31 Laps Around the Sun

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

2020's first post, on my 31st Birthday.

As much as I love when people call me passionate or fearless, or someone that will use their voice - Letting you in on a secret, I actually haven't felt like any of those this year. It's been harder to find my voice in this new season of life. For me, my voice usually comes out in writing. Writing has always been my art, because God knows I am not an artist in the sense of drawing, music, crafting, etc. It's just been recently where I've put thoughts to ink and paper again. And writing my first post on my birthday, I wanted to share my love for this lap around the sun.

This year, like every year, I really owned more of my own narrative (Because do we ever really own all of it?). For its painful parts and the parts that make me happy to be me.

I adore that I grew up in a 174 person town in rural South Dakota on a family farm. I love that my work ethic stems from my family and home state - We finish what we start, and our hard work is our resume. This really set up the rest of my narrative to be strong and gutsy. I wasn't raised by weak people...and in many ways, it's what caused the careers, friends, love, and God that I pursue.

In this lap around the sun, just like most laps, I've embraced the label of breaking stereotypes. I enjoy when people tell me, "I am full of surprises", or that "They never would have guessed I did pageants or know how to shoot a gun or that I like fishing".

I consider it a compliment, when someone can't figure me out. People can't put me in a box, and I live for it. Because I hope people realize pre-labeling people doesn't leave room for humanity or for connection.

I love that I've picked up and moved several times. People wonder why I have 12 bridesmaids and no maid of honor, but it's the price you pay for living in so many places and creating a life with people in those places. If I call you my friend or my home team, it's because I consider you chosen family. I just can't rank my friends because who I am and who I was with certain people at certain times isn't more or less important than the other.

I have learned to enjoy that I do not follow the norm just because someone told me it was normal. Last week, I fixed a couch for a resident, I recruited judges for a pageant company on my lunch break while editing a resume for a graduate student, and then I was working on contingency planning for COVID19 for my department, while also planning a Wedding in another country, coordinating our USA ceremony, and in this week I also was going to Rite of Election as I become Catholic, and when I got home talked to a client in my side hustle about their athletic scholarship and their injury. Nothing about my life has ever been normal. And I love that. I am really happy that I am me.

I am still learning how much power comes from owning your own story...And not living for the expectations of others - Because it's really, really difficult to not do the second, like I said, I am still learning.

Recently, I've had to put up strict boundaries with people. It's my least favorite thing to do. I'm either great or awful at it, and I think a boundary that naturally most people create is one with your parents.

I did the typical 20's thing. My parents considered it my rebellion. But now, my parents are my best advice givers and listeners, and still give me tough love....Because Midwest parents are going to let you know when you are being a fool.

Each birthday, I look forward to the birthday card they send me. Each one makes me cry and laugh because they pick out the perfect card that has half sarcasm and half heart felt. But this year's card was just heart felt and came at the right time.

Both of my parents have always encouraged me to choose my life - Even if they don't agree with all of my decisions (Because believe me, they don't, ask my Momma!). But they also know I will not be happy choosing the life they have in their heads for me. I remember my Mom told me a few years ago when I was living on my own in Monterey Bay, CA and she said, "I just accepted that you may never move back home...that where you go is just where you want to be". And she didn't say it in sadness, but more of an acceptance of who I am is who she is proud to have raised.

I love that the card they sent was a reminder of their unconditional love for me. Because in a year, where I feel like there are 100000 million opinions about my new life chapter, it was a nice reminder that I am not doing too bad in life. She reminded me that it's okay to be me. To be on my path...and wherever I land, they'll love me.

My 31 laps around the sun has made me even more grateful for the narrative that I've gotten to own more of, and grateful for the 2 people who helped create it...I love you Mom & Dad.









Anew

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Reading my final 2018 post from a year ago (LINK) - made me laugh out loud. I was writing from such a space of quiet, solitude, calmness, no stress. Life was chill, and as I said "I am leaving room for the unexpected". Whatever God had for me, I was going to welcome it. I actually posted it 1 day after my first date with my Fiance.

So that room I created in 2018 was really filled to the brim this year...with things and people that made me experience a part of myself that I didn't know existed or a part of me that I used very little of. What 2019 taught me was to be grateful for when God answers my prayers....Because my prayers more or less looked like this - a lot of the unexpected.

I met Aaron in 2018 technically, but we started 2019 with our 3rd date and solidifying our relationship to bring in a brand new year.

In February, I loved getting to visit my bestie in Alaska for her 30th birthday!

I found rhythm at work. I was also promoted from Manager to Director thanks to my supportive supervisor.

This year I inherited 2 roommates - one future brother in law in January and another in October. I also got to meet my future sister in law too who is helping us coordinate for the Wedding.

My niece also lived with us for 6 weeks this Summer. My brother and his fam came to visit in August - I haven't lived at home for 12 years, and this was the first time he came to visit me, I really loved getting to hang with my brother as an adult.

I so happily got to officiate a friend's wedding - We've been friends for 19 years and met at Church camp.

I met my Fiance's Madrina, Tia, Tio, Primas, Sobrina, and Grandparents.

I went to Toronto, Canada for a conference and was reunited with old friends and I got to explore a new city, by myself - Oh how I value quiet time these days.

Made a 16 hour road trip to South Dakota so my Fiance could meet my family and so I could partake in my hometeam's annual 3rd of July reunion. We got to shoot firework, goto the rodeo, ride the four wheeler, and enjoy the best season in my home state. I can smell the yellow clover when I look at photos!

We got to explore Vancouver, Canada, twice, and my Fiance got to meet my cousin living there. We grew up on the farm together!

We had 41 visitors total since I've lived here - All whom we loved, adored, and made so many memories with. We cooked, we belly laughed, we toured Seattle. We love hosting people, and making people feel at home.

I am half way through my conversion into Catholicism and got to experience the Rite of Welcome in December.

I also started to learn basic Spanish.

2019 was also filled with a lot of the hard stuff - illness, medical concerns, racism (interracial relationship, culture shock (adjusting to difference in cultural norms), learning to let go, dealing with people who feel entitled to my life, adjusting friendships and our normalcy with my new normal...it's been a year full of heartache too. But it's what made the other memories so healing, and so sweet.

Each passing year, I grow more comfortable and confident in where my values are. Who I love, who I respect. What I do and what I don't do. What I am not willing to say yes to if it wrecks my peace, and when to 100% say yes, I'll do that with a joyful heart.

For 2020, I chose to focus on the word Anew. I chose Anew because although my heart is the same; my roles and priorities have had to evolve. In 2020, I will be starting year 3 at DigiPen. I will have been with American Pageants Inc. for 22 years. I am getting married to my person. I will become officially Catholic, I will be further learning Spanish.

My life, in many ways feels different from the inside out, but my values, my hometeam, all the things that keep me grounded and blessed are still the same.

This season - Anew - is about rebirth of my self - Spiritually, physically, emotionally, and relationally. It terries me with how many changes have happened, and on the other hand, the adrenaline has completely fed my lust for adventure. Old me would be job searching and looking for my next city to move to. This me, Washington me, is looking at what can I do right in front of me. What does it look like to love fully the life given to me here, even when so many things were unexpected - Good unexpected and tearfully, unexpected too.

My old roomie and friend - We had a day to do vision boards. 2020 - My inspiration for what's to come!





3 years & counting - Side Hustling

Saturday, December 7, 2019


I looked at my calendar reminder for next month that says Jayme Alexis LLC will have been a company for 3 years! These 3 years have legit looked like a line chart that outlines a roller coaster. Productivity has always been my old measure of worth and success. Even if I know and continue to re-learn it's not. When I moved to Washington my client well that went from needing to schedule 3-5 mos out, was more, as long as you told me 3-5 days out I definitely had time. Adjusting from face to face meetings to virtual was also difficult, even with clients I've had for years before I went independently. There is still something about connecting in person!

So between trying to start a new clientele locally, adjusting to my new life roles, I didn't exactly have the capacity to be old me. I always felt like I AM SUPER WOMAN, I CAN DO IT ALL. When really, I learned this year, that I am human, and I can do many things and I can have it all, just not all at once.

I only made half of what I made in 2018...HALF. When I looked at my numbers, it was difficult to accept...and I felt like such a failure! Feeling sorry for myself, I reached out to mentors that I consider people who have invested a considerate amount of time post schooling. Including the one that takes a deep breath when he sees me calling (usually in a panic). Most of them replied more along the lines of..."Welcome to entrepreneurship"...and that "maybe I should be grateful that this year I worked on projects I'd been praying for the year before"...and that "maybe my blessings were in the content and not in my bank account and I am lucky I have a main job to provide for my basic needs and a wedding"....and "Oh so sad you can't travel every other month and you had to stay at home and focus on yourself and your family like an adult".....HA. So now that I was basically told welcome to life and 2018 cannot be 2019 because it's impossible.

I did want to share what made 2019 magical in side hustling. Projects and people who I've become close to. Ones I've been coaching or advising since 2011, and some that are so new that the thrill of a new challenge has kept me up all hours of the night making sure every word I write or say is going to give us that competitive edge because all of this is so life giving.

Pageant contestants that had been a runner up won a state title, participated in their first national pageant and placed, all 3 I worked with. I had pageant companies / partners that I helped double their profits in a quarter and were voted top honors at the Global Beauty awards. I revamped a pageant program that increased their eligibility for $50k+ in scholarship money just by tweaking their criteria and making it more inclusive - something that is a passion of mine. I got to participate on committee for the 4th year in a row for New York Fashion week where one of my former clients/pageant contestants were recognized for being a Rookie to look out for for Alexander McQueens old entourage. Another client renewed their contract with a professional sports team and we've been talking about career changes and transitioning into civilian life because he knows his days in sports are numbered. I also got a year break with a pageant system I've been involved with for 21 years to find out we are going to actually be hosting our national pageant in Atlanta in June where I am recruiting a judging panel that I adore. I am rounding out the year finishing up a judges training for a major pageant system that is new to the state of WA.

This year was a reminder of why I began side hustling in the first place - I love being creative. I love bringing anything good to great. I can't go through the motions of life without feeling like there is purpose. I really enjoy competing in a way that makes myself better, which also makes my work better and my relationships better. I love these niches that make people unique. That bring them joy, and I love being able to tag along and be by their side for their journey. It's beautiful, and wild, and I hope to stay wild.


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