Living Life as a Walking Contradiction, The Power of Friends & More Thoughts Since Closing My Business

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Most of my life, I’ve felt like I’m a walking contradiction.

I run the largest blogging group in Minnesota, but don’t “really” consider myself a blogger & don’t really like writing. At all. Even though I just wrote this super long blog post.

I’m an empath, but also don’t understand people most of the time.

I consider myself a “designer” but literally can’t draw to save my life.

My life practically orbits around instagram, but none of my closest friends have one

I attend a conservative christian church, but am more egalitarian in my beliefs

I scroll through online dating apps, but never actually do anything with them

I hate winter, but live in Minnesota

I have a podcast, yet hate the sound of my own voice

I promote coffee chats, but hate coffee

My brand is organized, but my life & house is a mess.

I want some income & job stability, but always want to be independent.

I want to read #allthebooks, but never have time to read one.

I went to film school, but rarely watch movies

The list goes on and on.

Do you feel like that?

Do you struggle with finding your place?

Me too. Always.

The last few years have been so chaotic. Since 2014, I’ve had a total of 7 jobs, 5 instagrams, 4 domain changes, 3 businesses, 2 houses, 1 life changing experience (long story)

I lost my grandma, my uncle, my cat, and my dog within 18 months.

Everyday is different. Ideas come to fruition and then take a deep 180 turn. I pour my heart into something only to pull the plug and watch all the hard work pour down the drain. It’s exhausting.

It’s exciting. It’s #alltheemotions.

At the end of 2017, I made a huge decision to get rid of my editing services and get rid of the jennaredfielddesigns brand that I had been building since 2015.

I was trying to run two very different businesses, one online & one local, plus try to work on my job! Imagine doing that! In addition, running a podcast, a youtube channel, this blog, keep up with my social life (which is pretty busy & important to me), plus workout, grocery shop, make food, pay my bills, have time to watch TV & YouTube…...I was pulling my hair out! I have no idea how working/stay at home working moms do it. Literally boggles my mind.

What keeps me going are a few things. My family, friends & faith are probably the top 3. But mostly my passion for what I’m doing. Running Twin Cities Collective has been the most rewarding thing I think I’ve ever done in my life. I know that what I’m doing makes a direct difference for people, without having to donate money or volunteer. I’m building a business for myself that in the core of it helps people. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.

However, self care & work/life balance are things that I stress so much & I truly believe in.

2017 was probably the happiest and most confident year I’ve ever had. I did so much, not only with my business but also with my friends, which to me looking back, was most of my best memories. Saying no to my friends is usually not an option. I always say yes and usually don’t regret it. I’m in my 20s after all, this is the time I should be making memories!

I never really had close friendships. Yes I had friends, always had them, but mostly the best available and mostly just because I felt like I had to. I’m a pretty independent person for the most part & never understood the importance of friendship until I found the right people. When I hit rock bottom in 2013 & spent the summer in a deep depression, I had nobody. Literally no one. Not one friend. Going back for my senior year, I commuted and thought I was just going to be alone. Nope. God had another plan & gave me a friend group. While we all have drifted apart, I’m so grateful that I got to experience true friendship for that final year of school and the year after graduating.

Finding my church family & my creative friends has truly changed me and I think I’m a better friend & overall person because of my rock bottom friend experience. I appreciate people. I really believe that keeping up with people’s lives and investing is worth it.

I was extremely selfish & I think that’s what warded people off. I wanted it my way or I wouldn’t go. That still happens sometimes, but learning to follow others leads and do what others want to do and not complain, that makes you someone people keep inviting to things.

Looking at myself 5 years ago this month, I was living in LA, chasing a dream I thought I had, being around people I honestly didn’t really like. The photo I posted that was from that time. I didn't want to be on camera. It was both the best & the worst of times, as Dickens would say. While playing the game “Truth Bombs” recently (one of my favorite board games, check it out), I realize that most of my friends didn’t understand my job. That’s fine. But I realized it really made me angry because most of the things they thought were very superficial. Then I thought about the contradictions and realized trying to understand my life is a challenge, not just to others but also to myself. As you know, I’m a #walkingcontradiction. I needed to give people grace. Being selfish is the root of sin, & it’s hard not to put yourself first.

Finding out this year of my empathic nature helped me understand not only myself but my past & why things happened the way that they did. Since finding this out in August, it’s slowly helped heal by knowing when I needed to take a break from people. I think because of the toxic nature of many people I’ve grown up around, I didn’t need that energy & I think that’s why I spent so much time alone. I’d rather be alone than around negative people. It’s been refreshing finding people that are worth knowing. Many of my friends now are completely different than all the people I grew up with, especially because many of them are not my age, but older. They have different backgrounds but most importantly have similar passions to me. It was hard to find that.

This is the most I’ve written in a long time, but it’s just flowing out of me. It’s things I needed to put out there. It’s the reason why I do TCC. Why I’m so passionate about people finding their place, their friends. I’ve been there and I don’t want anyone else going through it either. It sucks.

My life can look great, and 80% of the time it is, but I still have many, many issues that I’m working through. Every year I grow older and closer to understanding myself and what path to go down. There have been so many things in the past that have pushed me to where i am today, total coincidences & kismet fate. But also hard work. Nothing comes for free & if an opportunity comes and you squander it, do you deserve another?

So what’s next?

Hopefully a little more stability. Figuring out that I love educating more than creating has been a huge change in not only my time but also my business strategy. Learning more about my strengths, weaknesses. Connecting with even more people and finding the right ones for my life. Reconnecting with old ones & realizing it's ok to not be as close as you once were. Continuing to fight the good fight and not forgetting where I came from. That success is fleeting.

Thanks for keeping up with me and for reading this entire post. I really do appreciate it.

More stuff (hopefully) coming soon

Jenna