One Year Later

February 27th, 2017 I embarked on a journey. I had no idea where it would take me, what would happen over the course of it, only that I needed to find a creative outlet I could continue to do (that was free/cheap).

I didn’t know what topics I would cover or if my blog would have any overall theme – or if it would just become a public diary.

I didn’t realize that it would (probably) be the reason I would lose my job, or that while interviewing for other positions they would ask me to either remove/take down or make it private.

I was unaware how my personal platform would be so heavily criticized. Or that companies (mostly personal individuals representing those companies) would find my words so threatening. I was shocked and surprised that they thought little Jackie would somehow persuade  or influence potential clients/buyers/patients.

This last year has had some SERIOUS growing pains, and boy have they left the stretch marks behind to prove it. So in the spirit of growth, reflection, and change — i’d like to take this opportunity to introduce who I think it is that I am moving forward onto year 2.

Hello There,

My name is Jacquelin, but you can call me Jackie (or Jack depending on how well we get to know one another). I’m currently 30 years old, single, living and working in Seattle, WA. I live with my dog, Butters & the king of the castle, Mr. Todd (cat). I am the oldest sibling in my family (5 total – 2 brothers, 1 half-brother, 1 step brother, and 1 step sister). My mom and I went through a rocky time during my adolescence, but now I consider her to be one of my best friends. She married an awesome man, Scott (when I was 21), and he is one of my most favorite humans. My relationship with my father (and step-mother), is strained – but a work in progress (& much better than it was several years ago).

I returned to college after a 10yr hiatus, thinking I would start hammering away nursing pre-reqs. I figured the fastest route to an actual career where I could make enough money to support myself (and i’d already have a leg up with my experience as a vet tech), would be nursing. However, as the majority of those closest to me know, my true passion comes from neuroscience. Biology is one of the most magical, godly, awe-inspiring topics. I just sit in amazement learning about cell reproduction, programming, genetics, and neural pathways. But me in my truest form loves learning about why people think and feel the way that they do, how they arrive to their conclusions and why they believe their actions are justly.  Therefore, we find the education and career path evolving to suite was role I believe I could have the greatest influence and impact on others.

My last relationship ended October 2016. I don’t consider the 4-8wk period of me exclusively seeing other people as “relationships” after that, because there was never a period of trust and vulnerability that comes with a REAL relationship. I have always considered myself to be an equal-opportunity dater. Sure, I have a type (tall, dark, great teeth, weighs more than me) – but I don’t exactly decline dates by those who do not fit into that “mold” or “type.” I have learned a LOT about myself from being open to dating multiple different kinds of people. The most profound one being that I can now be completely honest with myself and them when they ask me, “so… what’re you looking for?” I’m no longer concerned that I will come off as clingy/crazy for simply stating, “I’m casually looking for something serious.” Meaning – I’m not trying to get married tomorrow, but I also don’t want to waste my time in this weird open-relationship world that we live in for some reason. Seriously though… anyone else finding that “polyamorous” is some kind of trendy thing? Not for me, sorry.

I’ve also learned to trust and follow my instincts. Something I have not always done. I have generally used logic and strategy to deduct reasoning instead of allowing my “feelings” or emotions to cloud my judgment. Recently I learned that if I feel something is off, I should pay attention. Our intuition may not always be right, and we should not always use that when making decisions; However, I do believe it is a tool that should be sharpened and used more frequently than I have in the past.

Graceful & Resilient. This is how I feel about ways I have tackled obstacles this year. (Not my normal, everyday personality — but just how i’ve responded to problems.) When I lost my job, you didn’t see me begging for it back, you didn’t see me bad mouthing the company, nor did you see me complaining. I chose to take some time off, work relief, and when I was ready – enter the work for in a new direction. Veterinary was never going to be a career for me and I knew that, I was also probably never going to leave that company because I was “comfortable.” I have been ghosted, rejected, and bullied this year. As a result I have not lost my *sparkle* or positive attitude, but I have learned that avoiding confrontation never works out in your favor. If you cannot resolve the issue yourself, seek advice from those who have more experience than you in handling situations, LISTEN TO THEM, and try to apply that to your personal situation. Sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away.

Make new friends – seriously, like REAL friends. Put yourself out there, take a risk, develop a new connection with someone who you admire. Making friends has always been scary for me. I’m an outgoing individual with several surface-level acquaintances. Networking is part of my skill set, I’ve never struggled with that. But what I have struggled with is actually developing meaningful connections with people (as an adult) and putting in the time/attention required for that relationship to grow. I am by, default, a lazy person. I enjoy my alone time (with my dog), sitting on the couch Netflix binging and drinking wine. So if you can get on board with that, we will be awesome friends — also, I talk a lot during movies and have a hard time sitting still… But I also don’t necessarily want you to talk when I don’t want to talk. It’s a hard balance. Sorry.

My favorite things in life are: Butters (and I guess Todd), Family (the ever expanding brood of nieces and nephews is a bonus!), Friends, Succeeding in my profession, baking/cooking, writing, wine, new plants, cleaning, reorganizing, google calendar, date nights, girls nights, learning a new skill (i just learned how to curl my hair with a flat-iron… thank you youtube!), and random acts of kindness. 

I believe in compassion. I believe in taking the time to love someone when they’re hurting, giving them permission to feel pain and grieve and not rush the process. I believe to be compassionate, you must be humble. You must be able to remove your own person thoughts and feelings from a scenario and allow that person to speak. Listen, mindfully. Appreciate the moment and the rarity that come from true vulnerability. Really, sometimes the best thing you can do is just listen. Other times, people may not want to think about whatever they’re struggling with anymore and ask you to distract them by filling the silence with your own stories. Always lead with a tender heart. Be grateful. Allowing someone to lead a conversation or mood does not make you a follower, it makes you a compassionate leader. 

I am a work in progress. I strive for perfection and continually fall short, but that will never stop me from continuing to try. I do know that perfection is not possible, I do know that I should not stress myself out of cause myself anxiety over this (although, sometimes it’s really challenging to stop that spiral). The best thing I can do to help with that is to be more present and take responsibility for those things even when I feel they fall short of what I am capable of.

So there you have it. The person I feel I am, and becoming moving forward onto year 2 of blogging. I still don’t have a “vision” or a “theme” for this – I’m allowing it to unfold organically and pick it’s own destination.

Thank you so much for continually showing up, reading, commenting, and reaching out to me. It means more than you realize. Your continued support and random messages that say, “I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR BLOG. KEEP WRITING!!!” is what drives me to keep it up (also – I just really happen to love writing).

Until next time,

Xo-Jack

Why Female Friendships are Actually Important

Today is Valentine’s Day. Or, as I’m choosing to celebrate, “Galentine’s Day.” My house is properly decorated with pink streamers, red and pink paper lanterns, and sparkly silver wall coverings.

I went to the grocery store yesterday to get all the ingredients I need to make my single’s soiree one for the books! Pink champagne (the good shit), jumbo sea scallops, asparagus, arborio rice, ghee, oh – and a hot pink Capri Blue (Volcano) candle. Cause I obviously want my home to smell like Anthro. Always. Obviously.

You could say I’m a *wee* bit excited for this evening. Perhaps, the most excited I’ve been on a Valentine’s Day evening – ever. I also happen to absolutely LOVE throwing parties. Especially ones where I get to cook. That are in my home. In which people actually show up. (Major perk for having GOOD friends btw – is that they show up and don’t bail or no-show on you!)

This year browsing social media, talking to friends, family, co-workers, I find myself more happy than ever to celebrate those who love. Celebrating relationships of all kinds. Whether they are friendships or romantic relationships – love is a powerful, universal emotion that affects so much of our life. From wanting more of it, to denying it, to withholding it, to giving it. It is human nature to seek companionship and to give and receive love.

Do you remember when it seemed like the “cool” thing to brag about only have male friends, because women were “too much drama.” I do. I’ve always had a few girlfriends here or there, but when I was younger I was more of a tom-boy, had lots of brothers (who had lots of male friends), therefore – I was consistently surrounded by men/boys… who I thought were my friends.

Sure, there are those men who will ACTUALLY be your friend. But it’s been my experience that it is RARE to find a male friend who truly remains your friend. There is either some unrequited attraction (by them, or you), you’re not taken seriously enough when something is bothering you and you need to talk, you get drunk and hook up and then it gets awkward, they embarrass or tease you after learning things about you in a public place (yep, that’s definitely happened to me). I believe that having male friends is important to being a well-developed individual, it’s nice to be able to bounce ideas off of them. Their brains work differently than ours, so sometimes it gives you a chance to get some perspective.

HOWEVER – there is NOTHING that can replace having some seriously amazing, supportive, badass girlfriends.

With that in mind, I decided to put together all the reasons why I think having female friends is actually important, should be prioritized and celebrated. Let us dig in:

  1. Empowerment & Understanding – Once you find a (some) seriously amazing girlfriend(s), you won’t be subjected to negativity or bitchiness. Instead, you’ve got this amazing powerful group of women who inspire and empower you to achieve your potential. All while having your back and understanding when things get in the way. You’ve got your own personal cheerleaders who aren’t afraid to have differing opinions on highly-sensitive subjects, but also “girl talk” about the hot guy who you keep running into at the dog park.
  2. Find Your Tribe – As I’ve kind of hinted at, you don’t need a massive gaggle of girlfriends to be fulfilled. Truthfully, props to you if you can find enough girlfriends who you like, trust, and manage to get along with each other as well. It is HARD to find/make friends when you become an adult. When you’re younger, relationships grow so much more organically – probably because you’re surrounded by so many options, at minimum 5 days per week. As we get older, we have less and less opportunities to meet new people and then somehow turn that new person into a friend. It takes vulnerability on both parties and a big risk on someone’s to reach out to make that connection happen. But guess what – your group of girlfriends doesn’t have to look like “sex and the city”, maybe it looks a little more like “the office.” <– glamourous girls versus the awkward family photo group.
  3. Every Relationship Requires Work – and guess what, most often than not, if you find a good girlfriend, she’s willing to put in the work. It’s a see-saw type of relationships, rarely will you ever be on the same page giving the same amount or taking the same amount. When one person is lacking, the other gives more and vice-versa. AND GUESS WHAT ELSE – It’s okay to tell your friend, “I need more from you.” And she won’t call you needy. HA! Yeah, girlfriends are awesome.
  4. Role Models – I don’t know about you, but I try to surround myself with strong, powerful, independent, vulnerable women. Women I look up to. Women I want to be like. I’ve got friends teaching me how to be open and honest in romantic relationships. I’ve got other friends teaching me how to stick up for myself and not get pushed around. I’ve got other friends who are helping me put a budget together (or maybe just telling me to quit shopping before I go broke). The point is, you should surround yourself with women who embody qualities you admire and strive for (cause guess what, they’ll rub off on you!)
  5. Affection is not sexualized – I know, this seems weird to put on here. But did you know you can hug, kiss, and smack your girlfriend on the ass and she won’t think you’re trying to pick up on her? Weird, right? Also – when i’m talking about affection, i’m referring to a more open-hearted style. Where they show up with ice cream or “magic pizza”  when you’ve had a really hard day because your mom got diagnosed with cancer, or you’re tired of the bully at work who won’t stop picking on you, or maybe that guy you really liked ghosted you. The really amazing girlfriends won’t make it a competition of who was hurt more by whom/what. They’re there to listen or maybe to just sit in silence and binge watch Netflix with you. Regardless, that’s some serious love.

So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day – I say… “Happy Galentine’s Day” to my girlfriends. I am so grateful for each and everyone of you and the difference you have made in my life and imprinted on my heart. I see a little piece of you in me and that makes me SOOOOOO happy!

Cheers ladies, happy love-day. Embrace your friendships, relationships, parents, whomever you’ve got – love on them today, make sure they know it!

XO-Jack

“It’s not Me, It’s You.”

“Hi, it’s (insert name of your choice). I just thought the right thing to do would be to call you and tell you I met somebody else. Umm.. okay.”

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

Nothing quite matches the hurt brought on by the sting of rejection. By being told that someone else is better than you, so they chose that person over you.

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

When your intuition comes ringing, it’s hard to ignore it. But to have it confirmed, it is the this bitter-sweet taste of being right that isn’t as wonderful as it usually is. Really, though.

Can you stop the spiral of negative self thought before it tangles you up? Can your ego handle the punch? How do you stop from falling, realizing that there is more to you than you were willing to show someone, and it’s their loss – not yours.

The immediate thought is that you’re not good enough. That you did something wrong. That your insecurities manifested your own demise? That the concerns you had about not being where you wanted to be at this age (but working toward it!) would somehow make someone see you as a lesser person. That being a kind, generous, loving person does not equate to a masters degrees, being poly lingual, and a six-figure income.

So let’s start by pouring a nice big glass of red wine, into my souvenir glass from a wine tasting on Vashon Island. Then do what I always do when I’m not sure what to do with all my feelings, write. And write I shall!

What I’ve learned this year is that regardless of how you feel, do your best not to react. Think about the situation, the person, and then do your best to compose yourself prior to opening your mouth (or laptop?). Approach the situation with a kind, thoughtful heart. Remember what you believe in, the good in people. I believe that people are inherently good, they do not choose to be malicious. Occasionally the things that they may say or do will hurt you, but you are in control of how you respond. Be kind and honest, regardless of how you feel. Because days, weeks, years from now when you are reflecting – you would like to be proud of how you responded during the situation.

“Every decision that you make is made out of fear, or out of love.” — yes, I’m quoting Oprah here. 

I choose the higher road. I will continue to choose the higher road. Because I believe in being kind to others. I also believe in standing up for what’s right and asserting myself in a graceful way.

“If you have to do that to someone else again… the nice thing to do is just tell them that you’re not connecting, do it sooner instead of drawing it out, and the last thing you should do if you’re trying to be nice is tell the girl you met someone better. I’m sure you can understand why that would hurt someone’s feelings.”

I am proud of how I handled the situation. I am confident in my ability to bounce back. I am resilient if nothing else. I am proud of my vulnerability and desire to be honest and upfront with what I’m looking for. There is no shame in being forward. There is no love without heartbreak. And there can be no happiness without getting familiar with pain.

Appreciate the rainy days, because without them – nothing would grow.

I know it’s a short post tonight, it was more for personal therapy than entertainment. I’ll spend some time next week putting together something else. But for now, this shall do!

 

Xo-Jack

Actively Participating in Your Work Environment

Yes, I threw this together on a whim while at work drafting the monthly newsletter.

Yes, I’m sure it’s peppered with flaws, but I’m not looking for you to edit and nitpick your way through it.

Yes, I was inspired because of recent events surrounding my place of business and how people treat each other to shine a light on an otherwise ugly subject that oftens gets swept under the rug.

Yes, I was feeling sassy. I came to play, baby – let’s do this.

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Actively Participating in Your Work Environment

Recent events inspired me to bring attention to how negative thoughts, ideas, and feelings can substantially affect our time at work. Not just our own, but how it also affects others surrounding us. As we walk in the door and prepare ourselves for our work day, we make an active choice on the kind of attitude we will choose to embrace for the day. We choose whether or not to be affected by our patients, peers, leadership, or other external factors.

Dissatisfaction at work is a common trend in the United States. There was a Gallup study done in early 2017 indicating that 51% of U.S. employees did not feel connected to their jobs. The same study reported that 16% of employees are “actively disengaged,” meaning they’re tuned out and miserable. For these employees, their workplace is toxic. This stress can impact their physical AND mental health, resulting in anxiety, loss of sleep, anger or depression.

High absenteeism, lack of positive feedback and growth opportunities, and bullying are all signs of a toxic work environment. Workplace bullying can come in several forms: aggressive communication, gossiping, and passive-aggressive communication.

So how do we acknowledge this trend, move past it, and turn a negative environment into a positive, thriving place where we all feel safe and happy?

Our identities are tied to our work. Being recognized and appreciated makes others feel valued and boosts sense of self and self-esteem (which is protective in terms of depression and anxiety). Close to 50% of employees will at some time in their lives struggle with mental health issues. Working in healthcare we see a rampant amount of patients walk in with the appointment notes of, “anxiety, depression, mood.” We understand and take the concerns of our patients seriously, so why is it we have trouble engaging with one another the same way we would engage with a patient.

How to Cope:

  1. Don’t be helpless – change how you react.
  2. Set Boundaries – put limits on what behaviors you’ll accept and what kind of office politics or gossip you’ll allow yourself to get pulled into. Leave work at work.
  3. Engage more – if you see something wrong, try to fix it. If you see harassment, don’t let it go. Be an agent of change. If you see uncivility or unprofessionalism occur and you choose to be a bystander, this allows that behavior to flourish.
  4. Do things to de-stress – Exercise, Spend time with friends or groups away from work. Avoid co-workers who drag you down with complaining.
  5. Find self-esteem elsewhere – If you’re not receiving the recognition you feel you need from work, spend time doing something that you love (and are good at).
  6. Be present – Even in stressful situations, DO NOT disconnect. Listen and engage without
  7. Meditate – take a class and practice meditation to keep yourself calm.
  8. Focus on the positive – by nature, we’re in tune with the negative as a survival instinct. (It’s more important for people to notice “the bad stuff like snakes and poisonous berries than it was to remember beautiful sunsets.”) But look for the good work of others and positive in your life. Keeping a gratitude journal has been shown to increase levels of happiness as well.
  9. Have compassion for yourself – Don’t beat yourself up about mistakes. People who are more self-compassionate are more likely to bounce back from failures.

Soft Skills

What are soft skills and how do you get/develop them? Why do we constantly hear them mentioned during our staff and individual department meetings? Why are they so important?

Well, unlike hard skills, which can be proven and measured, soft skills are intangible and difficult to quantify (analytical thinking, verbal and written communication, leadership). Did you know, that most managers care more about your soft skills than they do technical abilities (reading comprehension & math). Why? Soft skills are so revered because they help facilitate human connections. They are the key to building relationships, gaining visibility, and creating more opportunities for advancement. Basically, you can be a rock star in what you do, but if your soft skills aren’t cutting it, you’re limiting your chances of career success.

So what soft skills do you need for your career?

  1. Communication – both written and verbal communication skills are extremely important because they set the tone for how people perceive you. They also improve your chances of building relationships with coworkers.
  2. Teamwork – success is the result of many people working toward a common goal. When employees can synthesize their varied talents, everyone wins (bonus: having friends at work can also boost your job satisfaction). Team players help build a friendly office culture which helps retain employees AND attract top talent. Furthermore, being able to collaborate with your coworkers strengthens the quality of your work. Try lending a hand when you see a coworker in need (“Hey, I know you have a ton on your plate. How can I help?”)
  3. Adaptability – You need to be flexible when things don’t go your way, you must be able to find alternate solutions. Change is a constant force and being able to shift gears in a moment’s notice is critical. Push yourself to be an early adopter of change.
  4. Problem solving – When something goes wrong, you can either complain or take action. Learn how to think on your feet. Always approach with a solution, not a problem. Sit down and think through how you’re going to address it BEFORE bringing it up.
  5. Critical observation – critical thinking allows you to bring fresh ideas and intuitive solutions. To be a critical observer, you need to be able to analyze information and put it to use.
  6. Conflict Resolution – Being able to resolve issues with coworkers will help you maintain relationships with peers and work more effectively. Being able to constructively work through disagreements with people is an indicator of maturity as well as leadership. The best way to resolve disagreements between coworkers is to address issues directly, but delicately.
  7. Leadership – Having confidence and a clear vision can help influence your coworkers and get them on board with your ideas now and in the future. Being a leader is not merely about getting people to do what you want. Leadership means inspiring and helping others reach their full potential.

So – How Do I Handle a Frustrating Day at Work?

Don’t take it personally, bad days at work can be caused by a number of things. If your bad day was set off by someone else’s negativity, don’t take it personally. If someone else was angry, upset, stressed, frustrated or just plain mean, it’s important that you not internalize their actions or behavior. Don’t bottle up how a bad day made you feel. Communicating how you feel to someone else can help you work through how you’re feeling.

Shake it off & don’t take it home. When work sucks, it’s all too easy to bring our stress and unhappiness home with us. To shake off a bad day, leave work at work. Try to establish an end-of-the-workday routine that helps signal the official end of the day. This way, when things don’t go so great, your mind still gets to process that work is over – and now it’s time to go home, relax, and do something that makes you happy.

Do something that makes you feel great. Put an end to your bad day by seeking out things you know make you feel empowered, confident, and happy. That might mean doing a yoga routine when you get home. Maybe grab your favorite book and a glass of wine and treat yourself to a quiet evening. Or if your extroverted, you may get your energy back by taking someone on a coffee date. Just make sure you engage in healthy habits. You won’t bounce back from a bad day or feel better if you overindulge in food, alcohol, or an hours-long TV binge. You need to bring yourself back up – not sedate yourself with activities that keep you sedentary and disengaged.

Vent or rant if you need to. Sometimes you just need to, and that’s okay. Get it all out, but put a time limit on the complaint session. Moan and whine for 10 minutes, then be done and move on – go do something that makes you happy.

Evaluate what happened. Hopefully, one or more of these strategies can help you bounce back after a bad day at work. But before you move on and put everything behind you, take a moment to reflect on what didn’t go so great. If you can evaluate what went wrong, you can better understand how to avoid doing the same thing in the future.

This should help you be proactive – rather than reactive – and you may be able to prevent a bad day from derailing your week before it even happens.

In conclusion

We have seen a significant shift in the environment, attitudes, and team work in our clinic recently. I felt it appropriate to draw attention to this instead of sweeping it under the rug. Please remember to take accountability for your own actions. Try to come to work with a positive attitude, if you’re struggling to remain positive – grab a cup of coffee or maybe take a walk with a coworker. Respect your peers, we are all in this together doing the best we can with the tools we have available. We rely on one another to complete our jobs. If you see someone having a hard time, offer to help. Do not abandon them if you know you have the knowledge and skills to help. And above all, remember to be nice, respectful, and professional.

Here We Go Again

I ran across some of the most ridiculous “advice” today. I can’t wait to share it.

But first, let me explain WHY/HOW I stumbled across this advice.

You see, I’ve been trying to figure out if I’m ready for a relationship and what that looks like/what it means/etc etc. You know how introspective this girl can get. I have chosen to spend my “down time” (aka: while I sit on the couch in my bathrobe, paint my nails, and watch The Office on Netflix) shopping for my next potential man.

Deal breakers for me include:

  1. Active lifestyle (yes, I want someone who is healthy and fit, but not all your pictures have to be you climbing a mountain, skiing/snowboarding/wakeboarding, or hiking with your friends dog) – basically, i’m not looking for someone who will order 2 pizzas and then eat 1.5 of them.
  2. Bad teeth <– yes, I’m aware that this is shallow. Sure it’s cute if you have a chipped tooth from when you fell skateboarding when you were in high school.. but really, anything too yellow (i’ll assume you’re a smoker or have bad hygiene), or too misshapen and crooked.. I just can’t.
  3. Any “I hate Trump” propaganda. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. However, I’m not interested in someone who advertises in this way.
  4. Unemployed (also see – lacks ambition). I think this goes without saying. I hustle too hard to be taken advantage of or to have to foot the bill on EVERYTHING we do. I’m just not interested in that, sorry.
  5. Smoker. <– do I even need to explain this?
  6. WHO ARE YOU? All of your pictures are in groups, seriously – how am I supposed to know who you are?
  7. All of your pictures have women draped all over you. NO, this does NOT make you more desirable to me. You look like a flirt or that you sleep with all your female friends. Sorry, bye.

So as I put together my list of “deal breakers” that I use when decided to swipe Left or Right, I’m also deciding what makes ME a “keeper.” Other than my dog, Butters. Which is how I ended up in the pinterest vortex.

Do yourself a favor – NEVER SEARCH FOR “dating advice for women in their 30’s”

SMH. But really, smh.

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It starts off by reminding you that you are old, dried up, and that men will see you as someone who just wants to get impregnated as soon as possible. That you’re competition is women who are 10 years younger than you, regardless of the age of the man.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that I am fighting the war on aging the best that I can by eating healthy and spending a ridiculous amount of money on skincare. But the idea that I am no longer desirable simply because I am no longer in my 20’s is pure rubbish.

Then it goes into the details about all these things you MUST DO to get and keep a man’s attention. Now, I don’t consider myself a feminist (when I think of feminist, I think of a man hating, angry lesbian… sorry?), but I do believe that I am worth more than the label a man may create for me.

I pulled this from a website after googling “Dating in your 30s” — granted, I absolutely took it out of context, and the rest of the article isn’t too bad… If you want to read it, you can view it here.You’re not in your 20s anymore. Remember being in your early 20s and seeing those obvious, older bachelors and cougars prowling around the younger crowds? You don’t want to be that older creeper.”

Then you end up on these dates, and the type of man you meet resembles…

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Or maybe, sometimes that’s how I FEEL. Like I’m trying to figure out exactly what you want in a woman, so I can [briefly] embody those characteristics and qualities… and then slowly over time, MAYBE you’ll love the real me, if I show you – slowly – piece by piece.

But let’s be honest. I’m a grown up now and I don’t have time for that shit. So, let the sass fly! If you don’t appreciate my wit, sarcasm, and ambition… then you don’t deserve to see me naked. Sorry, NOT SORRY.
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Then I came across this meme – and it just made me happy. So I had to share it. Because I feel like it’s exactly how I feel about people I go on dates with.

I go from being SUPER excited — well, maybe this will work — no, this will not work — WHY AM I STILL HERE.

BUT- BUT – BUTTTTT WAIT. This is actually a NEW thing. If you read one of my previous posts: Dating in the 21st Century; you’ll remember that I generally have good luck when it comes to dating. I don’t have to kiss too many frogs to find a prince (correction – a “Mr. Right Now Prince”). But recently, I find myself beating my head against a wall with some of these fellas. Really, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING POSTING A PICTURE OF YOURSELF 50LBS AGO – DID YOU THINK I WOULDN’T NOTICE!?

I just do not understand the logic that goes behind fabricating a false profile. If your intention is to meet someone who accepts you/loves you for who you are, then just be honest and be yourself. Quit wasting mine & other peoples time for that matter.

I do not care how brilliant your personality is if you start off by lying and deceiving. Not okay.

But alas, never give up! Because really, regardless of how horrendous your date is, there is always something positive to gain from it. You learn more about yourself in the process, what you like/dont like, and you took a risk!

Without risk, there is no reward my lovelies.

xo-Jack

Right Time vs Right Person

Recently I’ve been asking myself the question:

“Do I want to be in a relationship with him – OR – Do I just want to be in a relationship.”

This comes at a really interesting time for me, as I’m these two moments coincidentally happened at the same time. So therein lies the question… How do I tell the difference?

IMG_5431.jpgMy pattern of dating unavailable men is long, checkered, and full of great weekends and mild heart ache. Having physical distance between yourself and someone you’re talking to (on a fairly regular basis) makes it easier when things don’t work out. I’ve found that it’s becoming easier for me to recognize when something IS NOT working – the hard part though is how do you cut that cord? What’s the kindest way to let someone down?

Then I started to get all pissy because why the hell am I worried about letting someone down, when that is literally all they have done to me for the last “x-amount” of time. However, I am prideful and do not like it when people view me as being the villian. So now I get to have this super awkward conversation with someone, basically just to tell them to quit texting me. Aye Yai Yai. Seriously. Can’t someone else do this for me?

Especially considering there is no “label.” What’s the deal with commitment these days? How long do you have to date someone before you move from:

  1. Dating multiple people
  2. Dating a few people
  3. Dating one person
  4. Exclusively dating each other
  5. Discussing relationship titles
  6. Labeling your relationship

I mean, WTF. Seriously. Shit or get off the pot. Don’t waste my time. I get that you’re getting what you want in it, and it’s highly likely that it is my fault. Perhaps I did not make my intentions clear from the beginning. Perhaps I made excuses or let you make the decisions on where the relationship/lack thereof was going to go because I was more interested in having constant attention (albeit, minimal) – than nothing at all.

Or MAYBE, I’m too picky?

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That’s gotta be it. Constantly thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Instead of acknowledging the fact that the grass will be green wherever the fuck you decide to water it, Jackie. Maybe I choose to keep myself in this limbo area because I, myself, have a fear of commitment.

Because as I get older, I realize I might actually be doing this “life” thing by myself, so why bother getting attached to any one person when they’re highly likely to find something better or leave… like I’ve been known to do.

Big girl steps though. After a recent conversation with my therapist & life coach, I had an “AH HA” moment. I realized my capacity to be open, honest, and vulnerable recently is a HUGE growth spurt for me. Which is most likely why I’m so uncomfortable in it. It’s like swimming in the ocean at midnight. I don’t know where to go, I can’t see around me, I’m left in pitch black, wading in the water, just trying to stop myself from drowning in my own self doubt and fear… Hoping someone will come find me and I will finally be safe and freed from the water.

There is a reason I’m making a conscious choice to eliminate superficial relationships and rid myself of emotional/physical baggage. I’ve reached the point where I am comfortable wading in the ocean. Because now the sun is starting to rise and I can see what I am surrounded by. (*barf, how did I get so deep and poetic?*)

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I’m comfortable here now. I’m okay, happy, and enjoy my routine of being single. It works for me. It works for my lifestyle. It just WORKS. Plus, I get to take the leftovers to work and don’t have to share.

*BUT WAIT*

The longer I remain self sufficient, in my super freedom/empowered/routine… the more regimented and inflexible my routine/life becomes.

*SHIT*

After a very raw and honest conversation with my mental cheerleaders this weekend, I realized I AM ready for a relationship. I am ready to tell someone what I want and not apologize for it. I’m ready to actually commit to something and grow with it and see what happens.

…It just came at a time when I was least expecting it, and when YOU decided to pop your head back into my life. But when I compare (which is terrible, sorry!) you to other people I have been seeing… I realize I didn’t want to be in a relationship with them. So maybe it’s not that I wasn’t ready for a relationship, maybe I chose not to be with them, because I was waiting for someone like you.

 

Alright, even I can’t stomach the mushy over the top nonsense I just wrote.

Apologies, dear readers.

Jack

Not right now, Maybe later

“Not right now, maybe later,” – says Jackie, 7 years ago and honestly, probably 10 years ago, too.

“It’s not just working, you’re too far away,” – says Jackie, 7 years ago and honestly, probably 10 years ago, too.

“I just need to date around and see what else is out there,” – says Jackie, 7 years ago and honestly, probably 10 years ago, too.

I’m having a moment here. If it wasn’t obvious enough. There’s been an massive increase in my posts this week (i’m sure it’ll level itself out soon), this is due to a combination of a few things:

  1. Work has been EXTREMELY slow for me.
  2. I have something to say I suppose.
  3. It’s a new year, so let the introspective thinking and reflection begin!

It’s really easy for me to get into my head and just spiral down this tunnel where I become WAY too analytical. There is absolutely NO reason for me to hyper analyze every encounter, text, e-mail, phone call, etc – that I receive from others. It’s actually quite exhausting.

Which leads me up to my current “keep me up at night and wake up late for work,” scenario that I’ve somehow wrapped myself up in.

You see, while I enjoy dating multiple people, have thoroughly embraced being single, I just can’t shake this feeling as of late. I actually want to hang out with someone, the same person, and that’s it. (WHAT!?) Perhaps being surrounded by so many, “I love you”-s, that did not come from someone I am blood related to, messed up my routine. You get comfortable being alone, doing things the way you want, when you want, and how you want. Freedom is such an amazing thing to have. Not having to report to anyone when you just want to take off for the day or go get happy hour after work with a coworker, or make plans to go see a ballet or go shopping with your mom. You don’t have to “clear” it with anyone.

This “freedom” was overwhelming at first. I found myself behaving in ways I considered disrespectful to myself and others, and ended up going through a little bit of a “wild streak” to say the least. Thankfully that streak did not last long and I was able to get myself into a really great routine of work, friends, making dinner, spending time alone, dating, etc. I felt I had some balance. It was working. I was doing my thing and I was happy (ish).

Recently though, I’m getting that itch. Time to meet new people? Rekindle things and double dip with the past? Just wait things out and see what happens with the current selection of suitors? What’s a girl to do.

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The fun part about reconnecting with people from your past is that they already know everything about you. They know you’re someone who farts in their sleep, tries to sneak picking their nose, can whip up a delicious dinner when you thought there wasn’t anything to eat last you looked in the fridge, and they’re great in the sack. Generally it just didn’t work out because you weren’t as compatible  as you thought you’d be. Something happens, another guy/girl comes into the picture and that’s a better fit at the time. So you move on and say your goodbyes.

If you’re anything like ME though – you can’t seem to lose touch. I haven’t had any “really” ugly breakups with people. I’ve usually been the bad one in the relationship, so maybe they’re all masochists for wanting to maintain some platonic relationship. But it seems to work well for me. The “back-up plan” or “Plan-B”, right? When you’re feeling down cause your date bailed on you, or you got in a fight with your mom or best friend – it’s nice to have someone who you KNOW will respond to your text or answer your phone call. Gets your mind off of the present, showers you with attention, and there’s no expectation of anything more.

Most girls I know have a “Back-Up Plan.” And after scouring the internet for the last 2 hours while writing this… I realized just how common this is (more for women, than men). I got to reading the comments on several of the articles and it all hit me how incredibly blind I’ve been to this whole thing. It never occured me to how selfish, disrespectful, and hurtful it may be for me to string a man along while we each date other people but flirt carelessly with one another. “I love you” in a text, read by someone’s significant other… OH BOY. You know that’s not going to go well. But why can’t we help ourselves? How can we actually move passed this issue. How do we decide to drop the safety net and either date our back-up plan (which is usually your best friend), or move on and let each other live your lives. How do you forget someone? How do you forget the feelings you have for someone or the way they made you feel?

We all know that time seems to dull the pain of heartache. But like most memories there will be things that come along to trigger certain feelings. Responding to them appropriately is what matters.

The interesting part is what happens when you think you’re in love with your back-up plan, but they’ve changed/moved on and the “power” you once had over that person is no longer valid? All these insecurities begin to creep up on you and you find yourself doing things that you would never consider doing. You go from being someone who can roll with the punches and talk shit with the best of them… to some sensitive, kind, “what can I do for you,” type of person. Awesome, so now you’re essentially someone they don’t even know or recognize AND you’re admitting that you want to explore the option of what would happen if you two were to see what happened on a romantic level, not just a friendly one.

Oh Lordy. What have I done. Who am I?

Did it just feel good to have the attention? Am I confusing love with lust with just how great it felt to be with someone again? Does it really matter WHO it was? How long should I think about this? How deep should I analyze? What am I going to say to my therapist tomorrow afternoon? (God bless therapy)

WHY IS DATING SO CONFUSING. WHY DO I THINK EVERYONE IS A UNICORN.

WHAT MAKES EACH GUY SO SPECIAL. WHY AM I LIKE THIS!?

Jack

 

 

Bone Broth for DAYS

Okay – so obviously I am a huge fan of chicken stock, beef stock, veggie stock… because everytime I go to my mom’s house, I specifically make a plan on how I’m going to get out of her home with at least 8 jars of homemade stock.

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You see, my mom has this cute little farm about 45min away from me where she raises chicken, pigs, cows, and goats for food purposes. She also has a peacock, 2 geese, and 2 horses – not including the cats and dog. Yes, mom has a menagerie. So of course she’s always cooking up something absolutely incredible, canning something delicious, or curing some drool worthy goat cheddar that I still haven’t figured out how to steal.

 

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Really… it’s a farm.IMG_5005.JPG

Yes, thats a goose.

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And that’s mommy.

Yes, I call her “mommy,” even though i’m a grown ass woman. Honestly it all started out as some joke, because I can be a real asshole sometimes. My step-dad HATES it when I call her “mommy,” he tells me I sound like a whiny child. So now I just do it more and it’s stuck. So great, I’m a 30yr old calling her mother “mommy.”

Whatever.

Anyway, to get back on track…

For Christmas this year, I received an instapot. I’m sure by now any of you who follow ANY cooking/baking/health blogs have heard about this glorious 9-1 pressure cooker that is literally the only appliance you need in your kitchen.

(Speaking of which, anyone need a crockpot or rice cooker? Trying to clear out my cupboard!)

The first thing I made in my instapot was an entire freaking chicken.

Check out this beauty.

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DAMN.

Literally slapped that baby with a handful of thyme, paprika, salt, pepper and gave it a good rub down all over.

Threw in a tablespoon of coconut oil in the pot – pressed the “saute” button. Cooked it breast side down for 7min, flipped then added 2c chicken stock, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 6 cloves of garlic and some fresh thyme sprigs to make it pretty.

Turned on the pressure feature and set it to 25min.

THAT’S IT.

But that’s not what this post is about, is it.

Look what I turned it into last night…. which I drank for breakfast this morning.

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Oh, hell, yes.

After picking away at the carcass like a vulture for the last 4 days (okay, maybe it was more and i’m risking a number of food borne illnesses, but whatever), I was left with a beautiful stack of bones. (YES! GOALS!)

In my fit of sadness last night, because after being surrounded by so many people I love during the holidays and am now back to my normal routine – I fall back on my tried and true coping mechanisms-cooking & cleaning.

So as I’m doing laundry and dishes, I’m like, “OH SHIT! I have bones I need to simmer down on!”

So I finish wrapping things up around the house, turn on some music, then a friend calls, then my mom calls, then another friend calls… but seriously, god bless speaker phone.

I threw the bones into the instapot and sauted for about 3-5min, just until they started to leave little brown bits on the bottom. Turned that sucker off – threw in some chopped carrots, onions, whole garlic cloves, bay leaves, pepper, (remaining stock that I collected from when we cooked the entire chicken however many days ago – whoops!), and because I didn’t have any celery on hand – I improvised with some celery salt, 8c of water & a generous pour of apple cider vinegar!

Set the pressure timer for 30 minutes and voila! Seriously, though. I brought 16oz to work with me this morning in a mason jar, heated it up in the microwave in a mug and drank it around 730am this morning… it’s now 10-something am and I’m actually not hungry. What is this mystery liquid that can curb my appetite so I’m not tempted to eat all the king-sized candy bars that are sitting in my bottom drawer!?

Madness I tell you.

Anyway, There are SO many benefits to drinking bone broth on the regular (keeps you regular too!), which I highly recommend you explore.

You do NOT have to have an instapot to make this though, It just makes it go a LOT faster. Plus, what a great way to use ALL parts of your meat/veggie scraps instead of just throwing them away.

Suck out all the nutrients you can my friends.

-Jack

What Matters Most

Oh hey, 2018.

 

What a crazy year, 2017 was. I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. You’ve got people who experienced so many different milestones in their life. People were either fighting for segregation or coming together to fight mutually shared obstacles. So many personal struggles were broadcasted through social media. So many people felt personally offended by others. So much love and hate was spread. So much violence and sexual assault was brought to our attention.

We witnessed powerful acts in 2017. Regardless of how you feel about the year, everyone can agree that it was powerful.

I took a brief hiatus from my blogging, I’m sure you were all wondering where the hell I went. Especially when I was enjoying it so much. There was just so many things I wasn’t able to share at that time, that I can finally share now!

I made the decision in October to step out of my shadow and try something new. The great thing about pushing yourself and seeing what you can do is that 1 of two things can happen. You either succeed (and then, WOW! talk about a self esteem boost), or you fail (and now you know what you need to work on). I had the privilege of interviewing for over a month for a company in Atlanta, GA. I completed several rounds of phone and video interviews, completed several projects, and was flown down there to meet their team in November. I was offered the job the following week. The position was with a video marketing group, working as a project manager.

Obviously – I have ZERO experience in this. Which I made 100% crystal clear. After busting my ass to complete things (after a LOT of google research, like.. really – wtf is a production booklet? a storyboard? HELP ME GOOGLE!), nailing my interviews, falling in love with their team… I was offered the job, and declined.

Yep – you read that right, I declined the position.

This was not me testing the waters to see if I was capable of reaching outside of veterinary/human healthcare… this was not me yanking around a company’s chain for my own personal satisfaction. I was not on a mission to make myself feel better. I honestly did not thing I would be offered the job, and I told myself that even if I wasn’t – what an amazing opportunity to branch out and try something new.

I declined the position for lack of flexibility with pay. Over the last year and the things I’ve had to go through in my career I’ve learned one thing that stands out. It is EXTREMELY important to KNOW YOUR WORTH. If you’re unhappy with the dollar amount that’s being offered to you, ALWAYS negotiate. If a company is unwilling to negotiate, walk away. Really though, WALK AWAY. The most power you will ever have when you are offered a job is the initial process once it’s been offered to you – after that… who knows what happens.

Not an easy decision. I had already contacted and filled out an apartment application, contacted family members once the ticket/hotel was booked for me to go down there… My lease in Seattle was ending the week of Thanksgiving… everything was just pushing me to this point of – shit or get off the pot.

But I chose to stay. So here I am, still in Seattle.

I wrapped up the quarter with a 98.05% in my psych class. Beating myself up for not getting 100%… but sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I’ll choose to look at this as a winning scenario. I managed to work full time, plus my side jobs, AND kick ass in my class. So… cheers to that, girlfriend.

I was in a deep sadness watching so many of my close friends move away this summer. I had an overwhelming feeling of loneliness that kept me so shut off and introverted I had a hard time recognizing myself while getting ready in the mornings. I have taken that sadness and turned it into something I can work with. I reached out and have managed to make and maintain new friendships. If I’m staying in Seattle another year, I better make some damn good girlfriends while I’m at it.

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I’ve been able to make some incredible memories with this shining diamond right here. Butter & Todd’s future BA veterinarian, miss Audrey. What a difference she has made in my life. We met while working at a veterinary clinic together while she was home from Vet School 3 years ago. After I lost my job at the clinic, we became even closer. She is my red wine & magic pizza babe and I am so blessed to be friends with her.

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This sassy girl…. how lucky did I get when she stalked me on facebook to let me know I left my debit card at her coffee stand… and then me, in all my awkwardness replies, “thanks, wanna be friends?” – the rest is history. It’s rare to meet someone you look at and go, “WTF.” to everything they say, because they’re a mirror image of yourself. Laughing over so many of the same experiences and mistakes we’ve made while having a blast and spending too much money on shit we don’t need. You are an AWESOME surprise and I am SO glad my coffee stand girl crush on you turned into one of the best friends I’ve got here in washington! ❤

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Ooooooh. Lil. Lil. Lil. Lil. WTF would I do without you? Within 48hrs of starting my new job you had already friend requested me on Facebook. You enrich my life SO much. I have learned a ridiculous amount from you in the short time we have been friends. You are magical. I couldn’t imagine a better desk buddy or classy girls night partner in crime. Thanks for supporting me in all the decisions I make and listening to all my dating/family/friend drama. You are seriously sunshine on my otherwise cloudy days. ❤

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Sometimes we make friends who we don’t get to see very often, but when you do, it’s worth the wait! Tay tay, Totty, and Whit – so happy I was able to spend time with you ladies as we close up 2017. So proud of everything y’all have accomplished! Taylor moving off to Sacramento and pursuing her dreams of being a veterinarian… Tess – holy crap, you’re pregnant! Couldn’t be more excited for Baby Barkley. And Whitney – I’m so glad you continue to call me for last minute Toaster sleepovers. I look forward to our get togethers more than you know and I miss working with you so much! ❤

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Cheers to so many new and old friends. What an odd group of kids who all came together just because I asked them to. Meeting Sam & Tyler and having them open my eyes to some shit I had been unable to lift the fog from – I will be eternally grateful. Mollie (and I guess Jan, too) – I’m so happy to see you with someone who loves and adores you, you deserve it! I can’t believe how much you’ve grown since I met you so many years ago when we both worked together at VCA. Marissa – I’m going to miss you so much, but I’m also SO excited for you to start your new career! Ebony – on your way to the sunshine, you have opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and I am so grateful to have you as a friend!

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And last but certainly not least, the best Christmas present I’ve had in YEARS! B – I am SO proud of you and everything you have accomplished. It’s hard to believe we just celebrated out 11yr “friendiversary” on New Years Eve. If there’s one dude I can count on other than my papa – it’s you. Thank you for such a fun week and I can’t wait to see you again soon!

 

I was so spoiled with all these wonderful people during my blogging hiatus. My cup is literally so full it’s spilling over with love. Sitting back and looking around I am more grateful than ever for my home in Seattle, the incredible friends I am making and the distances people are willing to travel to come see me.

While there is still a lot of adventure barreling towards me in 2018… I am more prepared than ever to handle anything that gets thrown at me.

Let’s do the damn thing.

 

P.S. – To Nina, Ilana & Cara — don’t think I love you any less because I didn’t post a picture of you on here or give you a shout out. I was simply enjoying the new friends I have made since this summer & loving on those who came to visit this holiday season. You guys know I love you. ❤

Sensation & Perception

You bet that’s the title of the chapter I’m reading right now in my textbook. Straight up plagiarized. My head has been so immersed in this class that all I’ve been able to do is APPLY what I’ve been learning to my current life/situation. Let me tell you – it’s been fucking ENLIGHTENING.

The more I learn about the intricate details of how our brain functions, the more I come to learn about myself. So congratulations Mr. Richard A. Griggs (author of my text-book), you have now become the THIRD person in my corner supporting my mental health. I think I officially have my own “staff.”

The second week of class we focused on research. BORING. Don’t take that the wrong way. I love experiments. We learn from experimenting. But learning all the different ways we collect research and how we describe data was a snooze. I can’t believe I retained enough information to pass that test. Seriously.

The third week so far has been the most exciting. NEUROSCIENCE. I may have found my calling. I’ve been entertaining nursing school for several years now. But if you know me, you know I am happiest when I am running the show. What does that mean? It means I’m an entrepreneur. To the FULLEST extent. I THRIVE building a business. Ask any of my clients. The majority of them have been with me for several years now and will not seek care anywhere else (unless I move or die, whichever comes first). Learning the anatomy of our brain, what it does what and why. Learning about the endocrine glandular system. It’s all so freaking badass. Our bodies are truly amazing. Yes, I believe in science. Yes, I believe in (certain parts) of evolution. But how can you look at our biological make-up and not believe something put you together? IT BLOWS MY MIND.

This week has been all about Sensation & Perception.

  • Sensation being described as: Initial information gathering & recoding by the sensory structures (vision, hearing, feeling, smelling & tasting).
  • Perception being described as: The interpretation by the brain of sensory information.

Sure, there has been the anatomy behind our vision/hearing to create the foundation for the sensory perception. But what I have found to be the most interesting part of this chapter is this bit about top-down processing.

What is top-down processing?

Glad you asked.

Let me explain…

(fml, let my eyes adjust, I turned the lights off and all I have is this weak LED lamp in the corner producing dim light — which btw, if you didn’t know, is processed by the rods in our retinas – there are an estimated 120 MILLION rods that are in EACH of your retinas! And they take about 20min to adjust to dim light, compared to the cones in your eyes which take about 5-10min to adjust. But they’re responsible for how we see color and bright light – and there’s only 6 MILLION in your retinas. Food for thought.)

Top-Down Processing – The brain’s use of knowledge, beliefs & expectations to process sensory information. [Neurons in the temporal lobe (the front part of your brain) PERMANENTLY ALTER their connections once they find a meaningful pattern!)

I took this to mean that our past predicts our future. Or at least, in the sensory realm. Our reality really is a figment of our educated imagination. Our brain is so smart, that we can do something called “Gestalt Organized Perception” = “organized whole” –> more than just the sum of all parts. This means that when we see an incomplete image, we draw (through top-down processing) from our past to create the whole picture. Pretty neat, right?

*LIGHT BULB*

Jackie – wait a second. You mean that our past experiences, what we’ve learned over our years, our beliefs, and acquired knowledge provide us the ability to see the big picture?

No.

I’m not saying that at all, so calm the fuck down.

If you believe in the “perceptual set” – then you believe that the interpretation of ambiguous sensory information is done using past experiences to create our perception.

[There is also the “contextual effect” which is the use of present context of sensory information to determine the meaning of objects/things/etc.]

Why is this so impactful for me? Why am I claiming that the author of this book has recently become another member of my staff?

Well, dear readers, allow me to tell you.

Recent events lead me to believe I fall (FREQUENTLY) , head over heels with the perceptual set. Everything I see, hear, touch, taste, and feel draws from my past experiences. I have a seriously hard time with “contextual effect.” Being in the present (with all senses), is CHALLENGING for me. However, the exciting part about this is learning the actual term for it and discovering this is actually a REAL thing. AH-HA!

If I were to record everything I say/hear/do in a 24hr period of time, I would find that the majority of it comes from KNOWN securities (whether insecurities or self-confidences).

There is a reason it’s so much easier for me to establish and nurture friendships with women than romantic relationships with men. There is a reason I find comfort in communicating with my girlfriends than opening up to men. There is a reason I don’t over analyze my interactions with women and do with men.

Even though the (female) friendships I have made haven’t always been rainbows and butterflies. There has always been mutual respect, humility, and the ability to overcome obstacles. I find security in my evolving relationships with women. There’s some kind of safety to it. You find people you like, who inspire you, and you stick together.

Men on the other hand – there seems to be this little voice in the back of my head that says, “your only desirable quality is your body.” Maybe I’ve read too many bull-shit magazine articles and books that have somehow drilled this into my head. OR MAYBE I have tried to break down that wall every so often and been met with serious resistance. I’m talking either ghosting or just a straight up douche who thinks he’s better than me.

I’m not saying I’m better than them. But what I can say is that I am BRUTALLY honest, unafraid, and secure in who I am at this point in my life. When I date, I tell them exactly who I am and what I want. Maybe this is a little intimidating. But you know what, the right guy wont be intimidated by me, because he’s secure enough in himself that he will find my ambition and spice for life inspiring.

So THANK YOU, chapter 3 – for breaking down ONE SMALL PIECE of the pie into why I am the way I am.

Until next time,

xo-Jack