i’m scared

Guys, I gotta admit, the last few days I’ve been scared.

Not like fearful or worried constantly… just moments of lulled uncertainty and contemplation. The past few days I’ve been alone unpacking while Mr. Lively is at work and before the Jess LC girls are back in the studio (which, by the way, is no where near ready yet).

Which has given me a lot of time to reflect.

While I waited (very) impatiently for this move and the general life transitions I’ve had lately, I now find myself in a completely new life. 

I thought that I would feel resplendent. Triumphant. Confident.

I had designed my life with such great intention that I was able to take the steps needed to craft the life I always imagined.

But though the fairytale came true, the reality is that I am now in uncharted waters.

In a way I feel like a freshman during her first week in the college dorms. I went from big fish in a little pond to small fish in Lake Michigan.

I’ve never been a wife before. I’ve never lived in a home this expansive as an adult before. I’ve never ended my company before. And the life/career balance I’m striking in one month is pretty darn radical (I’ll explain more in November)… and I have no idea if it will really work.

Glancing around me I seek some sort of familiarity, even in my surroundings. But the truth is that I’ve designed so much of the new home with new decor better suited to the new space, that I don’t even recognize my own possessions as comforting. Mixing Mr. Lively’s belongings with my own, though great in the long run, is making my stuff feel even more foreign still.

Though I dreamed of this moment in time for the past three months incessantly, I look around myself and say “how did I get here?”

I have a lot of growing to do.

Needless to say, I know that time will help me learn and grow into this new life of mine. And thanks to Mr. Covey, I have the principals I need to help me navigate these uncharted waters.

But beyond it all, I am still humbled by the new life I live.

And if it ever seemed like I had it all ‘figured out’ this summer, I thought I did. But now I have a beginners mind.

Which really, is the best kind to have.


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  1. kelsey

    your honesty is so appreciated, jess! i know you have a good head on your shoulders – and that you’ll get through this better than ever!

  2. rita

    you have such great perspective and i know you will benefit so much from this new beginning! i also freaked out a little after getting married and finishing grad school because all of a sudden everything i’d worked toward was complete and i had to reset and create new goals… and after the initial freak out, it’s been an amazing few months!

    thank you for being so honest and open and sharing this!

  3. Hi Jess,

    You are in that limbo stage (which is the worst!) and you haven’t had a chance to really feel and relish in all the wonderful things these new life changes will bring. It will come and all feel just as great as you expected if not more so. Just keep plowing through those boxes, spend quality time with Mr. Lively and keep moving forward with your business as planned. Your new life will fit you like a glove before you know it 🙂


  4. you just need time – don’t be afraid to let yourself have that. that means being non-judgmental about what you are or aren’t feeling about all your changes. it will all come when you’re ready.

  5. Thank you for this post. I’ve been feeling some similar feelings since starting my business, but in time, I know this (good) change will become familiar and more comfortable – for you and for me!

  6. Ashley

    Hello! I am a new reader, but I really love your blog! I am still in a transition period where I have a full time job, but also a successful and growing Wedding Invitation Design business. I am so close to being able to work for myself full time, but as it gets closer to my self imposed deadline I am absolutely terrified. I mean, this is what I have been dreaming about for ages, but now that it is so close I am filled with self doubt. What if all the business dries up as soon as I quit my day job? What if I don’t love working for myself? I am hoping that when the time comes for my “new life” that I can adjust quickly and never look back! Good luck with this new phase in your life, even though it takes some getting used to I am thinking we will love our leaps of faith!

  7. Karen

    Whenever you first get on a boat you always feel every rock and sway. With time you adjust and don’t even feel the waves. Don’t panic. My suggested life jacket would be to find some old girl pals & go for coffee. Us girls love to chat & chat & chat. We’ll ponder every little detail. One big transition in to marriage is the comprehension that our hubbies don’t typically require so many words….nor do they even want to hear them all! They just listen for what they need to fix. Perhaps setting up a regular weekly coffee chat with a girlfriend will help ease your transition in to unchartered waters. Trust me, in just a matter of time you’ll be not only happy you dropped anchor, but your new life — I’m not going to lie it won’t always be smooth sailing, but you’ll be thrilled to be on board! You just have to find your balance.

  8. Kate

    YES! You hit the nail on the head for me today Jess. Yes. New things = scary. You are so brave! The places you are going can only be awesome. You get to do what you love, all.the.time. I have to say I envy both your beginners mind, and your found clarity. Enjoy the thrill of the unknown (I am an adrenaline junkie) and then jump out of the plane and fly!

  9. Joanna

    Isn’t it crazy how when we get exactly what we want, when dreams come true we get scared and fall into a panic mode like “what? how did I get here?” I so appreciate your honesty, Jess, and totally get why you’re scared. But, I know you’ll get through it. As you go through these unchartered waters remember your mantra: just. keep. going.

  10. I understand what you mean about not finding your own possessions comforting. Last year my boyfriend and I moved across the country together, moving in together for the first time. Because of the expense of the move and the leftover-from-college crappiness of our furniture before, we didn’t bring much with and ended up getting almost everything new (or new to us) once we got to Seattle. It took a while to feel like I was “at home” amongst the new things. What really helped were a few times where my boyfriend and I did our favorite “home routines” together – watching Chopped while we cooked together, playing Nintendo, making our favorite Sunday morning breakfast. No matter what state of “moved in” we were at we stopped unpacking, arranging and planning and just did what we would have done if we had been back home in Denver. It became so much easier for me to tackle lots of change at once when I had a safe and comfortable place to retreat to, and I’m sure once you start to feel more at home in your new surroundings you’ll feel that way too.

  11. Jess

    Seriously, thank you so much guys. I’m feeling better already having read your thoughts on the transition. I’m also happy to hear that I’m not alone in this feeling.

    Joanna, you are right. JKG. Gotta keep that in mind.

    Vanessa, you are so right! Last night we took a little drive and watched some of our favorite tv shows (online since the cable isn’t installed yet) and it really helped. Over time as we get a lot of the moving pieces accomplished we will have more and more time for those really normal days again.

  12. Virginia

    I love this post. Thank you for being honest!

  13. This post really hit home. We recently upgraded apartments and I’m experiencing a similar stress. In the months leading up to the move, I ‘absently’ continued living at my old place, with high expectations for the new place. I have since planned and purchased so much that I feel like I haven’t taken a moment to really enjoy it. I’ve been so stuck in the ‘new place equals problems solved’ mode that I am rarely present. And I’ve been dissatisfied dispite all I have to appreciate. For me it was the marathon of acquiring things/arranging things for the new space. I started to equate the never ending ‘to do’ list with failure. I thought I couldn’t start enjoying the place until everything was complete/perfect. But trying to be a decorator while being a good wife, holding a full time job, and writing a dissertation is impossible. I’m now focusing on the important ‘non-things’ (like baking fall goodies, spending quality time with my husband, and making new traditions) instead of being so obsessed with acquiring physical things to make me happy.

  14. I think changing jobs, getting married and changing homes are underrated when it comes to the amount of stress you feel in the midst of them–and I feel for you doing all of them at once!

    It reminds you of how comforting it is to have a routine that you know, and makes you yearn to feel it again, and quickly! But in hindsight, it’s such an exciting thing to make those big changes, especially when you know it’s the right thing for you. Don’t forget that it will get better before you know it!

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