12 October 2014

Protected: Facing loss

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

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06 October 2014

See you at the crossroads

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

In my early 20s, I knew what I wanted to achieve professionally. That goal drove me forward for a very long time. I only wanted that goal met and I wouldn’t let it go. Even when there were signs that maybe I should.

Growing up, work is what fed you, literally. It would provide for you, and having one wasn’t for “fun,” it was to let you be independent and self-sufficient. I have been working non-stop since I was 15 years old for that reason.

Thus, work has defined me as a person for a very long time. It was the fuel I needed to go forward, the comfort when I had personal issues with friends and family, and the direction when I sometimes felt lost. The sacrifices made for work felt worth it because the goal I had in mind was still my prize, and once I got there, I would be set.

Then, I met that goal. And then things got more complicated.

It’s a weird thing, getting what you want, because I know so many affirmations of how to get there, but not so much what to do once you arrive.

When I was 25, I was laid off. I remember feeling like it was a crushing defeat that would bury me in a black hole. And then, a little after that, I got the opportunity to move to Chicago. I was at a point in my life then where I needed a huge change.

I’m back in a very similar position now. And, after a long tenure of being employed, now I’m not.

The subject brings up a trail mix of emotions: scared, excited, nervous, angry and sad.

And I can’t help but laugh at the comparison to 25 year old Jess and that version 10 years later.

I’m back at the same crossroads I was before. But I know of two options ahead of me to explore, I just don’t know which path to take.

Both are scary, both are unknowns, but when I was 25, I felt that I needed to be 100% work-focused, and that Jess isn’t the same me now. Yes, employment is necessary (unless I hit that lotto!) but part of me thinks, maybe I need a break. To quote a wise friend who went through this too, she said, “this could be an opportunity to make positive change.”

But change is scary, and now, I have to embrace it.

Today marks the start of something new, but also the end of an emotional 1.5 months. This has not been an easy road, but at least there is some resolution.

So, I leave this post with advice a friend gave me, when I was having a low moment. “Your job is only one part of who you are. You’re a sister, aunt, daughter and friend first.”

Let’s see what the next chapter brings.



02 September 2014

TV shows I missed the boat on

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

I like TV. I like to watch TV, record it, check out new shows, etc.

But there are a few shows I’ve finally had time to check out a few shows I never watching initially, and, yeah I didn’t like some of them.

The West Wing

I love The Newsroom and have seen other Sorkin dramas so I get his “style” but I don’t get it. I’ve watched 6 episodes and it is not clicking for me. Snore.

How I Met Your Mother

Yes, I know how it ends. And I’ve heard some of the great lines coming out of the show (hello, “woo girls.”) But any time I’ve sat down to watch, I just can’t force myself to finish a whole episode. Maybe I am just meant to enjoy the highlights.

Game of Thrones

I just can’t get in to this. I have so many friends that love this show but I watch and I just cannot get in to it. Maybe it’s the dragons. But, yeah I’ll try this another time.

Pretty Little Liars

I’ve watched Gossip Girl and other teen or tween-focused shows that were adapted from books but any time I watch this, I just see the flawlessly curled hair that lays just perfectly like no real normal person has and I cannot take it remotely seriously (like not even a little bit). I am missing something apparently.

What about you? What shows does almost everyone love but you don’t care for?



18 August 2014

I saw the sign

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Funny story to start, I associate Ace of Base’s hit song, “The Sign” with middle school forensics (aka speech/debate). We would have dances at competitions (since they took ALL DAY) and I always remember hearing this song there.

Anyhow, signs.

Yeah, I believe in them. Sure some stuff may be coincidental but sometimes, I think there is something that happens that really points out to you what you need to be doing.

Here is my recent story about signs.

Six weeks ago, walking out of my MRI, my iPhone randomly started playing music. It selected “Hold On” from Neko Case. It was a clear sign or warning of what was to come.

Six weeks later (aka Friday), I am walking to the sports medicine doctor in my boot and look down to see a heads-up penny on the street corner. I have this thing where I find spare change a lot outside but I only pick it up if it’s heads-up. Superstitious I guess.

But anyhow, I saw it, awkwardly bent down and picked it up.

Shortly after, the doctor told me that I can GET RID OF THE BOOT. Well, start going without it more. X-ray showed no fracture and the physical test yielded no pain. I think I was so stunned, I didn’t know what to say.

Now begins the rehab process and SLOWLY easing back in to weight-bearing activities, including walking without the boot.

There are signs everywhere guys. And I’m glad this one went my way.

14 August 2014

I am a weird people magnet

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

I am.

I could be in Chicago or any city and the offbeat, funky, weird group always find me. I’m not saying they’re all always homeless, but, I mean, that could be one trend among the people who find me.

Years ago, I was walking in my neighborhood and after accidentally bumping in to a woman and saying “watch where you’re going” (it was a GIANT side walk), she literally almost kicked my ass in front of my guy friend. Like, got UP IN MY FACE and said she would do so.

Then, while riding on a bus back from Target, the bus was empty and I happened to be stuck between a man and woman screaming at each other, her saying they slept together, him saying they didn’t and her countering that “JESUS KNOWS.” Coincidentally, Jesus did not give us to sign to know if it was true. Jury is out.

I don’t know why this seems to happen, but it does.  Everywhere.

The latest example was at a train station in Chicago. Me, on a Friday afternoon listening to music while coming home from doing errands, her, a woman waiting for the elevator on the platform as well to take us to the ground floor. It was a necessity for me with the boot. Her, I’m not sure why.

After a while of staring at me (again something I’m used to with this on), she says something to me.

Her: Wow, that [the boot] sucks.

Me: Yeah, that’s one word for it.

Her: How much longer do you have?

Me: Hoping only two more weeks, then transition out.

Note: This is usually where pleasant conversation ends w/most people asking about it. BUT NOT THIS TIME.

Her: You know, I’m just gonna give you a piece of advice.

Me: ……

Her: Use this time. Use this time to find out who your real friends and lovers are. Those who are with you on this journey. The rest, are just fluff. Let them go.

Me: …..okay? [Lovers? As in plural??? Like, more than one???]

Her: Use this time miss. It takes situations like this to tell you who your real friends and lovers are [Jesus here we go with the lovers thing again??? Who says that??]

Me: …okay.

At this point, I’m trying to get out the train station as quickly as I can because I do not want to hear the word “lovers” for the third time. Also, weird.

But she does have a point. Oddly, a point being made from a weird exchange w/a woman at a CTA station.

The boot has taught me a lot. And honestly, I’ve been a little disappointed in several of my close friends. Maybe my expectations are a little off, but yeah, they let me down. And it was a wake up call.

So now I’m just doing my thing, waiting for the next weird encounter with someone. It’s just a matter of time.


  • Early holiday decorations (not before Thanksgiving!)
  • Muffin tops (not the bakery-kind)
  • Bar Louie restaurant
  • Laundry machine hogs
  • County sales tax (10.25 percent - come on!)
  • Michael Scott
  • Harry & David
  • Chicago meteorologists