A gentle reminder to choose grace over judgment and relish in the fact that we're all different. That alone is worth celebrating.
Here is a woman who lives life on purpose, with pride, joy, and exuberance. It's not a naive kind of happiness of an easy life, but a deep-rooted choice to own all that has been thrown her way and yet still, to be joyful. That's not a simple feat, it takes strength and intentionality to continually choose optimism and hope over despair.
At first I was cautious, those who appear to be larger-than-life I usually meet with skepticism or deem disingenuous (yes, everything is larger than life in America, don't ask me how I live in the US, everyday is a journey). I'll be the first to admit, I was wrong. My gut response came from a place of not knowing how to engage with someone who is bold enough to live fully on display; knowing and owning their identity.
The first time I met Jess in person she proceeded to incessantly probe for the group's enneagram types. This is normal behavior for her. True to enneagram 8 form Jess is a straight talker, no nonsense, seems unflappable and hard on the outside but is actually a gooey pile of emotions. She fights for her people with a spunky attitude and quippy comment to boot. Yes, she's a bundle-of-energy, put-together-queen, complete with an Instagram reel tutorial on how to get the perfect beach waves, but she's also goofy and tender. Her duality is not duplicitous, it's quite the opposite. It allows you to show up in your brokenness, to speak plainly with the reassurance that you're being heard through a lens of compassion.
Jess' heart is to bring people together that they may know and experience belonging in community. Whether that's through social media or IRL, she is the same person in every space she shows up in; authentic. May we each possess the courage and tenacity of Jessica C, to choose to show up as nothing other than who we are convicted to be. The dichotomies, which exist within us, will prove to be our demise or triumph; where triumph is determined by owning your narrative vs. letting it own you.
I could have written today's post without revealing the not-so-cute parts of myself, you know the ones, the character traits we'd rather keep under wraps; but my subconscious would have had a field day. She's pesky, won't leave me alone. We each have those people who make you eat your words or reveal the ugly we do so well to hide. I would be doing a disservice to Jess to not give credit where due; for not only was I humbled, I was schooled - in the best way possible. We don't often take the time to explicitly state how others shape us to be better. Thanks for the up close and personal reminder that when we reduce people down to photos and captions, you belittle the diversity and intricacy by which God so expertly designed us with.
Place: ChitChat Coffee + Matcha
Tea of Choice: Bala Chai
Giraffe Rating (out of 5 | for tea): 3.5 +.75 (not enough spice for me, bonus points for the ~vibes)
ChitChat is an inviting & engaging space, a solid place to get some solid focus time in. I don't think I've found the right drink for me yet.
Jess = Bold | Tender | Tenacious
Till our thoughts inevitably meet again,
(most likely on Wednesdays)