Happy New Year friends! It’s hard to believe that my first post of 2020 is two weeks in, but I’ve been planning & preparing and I wanted to come back to you with a bang. Funnily enough, I’m posting this around the same time as last year’s reflection post, which was January 21. If anything, at least I’m consistent! I hope you brought a snack. If not; go grab one. It’s about to be a long ride down memory lane!
2019 – Wow. What a year, huh? When I think of 2019, I think of it as my “building” year. At first, I had some pretty negative reflections, especially business-wise, but then I remembered Elizabeth Gilbert’s statements that I, Jessica, am not a Fortune 500 company! I do not need to feel like every single year of my life must “outperform” the last business-wise. More importantly, that I am separate from JITK, albeit an essential part of it, and that as I grow older it’s more and more important for me to distinguish myself from the company lest I get completely lost in my work. That whole sentiment reflects this year for me. While I did grow business-wise, it wasn’t as exponentially as like 2018 was, which at first was a real bummer. Personally though?! WHAT a difference.
If you recall, my 2019 word was SEEK, and it was the overarching theme for the year. SEEK, I did. I truly got to know Jessica, once and for all, for better and for worse, far more than I ever had my whole life. That started with a sudden decision on January 25, 2019, around 8 PM in the night with a pair of scissors in my hand and lots of snipping. The second I chose my word I knew: I wanted to do all the things to get to the real Jessica, which included cutting off all my processed hair and going natural. What a decision that was for me.
2019 was full of lots of adventure and new situations. Firstly, we moved houses a few days before 2019 started. Our new home is about twice the size of our last, and honestly, it took me the entire year to adjust! We still have unpacked boxes after I broke my leg (again) and photos still to hang up, but I know everything will get done in its proper timing. On top of moving, we wanted to truly travel, and boy, did we travel! For the entire summer! So much more on that below; but all in all, it was quite a good year.
So many things happened this year! I love the structure that I created for the 2018 Reflections/Recap so I’m going to follow it for this post too.
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“Don’t small up yuhself fi nobody” – my husband, Gavin ✨ I remembered years ago, telling a coworker I had just discovered a new skill I was good at and sharing it excitedly with her, only to be teased that I *always* had a new interest, that I could never decide on just one thing, and why couldn’t I just settle on one thing. Feeling deflated, I remember making a “decision” that I did indeed need to settle on one thing and that I was all over the place. Crazy, right? ✨ ✨ Fortunately, that terrible “decision” lasted only a few weeks, but a life lesson has lasted with me ever since. Who am I to NOT explore all the God given talents that I have been gifted? How could I decide to hold it all in, just for the ability to “settle” on one thing? ✨ ✨ In those weeks following, I realised that I was just and have always lived life LIMITLESS and with no bounds. If I didn’t have that mindset I would never have this life!! If I just settled and chose one thing, would I be this diverse human? ✨ ✨ So I am here to tell you – don’t be afraid to live your life large and in charge. Or as my husband reminds me all the time, “don’t small up yuhself fi nobody – YOU deserve to take up space.” 💕
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CHANGING MY DIET. 💚🌱A week ago I shared that I fixed my sleep and I got an overwhelming amount of you message me personally to find out how. So to wrote a blog post about it. The post goes into the ultimate detail but long story short here’s my life update: • • Breaking my leg basically saved my life. If I hadn’t broken my leg…I wouldn’t have gone to physio and found out that my blood pressure was 179/93. You read that correctly. 24 hours after making the most minor but shocking change, my blood pressure went right back to normal. • • I’ve switched my diet. Yes, I’m still vegan, but as you’ll find out when you read the post, I was a very high carb vegan and it wasn’t doing well for my anxiety or my overall mental & physical health. I’ve now switched to a way of eating that is healing me. I have never felt better than I do eating this way. • • I’m now exercising daily again. I haven’t done so consistently since college! The dopamine, the serotonin the endorphins. How was I doing this before exercise?! Shoutout to @marillewellyn for the bomb weight lifting guide I’ve been following alongside my favourites – HIIT & cycling. • • I’ve started doing intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has DIRECTLY positively impacted my sleep. No more midnight meals while working. No more midnight working. Again; the blog post has it all. • • I hope you guys are able to read the post & that it helps you. LISTEN to your body. . Your body is trying to tell you what it needs, always. I finally did after it was screaming at me for years. I’m so happy I have. I love you all and thank you for giving me the confidence and courage to share the new scary and exciting things going on in my life always! Link in my bio for the blog post: https://jessicainthekitchen.com/ootk-changing-my-diet-fixing-my-sleep-intermittent-fasting-life-update/
Breaking my leg – again. It’s actually hilarious to me now that I’ve broken the same foot in the same place, twice now in my life! It wasn’t funny then, of course, either of the times. I wrote about how this eventually saved my life (no, really), so while it was a challenge at the moment, I am glad it happened.
Imposter syndrome. This stemmed again from the recipe ranking issue/error that messed up my recipes. I started having some terrible thoughts. How did I not know this would’ve been an issue? Am I even a proper business owner? Am I even good at food blogging? That combined with the fact that I didn’t produce as many videos or blog posts last year as other posts, led to some serious imposter syndrome. It leaked into every area of my life. I found myself asking Gav and my mom to look over so many professional correspondences for me since I had convinced myself that I didn’t know what I was doing. It took being very kind to myself, recognising that these feelings of feeling fake weren’t accurate and that I AM successful to really push me through imposter syndrome. So far for 2020? I’ve gotten pretty good at trusting that I KNOW what I am doing, and acting on that instinct. It’s been a powerful affirmation for me – “I know what I am doing.”
I, Jessica, am enough, just as I am & I am more than my work. I learned the importance of BEING, not just DOING. Oh friends, I am a doer. In fact, I’m such a doer than I have to plan days off, else they won’t happen. Many times I feel so angsty if I’m not doing. This all made so much sense after I learned about my enneagram number last year (I’m a 3). You see, the issue with always doing is that I’ve always felt like I’m essentially earning my keep in this world solely by accomplishments. I want to use up ALL my talents, all the time, with just enough sleep to wake up and keep going on. To leave a true impact on the world. I want to make a difference. There’s nothing wrong with any of that; but that mindset led me to believe that if I wasn’t doing, I wasn’t contributing, which meant I wasn’t making an impact, which meant I wasn’t enough if I wasn’t doing. Sitting still or simply relaxing began to feel like wasting time, and that I wasn’t good enough by being just as I am. It got so bad that I worked throughout the majority of our Bali trip, something I truly regret.
After that regret, I began to recognise the importance of being. Of taking spontaneous days off. Of going weeks, WEEKS! In the holiday season not working. I got more comfortable “being”. I’m not going to act like it’s easy, it’s not. “Am I wasting time?! I’m almost 30!” But I learned that especially as a 3, I need to feel comforting being. Existing. Knowing I matter more than my accomplishments and my work. Getting into things I love that have nothing to do with blogging or photography or making money. Knowing my family will love me regardless. It’s been a true lesson that I look forward to continuing learning in new ways, over and over.
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it is a blessing / to be the colour of earth / do you know how often / flowers confuse me for home 🌻 – @rupikaur_ 🌻 🌻 Being here makes me want to start back my garden! I feel like I truly thrive in nature and I always feel so grounded while in it, so being surrounded by so much has made this week extra special for me. The property is blooming with sunflowers everywhere. I’ll try to keep explaining just how magical this place is, but words don’t do it justice. Let’s just say you’re going to want to read my blog post about it. Have you ever been to Rancho La Puerta? Do you have a garden/plants? 🌱
I want to create real systems and processes for not just my business, but also my life. Although many friends would describe me as “organised”, there are many times that I feel like I do things far too unprepared or with an ill-thought-out plan. I’ve led a completely different path this year. I already have months of content planned to execute, and Gav and I have developed a far better content production system for this year. It’s made such a huge difference already and is a constant reminder: there’s always a better way to do this.
I also plan to ask for and allow for more help this year. I get very caught up in proving that I can “do it all myself” which is difficult to admit but so true. Additionally, sometimes I allow myself to feel like I carry the burden for all young, successful black women on my back. Constantly proving that yes, I too am educated and skilled and the photographer and videographer and the editor in the midst of constantly hearing “so your husband must take your photos, right?”. I’ve let the doubtful questions and rude assumptions allow me to overburden myself, refuse help, and be stubborn about sharing duties. What a waste of time! People will think what they want to think, and you must always do what is best for you, your sanity and your business. This year, I’ll allow myself to put myself first in that regard, in whatever form it brings. My goodness, it would be a relief to share some of it, that’s for sure!
Word of the Year: LOVE
“In all things, do it with love” 1 Corinthians 16:14. Late last year, the word love kept coming to me in the way of showing love to others. I want to ensure, that in all that I’m doing this year, I’m doing it with love. That when I want to get angry, I try and think “How can I do this with love?” It’s not about dismissing fair emotions, but for me, it’s about embodying one of my core values in the best way possible. It’s already helped me so much, especially with communication. To breathe first, walk away if upset, and then come back with a view of love. I am looking forward to how this word will lead my year – I’m so excited about it!
That’s IT, my friends!! How was your 2019, friends? You can let me know in the comments section below, or even via email! I’m wishing you the BEST year yet!
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