[Featured image: pictured is a slice of toasted white bread on a white background. Credit to Adobe Stockphotos]

Here’s to never giving up 🥂

Cw: mental and physical health (mentions su*c*de)

I was such a ham as a kid 😂

Pictured above: a tiny Jaesic plays in the Autumn leaves while wearing a bright red coat, they pose in front of carved pumpkins with their brother, they pose in a yellow coat and red hat with a huge grin (and some missing front teeth), and again in the yellow coat with their dog Rocket.

I look at these photos and truly see a happy kid. Well, maybe not in my dedication photo (ain’t that foreshadowing or what 🥲😂). But yes, a happy kid. But as I got older, something changed. You can kind of see it in the solo dancer photo, or me with a toy horse on a stick, at the end of this little gallery. The light started to dim from behind my eyes. Chronic pain, misunderstanding, and conformity really took a toll on me.

I’ve been sick with unexplainable physical symptoms since I was 4 years old, compounded by regular colds and flus. I’ve had mono BADLY twice, the worst of it as a freshman in college. When you are not physically well most days of your life, you are not mentally well either. That shit adds up, and depression/anxiety settles in. And this is only a fraction of what changed.

I was bullied, left out, and abandoned for being different more times than I can remember. Not knowing how I was neurodivergent significantly impacted how I developed self-esteem, efficacy, and relationships. I often invested my time in the wrong people (hell, I’m just learning how to not do that now). And I often failed the good relationships I did have because I didn’t have the tools to properly self-regulate and effectively communicate. I learned to people please and spread myself so thin in order to attempt at measuring up to the rest. The result? Repeat burnout, illness, suicidality, and years of abusive relationships. I’ve been trying to define myself by others’ standards and desires instead of looking inward to my core and shedding anything that isn’t ME.

Pictured above: Jaesic is in a dance troupe wearing a tie-dye blue and gold leotard, below they are in a red dress and tights, and to the right they are in a cowboy get-up with a toy horse on a stick named Oreo (it is black and white with a red bridle).

Well, no more. Finally, I see myself for who I am: a being of overflowing love, joy, and light. I no longer am ashamed of my joy or love and how I express it (or, at least most of the time; I’m getting better). I no longer waste my energy on things and people who do not symbiotically impact my life. I pursue my passions and care so deeply for the world, and I have power to make a difference.

My parents raised a little girl. That little girl grew into a severely repressed, depressed, scared young woman who let life and the people in it take advantage of her. Today I know that little girl is still a part of me, and that young woman helped me find how I am so much more now. I get to love her and carry her through to see just how expansive we can be as a fluid creature who never gave up on learning and loving. I know she is looking at me in awe, and maybe a little fear (lol). But how beautiful it is to be able to coalesce all parts of myself after working hard at healing my trauma, so that I can live a truly purposefully authentic life! I am so lucky. I almost didn’t make it. And now I know my life’s purpose is to support others to find themselves and heal too. We all possess the power to make a difference. Each time we realize that, the world has that much a better chance to become even more compassionate and inclusive for us all.

Thank you for being a part of my journey here 💜✨️🌈

Because my brain won’t let go of paranoia:

If you read things like this that I write and take offense because you considered us good friends growing up, these writings are NOT about you. I speak in generalizations about my life because it is easiest when describing the effect OTHER people had on me. I know I’ve had good relationships amongst the bad. But again, those relationships were few and far between, and it’s taken a lot of inner work to find people who will continuously choose me without taking advantage of me. So, know that you are loved, and I very much value whatever kind of relationship we’ve had over the years 🙌💜

[Featured image is of a white background with golden letters spelling out Happy New Year, surrounded by gold stars in different sizes.]

Okay, that was a bit inflammatory. And I hate “shoulding” all over the place; it was just for the headline, I promise! If you’re looking to have a “new year, new you” type of thing, I’m definitely not here to tell you not to go for it. But what if I told you you could do it in a way that would almost guarantee your success? Also, Happy New Year! (Ten days late, but hey, at least I made it!)

Themes > Resolutions

About two years ago now, a good friend of mine sent me this video, and it changed my life. Instead of being stressed about picking out resolutions that I knew would ultimately fail me (because I would fail them), I felt completely liberated by the notion of a New Year’s Theme.

In the past, I would set resolutions to eat less junk food, practice my instruments more, or spend less money on things I don’t need. However, especially for my demand-avoidant brain, that was less than motivating. Resolutions just became demands that relied on my own self-deprecation to exist. Naming my goals in such a way created the space for guilt to become the driving force, instead of intrinsic motivation. I’ve learned through enough trial and error that my motivation only really comes from being emotionally invested in things. Yes, I do things out of obligation or guilt at times, but I’m more likely to do things and do them well when I’m strongly emotionally linked to the end result. And to be honest, many of those goals came down to being emotionally invested in my own self-worth, which I didn’t have a lot of at the time.

A Guiding Compass

A New Year Theme acts more like a guiding compass so that all my decisions fall into the binary categories of, “fits theme” and “doesn’t fit theme”, which is super convenient for my indecisive brain as well. Instead of feeling trapped by demands, I am empowered to pursue goals that align to my theme, thus allowing me the emotionally attached intrinsic motivation I need to get shit done.

Last year’s theme was “Expansion” and this year is the “Year of Abundance”. In a simplified recap: I went from living with my ex and mother, to finding my footing with a roommate in our own apartment, to a lot of inner growth, to building my consulting and coaching business. And now, just in the first 10 days of this year, I’ve managed to develop deeper connection in some of the relationships I hold dear, I’ve made new connections for business, I’ve danced so much and been able to DJ music I love, I’ve launched my new coaching website, and I’ve had two interviews published (one was published last month, but I just found out). I am claiming Abundance in everything: love, wealth, health, and fulfillment. And now it’s easier to decide what actions to take because this theme empowers me to seek the best options for my love, health, wealth, and fulfillment. It allows space for me to be critical but also compassionate towards my dreams and the steps I need to take to realize them.

Failing Forward

Not only is it easier to believe in myself and my actions with a theme underpinning it all, but it’s easier to not be so hard on myself when I try things and “fail”. I truly am starting to believe that failure isn’t actually real. We can only learn from our past actions, so when every moment is a learning opportunity, do we every really fail?

To steal from my vocal coach’s toolbox (Arden Kaywin, thank you), “failing forward” is the situation of learning something didn’t work, and using that information to propel you into the next best decision. We’re all capable of this, it’s just a matter of how clearly we see, and believe in, our own efficacy.

You Are Powerful

You are a powerful creative being. If you’ve set your heart on resolutions in the past, just to not fulfill them in the ways you’ve wished to every year, then maybe give a New Year’s Theme a try! To find a theme that resonates with you, think about the goals you wish to achieve over the course of this year. Are most of them health related? Work related? Relationship related? Find the common thread and try to name it. I kept mine fairly broad because I had very specific goals that were hard to put into one category. The word “abundance” kind of just came to me. If you are spiritual, try meditating on what it is your heart desires most this year. You’ve got this!

If you’re queer, neurodivergent, or disabled and are seeking support in realizing your goals to live your most fulfilled life, please don’t hesitate to visit my coaching website and click the Life Coaching tab! It would be my joy to support you!