If I could go back in time and drill one thing into the head of my 20-year old self, it would be knowing that success is not a linear path. There is an overarching societal expectation that you’ll graduate high school at 18, college at 22, and then either further your education directly thereafter or dive right into a well-paying full-time job. With this expectation as your guideline, anything which happens to deviate or deter you off of this path can seem like your one-way ticket to a life sentence of menial labor and destitution. For some people, life doesn’t throw them many curveballs. They rarely, if ever, deviate from the linear path of success. At this point in my life, I have not been one of the lucky few who never experience such tribulation.
I’ve always had a passing interest in soap. However, it wasn’t until recently that I decided to take the plunge and make it myself. Many times I’d talk myself out of entering this venture because I lacked the materials, knowledge, and the confidence to work with lye. After having $300 of “use it or lose it” UMass dining dollars left over from the 2016-17 school year, I decided to purchase $150 worth of snacks for my road trip which I took earlier in the summer. The other $150 dollars were spent on 6 bottles of severely overpriced olive oil. In that moment of carrying those bottles of green gold back to my car that fateful spring day, I knew that they were destined to become soap, and that there was still much work to be done.