20 Jan

This was of great help to me as I’m writing my first speech for my public speaking class!

~Jessica M.

American Speaker

As we’ve mentioned here before, we love TED.com as a source for inspirational speeches and speakers. Regardless of the topics they cover, the presenters showcased there are first-rate in terms of their subject-matter expertise, storytelling abilities, sense of humor and poise. You can watch a video of a talk about business or biology and pick up good ideas for speaking in general.

Nancy Duarte, however, did an excellent TED talk about public speaking, so I wanted to share it with you:

Duarte shares her findings on the structure of great speeches and presentations. Just like stories have an arc, she proposes that presentations also have shape. It looks like this:

Duarte illustrates the structure using Steve Job’s 2007 iPhone launch speech and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. Below is a screenshot of her slide about the first half of the famous King speech:

"I have a dream" speech analyzed

I’m very…

View original post 61 more words


Earning My Birthday Wishes

9 Jan

428162_10150582325430283_65074497_nToday its my father’s 46th birthday (or 45th I’m not exactly sure…eek!).  When I spoke with my mom earlier this week she invited me to come to his Birthday dinner, but originally, I declined.  Granted, I only live an hour away from home, and my Mom’s cooking is well worth an hour drive, I still wasn’t sold on going to celebrate my Dad’s Birthday.  When my mom inquired as to why I declined, she wasn’t surprised when I reminded her of how nice (haha!) my Dad usually is to me on my Birthday.  His off putting attitude is something I’ve just learned to brush off my shoulders over the years, but it is still irritating none the less.  My mom disagreed with my decision, but she understood.

After giving it a weeks worth of thought, and at least one more guilt-laden convo with the mother I decided to go home.  Though it’s true that my dad never outwardly gives much care towards my birthday, I realized that is a very surface level fact. The underlying fact is that my father loves me. He would do anything for me, and he very frequently takes every opportunity to anything for me.  In fact, my Dad is usually less than thrilled during all Holidays.  So upon further analysis, maybe its not me that he hates, maybe its the holidays! That’s just a little of my humor, but I suppose if I had to choose a perfect holiday, or a perfect dad every other day, I’d choose the latter.  When all is said and done, I have to remember that my dad is a person too. There are something that I still don’t understand about him, but holidays are just hard for him, even if he never says it.  Regardless, I love my dad, and there’s never a day not special enough to show him.

Do onto others as you would like done onto you.  Gotta go drive to the mountains to celebrate this bday!

Day #9. Today it shined

~Jessica M.

Creating Myself

22 Sep

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself,”

I’m sure I’ve seen this quote before, but today I ran into again while studying at Barnes and Noble and I remember how much I love it.  As long as I can remember I have ardently focussed on the future, actively searching, praying, pleeing for a ray of light to illuminate the path to my destiny, my profound purpose for being on this earth. I’ve been searching for this path in terms of a career.  A way to define myself between the hours of 9am and 5pm.  A professional label that will define who I am, where I live, who others will see me as, and who I will be.  A question that has brought me to


my knees, what will I do in life?

I’ve evaluated this question on many levels, weighing the pros and cons of each  option in attempts maximize the potential outcome. I’ve measured in terms of finance, how much money will I make? I’ve measure in efficiency, how much time out of my life will this take? and on and on. Though I’ve always managed to find a career option that would result in success as defined by whatever index I’d chosen, I have not been able to find a career that I’m wiling to sign on the dotted line for. Literally, hours and hours of research, job shadowing ,questioning, figuring, even counseling! This process has probably has equated to months out of my life dedicated to the above topics, and just when I was on the brink of giving up, this is what I came up with.

I’m going to be… drum roll please…happy.

I’ve decided to reject this ideal of a “career,” with all of my heart and soul.  I’m now fully embracing the ideal of a “life.”  Another great quote that goes hand in hand with this, “Don’t ask what the world needs of you.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. For the world needs people who are alive.” I’ve always been a highly productive and capable member of society, and that alone gives me confidence that I will always survive in life, no matter what I choose to do.  So from now on I’m not asking what I should do, but rather what makes me come alive.  In essence, I’m not finding myself or my path, I’m creating myself, and carving my path, and everyday I’m working on becoming more comfortable with this notion of living rather than what I will be “doing,” because I believe with every ounce of me that this is my key to success, the truest success, happiness.

Day 29, today it shined

~Jessica M.

Fall Leaves, Yes Please!!!

21 Sep

Its September 21st! The first day of autumn, and I couldn’t be more elated! Fall is full of so many simple joys, leaving so much to look forward to.

1.The first snow fall

2.Ugg boots, leggings, and Northfaces (aka CU’s unofficial dress code)

3. pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks

4. pumpkin everything for that matter! Including pumpkin patches!

5. Halloween! Haunted houses, carving pumpkins, corn mazes, fun costumes, scary movies

5. The burning fire at my parents house

7. Comfy clothes cont. fuzzy socks, hoodies, jeans, and sweat pants!

8. Crisp Air

9. Thanksgiving

10. and of course, fall leaves!!

Day 31. Today it shined, but not for as long 😉

~Jessica M.

The Blank Screen Feeling

20 Sep

     Everyone young person in today’s society knows exactly the feeling I’m referring to when I talk about a blank screen.  I mean that blank screen you’re greeted with when you check your phone for the millionth time while awaiting the text from that one special person.  This feeling is always frustrating, mainly because the person you’re dying to hear from is one button away, yet you know for some reason or the other you can’t text them. The saying, “so close, but yet so far,” couldn’t be more appropriate in these anxious moments.  Today I was in a small group discussion (academic based) on relationships and how to identify and verbalize what each person needs to feel comforted and safe in a relationship.  For each person these needs come in different forms. For me, I’ve realized that I need to feel like I occupy space in someone else’s mind, that they’re thinking about me even when I’m not there. Why? I guess this assures me that no matter the obligations that strike in any given day, that person would still rather be with me in their mind. In today’s day and age, that affirmation usually comes in the form of text messages, a simple reminder that I’m important.  When I don’t get messaged from that person, it leaves a whole open space for my imagination to run wild, which is NEVER a good thing.  

The point is, the blank screen feeling is one of the worst feelings to sit with yourself about, rendered incapable of changing your state until that person texts you. I hate this feeling, it makes me feel powerless, dependent on someone else for happiness, and pathetic, but alas, I often have this anxious, “blank screen feeling.” For me, this feeling is often associated with new relationships, times when my status and comfort is not established.  At the current moment, this ever present feeling makes me feel like throwing in the towel on all new relationships. The feeling takes up too much of my time and mental energy.  

The solution? I suppose I could give up on all new guys who don’t conform to my approved texting etiquette, I could not text prospective boys at all, I can learn to get over this feeling, or, as my discussion group suggested today I can articulate my need to be thought about to the provider of my blank screen feeling!  I know I should choose the lader, but for me, shutting down, putting up the stone wall, and walking away is always so much easier.  

This is either a lesson to not be attached to technology, or to finally face my feelings and force myself to be open and honest with men about the ever taboo topic, “what I actually feel!”

Day 29. Today its clouds of confusion in the sky

~Jessica M

Winning Alone. 28.

18 Sep

I never thought I’d say it. Rather, I never thought I’d believe it, but I’m happy to say, I value relationships so much more than achievements.

I first began to learn this lesson this summer, in Tippecanoe Indiana—the loneliest place on earth. i was talking on the phone with my student manager Adam, and he asked me, “Jessica, why do you always want to be #1?” and I stuttered for a moment, because I didn’t know how to respond. What do you mean, why do I always want to be number one? I want to be number one because it proves that you’re the best. He acknowledged my thought and then planted a seed. He said, being #1 isn’t worth anything if you don’t have friends to give you high fives when you’re at the top.

From that point forth I really started to think about how I related to other people, and what I found was this. In normal, non-competitve situations, I was perfectly polite, amenable, and friendly to all people.  However, the second there were some stakes involved, their was a title or position to be attained, or ground to be gained, I threw my politeness by the way side and started looking out for #1, myself.

But then I began to question Adam. But Adam, what if I was right when I put Kyla in her place? But Adam, what if I could’ve gone so much further if I left Jen? and what he said to me was this, “Well Jess, at the end of the day, what’s more important to you? looking like you were right, you were superior, or your friendship with Kyla and Jen?

That’s the simple question that I’ve now gone back to again and again, is this more important than my friendships?

The answer is always, No.

Look out for those around you, treat those who are near you with respect and kindness, and the world will be a better place.

Day 28. Today it shined

~Jessica M.

Never Good Enough is the new good enough. 27.

15 Sep

     When did it become so, that I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, and now can’t write, can’t event think, in a form that isn’t perfect? I mean, when did my standards become so unreachable that I’ve literally paralyzed myself in every way, recently, namely creatively.  I used to feed off of compliments and accolades from others, but now, I scoff and roll my eyes when someone recognizes me for anything.  I brush their niceness off as politeness, or maybe even ignorance. No. You wouldn’t know what a job well done looked like if it slapped you across the face.  A compliment to me was just the simple recognition that I didn’t lack what other people did. No, I’m not fast, they’re just slow.  Though so confident and comfortable in my assertion that I never deserve the praise I ever receive, all the the while I’m screaming from within.

     Screaming because I’m not good enough.  Screaming because I’m not enough. I’m not smart enough, I’ll never be thin enough, I don’t feel nice enough, I haven’t experienced enough,  I’ll never have enough, I can’t be strong enough. It’s never enough. 

      Time and time again my mother, my best friend, my teachers, strangers, even my exes say, Jessica its enough.

When all I can think, all I can believe, all I can say is, Jessica, it’s not enough. It’ll never be enough.

I once hear happiness is the absence of wanting change. So once you are perfectly content, once you want not more, you ask for no change, you are who you are, and that’s ok, that’s when you find happiness.

If this is true, and I believe with all that I know that it is, I will never be Happy.

Well if I’ll never be happy, maybe I can be something else.

I can be appreciative.

I appreciate the fact that people think I’m smart enough, kind enough, fast enough, and thin enough.  i appreciate the acceptance of others, the happiness of others with me, the lack of change people want from me.  I appreciate the gifts I’ve been given. In that, I appreciate that I’ve been given the most incredible and resilient spirit that for God sakes, will not let me rest! Won’t let me sleep, won’t let me be content or happy.  I think that’s just who I’m supposed to be. The spirit that demands winds of change, demands better of herself and those around her. Seeks opportunity for change, for challenge, constantly. I appreciate this about me, as I think it is unique in me. I appreciate that I have a soul and a mind that sees all and feels all to its fullest, and that gives no apologies, and makes no mistakes, simply forges forward. I appreciate each day, because each day is perfect. 

So the next time I’m feeling not good enough, I need to be appreciative, thank myself for never being good enough, an din that moment, letting that be ENOUGH.