Day 100: 100 Days of Scary

100+ Days. Unexpected journeys. So much love. All worth it.


This blog post calls for a space raptor running with the space winds.


I put on the happiest music I can think of to write this. All my swing dance friends will know why I picked Gonzalo (and all the non-swing dance ones should check him out here because he and his band are amazing).

The other reason I’m writing this to the lovely tones of my favorite band to bal to? Because it represents a return to my true self. The “me” that I thought I’d lost, and the “me” I was convinced I’d never find again. I’m not the same person that I was, which is a glorious thing. But I also feel like I’m finally the truest version of myself I’d ever hoped to be.

I started this blog series with the sole goal of doing things that put me out of my comfort zone. Okay, and the purpose of giving me one real task a day to focus on. Emotional and mental healing isn’t a straight line. Some days I felt like I could conquer the world and others? Not so much. For those more challenging days, no matter what else was going on I could work on my scary thing.

I could not have predicted how this journey would change me. I absolutely could not, nor would I have wanted to, predict any of it. I do love surprises. I have never been more surprised than I am now, nor have I ever been so full of gratitude. My family – biological and chosen – absolutely made this journey the beautiful, healing, fun experience it’s been.

This post is dedicated to you, oh members of my tribe. It wasn’t until I was explaining who was in my tribe that I realized just how many of you there are. Because people I’ve known for a short while, and people who I’ve known for years; through swing dancing or living in Los Angeles; through Viable Paradise and Paradise Lost, in all its space raptor glory?

You’re my people. You’re my tribe.

Yes, I did the work. I will own that. I’ve worked very hard to heal. I read. I wrote. I reflected. I got back to nature. One day I woke up and realized I wasn’t sad anymore.

But you, my tribe? You held my hand every step of the way, sometimes quite literally. You laughed with me, and cried with me, and made me feel the love. And oh boy, do I feel loved. I feel so loved and know I love you,too.

I can’t wait to see what the next 100 days bring, for all of us. It doesn’t seem like a large enough word, but I will say it anyways.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Yes. Thank you. I love you.



Day 99: 100 Days of Scary

blog pic

Day 99: I say Yes.

Did you ever wonder if you actually got what you wanted if you’d be brave enough to accept what the universe sends you?

Throughout this entire blog series, I’ve never been more scared than I’ve been the last month or so. Almost every day it seems that I’m constantly being tested to see if I’m ready to step into being the person I’ve always wanted to be. Because of timing, there hasn’t been much of an opportunity to think too much.

I’ve just needed to close my eyes, take a deep breath, and go. At every turn, I’ve been encouraged to just say yes.

My good friend, Joe, told me he saw things going gangbusters for me here shortly. I didn’t really believe him, but I tried to. I approached it like an experiment: pretend you’re hopeful, and enjoy the quiet time. I kept myself open to it. I said yes to the possibility.

Joe? You were SO RIGHT.

I’m doing work that I love; work that makes my heart and soul sing. I’m challenging myself in new and different ways. I have wonderful people in my life who are supporting me through all these big changes and encouraging me at every step of the way.

And when you meet someone really special – someone who makes you laugh, who is as big of a geek as you are, and who tells you that your first date was the best date of his life, and you feel the same – who asks you to be exclusive, you close your eyes, take a deep breath…

…and you just say yes.





Day 98: 100 Days of Scary

We are down to the last 3 entries, my friends. What a ride it’s been.

Don’t worry, I’ll save the big speech for the final blog.

Day 98: I choose myself.

Most of these action steps haven’t happened independently of each other. They definitely didn’t happen on one day, but this one? I clearly had an “a-ha!” moment where choosing myself became actionable.

I chose me by choosing my health and well-being over what I felt I “should” be doing. I chose to focus on some new writing projects that I’m loving more than I ever thought possible. I’m choosing belief in myself that I can transition into a career that will make me ecstatic to get out of bed in the morning. I may not know what any of this looks like yet, but I believe that this is the best place to be. My heart is open enough to know what I want, and my mind is grounded enough to keep my focused on the work.

The rest of it? I’d rather not control this so much anymore. It’s more fun to just focus on the things I can do, and keep myself plugged into the universe around me. The last month has been downright magical in all areas of my life.

I stopped some negative internal dialogue that’s been going on for most of my life. Normally this returns like Gollum after the ring, and with a vengeance. Instead? I found true self-acceptance. For my flaws, for my good qualities, for things that I want to improve. I just let it all go.


I would be remiss if I didn’t pause a little bit here to talk about the journey you’ve all been a part of. I still remember – vividly – days where I was convinced that maybe this would be as good as things ever got for me. I didn’t have faith that things would change, even though a part of me knew that change is the one constant.

I’m at a much fuller, healthier, wholehearted place. This is good.


Day 97: 100 Days of Scary

Day 97 (multiple days): I choose action

Remember Day 95, where I chose hope? Because a world without hope isn’t worth living in, etc.?

I did a lot of thinking. Lots of walking whenever I could get myself out in nature in between a heat wave that I hope ends any day now, but the humidity rant is one for another day.

Much like getting myself out in nature, I needed to take action. Hope – and many other positive emotions – are active. Much like a lab full of clones in stasis, they require constant care and nurturing to become the best little clone assassins they can be. It’s not enough to say you are hopeful or loving, or kind, or whatever. You have to do it and you have to be it.

clone bone

I decided I was healthy enough in all regards to really put myself back out there again. I reactivated my OkCupid profile. I updated my profile picture to show off my awesome tattoo, and then I promptly decided I had done enough for one night and would update my questions later. I had no time frame, felt no pressure, and just said I’d see what happened.

It was a big deal for me to do this. Okay, it was HUGE. GIGANTIC. MASSIVE.


Day 96: 100 Days of Scary

Day 96 (August 7): I choose to have more fun.

I make a conscious decision to have more fun in my life. Goofy, silly, pure unadulterated fun. No purpose, no end goal in mind. Just fun for fun’s sake.

I practice being a lighthearted person.

My version of fun? Buckle up for pure ridiculousness.

  • I binge watched “Gravity Falls”, which is now one of my favorite shows of all time.
  • I make a delicious, homemade gin and tonic (just one!). But it’s strong enough that I..
  • Wrote – get this!  – for fun! And, to confess…
  • Made an internet purchase. Yup, I ordered my starter Waddles. Confession: I own 2 stuffed animals, and both were purchased after a cocktail. I’m a lightweight, and also apparently a child…er…childish? Yeah, we’ll go with that. Plus piggy.Starter Waddles

Day 95: 100 Days of Scary

This post is dedicated to my beautiful and wise friend, Christiana. She reminded me that there is beauty and wonder in hope.

Day 95: I choose hope over cynicism.

Hello wonderful people!

After I got caught up on the blog, I felt like I hadn’t done anything that was really putting me outside of my comfort zone. At least, not to the level that I felt were worthy of the last five days of my 100 days challenge.

Since it’s my challenge, and my blog, breaking the rules seemed more than appropriate.


I have spent far too long wearing cynicism as an armor that never fit me. I’m not naturally cynical; I’m naturally ridiculous and silly. I tried cynicism on for size, and I was never so wrong as to when I tried to rain on others’ parades. It was minor in the grand scheme of things, but I still felt shitty about it. I would never want to pee in someone else’s cheerios. It was so counterintuitive.

I think I hoped that being cynical would shield me (hint: it doesn’t). Instead it robs me of the very things that make me Jess.

So to Christiana, and to my very wonderful and understanding friends and family, thank you. Thank you for reminding me to hope.

I love ya’ll.




Days 70-79: 100 Days of Scary


If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.
—Margaret Atwood

Day 70 (June 29): Changed things up a bit with a cute, shaggy new haircut for summer.

Day 71 (June 30): Decided that part of investing in me means that I’m going to be scared a lot of the time. Future Me will also be so much happier.

Day 72 (July 1): Very first freelance/collaboration night for my big freelance project. It. WAS. AMAZING. We worked on the project until the English language stopped making sense.

Day 73 (July 2): Its July already? WOW. Looking forward. For the first time in a long time, I feel hopeful about the future. I’m letting myself be hopeful.

Day 74 (July 3): Embracing where I’m at now. Which means dropping all the “I should be doing/having…” talk that I’ve given myself all my life. I’m practicing patience.

Day 75 (July 4): Baked chocolate bacon cupcakes and went to a BBQ with new people. The holidays hit me hard this year, so just attending was difficult. Very glad I did – met wonderful new people, had a wonderful time, and took this picture.

Also? Right after this picture was taken, the girl next door let me HOLD HER CHICKEN. That is not a euphemism. Her chicken is named Copper and she made happy clucks as I petted her feathers.

4th of July

Day 76 (July 5): Send friend requests to new people I met.

Day 77 (July 6): Continue to put my self-care first. Life is so much better because of it and I’m able to get more done as a result.

Day 78 (July 7): Started a new short story. Maybe a longer work, but I’m having fun with it. Most importantly, I’m writing!

Day 79 (July 8): Sang in the car driving home, like a fool who didn’t care. I didn’t, and I don’t. It was fun.

Days 58-69: 100 Days of Scary

The best time for book planning is while you’re doing the dishes.                              – Agatha Christie


Day 58 (June 17): Started a semi-regular yoga practice again. My body is so much happier, especially since I sit all day at the day job. Not as strong or flexible as I’d like to be – yet.

Day 59 (June 18): Realized I’ve felt really good for about a month now. It’s been consistent, and that, to me, is scary. Good, but scary. This time, I’m not waiting for a bottom to drop out. I’m just living.

Day 60 (June 19): Took the leap and hung out my shingle on I still need to get set up with the marketing stuff, but hey, I’m putting myself out there.

Day 61 (June 20): Signed up for a writing class on Skillshare with Daniel José Older. My writing block is so bad right now, and I need to be forced out of it. I figure the “just do it” necessity of taking a class will help.

Day 62 (June 21): Accepted my first big freelance project. SO EXCITED.

Day 63 (June 22): Got involved in an online Google group where we encourage each other as creatives. It’s fun!

Day 64 (June 23): Researched some new skills I’d like to have. Started acquiring those skills. It’s good to be a beginner again.

Day 65 (June 24): Got my ticket for the 4 day Tiki Oasis extravaganza. Going with a friend, and very excited to have a 4 day staycation.

Day 66 (June 25):  Spent the day with good friends at a wine, beer, liquor, and food festival in Pomona. Had a wonderful time. Laughed so, so hard. Also? Discovered I don’t like mezcal.

Day 67 (June 26): Started journaling again.

Day 68 (June 27): Had a phone meeting about taking some classes that would bridge tech and writing. Also working to make sure I’m not so committed to outside things that I have no room to breathe.

Day 69 (June 28): At the recommendation of my friend and mentor, Steph, I reached out to people in my network and asked the following questions:

  1. What am I good at?
  2. What attributes make me “Jessica?”
  3. What do you see me doing? Or doing next?

More than one of them made me ugly cry. I think if everyone did this exercise, they would learn to see the beauty in themselves. I sure did.

Days 80-89: 100 Days of Scary

Day 80 (July 9): Spent a glorious day with one of my dearest friends and his husband – first part of the day was co-working on our own projects, following by delicious grilled fish and a horror movie to end the night. Perfect Saturday.

Day 81 (July 10): Spent a glorious and work filled day on my big freelance project. By the end, we concluded that it was finished (besides clean-up work). My writing partner and I celebrated with chocolate. Total elation and exhaustion, rolled into one.

Day 82 (July 11): Put the final touches on my first big freelance collaborative project. I have never been so tired – and I’ve never had so much fun.

Day 83 (July 12): Told my boss I was taking a half day on Friday because I was hitting burn out. Very happy I recognized that I was running so out of steam that even the weekends weren’t enough recovery, and very proud of myself for taking care of my needs first.


“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.”
—Annie Dillard

Day 84 (July 13): Had the big, bold realization as I was walking out the door to go to work that the reason I’ve been so scared through this process is I’ve never once put faith in myself. I’ve put it in everyone and everywhere else but me.

That’s a belief that, as scary as it is to change, is so, so necessary. I’m happy to let this go.

Day 85 (July 14): First tiny freelance project for a new client. I was terrified but it went off without a hitch. Very happy and excited. Also, learned some cool new things.

Day 86 (July 15): Opted out of going to the company rager and went ocean kayaking with one of my dearest friends. Not only did this check off something on my bucket list, but it was a great reminder to all the fun times I had kayaking when I lived in PA.

Also? Did really well physically. Arms were nowhere near as sore as my legs and abs were the next day.

Day 87 (July 16): I put my scale in the closet. I was using that number as more than a measure of my weight, and it was getting unhealthy. Instead of focusing on all the new and fun exercise I’m incorporating, or the fact that I’ve been eating healthier for months now, I was focused on that number.

The fact that it was hard to do showed me just how badly this needed to be done.

Day 88 (July 17): Spent a glorious day in my PJs doing absolutely nothing. Watched “Mr. Robot”. Had zero regrets.

Day 89 (July 18): Celebrated fitting into a sweater that didn’t fit when I bought it. WOO!

Days 90-94: 100 Days of Scary


Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. ~ Anaïs Nin

Hello everyone! Yeah, I know – I’ve been really remiss in keeping up with this blog.

The great news? I’ve actually been doing some freelance writing work, which has taken my time in new and glorious directions.

I started this blog for a few reasons. The first, to reboot my life in new and wonderful ways when my almost 3 year relationship ended. After having someone I loved break my heart into so many shards of glass, I had no idea what I had left to put back together (spoilers: A LOT). I needed a place to see the results of my daily work, because, let’s face it, we don’t often see our results.

The second reason? Because I have a form of depression called anxious depression, that manifests with a constant, chronic low-level anxiety. It starts when you’re pre-verbal, which means that my normal has always been a low-level anxious state.

It means for my entire life I couldn’t identify anxiety as an emotion, because I’ve always felt that way. And I had no idea that’s what it was.

No idea, that is, until I finally got things squared away to the point that I now know what a day without anxiety feels like. Which, in turn, made me anxious because IT’S A NEW FEELING OMG AND THEN WHAT IF IT JUST MEANS I’M CRAZY, AND…AND…AND…

As the last five days of this blog comes to a close, I wanted to express my gratitude for everyone who supported me through this and through all the trials and tribulations of the last year. I’m feeling like the best version of me I’ve ever been, and as wonderful as that is, it’s also scary for me, and probably more so for someone who isn’t battling anxiety on a daily basis.

But it’s so much less scary when you have wonderful family and friends to see you through it. Thank you all for being a part of my life.

I feel a million miles away from the girl who had a full-blown panic attack wondering if this was all there was, or all there ever would be.


Day 90 (July 19): Had a wonderful and exciting meeting with my friend and mentor, Stephanie. Said yes to more exciting things. That will announced later. Maybe🙂

Day 91 (July 20): Said yes to a thing. More details to come later when said thing is more firmed up.

Day 92 (July 21): Spoke up about something at the day job, knowing that it was probably going to go unheard. It wasn’t heard, and oh well. But at least I said something for me.

Day 93 (July 22): Took a quick coffee break when my brain was stuck on a problem. Happy to report that coffee really did solve it – and so did just taking a few minutes to figure out how to do something smarter instead of harder.

Day 94 (July 23): I went to the Black Christmas Beer tasting at a local pub. The stouts and porters were dark and bourbon-laced; their grilled cheese game (with tater tots, I might add) was 100% on point. Two patrons brought their dogs, which meant I got to snuggle a bigger, but spitting image version of the dog my grandparents had when I was growing up and who I named Sandy. I also got to snuggle the sweetest Doberman who was super excited to get some love.

The big thing was: I went out, I socialized with people I don’t know, and shared beers. A good time was had by all.