Weekend With The Jags

Through colleagues at the radio station, this weekend I was lucky enough to join Jags Illustrated to help conduct pre game interviews with fans as well as Live Tweet the game.  I have a TON to learn- but heck, I had a great time, learned a bunch, and hope to continue with Jags Illustrated.

 Unfortunately, our camera quality wasn’t great because we were using Facebook LIVE…under a bridge… in an area with tons of people.  With that said,  even though the camera quality no bueno,  I still wanted to highlight one particular woman’s story because it really made me smile.

Hidden Heroes At Everbank

Random acts of kindness are always a treasure and this woman and her family encompassed the definition. Meet Wendy (I wish I got her last name).  Every home game, Wendy and her family make the opposing team feel a little more at home. How?  They cook up a storm and welcome them to their tailgate!

They don’t just cook ANY food. The food is specifically tailored to where the opposing team is from! This week, the Jags played the Baltimore Ravens. “Every week,  we celebrate the visiting team!  It’s crab cakes today, and everything to do with Baltimore!” Wendy exclaimed with excitement.  “We’re out here every week! For every team we do this to welcome them to the stadium because we really do have the best stadium.” She continued. Oh, and they brought plenty of champagne to share, too. Can’t forget the champagne!

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 Wendy said their inspiration came from their good friends/ owners of  Eleven South the restaurant. “We all love to cook and be creative in the kitchen, and we think welcoming the other team to Jacksonville is super fun!”

I think what Wendy and her family are doing is a beautiful testimony to Jacksonville and a testimony to how we should treat everyone – even our rivals!

You can catch these happy humans grilling out and celebrating every home game. And hey, check out the menu of Eleven South while you’re at it, it’s unreal!

“Our job is to love others, without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”
– Thomas Merton


Here’s a small look at the rest of my Sunday.

Left: Quarterback Blake Bortles         Right: Head Coach Gus Bradley

photo: post game press conference

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Vulnerable.

 

 

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Do you ever feel like it’s become more important to be the person we want other people to think we are, rather than being the person we want to be deep down?

We will even take jobs that don’t make us happy, hang out with “friends” that make us look  or “feel” good, and take up activities that aren’t consistent with who we really want to be.

It’s a constant cycle of searching for more and an endless pursuit to achieve some type of feeling so it seems.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of living in a world where I don’t know what and who is real and what and who is not. I’m completely drained of this “searching for more” society.


Well, I had a moment the other day.

It was my first day back of comedy improv class after a short one month break. Ahhh, I was so excited to be back and was looking forward to finding out who my instructor was going to be.

Upon getting there, an attractive guy that was about 35 years old raised his hand and said “Level 2! You’re with me!” That was my cue.  He directed my class into our room next door and took his stance in front of the class. He gave us a thorough look, took a deep breath, and began a brief introduction about himself. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting him to say exactly. But, he proceeded to tell my class that he is a stay at home dad of  5 children  (4 daughters and 1 son) while his wife works full time as a physicians assistant.

My jaw dropped.

Call me completely arrogant,  but I personally have never met a stay at home dad. Especially not one that has 5 kids while the wife works full time.  For me, in that moment, I was blown away. That was the last thing I expected my instructor to say. All I could think was holy moly, this guy just gave up his ENTIRE ego to not only admit that, but to do that in general.

A part of me wondered- is that was he really wants to be doing? What kind of job would he have if he worked full time? But then another thought crossed my mind. Maybe he was perfectly alright with this. Maybe he loves it.  Maybe, he simply does not care what others think because he’s happy.


 

His words were beautiful to me. In a world where we spend so much time and energy trying to convince others how great we are,  this complete stranger had just unapologetically owned who he was and allowed himself to be vulnerable in front of a bunch of people.

However, it’s kind of sad that I thought so much about it. How depressing is it that being vulnerable and honest about our lives is so rare that it actually surprises us when it happens?  We’re so accustomed to this society of constantly trying to prove ourselves. We need to show we’re the funniest, the smartest, the sexiest, the strongest, the sweetest, fittest, the most generous, the most successful – you name it.  Somehow, someway, we want to be validated by other people.

I even feel that struggle right now with this blog post- “Should I post it? Will people call me a hypocrite? What will people think?” Ahhhhh! It’s crazy, right?

Other- people’s- opinions literally DOMINATING our lives.


 

For some reason we tend to think it’s weak to be honest because in our society’s eyes, vulnerability IS weakness.  To show that we’re real, to admit that we have problems, that we fail and that we have flaws, that we might not completely know what we’re doing… feels unacceptable. But why?

Do you ever wonder what would happen if we focused less on our image, and more on our character instead?  How different would our lives be if validation and expectations from others didn’t dictate all of our decisions?  If we were completely honest with ourselves and chose our own lives, what would change? Different friends? Different jobs?  Would we be happier though?

Because what if who we are deep down isn’t the engineer with the high paying job? What if who we are is the stay at home dad? What is it that scares us SO much that we literally avoid ourselves?  The fear of being “ordinary?” Losing our so called “friends”?

Vulnerability is so frightening  because it’s putting our ego on the line. If you ask me, to be vulnerable is not weakness at all. In fact, it sounds a whole lot like strength.


If I’m being completely honest with you (now’s the time, right?) I’ve been going through some very tough and painful things.

To help me through it, I’ve been active with volunteering at church. Before every service we do our morning huddle where we ask for prayer requests. Normally, I just listen or suggest a prayer for a friend. But, this time was different. I hate asking for help. I like to have this “I got this” mentality. In my head, I was terrified to be seen as weak.

I knew things were bad in my life. So I thought about my improv instructor. In a moment of pure vulnerability  I accepted my situation and finally admitted to myself… I can’t do this anymore. Trembling, I raised my hand, and broke down in front of about 20 people and told them I needed prayer and that I was going through something hard. You know what they did? They supported me. Loved me. Hugged me. Gave me their phone numbers. It was incredible.

You know what else? I realized it wasn’t a moment of weakness at all. Admitting to a group of people that I’ve hit bottom took more strength and courage than hiding it ever did.


 

I’m really starting to believe vulnerability is the key to everything we’ve ever wanted. Friends, family, lovers and careers. Being vulnerable might be the only way to TRULY feel good about our lives.

Just think- if we’re not being vulnerable for a partner or a friend – we’re not being truly honest. Period. We’re skipping right over what’s real.  Two fake people can’t possibly form a real connection. Just one based on what we think we know about the other.  Without vulnerability…  instead of friends, we have fans.

What about our jobs? If we’re working only to satisfy an ego – we will never be happy with what we do. We’ll always be in search of the next big thing. We will never enjoy what we’re doing in that moment in fear of not being the BEST.


 

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The world needs more vulnerability.

I think we need more people who are willing to get out there and risk “disappointment” and failure. I think we need more people to show up and be seen and share their real side. To show their scars.

I think we need to stop obsessing over idea of being “important” and embrace the fact that we already are-  as we are because nothing will be enough for us until we realize that WE ARE ENOUGH.

Just like my instructor inspired me to speak up, vulnerability will either scare away the fake people, or inspire them to open up too. And those could quite possibly be the best relationships we will ever have.

If we don’t love who we are on the inside, we’re going to spend our lives chasing people and things that may never truly love us, either.  So for the sake of ourselves- let’s be the person we actually want to be. Let’s take the jobs that make us happy at our core. Let’s make friends with real connection.  Let’s start loving ourselves. Let’s stop looking to everyone else for our identities.  Let’s choose to be vulnerable.

Because when we stop seeking approval and validation from others, a crazy thing happens. We find it.

 

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Everyday we come across dozens of people. Some of those people we see regularly while others may be complete strangers. Yet, we never really take the time to think about what makes them who they are. What we’re really looking at when we see a person at the stoplight, or the dude in the HR department at work, is  how they recovered/ are recovering from something in their life. We are experiencing the person they are choosing to be despite their problems.

To you I might be the gym girl. To someone else I’m the nanny.  To my coworkers I’m the board op. To my neighbors I’m the annoying chick who leaves at 5:30 am and shines car lights in their window. Some days I’m the mess. Some days I’m the broom. And this is the story of who I am.

 

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Nobody ever taught me “How to be a lady.” Nobody ever taught me how to fold clothes,  do my hair, or properly cut vegetables.  Nobody to keep me in check, and nobody to set the example.  In fact, when it came to basic life skills,  nobody taught me much of anything. The person I’ve had to learn the most from – is myself.

I grew up about 30 minutes from Downtown Detroit in the city of Clinton Township, Michigan. There’s not a whole lot to do besides play sports or go to the mall.  But we had all 4 seasons, lived in a cute neighborhood, and the food around town was great, so I can’t complain too much.

I have two older brothers and a little sister in which all of our ages are pretty spaced out.  31-29-23-16. As you could imagine the age gaps seemed much larger when we were younger. Johnny (31) was always involved in his friends and football, Jason (29) was busy with his own things, and Celia (16) was… well… a baby. Then there I was, little Jessica Rose. I had a good relationship with my brothers despite our age gap, but we weren’t “friends” yet so to speak. I mean, when I was 8, Johnny was 17. But no doubt I was a hit among his friends and thought they were all super cute.

Life was pretty simple in those days. I went to school, had soccer practice, mom cooked dinner every night  (except for Fridays, that was pizza night) and we went to church on Sundays. I remember Sundays being the WORST. My parents were in a music group together in church, and they never were on time in the morning. Every single Sunday without fail they were bickering about something and rushing everyone out. Lol.

I was a tom-boy and always very athletic. I could keep up with the boys, if not beat them. In fact, most of my friends were boys. I would set up the hockey net in front of my house and play in the street with the kid a few houses down. I never really fit in with the girls. I was always the odd one out when it came to any of that sort of stuff. I didn’t want to play with barbies, I wanted to watch WWF with my brother.

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Cecelia was the baby of the family.  At such an young age, she had a personality that made people literally stop in their tracks just to watch her be herself. We have this video of her as a toddler at Disney’s main street electrical parade just shootin her little finger guns at people acting like she was the man. She had an undeniable charm to her that was nothing short of hilarious.
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It’s funny how you can miss those little things. At the time,  it’s just normal life. You don’t realize it’s the good ol’ days until it can’t happen anymore.

I was around 13 when my mother began to get sick. She got this shortness of breath that doctors could only describe as asthma. Inhaler after inhaler, prescription after prescription,  nothing seemed to be working. I remember walking from the parking lot into the grocery store one day with her when she said “Jessica, stop, I need to catch my breath. I hate this asthma.” “Mom, I don’t think this is asthma.” I replied. A few months later, we began getting serious tests done, and eventually, a biopsy.

One night shortly after her biopsy, I was laying in bed and I could hear my parents talking quietly from down the stairs. All I heard come out of my dad’s mouth was “Well, I guess we’re going to have to spend as much time with you as we can then.” The next day, I went to school completely terrified. We had a show and tell in my freshman english class, and I brought in my bible. Unsure of what I overheard the night before, I stood wearily in front of the room, held my bible up and said “Well, I think we got really bad news last night and I guess this is all I have.” and proceeded to break down in tears in front of my entire class. Later that day I went home and my mom told me she had 4 years to live. Little did we know, she would only make it 4 months. And just like that my world turned completely upside down.

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The day she died was poetry of sorts.  I was lucky enough to speak to her before she passed and promised to make her proud. She died holding my hand. I’ll never forget falling to my knees in the middle of this big, empty, white hospital hallway and my best friend along with my cousins rushed over to hold and cry with me as I wept.

My mom passed away of a disease called Pulmonary Fibrosis which causes severe scarring of the lungs. There was no explanation for her illness and there is no cure other than a lung transplant. The fundraiser for her new lungs was being held at our church the day she died. The volume of the silence and blank stares we got when we walked into the fundraiser could shatter glass.  Nobody knew what to say to us. Yet somehow we held it together as a family and greeted and thanked those who came.

Within the first few months after her passing, my family had plenty of help. People brought us food and offered assistance any way they could. But as time passed, the help was fewer and I gradually understood what would be regular life. I didn’t realize how un-fatherly my dad was until after those first few months of my mom’s passing. Throughout my life, he was the fun one. He took me to soccer, showed up for my games and said yes to hanging out with friends. However, when I really thought about it— he had no idea how to actually raise a child.

Johnny was moved out, Jason was busy with college, and dad didn’t know how to dad. So where did that leave Celia? I worried about her. Suddenly, I had to think about being a mother at 14 years old.  But how? It hit me that my mom didn’t teach me much either.  It’s not to say my mom wasn’t a good mother. However, she kinda just threw me into things. I was doing my own laundry in the 3rd grade. She never actually showed me how to turn the shower on and most days I made my own lunch. I’ll never forget when I switched from private school to public school in the 5th grade. I had NO idea how to dress myself. So I went in my dad’s closet, grabbed an oversized t shirt, tied it in the back and went to school. That kind of thing.

Although seemingly alone and under guided,  I tried to keep it together the best that I could throughout my high school career. I knew I had to be a role model for my sister and be strong for my dad. I made great grades, involved myself in every club possible, was a varsity athlete and somehow won homecoming queen. Yet behind that outward facade was a depressed young woman despite my accomplishments.

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At home, my house was slowly falling apart. There was never enough food, it was extremely dirty and I was blamed for everything. This is when I started to question who I was. I lost the image of who I was supposed to be. All that, and my dad was emotionally absent. This caused an identity issue.

When college came, things only seemed to get worse. Although my gut told me to stay true to myself-  I was starved for attention and love.  I wore clothes that clung to my body. I allowed an upper classmen to take advantage of me because I had zero self esteem and I let my school work slip. I started to dislike myself and others disliked me, too. Certainly, I was not favored among a few girls on my soccer team. One day, I thought I wanted to end it all so I locked myself in my dorm room, laid out a bunch of Advil and began to take it. I don’t think I would have fully gone through with it. But thankfully, my boyfriend at the time knocked on my door after pill number 2. And if comic relief would have it, it wasn’t Advil. They were laxatives (lol). I grabbed the wrong bottle. Thank goodness I only took 2 for all sorts of reasons. It’s like God was saying “1. I’m not done with you yet. and 2. That’s what you get.”

It wasn’t long after that, I found out my little sister had developed depression at home. This just broke my heart.  I finished my freshman year at that school and transferred to a community college back home. It was time to get my head on straight, be there for my sister, and figure out what I wanted. Once I went back to school at home, I realized I had a talent for broadcast journalism. I was extremely motivated about my career goals and was pursuing them fully. I made almost all A’s,  got an internship at the #1 radio station in Detroit, and towards the end of that internship I got word that I was accepted as an intern for FOX 30 in Jacksonville, Florida.

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But all the while, my father was going through an identity crisis of his own. He was angry, lonely, heartbroken, and confused. In the midst of my dad’s strife, he met a woman that told him all the right things. So logically… he married her. This woman turned out to be a total fraud and did terrible things. She faked a pregnancy of twins, told people my sister was dying of cancer (which she was getting tested for but was fine), told us the babies died (which I still don’t 100% know is true or not), financially ruined my dad and countless more things. Here we were, a family trying to recover and she came in and did what she did. That was my first experience with a truly twisted person. Talk about trust issues.

I did not qualify loans for school and my dad could no longer afford me because of her. This caused a setback in my life goals. Although I was bummed, I tried to remain positive. The very day I was supposed to move back home to Michigan after my FOX 30 internship, I made a big decision. I called my dad and tossed out the idea of staying in Florida. I knew things were bad when he said “Well, that might not be a bad idea” with zero hesitation. There was nothing for me at home and I couldn’t even go to school if I wanted to. “Here we go- guess I’m staying here. Time to find a job.” So I found one and worked my ass off and made my way up the corporate ladder. Over a two year period,  I started as a greeter at the front desk and finished as the Youth Activities Coordinator of Sawgrass Country Club. I hosted events, ran entire camps and started youth programs.  It was pretty darn cool.

Once again, despite my accomplishments, a part of me felt empty. I wanted to go back to school but I didn’t know what I wanted out of it.  I also thought I was missing out on life. I began to compare my life to people on social media and feel like I was the only person my age who wasn’t partying. I wanted that experience, somehow.

After 21, I started going out often and went to a multitude of music festivals. It’s not like that’s a bad thing. I love going out and I had a blast. But in my particular case, over time, it led me into a funk. I lost sight of my athleticism and continued put my love of journalism aside. I didn’t know what I was doing and where I was going chose to ride this wave of whatever. My excuse started to became that I was “figuring it out” and “had plans to go back to school” without acting on it.

My gut never left me alone though. I KNEW I had to get my crap back together, so I made the decision that it was time to leave my job and do something else.  I was blessed enough that the current family I nanny for LITERALLY walked into my life while I was looking for a new job. Once I found them, I felt like I was getting back to where I wanted to be again. I was taking care of two incredible children with a family who loved me like their own. They encouraged me, taught me so much and blessed me more than I could have ever imagined. They truly have become family.

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Shortly after I met them, my world changed once again in a different way. This past September, a series of unfortunate events and being naive led me into a dangerous situation at a music festival.  Our ride left without us, and no Ubers  or taxis could come through.  A girl in my group gave me a list of phone numbers of people she knew could possibly give us a ride home. Little did I know that the person that picked up their phone when I called for help- she had only met that day.

We were heavily drugged by a group of men and had to escape getting nearly (but thankfully didn’t) gang raped.  I  experienced looking into the eyes of a person that had every intention to harm me for their own selfish gain. And not just one person. Multiple. There’s nothing I can say to describe that kind of fear. The words of their terrible plans for me still echo in my head. I shudder at the sight of similar vans. I can’t listen to certain songs. I still have PTSD even trying to get into something as simple as an Uber. 

Could I ever trust anyone again? Did good people exist? Would I ever feel safe?  How could I recover? Why oh why did this happen after everything I had been through? All I could think was haven’t I had enough? Mentally, it was (and still is)  the most painful battle I have ever had to face.

My entire outlook on everything in life changed after that day. Everything. From how I thought, to how I spoke, to how I presented myself, to the way I exercised, to the people I allowed in my life – this experience transposed me from the inside out.  I didn’t know it then,  but my mom’s lack of teaching and my dad’s lack of fathering me was actually what would be my saving grace.

With that realization, I knew I would be okay. I got through everything else – I wasn’t going to let this take me down either.

I  had to forgive my mistakes of the past. I had to learn to love and respect my body. I had to learn to see myself as valued and beautiful. I had to teach myself the reality of the world while learning how to forgive the people that wanted to harm me. To teach myself the power of the mind and not to let bad memories rule my head. To trust very few but to still love all.

It’s a battle I fight every day. & here I am.


 

I didn’t share my story because I want sympathy. I shared it because perhaps someone needed to hear it. It seems like social media has blinded us into thinking that people don’t have problems. Tough- ass- problems. Too many of us are afraid to share our real lives because we live in a world of highlight reels. This causes us to feel alone. So we relentlessly try to prove ourselves with photos of staged happiness instead of ACTUALLY working on trying to get there.

What’s your story? I’d love to hear it. I know it can’t be too simple.  All of our lives are filled with ups and downs 110% of the time. I’m not here tell you that things are suddenly going to get better. I also can’t tell you that when things are better, that they won’t go wrong again. From experience, I know things are bound to go wrong again.  But maybe I can help you think of things a little differently.


We have all struggled with something at one point or another. What’s most important is how we recover from those trials. I have good news. No matter who you are and what kind of path life has weaved for you – you always have a choice.

Isn’t it nice that we always have a choice? Despite what your circumstances say and regardless of what you are feeling – you get to choose what you’re going to do about your problems. Your situation and your feelings are not what has true power over you. YOU have power over you.


Of course we wish things happened differently sometimes. The way life happens is not always fair. But wishing your life happened differently will only get you so far. You can try and wish the pain away 10,000 times. You can try and wish yourself a different set of circumstances. You can wish and waste away your life.  Or you can consider starting now exactly where you are- with what you have, and bust your balls through the pain.

My heart still aches. My mind is tired. My hands feel tied. Yet I would choose to rise up ten thousand more times than to lay down and surrender to a life of self pity. You can’t give up on what’s important to you because of the excuse of a painful past or the time it will take to accomplish it. The harsh truth is, the time is going to pass anyways.

I remember sitting in the car with my high school boyfriend and yelling to him “Why. When will it be over?  Why ME?” I thought I was being punished for something and I didn’t understand why. I didn’t know it at the time, but those were the moments that were going to make me the strongest. Our past was not punishment. It was preparation.  If my life would have gone according to my own plan and my mom hadn’t died, and if that crazy lady wouldn’t have come around, if my father would have fathered,  if i didn’t get into that van- I wouldn’t have learned.

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As it turns out- those bad experiences are the biggest blessings. Now I know to love everyone in my life with 110% of my heart because they could be gone tomorrow. Now I know to have my own back because there are people with ulterior motives. If life went according to Jessica-  I probably would not be ready for the big things that God actually has in store for my future.

I might not be where I thought I’d  be.  But perhaps I’m right where I’m meant to be. With that in mind, there is no time or room for comparison. Comparison will only steal away the joy of the journey. Others did not experience what you did. You are a completely separate person with a unique story. Progress is progress.

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So here we are. We can either get frustrated, or we can get thankful. I think it’s time to look at what we have gone through and realize how far we have come. You recovered each time – and you can recover again.  Be proud of yourself and keep fighting. Regret nothing. Take back nothing. (Even the things that hurt) It all mattered and  fought to become this person. Life moves on-  and you, my dear have to do the same.

Some days you’ll be the mess, some days  you’ll be the broom. One can’t exist without the other – and that becomes your story. You are complete, so embrace it!  Who am I choosing to be? I’m choosing to be happy. I’m choosing to be thankful. I’m choosing to be loving. I’m choosing to press forward. I will forever choose to make the best of my mess. Because whether you’re the board op, the nanny, the gym chick or the annoying neighbor- one day, we will all look back with confidence and say “This is why God put me here.”

Sincerely,
Jessica Rose

 


Update: It’s truly amazing what has transpired in our lives.  I’ve lived in Jacksonville for 3 years now. Currently, I am a nanny and I am working mornings at a radio station as a board operator for a morning show. Started next month, I’m going back to school full time for Journalism. I am physically in the best shape of my life. Mentally, I am stronger than I could ever imagined. Every day I feel myself becoming a better person for the people I love. & Don’t just take it from me- everyone changed.  My dad is now a different man. He as well learned from ALL of this. He’s taken up new hobbies,  working hard to make improvements on the house and working to be a better father (and now grandfather). He’s also going back to school and has a wonderful girlfriend that we adore. Celia is now 16 and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She’s working to get her license, keeping her grades up, and takes constant care of my niece and nephew. Johnny runs his business and has 2 kids with his lovely wife, Brittany. They are expecting a third in December. And Jason just accepted his dream job teaching position and travels the world any chance he gets.

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Smart, sexy, and strong. You don’t have to choose.

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As I am sure you have probably heard ten billion times- being active is very important.  I could tell you all the health benefits. I could tell you that if you look better that you feel better. I could tell you everything you already know and then some and include every cliche from Women’s Health if you wish.

But what if I told you it’s so much more? That your physical self is more than just appearance. That being better- building ourselves up mentally and physically is the ultimate empowerment and beauty remedy if it all comes from the right place.

Perspective Change.
Throughout my life, I have always been very athletic. I’ve played competitive soccer since I was little all the way through my freshman year of college, as well as playing volleyball, basketball, running track- you name it. For those reasons, staying in shape always came pretty naturally and was important to me. Although I regularly worked out, it wasn’t until recently did I start to see my physical activity a little differently.

In September 2015, I found myself in an extremely dangerous situation. Without going into detail ( I’m sorry if this disturbs you- and I might write an article on this sometime), I was almost raped by a large group of men. Lucky for me- I managed to escape. It was the scariest day of my life.

Now obviously that’s not a story I like to tell. But the reason I did is because it shifted my view about how I see my body. Did I still want to look good? Yes. Did I still want to be healthy? Yup. But most importantly- from then on- I wanted to be strong. That I was a force to be reckoned with. That I am extremely agile, my muscles are not just for show and hell yes I am a woman- and I can whoop your ass.

In our modern world,  we get so caught up in the beauty side of everything. Get your beach body, look amazing in 2016, flatter tummies, blah blah. We so often forget about the beauty in strength. Don’t get me wrong, the looks part of it is great. But the benefits can only be reaped so far. If we are only focusing on the appearance part of it-  that kind of “confidence” can only go skin deep. Working on strength can truly build up an internal confidence and ability that will in turn– radiate from the outside. It’s the best of both worlds! I think I need to make it known for all the ladies out there-  You can be smart, sexy, and strong. You don’t have to choose.

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It’s important to want to strengthen every area of your life. Mentally- physically- spiritually, and emotionally. Because this article is mostly about the physical part of it- I’ll stick to that for now. But here are some words of advice to live by if you’re just starting out.
1. Remember why you started.
Every time you feel yourself getting lazy- recall those feelings you had that brought you to your motivation. Give yourself a little slap in the face and say bish, this is why you’re here. The beginning is the most crucial time to form routine.
2. Time is not an excuse.
Work out and work on yourself on the days you most feel like you don’t want to go. That’s when you’re challenged the most. It’s when we do the things we don’t feel like doing during the times we don’t feel like doing them- that we grow the most. This also teaches you more about self discipline. So even if your work out sucks, learning about discipline will benefit you in more areas in your life other than just your work out.
3. Get over your fear of people watching you.
Do your best not to be intimidated. I know it’s hard because you have strong looking people storming around the gym. But just like anything else in life- getting smarter in the gym is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new. It’s a lot more freeing to be able to walk about the gym and do whatever you want instead of feeling like you have to be crammed in a corner. Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.  Do it afraid. Anyone that ever did anything important started with a little bit of fear.
4. Do it for yourself.
When you try and  please everyone, you succeed in pleasing no one. There is no joy to be had in trying to be pleasing. Be sexy and strong because you want to. It’s not satisfying and counteracting if you’re “working on yourself” but doing it for other people. If you’re not happy with you- you’ll never be happy with anything else.

At the end of the day- it all starts with a healthy mind – then prepare to be transformed from the inside out. Remember,  it shouldn’t be just about how you look. It should be about how you feel. And if you’re confident and strong from the inside out- your world will turn upside down. There’s an inner beauty and strength about a woman who believes in herself. That knows she’s capable of anything.  Because now I don’t just look at my body and think ” I look good.” I say  “You worked for this. You are strong. You are valuable. You are beautiful. And nobody can tell me otherwise.”

On my next article, I will be posting my entire work out as well as suggestions for beginners.

” She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.”
– Proverbs 31:25

– Jessica Rose

Free Yourself- Why It’s Okay to Walk Away

 

 

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Being brave sucks sometimes. In movies, they make being brave look so bold and heroic. But, being brave in life doesn’t always look like that. Being brave can actually be downright painful and scary.

Having strong feelings for another person is one of those painful and scary times. It’s painful to walk away from someone we really care about. But it’s even more painful to stay with someone we know isn’t good for us.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our feelings for a person that we choose to ignore serious issues because we don’t want to face the heartbreak. Or, we push aside the things that hurt us the most and make excuses for those actions because our emotions can blind us. Truth be told, where there’s smoke- there’s fire- and deep down, we already feel the debris clogging our lungs.

If we ever want to move forward, we have to get really honest with ourselves and admit that it’s not healthy to wait around for someone to love us the way we need them to.
And that requires bravery – which is scary.

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I did not want to let go. The idea alone broke my heart because I knew the risks involved. But, I needed to. Sometimes  letting go is the only way to find out if there’s anything worth holding on to. If what’s there is worth saving amongst the wreckage.

If you’re going through something similar- there are major things to keep in mind. Here are some reminders that I’ve had to constantly remind myself of during my own healing process.

  1. You can’t change them.
    You can’t change other people. Period.  Never go into a relationship expecting to change a person. Otherwise, you will always come out disappointed. You can kindly make someone aware of the issues you have with them. But at the end of the day,  a person can only want to change themselves if it’s something they feel they need to fix. There’s a huge difference between a person that’s not worth it- and a person that’s not perfect.  Not perfect are flaws you can love them for. Not worth it requires personal self sacrifice. If you can’t change it- make peace with it. Then let it go.
  2.  Forgive them.
    Contrary to common belief- forgiveness isn’t for them. It’s for you. Forgiveness is not excusing their actions or how they hurt you. It’s simply refusing to be defined by those things.  If you keep replaying things in your mind wondering why they said this or that or wondering what you think you could have said/done differently… you will never move on.  The time and energy you’re wasting over-analyzing the situation could be used to get better, work on yourself, and move on. 
  3. Follow your gut.
    I don’t know about you, but my gut has never steered me wrong. If something just feels wrong to you, there’s a reason for that. What looks appealing isn’t always what’s good for us- and our better judgement usually knows that. You can like ice cream,  but if you’re lactose intolerant, you’re only hurting yourself by eating it. Someone hurting you over and over again is not a mistake. It’s a choice.  Love yourself enough to let them go- or consider going dairy free. 😉 Otherwise you could be sacrificing long term happiness and health for something that only satisfies you in spurts.
  4. Remember what love is.
    Love is patient. Love is kind.  And most importantly, love is action. Someone can claim to love/ care for you but if their actions are not loving toward you – it’s not the truth. Someone who truly cares about you will consistently back up their words with action. Not just when they feel like they need to. Don’t believe what they say. Believe what they DO. Love matches your effort. Love cherishes your heart. Love is not proud or easily angered.  Love makes you more of who you are. Love gives with no thought of taking.  Anything less, isn’t love.
  5. Let pain do its thing.
    Allow yourself to feel the pain if you need to. Linger on the old photo if you must. Read the old note. But only for a little.
    Don’t get mad. Don’t get even. Embrace the moment for what it is, feel the pain, take a deep breath and vow to get better. To become the best version of yourself that you can.
  6. Timing is everything.
    The wrong thing at the right time is the wrong thing. The right thing at the wrong time is still the wrong thing. Time is too valuable to be chasing anything other than your dreams. Someone who is invested in you and your life will never have to be chased. Because the truth is, there is nothing you can do to change bad timing or the wrong person into the right person. Sometimes all you can do is take your hands off a situation, trust, and know that whatever happens, you’ll be okay. Nothing ever gets away that is meant to be yours.

Sometimes letting go requires more than a page turn. Maybe we have to close the book and walk away. After all, that’s what faith is.  Trusting and moving forward anyway, even when it doesn’t make sense. Whether we are meant to keep it, learn from it, or let it go forever…everything put in our paths serves a purpose. 

Let it go- set them free- and set yourself free.
Wherever you are going, God has already been there and paved the way for you.
-Matthew 6:27-30
– Jessica Rose
(Here’s your shoutout, Nicole) .

8 Customer Reward$ Programs Worth Your While

Saving money is something I find fun. Mostly because I am not a millionaire and also because it’s a challenge that gets thrown into how I shop.

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(Everything I am wearing in this picture was either bought with customer rewards, found on clearance, or I somehow managed to get dirt cheap elsewhere.)

I’m not a financial wizard. I am young. I still make irresponsible financial decisions. I could possibly blow all of my saved money on my best friend’s bachelorette party to Vegas next year. (Okay, I hope I don’t do that). My point is- there’s a lot of stuff I don’t know and there’s probably a lot more things I could have added to this list that I might add later. However, these are things that work for me/ my friends and I want to spread what has helped us along the way.

Here are the rewards programs based on places I know we youngins may regularly go:

1. CVS

I am constantly going to CVS or Walgreens for random stuff here and there. I mean constantly. “Welp, dropped my eyeliner somewhere again. Okay, toothbrush went missing too I guess. Where on earth are the remote batteries?”  Lol- better stop at CVS.

With that said, it was a good move for me to hop on the rewards program. CVS ExtraCare provides members with ExtraSavings/ ExtraBucks Rewards. This allows members to save money with coupons that are based on their shopping history and earn money back in rewards.  Members get 2 percent back on everyday purchases, along with $5 in ExtraBucks Rewards after filling 10 prescriptions.

I keep my little scanny taggy thing on my keys. But, they also offer an app for iPads, a mobile card to keep on your phone to scan at checkout, and a “scan your refill” function that allows you to request a refill remotely by scanning a barcode.

2. Walgreens

I find myself at Walgreens more often than CVS. I am not sure if it’s because I like it better or because I live down the street from one. Whatever, they have a great program as well.

With Everyday Points, you get 10 points per $1 on almost everything –  every day. (See what they did there). This program allows shoppers to save money on the purchases they already make. You also get bonus points on featured products each week, and use paperless coupons on select items.

Similar to CVS, their program includes prescriptions. At Walgreens, you get 100 points per 30-day prescription, 300 points per 90-day prescription, and 100 points per immunization.

Punch in your phone number at your time of purchase and start saving.

3. Starbucks

Personally, I don’t go to Starbucks often because I can’t fathom spending that much money on coffee. However, for those of you psychos that do, I suggest Starbucks’s rewards program.

You weirdos can enjoy free beverages, free food, custom offers on favorite items, early access to new products and easy mobile app payments with the My Starbucks Rewards program. You can collect “stars” by paying with their registered Starbucks, Teavana or La Boulange< (whatever that is) cards at participating stores. These stars can be redeemed for various rewards. You can gain higher levels of rewards by using their Starbucks card more often.

The My Starbucks Rewards also has an app where you can pay for purchases, monitor your rewards status or even receive a free iTunes song each week.

Okay, now go drink your over priced coffee and I’ll chill with my Folgers that I paid $10 for nearly a month ago 🙂

4. Nordstrom

YOOOO. I just found out the greatness of this one. As I have been getting rid of the old and updating my closet with a business- casual wardrobe, Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack have quickly become my favorite places to shop for clothing.

It’s free to sign up. Connect it to your bank account and BOOM… watch the magic happen. You can earn and redeem points for spending money with Nordstrom Rewards.  For every net dollar spent at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and HauteLook, (which I didn’t even know was owned by Nordstrom), you get 2 points.  Every 2,000 points gets you a $20 Nordstrom Note.  Get a $20 bonus Note when you spend $100 at Nordstrom with your Nordstrom card the day you apply. I just got my first $30 Note in the mail yesterday and I’m stupid excited to use it. You can use your Notes on anything you want at any Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack or online at Nordstrom.com.

This is cool, too ( I only tell you cool things so…)  There are four different levels of rewards, and benefits increase with the amount spent.  Level 1, 2 and 3 members are reimbursed for alterations on Nordstrom purchases with a Nordstrom Note in the exact dollar value of the charge. Level 4 members get unlimited complimentary alterations.

Soooo you can save money AND look fresh? Iight this is a duh decision.

5. Sports Authority

If you’re an athlete and often find yourself at sporting good stores- why wouldn’t you use their rewards programs?

With Sports Authority’s “League” program-  for every dollar spent, you earn one point — 100 points can be redeemed for 5 percent back.  Ex: Spend $117.65, you earn 118 points which is $5.90 in reward points. Every 3 months you’ll receive your reward based on the points you’ve earned.

In addition, you get a $5 welcome reward, a birthday surprise, bonus offers throughout the year and other benefits. Go get your gym gear you sexy thing you, and then come back for more with your rewards.

6. Sephora

Attention Ladies (or gents who just wanna look so fresh and so clean).  Although I don’t go there too often- I have heard Sephora Rewards is pretty useful.

Similar to many other programs, members earn points with their purchases, which are redeemable for different tiers of rewards.  In my case, I have been trying to work on my makeup skills, which more often than not- requires better quality makeup.  Given that good quality makeup is expensive-a rewards program is handy.

Give this program a whirl if you so choose. Plus, during your birthday month, you can request a free gift any day. Yay birthday gifts!

7. Papa Johns

FREE PIZZA! Cool, got your attention. Who can say no to that? Oh that’s right- a crazy person. Go home, this section isn’t for you.

With Papa John’s Papa Rewards, members get one point for every $5 spent. After 25 points, you qualify for a large, three-topping pizza, free of cost. Whoop whoop- it’s a pizza cake. Lolz….  Make an account online, and start collecting points. Points are awarded the next business day following your order completion. Oh, and the points don’t expire. Hail yeah.

Even better, your reward redemption can be combined with other promotional offers. Some restrictions do apply.  Whatever, let’s just ignore the bad stuff here and focus on what’s truly important, and that’s pizza.

8. Target

Alright, I DON’T have one of these and frankly I’m not sure why. Laziness? Idk. They try to convince me to get one every time I am there, and it’s probably time I just do it.

The Target REDcard is perfect if you’re a Target regular. It’s free and you save 5 percent on every purchase. If instant savings isn’t enough to reel you in, cardholders receive free shipping and 30 extra days for returns.

Similar to Nordstrom, you get your own debit card and all purchases will are taken out of your bank account without any fees or hidden catches (I’d still be careful).  At checkout, you are also able to withdraw up to $40 from your bank account.

While writing this particular program I convinced myself to get one. It’s a great program and if it helps save money… why not.

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You will never regret saving money. Unless you were being a cheapskate and missed out on something really awesome. Other than that- it will only benefit you.

Until next time.

– Jessica Rose

Future article: Top Coupon Apps ( Lol, nanny problems)

Self worth

“Waaaaah I’m lonely!  I wish I had a boyfriend. When will a good guy love me? I am 20 something years old, how can I find… when will I…. Ahhhhhhh.”

Okay- stop stop stop. Why are you making yourself sound so small? If this is consistently you- it’s time to put those kind of questions to rest.

Have you ever considered that instead of being so caught up with trying to find the right man that you should be more concerned with becoming the right woman? Interesting. You cannot ask someone to like you or love you more than you like or love yourself. It’s up to you to set the standard. You cannot expect a man of great character and confidence to magically poof into your life when you yourself are insecure.

The truth? If you want to be happy with someone else, you must first be happy with yourself. This all begins with figuring out exactly what you’re worth.

So how do you get there?

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1. Be genuine.

We live in a world where it’s easy to pretend because of social media. However when it comes down to face to face interactions- most people can tell the difference between a person who actually cares and a person who is doing it for show. Don’t believe me? Watch an episode of The Bachelor and get back to me (lol kind of kidding).

Faking happiness or emotions in general is false advertising and false marketing for not just your friendships, but anything else. Practice putting yourself aside. It’s very important to value the happiness of others and to be genuinely considerate. There is room, time, and opportunity for all of us to succeed. Therefore, do not look at other women in resentment. We are a team.

Don’t be the girl who tears down. Be the one who builds up.  It’s very cool to see someone go out of their way to make life beautiful for others. Confident women celebrate other women. They don’t compete.

2.  Present yourself well.

I used to think I could dress however I wanted and that it wouldn’t make a difference as to the kind of people I attracted. I thought as long as they knew the kind of person that I was on the inside that it wouldn’t matter. The truth is, I was an idiot for thinking that way because that’s not how it works. As much as we hate to admit it- our appearance is the first thing people notice about us. You are a walking billboard for yourself.  You could be the best woman around – loyal, sweet, dynamic, funny – and people wouldn’t have a clue.

If you want people to see you as more than just a sexual object- present yourself as more than a sexual object. If you want to appear classy- dress like it. There are definitely situational exceptions and there will always be people who may disrespect you no matter what. But how you present yourself helps. Marketing yourself is about holding yourself highly, and acting so. A woman of confidence has a high sense of self-worth and also projects herself that way.

3. Don’t talk about yourself so much. 

You shouldn’t have to feel that in order to validate yourself that you have to talk people’s ears off. In fact, that turns a lot of people off. No need to try so hard, little one. An empty vessel makes the most noise.

If you want to be interesting- be interested.  Take a step back and listen to what other people have to say. Everybody is your superior in some way because they can teach you something you did not know before. Silently know in your heart who YOU are, and take interest in who they are instead. This will build a quiet confidence within you and you’ll realize that you don’t need to talk about yourself all the time in order for other people to like you.

4. Own it.

In high school and early college I felt as though I did not have many friends. I am realizing now that was literally my own fault. It’s not because I wasn’t nice. It’s not because I wasn’t this or that. It was because I hid my full personality. I kept it hidden in fear of judgement. Yet here I am in my 20s- weird as ever and I am happy to say I have more friends than I have ever had.

Surprise, surprise- my friends like me for who I am. Besides, if somebody doesn’t like you for being who you are – you shouldn’t care to be friends with them anyways. An amazing thing happens when you stop seeking approval and validation.  You find it. So you’re a little weird? Work it. A little different? Own it. It’s better to be a nerd than one of the herd. People are naturally drawn like magnets to those who know who they are and cannot be shaken. Own who you are – izzz sexy.

5. Don’t settle.

Holding out for the best is scary because you’re worried about the possibility that it might not ever come. Well have no fear my dear- we’re not going to proclaim that over your life.

A confident woman shouldn’t entertain the idea of settling because she knows she deserves nothing less than the best for her life. If you surrender your self-worth to someone who doesn’t see your true value, what happens when someone comes along who wants to give you what you’re worth instead of what you’ll settle for?

So how do you know if you’re settling? If you have to chase it, force it, or convince it to stay in one way or another…that would be your cue. When you truly grasp what you’re worth, it stops phasing you to wait for the one who can match it. Someone out there is looking for exactly what you’ve got and will never try to undercut or question it.

The most important thing to remember is to treasure your time and don’t fall in love with potential. Just because you want something doesn’t mean it deserves to have you. Be patient without procrastinating. Be hopeful, not naive.

When it’s right- you will know. You won’t have to force it or feel like you’re settling.

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Figuring out what you are worth isn’t simply a thinking matter. You don’t think your way into finding out who you are; you live your way into it. You mess up.  You follow your passion. You get confused. You set goals and chase dreams. You figure out what makes you laugh. You learn what makes you cry. It’s a very long journey and it doesn’t stop unless YOU stop.

All in all, please know I am not saying that by doing any of these things that suddenly the man of your dreams is going to appear overnight. In fact- you may even be single for longer than expected because you are holding out for the very best for you – which is OKAY.  Don’t focus on trying to necessarily score yourself a man through all of this. Instead, learn to love yourself and feel amazing about the woman you are/ are becoming. Progress, not perfection is the goal. You do not need someone else to validate your existence. There’s nothing more beautiful than a woman who has dignity and pride in who she is.

If and when it’s meant to be- it will be. And this time- you’ll be ready because you will know your worth.

-Jessica Rose

 

Reap what you sow.

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It’s not just karma. It’s not a figment of your imagination. It’s not a game that should be tampered with.

Your actions and the things that happen in result of them are directly related because that’s simply how the world works.

“Why doesn’t anything good happen to me?” “Why don’t I have any friends?” “Why do so many people dislike me?”  Have you ever considered for a moment that the reason you’re having so many problems is because the source of the problems might be you? I know that’s a harsh statement. But, if your relationships are falling apart, if you can’t seem to hold a job, if things seem to be slipping away left and right… perhaps the answer is in the mirror.

My pastor spoke a message on this the other day – reaping and sowing. Whatever we sow into the world, be it good or bad- that is exactly what we are going to get in return.

Let’s think for a moment. Why do farmers plant their seed? Because they expect to harvest a great deal more than they sow. A single seed that sprouts can yield dozens, or even hundreds of seeds. It’s the same way with our actions—a small decision to do either good or bad reaps a much bigger crop…  or consequence. Apple seed = apple tree. Now whether that’s good or bad to you, that depends on what that seed meant to you when you planted it.

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So what do I mean exactly? Every action you do sows a seed. Are you kind or are you cruel to everyone you meet? Those are two different seeds right there. You can’t beg for a “good man” if you’re not working to be a respectable woman. You can’t plant an apple tree hoping for oranges because darling, you are going to get exactly what you planted. So why are you acting so surprised when your shit hit the fan when your harvest came?

It can be easy to be deceived. I understand that.  Sometimes, the present seed doesn’t produce an immediate crop. In certain cases, we continue down a bad course, mistakenly believing that there might not ever be a harvest. Unlike crops of the field which get harvested around the same time each year.. there is no regular timetable for our lives. Some crops we reap quickly; others take a long time. However, don’t be deceived, little one — I promise you beyond a shadow of a doubt, their season will come and the result may not be pretty.

Don’t get me wrong. None of this is to say that just because you planted something good- that good will be the only thing that comes to you. Your harvest might not be very fruitful. Someone might try to ruin your crops. Things go wrong. Timing might be off. But what do you do? You try again.

Our harvest of blessing is determined by our actions. Not our intentions.

Sure, maybe you intended on being a faithful boyfriend. Maybe you intended on volunteering. You intended on helping your friend. You intended this and you intended that. Well that’s real cool and all but if you never actually act on those things- what does it matter? Others can’t see your intentions through the other side of the window. They only see you. Your actions are all they have to work with. Your actions are all they can judge you by. So if you intended on supporting your buddy at his performance but ended up at the bar instead- ultimately, you still ended up at the bar. What is going to matter to him? What you chose to do. Where you ended up. Your action.

When it comes down to it- if you sow seeds of laziness, deception, unkindness, lies – keep in mind what your harvest could look like. Even if it doesn’t sprout immediately. If you’re not putting in the extra effort at work, you’re not going to get promoted. If you’re not being a friend, it will be hard to keep one. You cannot expect people to be kind to you, if you’re not kind to them. You cannot expect the world to do you favors if you’re being selfish.  Lucky for us, it works both ways. If you can keep sowing positive seeds, you will get that back tenfold. Cause… and effect.

Where are the problem areas in your life?

  • Work
  • Family life
  • Friends
  • School
  • Finances

Wherever your problems lie, it’s never too late to plant something new.  It’s more than just treating others how you want to be treated. It’s about determining how you want the rest of your life to look like. YOU determine how blessed you are.

What kind of life do you want to lead?

– Jessica Rose

Alone doesn’t mean lonely.

 

How well do you know yourself?

Over the past few days I have been thinking about this particular topic because something struck a bad chord with me.

See, my friend’s boyfriend screwed up recently. In his efforts to win her back, he said something like “I want my life to be consumed by you. You are my queen. I want to worship at your feet. You are my world. I am nothing without you.” When she read those messages to me, I was immediately taken aback and I got pretty grossed out. I thought to myself …  He’s digging himself into a deeper hole. Why would he think that saying those words would make her want him again? How is that remotely attractive?  Why would you EVER want to be somebody’s world, or vice versa?

If somebody needed to consume their life with only me – that means they don’t even know who they are. It’s not my job to make someone whole. It’s not someone else’s job to make me whole. If you ask me, I want to be with someone who compliments the person I already am. Not complete me.

The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship of all. But getting to know the person you are requires time alone. Unfortunately, for many people, being alone is like being afraid of the dark. The same people that claim they want to conquer their fear are the ones who still leave a light on. You’ll never know what’s in the dark if you never spend time in it. Leaving a light on for comfort all the time isn’t getting you closer to getting over your fear.

Self-worth is vital to your happiness. If you don’t feel good about YOU, it’s hard to feel good about anything else. That’s why people waste so much time placing their happiness in the hands of other people. A little in this person, a little in that person. Or a whole lot in one person. They leave so many lights on here and there. Yet in the end, it leaves them more unhappy than when they started.

So. Is this you? What now? Well, it’s time to change your perspective. The darkness does not equal blindness just like being alone doesn’t equal lonely.

Here are a few ways to work on walking solo:

1. Step outside of your comfort zone.

Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Get more confident being uncertain. Throw yourself into certain situations alone that you might not have done before. My personal suggestion; date yourself. Take yourself out to eat. Take yourself to the movies. Buy yourself a drink.  Yeah maybe in the beginning it feels weird or scary. But over time, you start not to give an F because you’re doin’ you and you’ll enjoy your own company. Being comfortable being uncomfortable is extremely freeing.

Once you realize you can handle discomfort- you become unstoppable. Great things never came from comfort zones.

2. Self meditate.

Whatever your beliefs, take time to yourself to think. Get to a place in your heart where you can be perfectly okay being still with your thoughts. In my case, I take a lot of time to pray to get me in the right mindset right when I start my day. I ask God to change my heart. To remove jealousy. To humble me. To make me think of people and things other than myself. To get my spirit right. Taking this precious time to be still with my soul is where I feel like myself the most.

So whatever this is for you. Self meditation, yoga, a bike ride…. learn to be okay with your thoughts. Eventually, you’ll find that you need this alone time to keep you sane.

3. Don’t be so concerned with what everyone else is doing.

Part of loving yourself is owning who you are and not apologizing for it. You don’t always have to be doing what your friends are doing.

Reducing how much I check snapchat helped cure my “fear of missing out”.  So what, I missed another night of drinking. There is nothing wrong about staying home to do other things.  If you want to stay in to watch hours of Netflix because you want to- then do it. That doesn’t mean you’re antisocial. That doesn’t mean you don’t care. It just means you want to be alone. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your own company. Plus, when you learn to love your own company, you become far more careful about who you spend your time with anyways.

4. Let go of expectation.

No one person can meet all your wants and needs. If you’re expecting other people to live up to expectations you are holding for them- you are always going to come out disappointed. Guaranteed. Stop trying to force or manipulate or beg people to act right in order to make you feel better. Your time is better spent loving YOU than trying to get them to.

If it’s romantic love you’re looking for… work on finding you first, love second.  Until you are comfortable being alone with just you, you will never know if you’re with someone out of love or loneliness. A whole, complete person makes a much better catch.  If it’s friendship (this still works for romantic relationships) – don’t place your identity in the people around you. Surround yourself with people who add value. People that inspire the person that you already are to be better.

Look, you owe it to yourself to get to know the person in the mirror. Never get to a place where you’re “nothing” without another person. You should be everything by yourself.  The best way to be happy with someone (be it romantically or friends) is to learn to be happy alone. That way, the company will be a matter of choice and not necessity.

Alone doesn’t mean lonely.  You can learn to walk alone – and you can learn to like it.
“It’s healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone & not be defined by another person. ~Oscar Wilde”

– Jessica Rose