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,


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?


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?


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,


Running and Running, Too Fast

In light of recent personal events. I decided to sit down and write. I find that generally when I can’t stop thinking about something, the best way for me to sort it out is to just sit down and let the words flow. USUALLY by the end of the post, I’ve got SOME kind of clarity. SOME.

There are so many thoughts running through my head these days. Work, Performance, School, Performance, Dating, Friends, Distance, SO MUCH DISTANCE.

So, let’s try to organize.

Work has been going well. Based off my 30-day review, it seems like I’m checking the boxes and hitting the benchmarks that have been set for me. I’ve settled into my routine there and have started to develop relationships with a few co-workers. I’m excited to see where those relationships go, you know me, always on the hunt for new friends!

While I’m not exactly challenged in my position (don’t get me wrong, there’s always a learning curve to a new position), it proves me EXACTLY what I need right now. Stability, flexibility, and the time to crack open the textbook and study. What more could I want at this time? Exactly. Humble. Grateful.

School OFFICIALLY starts Monday, September 25th (happy birthday to my littlest brother, Jacob!). I ordered my textbook weeks ago and have already cracked the seam and littered it with post-it notes. What can I say… I’m excited. I contacted my professor 2 weeks ago to introduce myself and to make sure I had everything I needed for class to start. Guess what – I do! 🙂

I have chosen to take ONE class. One ONLINE class this quarter. I was so worried about accepting the position at my new job because I was scared I would lose my momentum to pursue my education. I even sat down with Markie (life coach) and told her maybe I should push it out to next quarter while I get settled in my new job. Then what did I do? Oh, I thought about it and said, “Fuck you, Jackie. If you don’t do it now, you’ll never do it. Stop looking for excuses. Stop putting it off.” So… I registered for one, online class. Figured it would help keep the ball rolling and provide me the flexibility of working while attending school.

I’m so excited that the quarter hasn’t even started and I’ve already completed the first 2 quizzes and 7 assignments. Typical Virgo.

Family is everything. You know how I feel about that. Recently my mom underwent another reconstruction surgery and she’s hurting. Bad. It bothers me so much to see her in pain. Today is her birthday so I showed up, with flowers & hard cider. Because I’m a believer in drinking and taking narcotics. (HA! Just kidding… maybe) While I was there I cleaned up the kitchen, spent time with my step-dad, Scott, and youngest brother, Jacob. Spending time with family always fills my cup. Or, at least Scott makes sure my glass is always full (of beer). While I was there it was hard for me to see my mom in pain and not be able to do anything about it. Not even my go-to jokes that usually make her laugh did the trick. It was a little frustrating, but once again – here I go not knowing how to empathize, right?

She will heal and feel better soon, but it takes time. Just like anything in this life. EVERYTHING takes TIME. It’s rather frustrating to be completely honest. While it goes so fast, it also goes SO SLOW. Time, another thing I can’t control. Elusive bastard.

Dating. Ugh. Where do I begin? I know I’ve previously written about consequences to actions, but I never in a million years thought I would date someone who would read my blog.

(For the record, it is SUPER awkward when someone you’ve just started dating reads the intimate details of your thoughts. The mistakes you’ve made. And the extreme vulnerability that comes from my writing.)

This is a new issue for me. I’ve been casually dating for several months now and have not ran across someone who decided to tap into my writing. Let alone be offended, concerned, or judgemental about it. My immediate reaction was to defend myself. I chose to react differently. (Does this mean I’m changing? growing? hmmm…) Even though I was put off by it, I attempted to put myself in their shoes and see how I would feel if I had read something about someone I liked… and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I applaud the confidence it takes to be bold enough to approach me about it. I was most definitely caught off-guard. Like, Whoa. We discussed it and moved passed it.

However, another issue presented itself and it left me question how I behave while I’m dating. Even if I immediately communicate that I am focused on work and school, maybe my actions speak differently? Maybe it appears that I am looking for something more serious? Or maybe not serious, but something NOT casual.

Am I happy with casual? How’s it working out for me so far?

I have been “the girlfriend,” for so many years, to several different men. All of whom I am grateful for and learned something about myself and what I want for myself and a partner in my future. But obviously, none of them have worked so far.

Am I using the excuse of wanting something casual to avoid things getting complicated? To avoid making my organized life, messy. Maybe?

Why, Maybe?

I am so hyper focused on performing well at work and school that the idea of introducing someone I actually care about into my little work just seems… so risky. I have this plan FINALLY figured out. (I’m a planner, remember?) I’m FINALLY fucking following that damn plan that I spent so many years putting together. And I’m doing it BY MYSELF. I don’t want to get distracted and I ALWAYS get distracted in a relationship. My goals never get accomplished and I lose the fire that burned for myself because now I become so infatuated and tangled up in this new and fun relationship – that it becomes my focus.


Well, because a relationship IS part of my “plan.” Because I don’t want to spend my entire life alone (Butters doesn’t count). But for some reason, I can’t do both? What in the actual fuck. I can’t even.

And this is where I’m all twisted up in knots and confused and frustrated.

Because apparently I pick REALLY awesome guys to just be casually dating. Ones I would probably REALLY enjoy being in a relationship with. But is my focus fear driven? Probably.

Well, shit.

Friends, good friends are SO hard to find. Especially as an adult. I feel like I’ve been unusually blessed in this department. Even though the majority of them live all over the U.S. now, we still find time to connect. I spent time catching up with a few this weekend and it fills my heart so much to giggle, gossip, and bitch with them. I hope they realize just how amazing they are and how incredibly proud I am of them. My mom used to tell me when I was a kid, “Pick GOOD friends, Jackie. Because you will become them.” She was SO right. I have adapted and picked up different characteristics and personalities from the people I have chosen to surround myself with. Thank God I chose well. Thanks Girls 🙂

I’m sitting on the couch, having a glass of wine, music is probably a LITTLE too loud for the neighbors, and I’m alone. I’ve become comfortable being alone. I hammered out my quiz for school (which isn’t due until thursday). I’ll probably start dinner (for one) here shortly. Throw on a hair mask and face mask and dance with myself in my bathrobe in the kitchen while stirring whatever I decide to throw in a pan for dinner.

This is my life.

And I wouldn’t mind sharing it with someone else. Or would I?

Wonder if I’ll ever figure that out.

Until next time,



P.S. – photo credit to Kailee Elizabeth. This picture was taken for a Lika Love photoshoot. My FAVORITE local boutique to shop at (they’re online also!)

Follow them both on IG at: @kep_photos and @likalovefashion