Categories
Sparking Joy

Dear 20 Year Old Me

I wish I could say I was the type of person who woke up every morning, sipped a nice cup of tea and wrote in a journal. I’m not. I try to be, sometimes – but that lasts for a week at most. Last night, I found an old journal of mine, from 2015. Only ten or so pages were written in.

I read this journal last night. Good lord, was I dramatic. Maybe I still am? But beyond it being dramatic, I couldn’t help but want to give 21 year old me a hug. Homegirl thought everything was her fault.

I apologized often in those ten pages. I’m not really sure what I was apologizing for (I wasn’t very good at details, clearly), but I often wrote things like “I am sorry for the way that I am.” I also wrote a lot about what I needed to change about myself.

It broke me to read this. I’m 24 now. I’ve been on this earth an extra 1,460 days and I think I’ve learned a decent amount since then. I’ve learned I don’t need to apologize for who I am. My personality – my humor, my quirks – they’re who I am. I’ve learned that my sensitivity isn’t always a detriment. I’ve learned that it’s not my fault all the time.

Hi 20 year old me!

20 year old me felt ugly. I was not yet comfortable in my skin. I still yearned for what my body had been when I was sick, at times. I put so much of my worth into my appearance, and because I felt so terribly about how I looked, I valued myself at nothing. I recall 20 year old me was still showering in the dark at times, to avoid seeing myself.

While I was saddened to see the state of who I was at that time, it also made me proud of who I’ve become since then. My self esteem, for one, isn’t squashed anymore. I believe in myself, and shit man, that’s all that you need. I recognize my faults, but I also can recognize my strengths. I know my worth.

I wonder, if in five years, 29 year old me will read this blog and cringe. Will I recognize myself anymore? What will have changed? What will remain the same?

My question to you is: what would you tell 20 year old you? As for me, I would tell her to keep her head up and to truly, deeply, love herself.

XO,

J

Categories
Head + Heart = Hustle

My Values Aren’t For the Greater Good

Last weekend, I went to session two of the work on purpose fellowship and I discovered both my strengths and my values.

To catch ya’ll up: my top five strengths were harmony, communication, empathy, input and consistency. My top three values… are non-compliance (hahaha), physical health, and humor.

This weekend, I, Jeanette, learned that I am not as good of a person as I thought I was. AND I’M OKAY WITH THAT! In all honesty, anyone who writes that they value world peace and global warming more than anything else in the world is a damn liar. Maybe Elon Musk is on that level of selflessness, but he was able to achieve selfish goals already.

My values and my strengths make me who I am, and after examining them, I understand why I operate the way that I do. I also totally get why my pet peeves are present. My strength is consistency, so if you say you’ll do something and you don’t… I don’t have faith in you anymore. I value input, so reading makes me feel so damn good, because I get to put some information in my noggin. My value of non-compliance… I get why I question everything that is asked of me.

I think it’s critical that I understand these parts of myself. Before analyzing this, I thought of myself as a “nice” person who does things for others, when really my values are pretty damn self centered. Taking my values and strengths, and putting them against what I do in my current job, makes me understand why I am not thrilled to go to work everyday. Teachers don’t really have room for non-conformity – there’s too many protocols we need to follow. I don’t input all that much into myself at work because the academics I teach are so rudimentary.

After this weekend, I’ve been thinking extensively about happiness and careers and strengths and all that good stuff. I’m curious, how many people are pursuing careers that truly suit them? How is their happiness correlated to that? How can I use my strengths and values, and couple them with my passions, to find my dream job? Is that even possible?