Allow me to re-introduce myself...
Two days ago, I had a brand strategy call with Hayet Rida. The purpose of the call (or so I thought) was to evaluate my brand and strategize for moving forward. Now though there was some strategy involved, it was so much more.
In typical Jessica fashion, I had an outline prepared and questions to ask just in case. Little did I know, we were scrapping my whole outline and digging beneath the surface.
I've always casually said that I am a perfectionist, but I never really knew why. Perfectionism, for me anyway, is more than just a way to keep my standards high. It's more than just a way to be successful in school or exceed expectations in business. It's been a way to cover-up my issues and insecurities that are DEEPLY rooted. Who would have thought a 1-hour strategy session would become a therapy session causing me to tap into feelings and thoughts that were neatly buried under pretty pictures and well thought out Instagram captions.
Photography // Ali Folster
People often tell me that my smile is infectious. While that means so much to me, what I want more is to impact people with the raw, the vulnerability, and the triumph. I want you to see the smile, but I want you to understand the struggle that comes with it. I want you to see the smile, but I want you to understand the nights I've cried myself to sleep. I want you to see the smile and understand that there is triumph in that very situation you face right now!
This introspection is new for me, and like many of you, my 'authenticity' often comes from what I want people to see. Before this point, I couldn't imagine being vulnerable online to the point that I am nervous about others seeing me, the real me. I've wanted to give a little, but keep it safe. Though I don't discredit that, because there is STILL value in it, there's more that I can give.
There is a girl struggling with her weight who needs to hear my story.
There is a girl struggling to leave that man who needs to hear my story.
There is a girl struggling to know her worth who needs to hear my story.
There is a girl struggling with being black in a white-dominated workforce who needs to hear my story.
THAT...makes the raw, the uncomfortable, the IMPERFECT worth it.
I hope to continue to inspire you, motivate you, encourage you, and educate you. As I discover more about me, I hope my words will help you discover more about you. I hope that you'll come alongside me for the journey...what a road it will be!
So, I'm Jessica. It's nice to meet you...again.