SOO WHEN DID ALL THIS START? bring it in, gather around the fire and let me share with you…
The ORIGINS OF JESSNESS
The seed for my Jess-ness journey was planted during an “oh-crap-what-just-happened” moment—waking up with only a few weeks until graduation. Oh and if you’re wondering what’s up with all this “–ness” stuff, don’t worry we’ll get to that too.
Graduating college, what a trip, right? If I were to describe this experience in a metaphor, I’d liken it to what an astronaut feels:
· Zero gravity
· Floating in space
· Not sure how to navigate your next step
· Slightly nauseous
· Nervous about the possibility that the cord connecting you to the mothership could be disconnected at any moment
All my life, I was used to following a syllabus: turning things in, getting feedback, and finishing each class knowing what was next. With graduation approaching, I felt myself wondering about all the things I wasn’t taught in school. Where was the class on how to find a job? Make a resume? Or how to rock an Interview?
The list/panic went on, in all kinds of directions. I wasn’t warned about any of this stuff! Now, all of a sudden, I’m expected to know about it, AND know how to do it on my own? WELCOME TO YOUR TWENTIES, JESS!
Call me crazy, but don’t you think these sorts of topics would come up in a teacher training session on “How to Realistically Prepare 20-year-olds for The Real World”?
I FELT LIKE I WAS EXPECTED TO HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT.
There was no nice introduction to the “U” word that slapped me in the face the minute I woke up every day for months leading up to graduation—“UNKNOWN.”
I didn’t know how to handle the feeling of not knowing what was next. I was awkward and uncomfortable, and I often thought I was the only person who felt this way because no one was talking about it.
So, out of survival, I created a fake persona—someone who was confident, fearless, and had everything under control. This girl had a solid post-grad plan, knew exactly what she was going to do for work, and had the next 10 years all figured out.
She had a clear idea who she was and knew where she was going, with confidence. I constantly prayed no one would ask me about the details, because in order to have details, I’d actually have to have a plan, which I didn’t.
Everywhere I turned I was being asked, “What’s next?”
I even thought for a moment that I might have missed my calling to be an actress. I’d perfected the, “I’ve got this,” “I’m ready for what’s next,” “Bring it on!” attitude, when I actually felt quite the opposite.
The pressure to live up to everyone’s expectations (my teachers, family, friends, society…) was coming at me from all angles. I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. Even worse? Deep down, I was alone and scared.
“THESE ARE THE BEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE!”—People would say.
“Gah, I’d do anything to go back to my 20s!”—Other people would say.
I knew there had to be some truth to this being the best time of my life, but I wasn’t sure how that fit in between the constant changing and transitioning. I was—
DRUNK... WITH OVERWHELMING UNCERTAINTY.
The ‘U’ word was fast approaching. “I’m definitely going to screw this up,” was the constant thought-reel throughout each day. I was alllllll kinds of crazy.
Overwhelming emotions, worries, and fears seemed to be part of the daily routine. So this is what growing up is all about, huh? The fact that I was in between college and the next thing was scary. It was even scarier NOT knowing what that next thing was!
I didn’t feel grounded in anything (still floating in space, hoping no would one cut the cord attaching me to the spacecraft). Over and over, I found myself doubting my choices and decisions.
I soon realized change was something I had to get used to real quick—change: the new “hit trend” in my life, and the lives of all fellow twenty-somethings.
Through my writing and public speaking, I share about the ups and downs od my journey to staying connected to my “Jess-ness.” Im open about the life-changing lessons and stories that shape who I am today and what I’m learning along the way. Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t The Jessica Show. Throughout my content, I share all kinds of info designed to help YOU take action for YOUR life as well.