause me to collapse spontaneously if my brain confuses an experience with REM (cataplexy), and causes hallucinations that stem from aberrant moments of REM. All of this made my graduate work feel like a fucking war and makes holding down a 9 to 5 job nearly impossible. Which is where SLEEP&SPARKLE comes in. I hope to build this company into a profitable enterprise that can support me and someday employees with similar struggles: people who deal with mental and chronic illness and need flexible work environments that are all too few and far between.
Every time you buy something from my store, I do a happy dance. Every time you send me an email raving about how the scarf you bought stayed put AND MADE YOU FEEL LIKE A BADASS READY TO CONQUER THE WORLD, my heart speeds up. I love what I do and I love that you love it. There’s no other job I could sustain right now that would allow me to simultaneously express myself creatively, work towards building something that can support myself, and give me the flexibility to manage my cumbersome medications and keep up with the advocacy work that helps me give back to my community. Thank you for supporting small businesses and thank you for supporting ME!
Want to learn more?
Follow Julie on Instagram @remrunner and follow Project Sleep @project_sleep.