Live A Great Story

Darling Days

Aug 10

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Picture this: Fast forward 10 years, you’re talking to a complete stranger. He/she asks you – what’s your story.

Story 1: About 5 years ago, there was a time when I found myself obsessed with the status quo. I mean –to have fun, I had to be out on the town. To be happy, I had to have a boyfriend. To be cool, I had to have that bag + 10 others. And to be relevant, I had to have a million friends and a social media feed to prove it. Right? I was just living in sort of an everyday motion; the status quo, then repeat.

Story 2: Fast forward 3 years, I was in the midst of a full load including Chemistry 2 and Biology 2 at UT, working 20 hours/week at Kendra Scott, updating my [fledgling] blog, and pulling my hair out while I was at it. I didn’t have time to hit the town because I worked evenings, I couldn’t afford a cool bag, my social media only had pictures of lattes because I practically lived at Starbucks (#caffeineaddict), and my blog had one follower and it was my mom (lol). PS – I used to call these days the dark days.

But you know what I learned during the dark days? Hard work. And that good things – like a degree, a paycheck, influence, a career – don’t come easy. They take a lot of honest hard work, discipline, perseverance, and patience. Hard as it was, these became tools in my arsenal that took me places I have never even dreamt of.

Now let’s compare the two stories. I can tell you now which one is my favorite story to tell. Can you guess? You got it – the dark days. I was shaped by experiences that yes, were hard, but wow, they make a great story. I can also tell you right now that if I were to ever tell anyone story number 1, he or she would probably yawn in my face and say “Yes, Jessi, we’ve heard it all before.”

The idea to write a post about “Live a Great Story” is just to encourage a sense of purpose behind whatever season of life you’re in. I know we all are tempted to complain about the season if it isn’t easy and/or if it’s looking like the status quo on Instagram. But those seasons are precisely where we create the real stories. The real question is: is there something that you’re doing, working so hard on, that you can look back in 5-10 years and say:  I learned ____ because of ____, I became x because of y, I accomplished this because of that? It may not always be glam and it may not have an Instagram filter slapped on it [I can tell you right now mine most definitely was not] – but that’s where the story is most exciting and that’s where it becomes your own and not everyone else’s.

There are a lot messages out there. That to have fun we must be partying, to be happy we must be in a relationship, and to look cool we must be social and out at the bars every weekend – and then be sure to post about it. But when you fast forward and place yourself in your future shoes, whatever society was whispering in your ear back then puts you in the same ole’ boat as everyone else (again, yawn?). This is where God is giving you the ability to create a story unique to you.

I like the quote: “The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.” I personally had to re-evaluate my story, and boy, am I happy that I did. Remember, the struggle is not only part of the story – it’s actually the best part. Fast forward again 10 years: what would you have to say about yours today? XOXO

all images via pinterest ; image sources: neon heart sign1 / 2 / 3 (unknown) 

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  1. Destinee

    I LOVED this post! Finishing up my undergraduate degree, working part time, and trying to maintain my little corner of the internet have been such a struggle lately, but this post really reminded me of why I am doing it, where I have been, and where I will be in ten years! Thank you for sharing!

    XO, Destinee Nicole

    1. Ohhhhh wonderful I’m so glad! Excited to hear it lifted your spirits, you’ll look back on it and be proud! Xo

    1. So true! The question is a tough one but it’s a good reminder for everyday life! Thanks Vanessa ! Xo

  2. Lindsey

    I am not one to normally comment on blog posts despite having looked at many, many blogs over the past several years. I just wanted to say, though, that this post was very encouraging for me as I am trying to discover my end goals in life. Thank you, Jessi, for spending so much of your time encouraging and inspiring your readers. You give me more hope that all the effort and perseverance I have taken throughout and continuing college to get where I am at will be an accomplishment to be proud of. I for one can say that it is immensely appreciated. THANK YOU.

    1. You’re making my day! And of course – to be honest I felt the same way about my degree since the science was such a burden in the midst of my work schedule! In hindsight, such a blessing. So happy to deliver a pop of inspo – and so so glad you loved the post! Keep going, you’ll find it! Xo

  3. Brittany

    Once again, LOVED your post. I always feel like you’re speaking to me. So inspiring! Thanks Jessi!


    Brittany || The Everyday B.

  4. Courtney

    This is all so true! Often times it’s through the struggles and uncomfortable times that we really find out who we are and what we are made of!

    Love you

  5. Bonnie

    Yes, I did like the blog! Perseverence ! Hard times make us send our roots down deeper to get nourishment.
    Deeper roots create greater stability and strength! Thanks for sharing how those hard times made you stronger
    And grateful. Love the fact you can remember having only one blog follower and it was your Mom!
    Thanks for sharing your journey Jessi!

  6. Helen

    I loved this post! I am definitely in my own “dark days” myself, but nothing is making me happier than working towards my dreams. I know one day the hard work will pay off!

    XO Helen |

  7. Leftbankgirl

    Beautiful and inspiring post! The quotes are fantastic! Sometimes the darkest times are when you discover yourself and your strengths

  8. Ruchi

    What an amazing post! So many of us have been here and are now reaping the fruits of those dark days. I’m happy to have seen those days and the failures that came with them. Those days taught me how to be successful and mostly how to be humble and respectful! Get it girl!

  9. Robin Paris

    Yes! Yes, yes, yes.
    That’s why journaling is so important. If you write down your hard times, your struggles, you can look back and say, “Wow”.

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