December is upon us! Its amazing how time flies. Today we are privileged to have Jessica with us for the LOL series. There is something about her that is so captivating. Maybe it is her selflessness or maybe it is her love for the outdoors, but she has been one of those inspiring bloggers this year who remind me of the reason I started this in the first place. And what not a better way than to end the year 2013 with her take on LOL.
Hello friends and readers of Sophie and the Rare Beauty blog! My name is Jessica, and I’m a Sailor in the US Navy. Like most people past their young 20’s, I have many stories I can tell in addition to all the crazy ones I have from my experiences as a Sailor traveling to far off places and doing some out-of-the-ordinary things. I love a long, solo run, cooking and baking, sweet wine, exploring new places, hiking, playing with my dogs, writing, scrapbooking, and just being outdoors. I tend to gravitate towards things that are uncommon like being in the Navy. Only 2% of the American population voluntarily chooses to serve in one of the branches of the armed forces. I say “serve” because that’s what we truly do. While defending freedom and democracy is one of our main purposes, half of my time in the Navy has been dedicated to global community relations projects, humanitarian aid, and disaster relief missions.
For me “living out loud” means living a life that speaks strongly, through your actions, about what you believe and who you are. For some that may mean becoming a scientist and dedicating one’s life to finding ways to treat and fight cancer. For others, it may mean being the spokesperson for a particular cause in whatever community they are a part of. Or it could mean that you do your best as much as possible to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. I try to live a life that speaks of my adventurous spirit, my openness, and my belief in being compassionate towards others. While a life as a Sailor, is certainly not for most people, it definitely fits these particular traits of mine. Outside of “work”, I challenge myself and find a “natural high” through running. I started running farther distances much like Forrest Gump did out-of-the-blue one day. You can read more about that story here. Then I remember running one race and loving the excitement and energy I picked up from the other runners and the crowd who had gathered to cheer us on and support us runners every step of the way. I was hooked, and started signing up and training for races. My goal became to collect lots of race medals. I also picked certain big races for my mental bucket list. I find that with each new activity I try, I discover a certain “high” about it, and I want to do it more. I felt this way about hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and anything else that involved getting off the sofa, away from the t.v., and experiencing the world that was waiting outside of the ship and the walls which surrounded me. I just want to be worthy of the life that I was given; I want to have a worthwhile existence, one in which there is no regrets.
One might say that my life-changing moments were when I joined the Navy, when I was deployed to Iraq (after all, that is where I met my husband), when I ran my first race, when I got married. It’s true that these were all life-altering events especially because I wasn’t the same person to some degree after they happened. However, I would say that each decade that I have been alive has been dramatically different from the last, every 5 years feels like the changes of a decade have occurred, and each year has me feeling much different about perspectives and goals. Every 365 days that go by leaves me different from the last. I am getting older, and the person that I was at 18, 21, 25, and 30 is no longer the same. I would say that she is much different; hopefully wiser, but knowing even less about everything than before.
If I could give anyone advice, it would be to “live without regret”. You can take that however you want. Live a life that you can be proud of living, and if you mess up, don’t be afraid to admit it and show that you can grow from it.
That’s it. That’s all I have left to say. I enjoyed being a part of this series, and I am so grateful to have been able to connect with new people here through Sophie. Thanks for reading and I will see you all around here on Sophie’s blog!
Thanks Jessica for being part of LOL. You can find more of Jessica on her blog The Jessica L Blog