The Hike

Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend two days doing one thing and one thing only– taking time for me. I spent my 27th birthday weekend at a yoga/health & wellness facility in Lenox, MA where I did a lot of different activities but one that I did over and over again was write in my journal. I took it just about everywhere and wrote down whatever popped into my head. A lot of good stuff came out– stuff that means something to me and stuff that I want to share here on my blog. So tonight I’m starting where I ended. This is my story of my hike in the Berkshires. 

mountains

The Ascent 

After a gentle yoga/Qi Quong class followed by an aromatherapy massage, I packed my car and got ready for my last little adventure — a guided hike. As I waited for the group to arrive and assemble, I began to feel like this wasn’t right for me. This is my trip— a time to be with my own thoughts and feelings and memories. I didn’t want to make small chat or slow down or speed up for anyone. I wanted this to be my last adventure at my own pace, with my music, my ability to stop and rest, take pictures, write and simply enjoy mother nature and all her goodness. So I grabbed a map of the trails surrounding Kripalu and chose to go to Monks Pond. I’ve been meditating like a modern day Monk all weekend and any option that puts me near water is a good one. So on my way I went. The trail has been really muddy as it’s 45 degrees in February. I feel so grateful as I only have yoga pants on, a long sleeve fleece and sunnies. I can breathe in crisp air but it’s not a stabbing that can come with deep winter colds. As I approach the pond, there looks to be an abandoned little shed and broken dock. But the water has frozen to a shimmery, star-dust blue— it’s breath taking. The sun is shining off and illuminating this frozen but alive body of water.

I look to my left and there’s a stunning stream that I can now see that runs all the way down the path I just marched up. Lucky for me, I’m all alone and no one is around so I’ve sat on a ledge next to the flowing water and am angled directly in the sunlight through the trees. The moving water is so calming and reinforces the fact that life goes on. It hits rocks, splashes up and down, freezes into sculptures at some places and runs wildly down others, crashes upon rocks and creates wade pools in others. But the water, this stream, it all continues to run together in a form that’s one. Each droplet of water essentially going to the same place— a bigger, greater, calmer body of water that is all one. I sit here on this rock and think about the stream I have gone down, all the water droplets that have given me the current I needed to keep flowing on. I feel as if I’m rounding the bend with this vast beautiful body of water that will await for me now in my current life but acts as just a foreshadow of the beautiful, completely blissful, full of love body of water that waits me, and all of us, one day.

For February 28, 2016, I can smell the new body of water coming… I can sense the sunshine beaming and I can feel the love all around me.

The Descent

Just as I sat there taking deep breaths and thinking calm and loving thoughts as the stream bubbled beside me, I slowly stood and decided it was time to head back. Almost instantaneously, I got excited— I got borderline panicky— like I needed to get back NOW. I knew that I had made it to where I wanted to go and now I was ready to come home. So I started picking up my pace— jogging, skipping, jumping over mud puddles but realized shortly that I wasn’t 100% sure where I was going. I was on a path— that was for sure— but I was alone, and I didn’t know which direction I was headed. All I knew was that I was walking and I was simply looking for the blue marks on the trees to tell me “it’s this way” “stay on the path.” Immediately, Dr. D and Dr. Mandy came into my head — the whole journey, I’ve been on a path, somewhat blindly putting my full trust into their guidance— sometimes no questions asked, simply looking toward the blue marker to say “go this way” or “turn down here.” Amidst this excitement, I began to skip again. More than anything I wanted to see the clearing. But I couldn’t. Not paying attention, I slipped and fell on ice and I could briefly hear my Dad say “slow it down Jess.” Then my favorite Florence & the Machine song came on — The Dog Days Are Over. That’s it! I thought. This is it— so I literally started dancing my way down the path with my gut knowing that I was coming to a clearing. I was right. But it was the same frozen Monks Pond I had started my “descent” on. 

Keep going— I could hear my mom say, “it’s just a little bit father.”

So I did just that and marched and marched, continuing on the path looking for all signs that pointed me “home” With two very muddy pink sneakers and a damp bum from falling, I made it to the Kripalu camp. Rested right above the hill overlooking the beautiful Berkshire mountains, the sun was just beginning to set. There were cars and people and buildings. Life is just like it was when I went into those woods, but I have a completely different perspective on the same view. 

I’m glad I didn’t go with the hiking guide and group. I needed to do this on my own. I needed to walk the path, stumble, get excited, get let down, and come to the beautiful clearing that I had hoped for, knowing that every ray of sunshine that beat down on my face was a family member reminding me they were here for me— every trail marker, a nurse or doctor letting me know I was doing okay — every breeze that tickled my face and made me laugh, a friend showing their support —  and the horizon at the end, my Michael, my love, I look at those mountains and see so many adventures to be had and memories to be made.

Today is February 28, 2016.

I am here.

I am now.

I am grateful.

I am proud.

I am hopeful.”

selfie with mountains

Lots of love and light,

Jessy 

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Pup-ternity

Yesterday, I packed up my HomeGoods Happy desk and walked out the TJX doors for the last time. When I got in the car, Roar by Katy Perry was playing on the radio and the moment almost didn’t feel real. I haven’t had the most ideal time since returning in January but I am still thankful for the years that I spent there as I learned a lot about marketing and even more about myself. Most importantly, I met some wonderful individuals. Some that I know our bonds will last far beyond the TJX walls. 

I had just gotten “associate of the quarter” so lucky for my co-workers, my mug will be up in the cafe for a little bit longer in case they miss me. 👍🏼Mandy girl, give it a tap on water loops. 🖐🏼#missmyworkwifealready

  
SO, what’s next for me?! I’m really excited to say that I will be starting on Friday with the ALS TDI, a nonprofit in Cambridge that focuses solely on finding a cure for ALS. I will be continuing in the marketing field and (hopefully) bringing my digital expertise and ideas to the organization. I am so excited about this opportunity as my hope is that I can feel more passionate about my work and know that I am contributing to something that really matters. Hopefully, the work I do will help make a difference in people’s lives. It’s a BIG change from what I’ve done in the past but change is always a good thing and I have a feeling this is a good thing. 

But before I begin with the new company, I get a three day pup-ternity. Yup, that’s right. Three blissful days as a stay-at-home-pup-mom. I’ve waited, literally, years for this little fur baby to come home so I can barely believe that she’s actually sitting on my lap as I write this post! Mike and I picked Miss Phoebe up Friday and it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. She already is bringing us so much joy and even more snuggles!

   
    
    
    
    
 
Is she not the cutest little thing in the world? 

On my to-do list today was clean the house, organize my clothes, do some errands, workout, do yoga, get some paperwork done and play with Phoebe. Here’s what I checked off the list: played with Phoebe. I am writing this, still in my pajamas, snuggled on the couch with my little angel and so the fact that I got “nothing” done today is okay. You don’t get too many days like this and so I’m smiling thinking about the mommy and fur baby bonding day we got to have. With the risk of sounding self-indulgent, I’d say I deserve it. 

   
 
Lastly, I want to say thank you to everybody who’s been so kind and supportive to me over the past (almost) 2 years. Being able to move on from TJX and also become a pup mom is a big step for me and I couldn’t have done it without the support I’ve felt from the many many incredible people in my life. 

Lots of love, light & puppy kisses,

Jessy 

I Get By with a Little Help From My Friends

Yesterday we were so lucky to spend some time with very close friends. They had rented a house on a lake in Maine with their family so we decided to visit and stay over before we start our mini vacation in Portland (writing this from the beach now! 😍) Anyways, while we were there, I was able to try paddle boarding which I’ve always wanted to do. So, at the before going in for dinner, I decided I wanted to take one out once more and went by myself. I started rowing and thought to myself, “wow I’m really good at this, I’m cruising.” So I continued rowing and found myself floating along the lake, completely in the moment. I kept looking up at the sky and then down at the water flowing around me and couldn’t help but feel so blessed and so thankful that I had been given this moment. I kept thinking to myself that it was about a year ago at this time that I was hit with pancreatitis and it was then that my most difficult physical troubles began. So I felt so lucky that I was strong enough now to be doing something active like this by myself. 

Time continued to go by and I continued to not have a care in the world. When I got to a certain point, I decided it was probably time to turn around. I started to switch directions. Difficultly #1. After multiple tries, I got the board turned around started rowing towards the house, which at this point was far, farrrrr out of sight. So I start paddling, as hard as I could but wasn’t moving too fast anymore. Oh well, I thought, no big deal. Then all of a sudden I see Michael paddling along in a kayak. “Rescuer #1” has arrived. He gets to me and instantly asks if I’m okay followed with “what the hell are you doing?” I’m baffled. Doesn’t he mean, what the hell is he doing? I’m fine. I’m having a great time. After telling him he can leave because I’m good on my own, he decides to stay and kayak next to me as I try to adventure back. So I go a few minutes passing a house with a family sitting on their deck. Tired, I decide to pause to take a break. As I stop, I realize I am FLYING backward; right pass the family I just passed a few minutes ago. Uh oh. Difficultly #2. So Mike says, you need help? Nope, I say. I’ve still got this. So I start paddling again and as the wind picks up, I begin to realize that I’m going at a rate of  about 1 inch a minute. Gotta change my strategy. So I sit on my board and decide that’ll help the situation. No such luck. Now Mike starts insisting that I let him help. So, begrudgingly, I say okay and we tie my paddle board to his kayak and it’s decided that he’s going to try to tow me back. Difficultly #3. I’m determined to pull my own weight so I try paddling while he is as well. Too many cooks in the kitchen. Next I decide I’m going to get in the water behind the paddle board and start kicking as I hold onto the board so he doesn’t have my weight to pull along. Difficulty #4. As that’s failing miserably, I let go of the paddle board and decide I’m just going to swim back. It takes a few minutes for him to notice that I’m swimming alongside but once he does, that doesn’t go over well. Difficultly #5. We then start arguing as he’s convinced that it’s going to either take hours for me to get back to the house, I’m going to drowned trying or at the very least “puke blood.” So as the words “my parents paid for 13 years of swimming lessons for a reason, I AM FINEEEEE” 🏊🏽 are being screamed out of my mouth, “Rescuer #2” comes up in his kayak. We’ve now both been gone for so long, everyone at the house is beginning to seriously worry. I then tell our friend Nate that I’m just swimming back and he gives me a definitive “that’s not going to work.” It’s now decided that I’m going to get in his kayak and he’s going to be able to paddle board back. So we pull over, I eat shit as I attempt to get in the kayak and then am finally successful the second try. Then, finally, all three of us find ourselves rowing back into our dock. Mission complete. 

After a while of explaining myself and apologizing, I went to an upstairs deck and laid on a hammock overlooking the lake and laughed to myself at the debauchery that had just ensued. But as I was chuckling to myself about what a disaster my original peaceful paddle boarding adventure had turned into, I also thought about how I did end up truly needing help. When Mike first arrived, I was annoyed to be honest. I felt like he was overreacting and not trusting me enough to understand that I am able to take care of myself. I was so determined to prove him wrong, and to show that I could do this on my own, we wasted a lot of time, attempting different ways that we could make it back, ways that ultimately didn’t work and made me more tired than I already was becoming. I tend to do this, in an effort to prove that I’m not weak, I over exert myself and don’t take the help when I actually need it. I’ve learned in the past year, that it’s so important to take help. Everyone needs help, we’re individuals but we can only survive by being dependent on first ourselves but then others too. I forget this often, as I did yesterday, but it was a good lesson to learn (once again) that sometimes you have to put aside your pride and just say yes when those that love you are trying to help you. That sometimes, taking the help can be the strongest thing you can do, not the weakest.

Moral of the story: be conscious of the currents. If you’re cruising down a lake the first time you’ve ever paddle boarded, instead of thinking “I’m Queen👑 of the paddle board🏄🏻,” you might wanna think, “the wind could be helping me and I may be screwed when I turn around.” Note to self: be more humble. 🙏🏼

Happy weekend friends.

Lots of love & light, 

Jessy 

  

Like a Duck

 I missed Motivational Monday because I was spending some much needed time with my second family, the Piets, and soaking up the sun on the Cape on a Monday. It was so nice to spend time with them as I have always felt such a part of their family, like Brittany is my sister and her sisters are my little sisters. I am very blessed in that way, to have the support and love from another family. But as life many times get in the ways, I get to see them a lot less than I once did. So i felt so grateful to get to have this time with my best friend for a whole day. And let me tell you, having a sleepover at age 26 is just as fun as when you’re 13. 

  
As for the quote… I AM OBSESSED!!! It’s just so accurate. I’m always putting an effort in to appear polished and professional on the outside but on the inside I’m dancing, being silly and running as fast as I can to my next goal. 

You’re through Monday, WAHOO! So let’s make this Tuesday a SUCCESS AND NOTHING LESS! 

Lots of love & light,

Jessy 

 

Making Moves

Last Monday I began an 8 week online course that focuses on career growth and exploration; trying to discover what you really want to do, what truly makes you happy. I signed up for this because as I’ve made mention to before, I feel a little lost right now at work. It could be because of what I’m doing, it could be because I don’t have the flexibility or freedom I fantasize about, it could be because I’m still bitter from the demotion, or it could be because I don’t feel like I’m helping anyone or making a difference in the world. Either way, I’m restless and I don’t love the feeling. And although I don’t feel like I can actually make moves anytime soon, I decided I can take baby steps towards finding a career that’s meaningful and makes me happy on a daily basis. That career could be right where I am today (in an upward trajectory of course haha) but I need to clarify that in my mind so I can stop second guessing myself.
I’m only one week into this course but I’m already finding it more challenging than I would’ve expected. Only because there’s a lot of “self reflection” so far and reflecting on yourself (and trying to be unbiased) is REALLY hard. When it asked me to list things that make me the happiest, I answered with things like, riding waves in the ocean, singing out loud in the car, feeling the sunshine on my face, dancing around my living room, cuddling with Mike, going for long walks, doing yoga outside. Although these things are all wonderful, none of them are qualities that can point me in the right direction of a career.  When asked for what people ask for my help on, I literally couldn’t think of one thing. When asked what I’m good at, I had a really hard time thinking of anything. I kept thinking, “well, I’m a people person” but that’s not a sellable quality. You can’t make a career out of being a people person.

So I’ve been feeling a little frustrated, I want so desperately to figure out what I’m supposed to do. I’m impatient, and I want to figure it out NOW. I overthink things and let my thoughts get the best of me. And this is one of the cases where I am overthinking the absolute crap out of everything. Honestly, it’s because I feel this overwhelming weight on my shoulders to make the most out of my life and since work is about 75% of your waking hours, that includes my job. I try to remind myself that I’m only 26, my whole life doesn’t need to be planned right now. But what I’ve also learned in the past year, is that life is short and it’s too short to be unhappy for too long. If you want a change, you have to make that change for yourself. Just like success in a job doesn’t come without effort, happiness doesn’t always come without effort either. You have to work for a promotion, work for a raise, and so forth you have to work for your happiness, you have to make a conscious effort to make changes to your life in order to be your happiest, most satisfied self.

Do you guys ever feel like this? What have you done to best optimize your work life? I’d love to hear from people!!

Now off to start my Week 2 packet…

XOXO,
Jessy