A Mix of Emotions

It’s 60 degrees out right now. It’s Decemcer 12th. I’m in heaven, along with every other New Englander. So, after having a leisurely morning with Mike and Phoebe, I strapped on my running gear and headed out to my favorite trail around Somerville. It’s right along the Mystic Riverand is just beautiful. So many people to see but also quiet spots to clear your mind. I stopped multiple times to do yoga in the various parks that overlook the water, including climbing up an old lookout tower that you can see the Boston skyline. It’s just perfect. 
 

  
As I was on my way back, I was running over the bridge, Boston on my right, Somerville on my left, the sun shining right on my face and the most beautiful sight of all: the American Flag waving proudly in the wind. With everything going on in the world right now, it felt like such a special moment. I am so proud to be an American. I am so proud to be from Boston, to be from the U.S.

    
 
 
I like to think I am a pretty gentle human being, I pray for peace and healing of everyone. But that’s certainly not inclusive of the monsters trying to destroy us. Trying to destroy innocent lives. The monsters that live with such evil in their words, minds, hearts and actions. 

I felt such a juxtaposition as I ran over this bridge: immense pride and immense hate ran through my body. 

So to ISIS, the Taliban and all terrorists of every kind… EFF YOURSELVES. I hope you band together and then blow yourselves up, and leave the innocent alone. Then once you’re done blowing up each other, rot in the only place you deserve to be. A fiery fiery hell. 

  
Merry Christmas, you filthy animals. 

I’m sorry, I know that’s not inspirational but it’s how I feel and I had to get it out. 

But I’ll end with this: GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. All of us, no matter what religion, what political party, no matter what region of the country we’re from. We need to be unified. We need to be one. God Bless us all. 

Lots of love & light,

Jessy 

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Put Aside the Pride

In the past (almost) six months, my pride has overwhelmed me many times during my days at work. Being demoted is mentally one of the toughest things I’ve dealt with during the past year as I felt so hurt and so disrespected to have been brought back as something I had once been promoted from. But thinking negatively about it, I’ve realized, does no good. It doesn’t help me get my old position back and it certainly doesn’t make the days any easier. This week, however, I was able to meet with my “big” boss and I mustered up the courage to tell him how disappointed I was about the demotion, and honestly what a struggle it’s been for me to deal with that since being back. What’s more important, is that instead of just complaining about how I don’t love my current position, I spoke of multiple ways I think I can be better utilized and gave specific examples of things I’d like to work on and feel I can really contribute to. This made me feel tremendously better as I felt like A. I got what I wanted to say off my chest and B. I was being proactive about what I think my career path at the company should be. Things won’t magically get better overnight but it’s a step in the right direction, and that’s all I can ask for, right? 
All weekend, I was stressed about this meeting on Monday. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and was totally focused on how I could make it a productive and positive conversation. I was amping myself up, telling myself how great I am at my job. How I deserve this job. How I worked SO hard for the position I once had. How I have proven myself time and time again. How I deserved to have that position back. But this weekend, as I sat in the sand at a beach in NH, thinking about how I was going to get what I wanted out of this meeting, how I was going to “sell myself and my talents”, I ironically began reading about the Buddhist philosophy on “pride.” Buddhist teachings say that being “proud” is not a virtue and something that we should work to eliminate within ourselves. It reminds us that everything we have is because of other people, literally everything. That our very being is because our parents created us. That someone taught us how to walk and talk and read. That someone helped feed us when we were growing and put a roof over our head. That someone gave us our first job, and our second and our third. That when we make money, it’s because someone else is giving it to us. Whether it’s an employer or we own our a company and its a client or we have employees working to make us money, someone else is helping us. 
The whole thought is so extremely humbling. Exactly the opposite of how I had been acting in my head — “I deserve this, I deserve that” type of attitude. 
The whole notion though is honestly a really weird thought to me. I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I’m a hard worker, that I’ve earned everything I’ve gotten in life. I wanted to be a gymnast so I worked for it. Well, I had coaches that taught me and parents that paid for the lessons. I wanted to become a better public speaker so I enrolled myself in an oratorical contest. Well, I had a teacher that worked with me and let me practice for hours in front of her. I worked as a babysitter and house cleaner to save up on my own for my first car. Well, someone gave me that job and let me into their home so I could make that money. I went to college and worked my ass off for a degree. Well, I was able to work so hard because my parents financially and emotionally supported me and professors mentored me. I got my current job because I was successful at my first “real world” job. Well, yes that’s the case but I also had a friend’s dad pass along my resume in HR which absolutely helped my chances. All the things in life that i’ve accomplished, someone, in some capacity has helped me me it happen. 
This is such a different way to think about life and it’s hard because I think as individuals we like to pat ourselves on the back and tell ourselves what a good job we’re doing or why we deserve whatever life is giving us. There’s a lot of value in that, because I truly believe that you have to be your number one fan. You have to believe in yourself and your contributions to the world before anyone else can. But, what I can take away from this teaching is to truly remember that I didn’t do this alone. Not even close. So it’s important to remember and respect all those that gave you a chance, gave you an opportunity to make something of your life. In its simplest form, it’s remembering to have gratitude. Gratitude for everything and everyone in your life.
So say thank you to someone who’s helped you along the way. It’ll feel good for the soul. 
I’ll start…. 
to the most humble person I know, my Auntie Mary: thank you for teaching me what it means to be selfless and exemplifying what a strong and smart woman looks like. thank you for taking me to so many disney on ice’s, being at every birthday, and acting like a third grandmother in my life, I am truly lucky. thank you for being the kind, caring and gentle person that you are. i am so honored to have you in my life. 
XOXO,

Jessy 

Boston Strong Forever: My Reflection 1 Year Later

One year ago today I woke up like a kid on Christmas morning. It was my first ever Marathon Monday. I had heard so much about this day and all it’s wicked glory. As a kid who grew up in New Hampshire and went to school in Florida, I had never gotten to experience the excitement and pride that this day brings. My Beacon St. apartment was directly in front of the mile 23 marker— my first floor living room window looked right out onto the street as the runners pushed through the final few miles. Our apartment was filled with mimosas, buffalo chicken dip (and an endless array of unhealthy snacks), jello shots and of course, an ice cold keg of cheap beer. It was a party and I was THRILLED to be a part of it. April 15, 2013 was a beautiful day for a race. Blue skies, a slight wind, and sunshine. A perfect day for a celebration. With a red solo cup in hand, I stood with my girlfriends on the sidewalk cheering on all the participants. I had never been to a marathon before and I truly was blown away with the strength of these participants. By the time I was seeing them, they had run 23 miles— 23 miles!!!— it’s a feat I really can’t even fathom. One of my favorite moments of the day came when a group of military men and women marched by. As they passed with an American flag being held high and proud, the crowd starting chanting, “USA! USA! USA!” I felt such a sense of pride in that moment…not only proud to be an American but to be a Bostonian. During that moment, I remember looking around at all the bystanders and all the runners and really trying to take in what is so special about this day. It’s Patriots Day. It’s Boston’s day. And for the first time, that meant it was my day too. It’s all of our day.

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I had just finished babbling on the phone to my mom about what a fun and fabulous day I was having. Probably a bit too much fun for a Monday afternoon but then again, it was my first Marathon Monday so what else do you expect?! Then this day of excitement, pride and joy became a day of tragedy. I was outside at the time and people from inside the apartment yelled for us to come in and see what had just unfolded three miles from where I was standing. An act of pure evil had just happened. Quickly a house full of people drinking and laughing became a house full of people surrounding a television, silent and crying. After a few minutes, we began bringing runners inside to give them water. Our apartment was suddenly full of a lot of people I didn’t know but it didn’t matter. We all had the same thoughts, feelings and emotions. A bunch of strangers became one. A city became one. And one act of evil had created hundreds of acts of greatness.
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The days following the Boston Marathon were strange. The suspects had not been caught and everyone in the city was on edge. Walking to my car the next morning, there were armed military men at the T stop dressed in bullet proof vests and carrying enormous rifles. I hated it. That’s not what I should see on my way to work, I thought. That’s not what anyone should see on their way to work. It felt un-American. On Friday April 19th, after being in a lockdown all day, completely glued to the television and truthfully frightened, the ban was finally lifted in the early evening. Mike’s brother and sister-in-law had just had a new baby girl two days prior and we had planned to meet her that night. So we jumped in the car and sped off to Newton Wellsley Hospital. After being greeted by an army tank and having our car searched, we parked and ran upstairs. The moment we were walking in the hospital door, “suspect #2” had finally been located and was being handcuffed and taken away. I felt so much joy from this news, so much relief for our city and for all those who had been directly affected by their cowardly acts. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I hoped he and his god awful brother rot in hell. I felt such anger, such hateful thoughts towards these so-called human beings. And then, just when I was feeling such nasty and almost barbaric emotions, we opened the hospital room door and were greeted with a miracle; the best humanity has to offer…a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Cheeks rosy, skin soft and eyes filled with innocence. She was perfect. She didn’t know the horror that had ensued on Monday or the anxiety ridden week that had just finished. Because she was just a baby— a baby born into the most spectacular city, with her whole life ahead of her. I’m so grateful for seeing her that night because that angelic little baby unknowingly took away all the negative thoughts in my head and replaced them with hopeful and happy thoughts. Baby Tori won — baby Tori won against two terrible terrible monsters.
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The morning of April 20th, I think the entire city breathed a sigh of relief that April 19th was a day of the past; I sure did. I felt relief but also felt a sense of urgency to go enjoy the magnificent city that our law enforcement had just risked their lives to protect. So I strolled on down to Newbury and walked my favorite street in America. Then I headed over to the Boston Public Gardens filled with flowers that were blooming magnificently and signifying the start of Spring. And then, with a heavy heart, walked to the edge of Boylston, to where a memorial had popped up honoring those lost and injured in the marathon, to pay my respects and say a little prayer. It was a special day in an even more special city.
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The week of April 15, 2013 taught me a lot. It taught me that life can take unexpected turns so you should always enjoy the present because who knows when it can change. It taught me what a fabulous day Marathon Monday truly is— and to never, EVER not take it off from work (it’s so worth the vacation day). It taught me how much we need our law enforcement and military. It taught me that good always prevails over evil. And it taught me that Boston is truly the greatest city in the world.
#BostonStrong- yesterday, today and always.
XOXO,
Jessy