I grew up holding onto everything and worrying about everything. I was both a packrat and a control freak. I thought I had to have everything all planned out and pulled together, providing for myself by myself. I found my worth in my perfectionism and my possessions. It was stressful, and I was full of anxiety about the future.
One day, I looked back over my life, and only a handful of things stuck out as clear, joyful memories. The rest was a blur. What had I done with all my time? Seriously, where did it all go?
That's when it dawned on me-- it was spent on the ordinary days. The going to work, making dinner, running errands kind of days. They all blended together when I looked back upon them. I knew there had been moments and days of joy, celebration, and accomplishment, but I couldn't see much of that in hindsight. All I could see was a job that didn't bring me joy or challenge me in the right ways, a lack of real community, a house that was far from a dream home, and a dull routine that revolved only around me.
I graduated from college without a job, a home to call my own, a solid community, or any ideas about what to do with my life. I was overwhelmed with all the stuff I had accumulated, the big decisions I had to make for my life, and the lack of purpose and direction I had.
I loved planning parties and organizing, but I kept feeling like I had to wait until I had the perfect home before really committing to decorate or love my home. I was constantly in a state of waiting-- waiting to love my home and waiting to love my life.
I didn't want to keep living like that. I wanted to live purposefully, loving my right-now life, although I had no idea what that really meant. I just knew there was more to life than the life I was living. What I called "life" was missing something so critical that it didn't feel like a whole life, only a partial one, like a vital piece of the puzzle was hiding under one of the couch cushions.
I did a lot of reading (like I'm apt to do), and had several deep, introspective conversations with a good friend who was in the same boat. We drew up manifestos for our lives, deciding we wanted to live them intentionally. We were going to live the lives we wanted, creating them by focusing on the things that were most important to us and making decisions based on our values and knowing what we're aiming for.
I slowly came to understand what purpose means, what my purpose is, and how purpose can play out in my everyday life, while helping me make intentional decisions to beat the overwhelm by focusing on the right things.
I didn't quit my job. I didn't move to a new house or a new city. I didn't make radical changes in any obvious ways. But my heart changed.
I found greater confidence to be myself and pursue the things that God had been growing in my heart for ages. I started loving my right-now home and my right-now life.
Slowly but surely, since then, I've been developing my idea of what my purpose is. I've been cutting out things that don't fit with who I am and who I want to be. I've been focusing on making time for the things that really matter to me, like investing in community.
I helped with a brand-new start-up church and started a community group there. I invested in my former college roommates despite the distance. I began decluttering and simplifying my home. I learned to cook healthy foods. I created a habit of exercising. I spent more time with my family.
Through those experiences, I've come to understand what living daily life through a lens of personal purpose looks like. And now I'm building a business around my writing and coaching so I can help people like you do the same, which is something I used to merely dream about! I'm fighting for the things I believe in and working to create the kind of life I've dreamed of, because I know that's when I'm going to be the most joyful, the most helpful to others, the most fired up, and most myself.
Choosing to live more joyfully, simply, and intentionally has opened so many doors to me-- in my relationships, my business, my health, my home, and more. It has truly transformed my outlook and my daily life! And I know it can do that for you, too!
Hi, friends! I'm Jessie, in case you didn't know that.
I am the writer here behind Notes from Jessie, and I'm also the author of Ready, Set...Now What? Discovering Your Identity, Gifts, and Purpose in the Real World and a coach and course creator.
I believe that everyone was created for a purpose, and mine is found in writing words of encouragement and hope to help you live more joyfully, simply, and intentionally! It's my mission to help you cut through the chaos and the noise, focus on what is most important to you, and pursue the life that you've always dreamed of.
If you can identify with that, then you've come to the right place!
I firmly believe that Isaiah 43:19 is true. "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." There are a great many things ahead, and I am choosing to believe that my best days have not yet happened.
When I'm not writing, you can find me cooking up some new-to-me recipes in the kitchen (inevitably making a huge mess), watching a show on Netflix (lazy Sundays, anyone?), hanging out with my friends or family (they're the best!), or curled up on the couch with a big book (the best way to unwind, hands down). And maybe some dark chocolate. Always some dark chocolate. It is life. (You think so, too? Let's be friends!)
about THE BLOG
Welcome! This blog is the place where I share what I'm learning as I go, in a way that I hope is authentic and accessible.
My purpose is to help young women live purposeful, joyful, fully-engaged lives. I want to help them beat the overwhelm and cut through the chaos and the noise so they can focus on what matters most to them.
So if you're in need of some encouragement, hope, anecdotes, some advice, and a virtual friend, you've come to the right place! Whether you're a student, professional, entrepreneur, stay-at-home parent, or currently unemployed, just trying to figure life out, you are welcome here.
I've always loved writing letters and little notes for my friends-- whether they're filled with quotes, verses, puns, compliments, prayers, or insights into things I see in them and in their lives. Now I'm turning that interest into a blog where I provide the same sort of encouragement and hope for all of my lovely readers!
I want you to find comfort, inspiration, truth, motivation, and encouragement here. My goal for this space is to create a home, a little safe corner of the Internet, a place where you can count on truth, kindness, and authenticity.
If you're unsure of what lies ahead but interested in figuring it out with others who are in the same boat, I invite you to join me for the journey. Grab a big cup of your favorite tea or coffee, pull up a chair, and, if you'd like, subscribe to keep up with me as I go!