The mornings I wake up and immediately throw on a pair of running shorts are some of my best days. Those are the days I allow my body to take charge, before my mind has even awaken from slumber, before caffeine has coursed its way through my system. Usually this action of wardrobe choice will lead to a good run, or at the very least a day filled with constant activity. With two littles under three, activity is rarely something I lack. There are some days I only sit when they are asleep.
Yet it is the days when I actually make it out my door in my running shoes that really take me places.
To recap why I began blogging let's go back to the beginning. If you did not join me from the beginning of my journey into writing, openness, mental health acceptance...allow me to recap. I have battled with anxiety and depression since puberty. We can skim the contribution of hormones and oral contraceptives to this battle, as that's a whole other discussion. So off I go to college, worn out from a pretty rocky adolescence of too demanding of an education and too emotionally charged life experiences. I lasted all of one year at Emory University before calling it quits on college. Yes, I quit. I needed a break and I took a 2 year one. Again, we will skim over the plethora of life lessons afforded during this time...including that time I married a con artist who verbally abused me, that time I almost died from a drug overdose, that time I woke up and realized I may or may not have been sexually assaulted by a work colleague...yea, some break, huh? I pulled through the shit and managed to land an ok full time job that I could not progress in. Not because of any inadequacies or incompetence of my own, but because I had the audacity to be a young female. In a blue collar, boys club world...I didn't get the chance to be boss. So, in true Jessica fashion, I said 'fuck em all' and set off to educate those asshats on just what brilliance looks like.
There I was, a full time employee taking night classes at the local state college, and kicking ass. Take that you ignorant sexist pricks. Fast forward a bit and I transferred to a private college that offered the degree I wanted at night, and I began my journey into psychology. Discovering myself along the way. At this point my family noticed and offered me the chance to quit my job and pursue my degree full time, and so there I was back in school again. In 2008 I completed my BA in Psychology at Wesleyan College, but that was not the turning point for me. My dream began in my final semester, while working on my senior thesis. A dream I all but shelved during graduate school as I ventured into a less people-centric exploration of the brain. Yet two failed career attempts later I find myself ready to transition, ready to stand on my tip toes and bring down that dream. It's a little dusty, but hard work and dirt have never scared me.
I started wanting to incorporate exercise into cognitive behavioral therapy when I first learned there was such a thing. That people actually did just that. One internship with some really hard cases and I decided I didn't have the chops to work with people. But perhaps I just needed a different approach.
Somehow my journey has brought me full circle.
On the brink of training for my first marathon (that's 26.2 miles for you running newbies), having just been conned again...this time over a job that was clearly too good to be true...I began evaluating what I wanted in life.
I want to run.
I want to live.
I want to love and be present for my family.
I want to educate others on the optimal abilities of our brains, brought about through healthy lifestyles and activity.
I want to be free from the stress of working jobs that just don't quite fit me.
I want to write.
But how can I do this?
Insert my husband's dream to one day own his own facility. To begin his own business. To be himself.
Insert my ability to learn, organize, instruct, train, mentor, support.
Insert my need to continue on my journey towards a stronger sense of self, adapting my life to incorporate less stress.
My desire to help others, perhaps not in a clinical sense, but in a human sense.
As someone who has been personally affected by mental illness and taken the time and energy to find the regimen that works for me, it seems only fitting that I share what I have learned along the way.
All of this to say I am not quite done learning, growing, and changing.
Why not take on another title while I am at it?
Coach Mama, PhD has an unique ring to it.
Ware taking a big step. Some may even call it a big risk.
But what is adventure without risk?
I never fathomed in my 33 years that I would be training for a distance of 26.2 miles, nor did I ever imagine I would step out of my comfort zone and embrace a more non-traditional career.
Let alone start our own business.
A family business. You read that right.
But I am fortunate to have an amazing partner. One whose own dreams I fully embrace and believe in, as he does mine.
Together we will do great things.
Together we will learn to move mountains, not carry them.