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.
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,