Dream Chaser

Talk about a whirlwind of a week!
It's only Tuesday and I'm already out of breath...it's crunch time with only 
Yes, you will be hearing that countdown everyday this week :)

Today, I'm gonna get a little personal.
Not like in your face, all up in my business personal...
more like sharing my heart personal! Beware: this post could
get a little bit wordy ;)

4 days ago I was sitting at my dining room table, doing homework...pretty normal.
Then all of the sudden it hit me that I am about to be finished with school.
I started thinking about my goals post-college:
Take a year off, volunteer, go to grad school, work in a school

And then it happened...I freaked out. Straight up panic mode.
So what does a girl do when she enters this state of mind?
Call the boyfriend & the best friend of course!

I called Adam first and then Brittany basically telling them
that I am terrified about my future and that I'm dreading it.
I've always struggled with deciding what to do after college.
I know the "safe" thing to do is to get a 9-5 job that pays well & is stable.
WELL guess what...that's what I planned on doing.
And I tried to sway myself into thinking that was the life that I wanted.

But now that the time is nearing, I realize that it's not what I want at all.
At least not right now.

You see, I've had this dream, this passion, this desire to do something 
since I was about 17 years old. But for some reason I've always been scared
to go after it. It's nothing crazy, but I let fear get the best of me.

I was afraid that this wasn't what God wanted me to do.
You know what Adam made me realize...that as long as I'm honoring God & giving Him
glory, going after this dream will be just fine. :)

I was raised to think that I had to have a high paying, safe job.
That I should put in my 8 hour work day, miserable or not, and then go home
and enjoy my time there.
That's the way some my family thinks...and that's okay.
But that's not really how I think.
I can honestly say that I would rather be doing something that I am
passionate about every day and barely getting by than waking up to go work
at a job that I loathe while rolling in the dough.

That dream I was talking about.
I want to go into the field of health & fitness!

I'm sure by now you know that I'm pretty passionate
about health & fitness. I have been since I was 17.
I choose to live a healthy lifestyle and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Through all of my ups, downs, twists & turns...my passion for health & fitness has
been steadfast. 

Why not pursue something that I love?!
Since I was 18, I've had the dream of one day opening
up a fitness studio for women. I have very specific goals & plans for the studio,
but I won't go into all of that. So that is my long term goal :)

For now, I want to get certified to teach group fitness classes & to be a personal trainer.
That way I can start somewhere and get involved in the industry.

When I told Brittany she said, "Jess, this is the one. This is so you!"
My grandma said, "I've been waiting for this. I've wanted to you to figure out on your
own that you should work in the health/fitness field."
Even my granddad was on board...and that is a HUGE deal, because he's
always encouraging me to go into sales/corporate business.

I already have these gems on my bookshelf...

See, meant to be ;)

I want to thank a few lovely ladies who have helped/encouraged me
in pursuing this dream...some of them without evening knowing it!

Ashley @ After Nine to Five is always posting encouraging posts that make
me think I can do anything. That make me want to drop what I'm doing and chase my dreams!

Leigh Anne @ Hart to Heart has answered SO many questions for me about
getting certified. She's going through the process herself right now :)

Lindsay @ Trial by Sapphire is my support system. She is my blog big sister & 
I can always send her panic emails knowing that she will console me via the web.
#callinglindz ;)

Erin @ Sweetness Itself for her positive and uplifting posts & attitude!
I loved her post on wishful dreaming! And I just love her outlook on life in general :)

 I want to encourage you - if you have something that you want to
do but are afraid for one reason or another...JUST DO IT!
You can make anything happen that you put your mind/heart to...I just know it.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading :)
I am so excited for this journey!



  1. Jess, I'm so excited for you! Sometimes your family wants things for you, that just aren't RIGHT for YOU. My family wanted me to be a teacher or business woman (something along those lines as well) but I now manage a premium pet supply store and love it! It doesn't make great money... at all... but I enjoy it, and the interactions I have with my employees, company, vendor reps, etc.

    Do what you love and the money will come at some point or another, or, maybe, you'll decide you love what you're doing to overcompensate for that!

    Do it to it!


  2. Don't ever, ever do a job you hate. Life is wayy too short for that! I think that finding your passion in life is that rare experience that will give you joy! Don't waste it on a day job that you are miserable to go to! Even though I don't know you personally, I have already been encouraged by your fitness post so I know you will have a great future in this. Know that you have a lot of people rooting for you!

  3. You go girl... We should never do something we dont love even if we think that is what you should do. Everyone I know thinks you should work a 9-5 job and then go home and have fun but im with you I dont think you HAVE to do that anymore to be happy or make money.

    Chase your dreams, You will be great!

  4. My sweet friend - this post has me all excited with butterflies in my tummy, because I can SO see you doing this and I am excited you are stepping out & pursuing this dream - and your words in this post totally inspire me to keep going and pursuing my dreams too!

    Girl, I love what you said here:

    "I can honestly say that I would rather be doing something that I am
    passionate about every day and barely getting by than waking up to go work at a job that I loathe while rolling in the dough." AMEN sistah!! Take it from me - right after I graduated college 2 years ago, I went onto a steady, stable, predictable office job and I was totally miserable. My dreams were just hanging out there, but I was scared and I chose to do what I thought everyone wanted me to do, what was financially stable. A few months ago, I stepped out in faith (even though alot of people told me I'm crazy) and am full-time pursuing my dreams of freelance writing, writing a book, and some other dreams I've known the Lord has for me. And it is SO rewarding! Even though I'm just at the very beginning & haven't seen much fruit, waking up every day and doing what you love is wonderful. And God provides (even tho it's not as financially comforable, it is better because you are fulfilled!)

    So ... YOU GO GIRL!! :) Love to you, thank you for your always-inspiring blog posts and friendship.

    Love and hugs xoxo
    Praying for you as you pursue those dreams. Go get 'em!

    ps - okay, this is WAY more than a mini-novel!! :)

  5. wow, I've been following your blog for I while, but as with many other I'm always afraid to write something >.<
    So excited and happy that you choose your path, one that you are really passionate about!
    Wish you all the best in your tough decision!


  6. This is so exciting! You're right to not go into a job just for the security of it. Life is far too short and you should do what makes YOU happy!

    I'm looking forward to hearing all your plans and watching it happen! xxx

  7. So happy for you Jess! You should absolutely be following your dream :) We all take weird paths through college and beyond. Why? Because it's all God's plan and even though it might seem full of twists and turns...it's always the right thing.

    Get it girl.

  8. Jess, this sounds absolutely perfect for you! Just follow your heart and trust in your gut. Ultimately, you have to do what makes you happy!

  9. I'll be done this week too! I've had several of those moments, especially because I'm relocating (from Pittsburgh to Memphis!) in August for my first big girl job. I know I want to be in the corporate world and work with business leaders, and computers is something I love and am passionate about (I'm a computer major), but I think I'm so nervous on failing that this first entry level job is scaring the crap out of me.

    If I ever marry a man that can allow me to become a stay at home Mom, my dream-on-the-side goals are to become a Technology writer/blogger/journalist and a Home Organizer. Totally different! But I've always had a peace come over me when I organize and I'd like to help other people with that. And becoming a Tech writer is something that will help me keep on the pulse of the tech world!

    I hope to hire you someday to be my personal trainer! I love exercising but can never get motivated to go work out, which.. isn't that always the case!? I also have an unhealthy addiction to sugar (processed sugar, sadly) which I've been trying to break for a year now..

    Good luck lady! :) <3

  10. Jess, one of my best guy friends has been leading some spinning classes at a local gym for a few years now and LOVES it. I'm so happy that you are going after something that will make you happy! I'm happy to put you in contact with him if you ever have any questions!

  11. Jess- I am so excited for you. You are going to do amazing at anything we do. I am constantly reminding myself that we have our whole lives ahead of us and we can do anything we want! This is the time in our lives that we can pursue ANYTHING! I am so proud of you! Finish these next few days STRONG ( like I know you will) and know I will ALWAYS be praying/rooting for you!


  12. Jessica, I LOVE THIS!!! I have thought many times reading your blog, she would be an awesome trainer. I am so excited for you!

  13. This is SO YOU!!!
    What a great decision girl!!
    I can't wait to read more about your journey with this- so PLEASE keep me updated!!
    Have a fantastic day!!

  14. How incredibly exciting! I'm glad you're choosing to dedicate your energy to something you're passionate about, because life just isn't the same if you don't.

    I've been out of college for a few years now and my job still isn't something that I love. I've decided that this year my goal is to fix that!

    Keep us posted on your journey!

  15. LOVE! Def perfect for you! So exciting. Thanks for the encouragement :)

  16. This is so awesome! I am so excited and happy for you! What a fun career path that I know you will enjoy! I mean, I think you're destined to do this. Epiphany's are awesone, huh? Ending college is so scary, I was just there a year ago, and I still don't know what I want to do. BUt I do know, that I striving to find it, and that one day it will come to me!
    Have fun starting this adventure!!

  17. This is awesome and so encouraging for anyone who may be struggling to follow their heart! I wish you the very best of luck and hope your dreams come true!

  18. I know we do not personally know each other, but through your blog, I feel like I know you. After reading this post, I feel so proud & happy for you.

    My life has been an 8-4 job since a little before I graduated college. There are days when I long to do something that I would love/enjoy/be passionate about. I admire you so much for chasing your dreams.

    Good luck girl, you got this!

  19. It's great that you have come to this decision and that you have the support of your friends and family. I wish you the best of luck!!!

  20. My love, I am smiling after reading this post! I love you so much, and I'm so proud of you for taking this leap into something you hadn't been planning but knew in your heart you wanted for yourself. Like my dad taught me when I was little, "You can do anything you put your mind to." :-) I'm so excited to be here at the very beginning of this journey of yours, and I can't wait to see you through to the end! Yes, I said it. To the end! You're stuck with me. ;-)

    I love you so much! Get it, girl. GET. IT.

  21. SO glad to hear that you are following your dreams! I'm really excited for you as you start this new chapter, all with the support of the people who love you the most. It's super important to do what makes you happy, both in fitness and in life. I just got ZUMBA certified on Saturday and am going to begin teaching fitness classes in a few weeks - it's awesome! I can't wait to hear about this new, incredible journey :)

  22. "as long as I'm honoring God & giving Him glory, going after this dream will be just fine."

    amen sister! i couldn't agree more and i am excited for you that you are stepping out in faith to pursue a passion you have. a God-given passion at that!

  23. I am SO happy for you! When you mentioned this the other day, I knew it was PERFECT for you even without us talking much before then. And to see you already taking even small steps towards it makes me SO happy! I know that you can do this and I know that you'll be able to accomplish this goal in no time since you've set your mind to it.

    I wish I could hug you right now. But in less than a year, I so will. ;) And then I can do whatever I can do to help you achieve your dream in person, too!

    And thank you for mentioning me. :)

  24. Some 9-5 jobs even involve health and fitness :) I'm so proud of you that you're going for your dreams though, sometimes you just have to wait until the time is right to throw yourself into it. To be honest, I'm glad I've given myself almost 2 years out of college in the working world to see what it's like before working towards my long-term goal. It's definitely given me some new perspective and ideas :)

  25. I SO agree with you that it's more fulfilling to do a job you love rather than do a job you hate just for the money!! I grew up with my mom reminding me of that constantly =)

    And I think you will be absolutely amazing in the health/fitness world. Just reading your blog I am so inspired to make a lifestyle change and become more health/fitness conscious. If you can inspire people you have only met through the Internet, just imagine what you're going to do when you meet with people face to face!! You will be such an inspiration to many!! Good for you for going after your dreams!! And like your boyfriend said, if you're honoring God while pursuing this dream you are most definitely making God =)

    Good luck with the last couple days of school girl!!

  26. I'm so excited for you! Good luck! :)

  27. Yay!! So happy for you. :)) One of my favorite quotes is, "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." That quote inspires me everyday to keep working towards those dreams.

    Good luck. Can't wait to hear more. (and good luck with finals!!!)

  28. Congratulations! I NEEDED this post today. After graduation in the summer of '10, I got a job at a law firm. It's high stress, pretty low pay and I work from 8:30 to 5:30 5 days a week. Not my cup of tea. I've been entertaining so many thoughts in my head about getting out of this and doing what I enjoy. THANK YOU for the courage to write such a personal post! It made my day :o) So happy for you!

  29. Aw - I love this post Jess! Not gonna lie, it kind of makes me want to quit my job a little bit, haha. But good for you, that's awesome...and I don't know you very well, but from reading your blog, that sounds like something you would be GREAT at :)

    The Other Side of Gray

  30. Great inspiration! Cant wait to hear all about it!

  31. Girlfriend, I think I'm convinced that we would be very best friends if we ever met and hung out.

    I have so many dreams that I want to pursue but I let that fear take over too! I'm so close to being done too, and it IS scary! Finally figuring out what you actually want to do, not just what you got your degree in. Pretty crazy feeling!

    I love working out and health and fitness! It's what starts my morning and gets me going and I'm so passionate about it! I hope you love it and good for you for going after it!

  32. I cannot think of a better dream for you to pursue! It makes so much sense! Honestly, I thought you were going to do this anyway :)

    Also, props to you for conquering your fears and going after the thing you love! I can't wait to follow you along on this journey!

  33. YAY! This sounds amazing! :) So glad you've found something you're passionate about! This is exactly how I'm feeling right now about working for Disney! :) (I did get a pang for teaching in a classroom today though when I had a group of 12th graders).

    Get it girl! :)

  34. I'm so so excited for you girl! I can't wait to see how it all unfolds for you!

  35. AMENNNNN SISTA!! I panic too... really panic when I'm home by myself doing NOTHING or doing EVERYTHING!! BUT in the end we lean on HIM to get us where He wants us to be, and we also rely on our loved ones to help guide and support us through the process :) I'm so glad you have that support system, and know that us lil' ol' bloggers will be here to support you as well. So do you boo boo! Go be a trainer and do it with a fat smile on your face!!

  36. Good for you Jessica!

    Just from your blog I can tell this is your calling...go after it!

    That's awesome you're taking the initiative to follow your dreams, not many people can do that!

    I've always dreamt of being a vet and never have fully believed in myself to do it, so that's awesome you're going to do that. Good luck girl!

  37. Graduating from college is a scary step. I was thinking even before I graduated what will I do next? Lol thankfully I got married and then discovering who I truly am meant to be helped me decide to keep going with my bible college even if it meant I don't get a job teaching it.
    I'm so excited that you had your aha moment and that yur family is in board. That's the hardest thing is to get their encouragement sometimes. :-)
    I cannot wait to me you next week and talk more about this!! Sooo excited! Lol

  38. Money is great. It really is. I went into teaching and then administration. I'd love to have everything on Pinterest but, you know what? I'm happy doing what I do each and every day (well, most days). My husband recently quit his great paying job to start his own business because he just wasn't happy. He's happier now than he has been in a long time. We live paycheck to paycheck right now. That's ok because we're happy. You will be great at being involved in the health and fitness field. Follow your passion and your happiness will follow :)
    :: Laura

  39. I am so excited that you are going to pursue this for yourself. I can't wait to hear all of the fun you have while doing something you love! :)

  40. such a great post. i am so excited for you, jessica! you are coming up on such a defining part of your life... and it only gets better. promise. don't freak out. do what makes you happy, what you're passionate about. :)

  41. This made me happy just reading this. I think your heart is in the right place and know you will be wonderful at whatever path you pick to go down. So happy and proud of you! Xo

  42. I just started following your blog and I was super excited to read this post about your discovery. I, too, know how you feel. I'm one of those people working a job (for a decent paycheck) but hating every second of it because I know in my heart it isn't what I'm supposed to do. I always use the excuse that I don't know what I want to be when I grow up but my goodness, I'm almost 37 years old, with a Master's Degree and I'm still struggling every day trying to find happiness in my heart. Within the past couple of months I've finally admitted to myself that I really want to go into the health/fitness field but I'm still afraid to tell anyone else (ha, I guess I just did). Congrats to you for pursuing your dream. Best wishes!!!!

  43. Congratulations on finding something you love! And on finding the courage to go after it! Even though we don't know each other, I am so proud of you :)


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