What Are You

Aligned With?

Ep. 193 with Jessica Vann

“Who were you trying to impress?”

Jessica Vann

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Bio

Jess Vann (she/her) is a multi-careered woman who is a Podcast host of “Tomfoolery and Shenanigans” actor, speaker, entrepreneur, singer, all while maintaining a full-time job that focuses on service learning and civic engagement that mobilizes folks to change! She is originally from Lansing, Michigan but calls Chicago home. She received a B.S. in Theatre and Interpretation: Acting from Central Michigan University and a M.A in Training and Development from Roosevelt University. Jess has been the guest on Black Educators Matter Podcast, Feature Article with National After School Association, After School Today and a featured blog with The Chicago Inclusion Project, May 2019.

She balances her time running her business Creative Spaces, which provides arts based, anti- racism/social Justice work, leadership and professional development workshops/keynotes/coaching and consulting for emerging and veteran leaders in various work sectors and coaching. It would be safe to say she wears many hats and continues to find self-discovery.

Show Notes

Tune in for a multifaceted conversation about a creatives journey through chasing her passion in entrepreneurship, art, and a full time job that is making societal change. If anything it my be a reminder that no ones path is linear but continual self discovery and holding to your foundations makes all the difference.

If you have any comments or questions about the Be It pod shoot us a message at [email protected]. Or leave a comment below!

And as always, if you’re enjoying the show please share it with someone who you think would enjoy it as well. It is your continued support that will help us continue to help others. Thank you so much! Never miss another show by subscribing at LesleyLogan.co/subscribe.

In this episode you will learn about:

  • Do not give up the foundation of who you are
  • The signs of mental health decline
  • The healthy reason for leading
  • Leading with heart instead of societal factors
  • How you recalibrate and find your center
  • Importance of investigating your relationship to your passion vs your job
  • Define what you’re aligned with
  • How to disassociate for personal growth

Episode References/Links:

Transcript

INTRODUCTION

Lesley Logan
Hey, Be It. How are you? Oh my goodness. Okay, so our guest today is someone I’ve met in person before. I got to hang out with a couple of times. And I just totally adore her. She makes me laugh. She makes me smile and she makes, you think about who you are, what you’re doing. And and she shares that so vulnerably with her story and how she got to where she is today. And I really find find found this whole interview and everything so important for us all to think about, think it’s so easy for us to look at people online and think that, “Oh, they’ve got it all together. They’ve got all figured out and I’m over here like just not knowing what’s what.” And the reality is is like everybody is just trying to figure it out. And she is so amazing, brilliant, creative and what she shares with you in this interview is hopefully inspiring for you to take time to get to know yourself and and that takes time. Takes a lot of time. And you’re going to hear all about that as you listen to Jessica Vann. She is incredible. She is amazing. You’re gonna laugh and smile and if you are watching this on YouTube, you’re gonna see she’ll keep it interesting. If you’re listening to it, just so you know we do have a YouTube channel so if you are intrigued if you want to see what’s going on behind the scenes, absolutely check us out on YouTube. In the meantime, please make sure you listen to the BE IT action item at the end. I promise you it’s epic. I promise you it is doable and happens to be one of those things that’s free. You just had can do. So do not miss that. Check it out. Stay till the end and let us know how you are going to use these tips in your life by tagging us. Let us know in a review. However you want to do it, share it with a friend. You know the more of us that are being it till we see it in our lives easier it is for everyone to show up and be it till they see it. So here is Jessica Vann.

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Lesley Logan
Welcome to the Be It Till You See It podcast where we talk about taking messy action, knowing that perfect is boring. I’m Lesley Logan, Pilates instructor and fitness business coach. I’ve trained thousands of people around the world and the number one thing I see stopping people from achieving anything is self doubt. My friends, action brings clarity and it’s the antidote to fear. Each week, my guests will bring Bold, Executable, Intrinsic and Targeted steps that you can use to put yourself first and Be It Till You See It. It’s a practice, not a perfect. Let’s get started.

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EPISODE

Lesley Logan
All right, Be It babes. I am so excited. I I get to see this guest everyone smile when I hit the Chicago area or we hadn’t, we met in Denver. So I really am thrilled to bring on a friend. I like to call her who is a woman who has the best eyeglasses and I’m gonna be honest, you’re gonna love her reels I do. I don’t scroll but when I see her stuff, I watched the whole thing. So Jessica Vann, thank you so much for being our guest today. Can you tell everyone who you are and what you’re rocking out these days?

Jessica Vann
Hey, what is good? What’s poppin? What’s Gucci? As the kiddos I’ll say it is me, Jess V. Jessica Vann you know all the thing. I currently at currently Chi… I’ve been living, I’ve lived in Chicago. I’m originally from Lansing, Michigan born and raised. You know if you can if you can see me you see me putting up the Michigan hand. And the little thing if you can hear me go forth my fellow Michiganders. Originially from Lansing and I moved out to Chicago to pursue a dream life be it as an artist or however the case may be ever since I was a kid I knew I wanted to live here. So this is just where I’ve been. But those dreams they came, they continue coming, they manifest in different ways and you just go, “Oh okay, I guess this is what we’re gonna do.” So I have been in Chicago now for oh my God it’d be almost 20 years. I moved out here out of college so it was around 24. (Lesley: Wow.) … That’s relationship too, so that’s what like all relationships here moved out here in 24 and I’ve just been here ever since just following hearts, minds and wherever the seasons take me here. I have no intentions of going anywhere anytime soon. Well, I hope not. I just hope I bought a whole ass condo. So …

Lesley Logan
I hope not you just buy a house. Your your you could rent it out, I guess but like that was a lot of effort to go through if you’re not going to live in it.

Jessica Vann
That’s a whole thing but I guess I’ve been here ever since and those who know me if you listen to podcasts, you know, I wear many hats. I have a whole full time job here where I focus on volunteer engagement and civic engagement and bringing people towards building a more equitable and anti racist Chicago. I’m also an actor, I’m a singer. I’m an entrepreneur, those who know Lesley who know me, will know me as a facilitator and entrepreneur and rockin … DEI, anti racism. There’ll be better people streets.

Lesley Logan
So, I love that you said all these things, because what I hope people are hearing is like, you are multifaceted in every way. But you have, you went off on a dream. And I think a lot of people can, you know, see and hear what you’re doing today and go, “Oh, she went to go Chicago for this. And now she’s doing this.” And it’s like, well, it’s like you gave up on any of those things. But you can, you can have multiple things that you’re doing, that you’re passionate about, you can make them happen. And it might not always happen the way you expected them to. But I do think sometimes people put themselves in a box and like, well, this is what I’m just this. So this is what I do. And I, I those things must be nice for them or I can do a hobby. But you’ve managed to go off and do the things that really you really care about, and yet also include other aspects of yourself that you’re really great at.

Jessica Vann
Yeah, and I will tell this, it took me a good chunk of my 20s to understand what that meant. Just because, you know, we all we often be like, I am a multitasker, I can do all these things and wear many hats and like, yes, and but also sort of thing. It’s how are you managing that time? How what energies are you getting towards? Like, what makes sense? Like, what does your personal and professional schedule look like when when you’re trying to handle all these buckets, and I will say this 2020 bout damn near killed me. So I had to reassess what that means. And not give up on who the foundation of who I am. And at the end of the day, I’m an artist. At the end of the day, I am a creative, I am an artist, I am an actor, I am a performer. That is who I am at the foundation of my core. So I try to use those elements of theater and creative mindsets to like steward my other work. (Lesley: Yeah.) Be it halted, be it my full time job, be it this because that would that keeps me excited just about life in general. Right. Elements of like art, artistry, how I dress, how I present myself in the social media streets like I tried to. It’s who I am at the end of the day.

Lesley Logan
Well, I think … I believe you brought that up, though. And I want to go back to something so hopefully don’t forget it. But I love that you brought up like you’re creative. And so even if like maybe you’re not currently acting in this exact moment, you you are not you’re allowing your creativity to decide who, you wear and how you do your hair. And like what put you out you put on social media. And I think sometimes people go well, if I’m not acting, if I’m not, if I’m not painting, that I’m not an artist, like you’re not anything actually you can be you can actually include that into the life that you’re able to live right now. So I just wanted to highlight that. So I want to go back because you said like 2020 almost killed you. So what, a lot of people might be like, “Yep. Yeah. Yes.” I had to, I was like, I remember calling my therapist. And I’m like, so I think I’m still in survival mode. And we’re like nine months into what’s never looking like it’s going to end so like how do I like get out of that gear? Like what does it look like? So was it because I’m gonna let you tell the story, but like, was prioritizing yourself something that was easy for you to do? Or did you like realize like, “Oh, if I don’t do it right now.” Like what was the linchpin to that?

Jessica Vann
So okay, so I have to go back to who I was at the top of 2020. I was like, I mean, I’m still the same person but in a different iteration. So at the top of 2020 I was like, Oh, we got I was like booking, I had speaking gigs, I had a auditions coming up and upcoming shows like speaking at this national, like things are on and poppin and then everything stopped and change across the world come March. And I instead of like, at the top of it taking moments to be like, Oh, I guess I should take this as a time to chill. Instead, I took opportunities to like reav and keep going. And so I opened myself up as I was already like, shifting some of my content to DEI work before 2020 had happened. So it was this thing I was already like, Oh let me shift to change my content. Add some pieces here this that missin’ so that when the world was like, oh wait, racism or oh wait, things are crazy. Wow. Like, oh, are you good? (Lesley: So deal with that.) Do you know that? So so when that happened, I was like, let me go on and throw my head in the bucket folks, for folks to reach out to. And then it was just like it was, you know, people were hiring me for more speaking things and more consultation work. And I was getting a lot of cool, like, creative, like everyone from the health and fitness world to like global theatre companies. It was this like broad things, and I hit the ground running. And I didn’t realize I didn’t realize because I’m so used to school back to my point at doing everything. And like, I can handle it. By the end of 2020, I was like, Oh, just, I’m feeling uncomfortable. Things are weird. So by the end of 2021, is when I was like, I can’t do this anymore. And it was a lot of things. It was a lot of things from like this intersectionality standpoint of like, I am a black woman, you’re trying to teach these predominately white institutions, why they a hot mess that can get exhausting, right? Like, that’s exhausting on a personal level on all this stuff, on top of just like the triggers of the world that was going on.

Lesley Logan
Right. Because you’re still you’re still who you are. And …

Jessica Vann
I’m still who I am. (Lesley: Right.) In this world that everyone just trying to adjust to, on top of that, which then triggers mental health things and then not so it became and then I wasn’t operating from the spaces if I know how I know how to operate. Like, I’m like, I know I’m a strong leader. I know I can execute and follow through. And what I didn’t recognize is when I can’t follow through at my 100% authentic dope self and can get people stuff was starting to be a sign of when my depression was kicking in, or when my anxiety was kicking in. But I was looking at it as like, oh, I have to do this thing because I have to be seen and validated and bop, bop, bop, bop, bop. So I’m gonna say yes, yes, yes. I’m gonna Shonda Rhimes this. Yes, yes. Yes. Oprah, yes, yes …

Lesley Logan
I remember. I remember Shonda Rhimes said a Year of Yes. I’m like, “That scares the fuck out of me.”

Jessica Vann
… I was yesing all the things when I should have been telling my ass, no. But I was being driven by this concept of like, because I already struggled with that validity and being seen, and am I good enough and all that stuff. But then it was starting to exasperate because now everyone needs a service because everyone is in their own shit. And I became the thing that everyone wanted to latch onto, not only just professionally, but personally as well. So it was a lots of pouring, lots … and lots of doing this. And it started to affect how I was operating at work. It was starting to affect how I was running my own business, it was starting to effect because I was in so many things, because I needed to see change. And I needed to get that that. And it was the end of 2021 I was I was sitting, I was on a panel for someone and and I said I’m done with leading. I don’t want to lead anymore. And the other panelists was like, oh, I need to exaggerate. I mean, please tell him what you mean. I was 100%, I don’t want to lead anymore.

Lesley Logan
The period I don’t want to explain …

Jessica Vann
I don’t I don’t want to be the leader anymore. I don’t want to be the strong one anymore. I want to lead because my heart is pulling me in that direction. Not because I’m being pulled by these outside societal whatever what the fuck because I now I’m trying to be or feel the need that this is my space when I’m not taking care of myself. And that’s what I met, I still want to be a great leader, I still want to do that. But I want to be able to have choice and I was so deep into stuff that I forgot what choice meant. I forgot what it means to say no. And so all of last year was a hot mess of just like recalibrating my life, (Lesley: Yeah.) like hey, you want to speak in Denver, and I was like do i want to come speak in Denver? like you know what yes … let me go do this.

Lesley Logan
I love that you like you are like you’d like took a pause and you ask yourself, “Do I?” Like they’re saying do you like your (Jessica: Right.) do I and I think this is really first of all, I thank you for sharing. We can dive more into that but like thank you for sharing all of that stuff because I think no matter what, what people’s jobs are or things that they’re doing is that it’s it’s so easy if words of affirmation are your love language if the desire to be seen and validated is is there, and it can get caught up in we see it all the time with like people become celebrities, all of a sudden they become really the wanted person. And then if you don’t have the things in place to keep pouring back into yourself, you just start to feel like everyone’s pulling at you, everyone’s picking at you, everyone’s taking from you. And you don’t realize that like at some point along the way you stopped making sure you were pouring into yourself. And so like it sounds like you had to do like you had to you had to hit this wall. And then kind of go back, which is hard to get to know yourself in a new place. Because it’s been two years of this. And so you’re like, “Well, who am I? What do I want?”

Jessica Vann
Would I tell you, I for myself, I’d be like, Oh, yes, I can. I can do all these things at once. And yes, you know I can, I love it. I am I can, I can rock it. I didn’t know, I didn’t know what my threshold was. Because I’ve been so used to you know, seeing my mom kicking ass or seeing other women that I look up to. So my mom’s dope shit, but like other people that I see, like, I personally did not know what my threshold was until I got there. (Lesley: Yeah.) And let me tell you, I have folks calling me out on stuff, I got into so many challenging conversations. It was it came to the point where I couldn’t you can’t use 2020 as an excuse anymore. Like, it was like, I have to own this shit because I created the shit down even though I created and I’m sitting the shit you know, and have to recalibrate everything, everything. (Lesley: Yeah.) Which which what feels like I had to recalibrate everything.

Lesley Logan
Yeah, well, and so what worked for you? Was it like, was it like just literally turning off all the things and going and like say no to everything? Or what how did you recalibrate because I think it’s easy to off. Like when you say like when I picture recalibrated, like the pendulum swung over here and now you’re like it’s gonna swing over here and how did you find center? What was that, what was that like for you?

Jessica Vann
I had to, I personally had to pause a lot of things and I pause everything from I told you this when we had lunch like I said the other day …

Lesley Logan
It feels, you know what? It what is time anymore.

Jessica Vann
I um, for those watching Yes, I just changed my background on like three different times.

Lesley Logan
… you know, what if you’re not watching there’s a YouTube channel you can watch. And there’s a there’s a third show because because Jess is a creator. She is an artist.

Jessica Vann
… by the time I literally have to stop. (Lesley: Yeah.) But what was hard about this for me is I stopped engaging with rela… friendship relationships that I was always pouring into which was probably the hardest thing because you’re talking to someone who values community but often feels like she doesn’t have community. So to pause friendships or people that I thought were friendships or community because I felt like I was always the one engaging in our fellow always when my hey girl is gonna do let’s go Kiki here. Let’s go grab a drink … Like always given and I had to stop. I was like, this is that’s exhausting. I stopped seeking clients. I needed to recalibrate what what service do I actually want to put on it into this world? Because I don’t I didn’t realize I was going to get stuck in this like antiracist DEI (Lesley: Right.) bucket. When when I finally started my business was to offer professional development for all folks, to offer organizational development policy, procedural changes, HR support on across the field. And then all of a sudden, I was like stuck in this like space when that space was constantly shifting and changing. And from pedagogy to ideology, and who can say these things again. So that I had to pause that and I took my last client last year in August now I’m not saying just keep coming back because she is this is what I had I had to move first. You know, I had to get into headspace to … figure all that stuff out. I only focused on two things .For the first time I focused on my job, my full time job and myself. I needed the income so let me focus on my my job and do that. So I did that and in the midst of that and I have got promoted or not promoted, but got offered a new job in a different organization. And that’s where I’m currently at now. I had to focus on that myself, and how I was getting income. Because I knew I wanted to buy a home at the end of the year. So I was like, that’s, that is all the emotions I can offer. Because I can’t give this year. I’m not I can’t, I just couldn’t … so much, and I was alone a lot.

Lesley Logan
Yeah. Because also you’re like, you know, you’re a single woman doing this all. (Jessica; Yeah, exactly …) I don’t know if that’s easier or harder if you’d had a partner.

Jessica Vann
I told my therapist, I was like, last year was so triggering, because it exemplified the fact that I am single, like, everything that I and I also listeners and folks out here on the streets. I don’t need a man. I don’t need one. I am a Pisces, I am a water sign. So I welcome all the love and each adn every day. And when those things when I feel those things aren’t being fulfilled, it is easy for me to be like I’m lonely. No one, no one cares about me … all this stuff, because I’m not feeling fed in a way that I need to look at what does that actually look like and doesn’t have to come from somebody or things about that. So I’m a single woman, this out here trying to do big kid adulting. When at my age and we’re close in age like I’m, I’m 30 well, I’ll be 39 in a month.

Lesley Logan
Okay. But I’m 40 in two weeks.

Jessica Vann
Like, we out here. And so, societally I’m supposed to be married, got some kids, right? Settle down somewhere, because these are the images that was told to me as a youth or young then like, I have certain age, this is going to happen. I don’t I never envisioned my life past 35. Because by the time I was 35, and my 15 year old brain, actually bedtime was 25 (Lesley: Yeah.) and my teenage brain. I was like, I got that day. We was out here. Mary was gonna have some kids. I was 30. And I’m like, I know, we are 38 and neither none of those. So I don’t know what my life is because I never envisioned it. (Lesley: Yeah.) Our past as a young person.

Lesley Logan
Yeah. I think that’s so interesting. Because, one yes, I just interviewed someone yesterday, who’s 37 going on 38. And her two daughters are already in college. And I was like, yeah, so see, you did it right. Because like you did it while your body was young. You did it while you had the energy to keep up with them. And now you’re gonna you’re not even 40 and they’re already in the house. Like, it’s too late for me.

Jessica Vann
… I remember having a whole conversation with my friend. I was I was still really close with some people back home in Lansing, Michigan. And I was at her place. We were like, 27. By this time she had a kid not her second kid. She married, she got a home somewhere and somebody in some suburb back home in Lansing. And she was like, Well, do you think you will ever freeze your eggs at 30 30? My 30s are damn near long ago. Going like yeah, not something I can think about it. I never thought about it again. And but now here we are. I’m like, Is this something I need to think about? Like, like in seriousness, but 27 me was just thought it was. (Lesley: Yeah.) I didn’t think I would even have to be here.

Lesley Logan
Right. Like it’s an interesting I think, my gosh, I think first of all, wherever you are, it’s really easy to go, “How did I get here?” And like a negative way. (Jessica: Yeah.) But like you can also see it as like the positive side like, “How did I get here?” And like looking at you now like you’re in your condo that you bought like what a journey that was? And was it easy? No, nothing’s fucking easy. Everything is fucking hard. Just if you can just prepare yourself you might like actually, the hard might be a little lower than your expectation go, “Oh, that was easy.” But it’s all like there’s always a challenge. And I think what what I what I what I think is so important is that from your stories, like just really reflecting back on what you want and like having to I mean like so few people would be able to just go, “Okay, I’m just gonna stop that all.” Like that is so brave and courageous and hard. There’s like people might think, “Oh, she stopped everything. Well, it’s easy thing.” No, that is like the hardest thing because you had to like tell people no all of a sudden you’d go to a year of no basically and then really get clear on like, what do I want and and for you is like I want to have a house at the end of this year. So I’m going to do that and that’s a challenge and all its own just to be a single person buying anything and also as a married couple if you work for yourself, everyone no one wants to sell you a fucking house. No one does.

Jessica Vann
Oh my gosh … like it’s a whole topic. It was you are, you are guest. Last year was me really being like, I actually don’t feel like going out, or I’m actually really sad and in a negative space right now, or I have a dark cloud over me and I don’t think I need to be in anybody’s space or community. I mean, I auditioned for two shows last year, two. And one of them put me in a dark space, because that’s a dance call. And I get called in to do the show at one of the theatre companies here. And I’m like … okay, can you come in for this row, we got the band, here’s your side, sing this thing that that that. So I go in seeing the diddy, we do the dance call. And I middle of the dance call. I’m like watching myself dance. And I was like, “Who is that?” Like, just, I physically could not I was like, is that … here we go. And so down the self deprecated journey that I went when I got home. And I was like, “I don’t think I am mentally, physically ready to be back out here on these auditions streets, because I don’t feel good about myself.” And that was at that moment. I was like, realize I don’t feel good about myself at all. Physically, mentally, everything. (Lesley: Yeah.) And even in it was also out of breath. It was like all this like, and I was like, “I can’t I’m not going to be auditioning if I don’t feel good in front of a camera, in front of the creative team. I can’t do this.” That’s the hard thing for me.

Lesley Logan
That’s a hard. Well, I mean, for anybody who’s a creative for sure. (Jessica: Yeah.) I mean, also, like, I think, I think it’s good that you actually did the audition, because you got (Jessica: Yeah.) to see like, “Oh, I’m not ready for this.” And also, here’s more like, here’s the work that I need to be doing for myself. What, what did it take? Because I some people might just take that as a sign like, “I’m done. I’m hanging my acting hat up. I’m hanging that thing up.” Like, what was it that you were able to do for yourself to get past that? Because because now I mean, I feel like you’re auditioning again, like you’re doing stuff again. So so what was what was the what was the work that you did to help you like, get good with yourself, because that’s the thing that most people listening, if you aren’t good with you, like it doesn’t even it doesn’t matter. You can manifest whatever you want. But if you’re not, if you’re not aligned, it’s not gonna work out.

Jessica Vann
I had to then end up going on a, I got called it for another show at the end of last year, actually. And I was like, “I don’t know.” I think what I what I know I needed to do was a few things I need, I needed to figure out what was my relationship to art making in this city again, because I am no longer bushy 27 year old, like, you know, like, “Oh, my God out of college.” And I’m gonna auditioned for everything, I’m gonna book this thing, booked and blessed and busy and booked and all those sayings. I was like, I don’t know if that’s in my ministry … But so I had to really figure out what my relationship is to art making. And what what brings what’s what makes me excited. And so instead of letting that happen, I went on and produced a little one woman show and got my friend and my band together and did a show in February of one of the theater places, though, cabaret connection, please, I did that. And that was very scary for me. Because at that point, I hadn’t done. I haven’t watched and played with these guys. And almost two years, I hadn’t done a show like, like, I’ve been in a band and did my covers and do the things I usually do. Then about three years at that point my dumb ass was like, “Well, let me do 14 songs” … being vocally physically all the way, and I was like, “I’m glad I did it.” But it also was like here, here’s just another space, I needed to make sure that I’m working on. Because the craft of of theater and music and monologues and all that stuff, it’s a muscle. And if you don’t nourishing it, you can lose it. But for me, I don’t want to lose it. I just have to make sure that I’m mentally and physically ready. (Lesley: Yeah.) Academically and learning and that that that that’s fine. But am I, the person who has to go put themselves out there in front of people reading and start reading because of how one is feeling about, how I’m feeling about myself? So I you know, I started to think about what does this mean as a as an artist, right. And so, and I’m still in that journey right now. I do have, like, I have an audition this weekend. And like, I’m doing this because it’s part of who I am. But I’m also like, what does this digital world look like? What is you know, embracing these other aspects that I’ve always wanted to dabble and like, what does it mean for me to do that? Writing, I’m trying to write more. (Lesley: Yeah.) … to your short stories or mostly short stories, and personal pieces and essays. Like, that’s where I’m trying to tap in and just kind of go back to basics. And like, heal …

Lesley Logan
I feel like I feel like people underestimate or they don’t give the credit towards back to the basics because like getting to like, the the basics are there for as a foundation for a reason. And also, they really help you understand like where you are, like, it’s kind of like a pin and a map. It’s like, oh, this is where I’m at. Oh, I got a little too far away. Oh, that I forgot that one. And what I hear you saying is you’re asking yourself a lot of questions. And what, when you ask yourself questions, and I think it was our first guest ever, Joanna, she Joanna Vargas was like, questions, you got to put a question mark on it, because it changes how you actually engage with the information that’s going on. You’re not putting like if you put a period on it, like I’m an actress, period, but that’s like, that’s it, right? Like, it’s kind of like it’s very drawn in cement. But if you put what has been an actress mean to me, what has been an artist, what what is the writer mean to me. It allows you to really get to know yourself in a way that allows you to filter and what you’re gonna say yes or no to.

Jessica Vann
Yes, yes. And, and that’s like a glimpse of like, what my therapist and I would like work on it’s like, what are you aligned with? What is this thing feed you? Does this thing aligned with your morals? Is it aligned with your values? Are you just saying yes, is to say yes. Are you saying this because you think there’s some level of validity to it? Like, who are you trying to …? Like, who are you trying to impress? And sometimes I had to constantly ask myself that question like, Okay, Jess, why are you doing this? Who were you trying to impress? Who were you trying, who were are you trying to gain validation from? Like, because if it’s for that, or them or this person, then it ain’t for you. Like it’s my, you’re not doing it for yourself, you’re doing it to chase this space to be validated.

Lesley Logan
… there like, like that is like events like that the best question anyone can remember from this entire episode, like who are you trying to impress? Because it has to be you at some point …

Jessica Vann
… if you’re like, Oh, I made that then then you’re not you’re not doing it from a space of authenticity and you’re not doing it from the foundation of you as a human person. And that’s what I’m trying to get back to. I’m still the same person, I’m still going to be multifaceted, I’m still going to, I can still multitask, like I’m a boss bitch like that’s just what I I can still do these things but I have to get back to back back to basics to rebuild some of the structural things that I have put into place for my lives and which is funny because then I’m like, once I can like figure that out maybe we’ll add this like dating claim back into the same because like, right now we are doing not and I literally just did a TikTok because these girl these she’d be on TikTok who be getting bedazzled. To be out here and be usingTikTok as a dating app. I was like I don’t know if I’m in history. I’m gonna be on the internet. I’m growing locs right now, my hair is a hot, crazy whenever I want. I don’t put on makeup all the time. Now, we gon go out. Your girl gonna go out. I can I am cute. Okay. But …

Lesley Logan
You are, when you go out, you look amazing.

Jessica Vann
… I don’t want to be just painting in anyone else’s perception. I want you to get, I just want to be Jessica at the end of the day. And if I have to constantly ask myself well who is this for? And if I say, me. Greenlight but if I have to go through a whole list of the who’s and the why’s and who does this benefit then it ain’t it ain’t for me anymore. And so that’s that is my hope one wish for myself for 2023. It just kind of get back to basics just to like I got come in and 2023 hot off the press like I will slow and ease into this.

Lesley Logan
Oh me too that’s what that’s how I’m doing. I’m this so this is how y’all I’m this how I eased in because this is probably coming out well after January so when we’re recording it but I decided I’m taking the first week of every year off. Like I’m just so I take the last three weeks of the year. I mean I still work because I go on tour but like I’m hanging out in the van most of the time playing a video game so not that hard, but the first week because you want to know what no one else is actually ready to get started anyways, so why am I like making myself available for that and I loved it. I went to the spa. And I was with my girlfriends. I was like this is how every year should start, scrub the skin off. It was so great. And so I um another thing I do because my birthday is the end of January. I always tell people like if I make any goals for a year at the beginning of the year, which we Brad and I will typically do around the first day. I’m like trying them on the whole month. I’m not like hitting it hard. I’m just trying to because when my birthday comes, I’m like, “How did those goals feel? Do we’ve made some adjustments?” And then I’d like to tell people this. Do you know how many New Year’s there aren’t a year, there is the actual first day of the year, which should not be in the middle of winter, in my opinion … It wasn’t like it was the Roman Empire that changed that. But there’s a Chinese New Year. There’s also a … New Year, there’s an India New Year, there are new years and all these different cultures that you can go, “You know what I’m starting the year over right now, you can just do that. It’s okay.”

Jessica Vann
100%. I’m don’t have time. I just I’m gonna, I’m gonna move however, I need to move. I’m big grown. I’m a grown ass woman, I had big grow, and I could make my own decisions, just decide what I’m gonna go do X, Y, and Z. Why? Because I want to, I want to show up as the best I don’t so cliche. Cliche statement coming in three to one, I want to show the be the best version of me. (Lesley: Yeah.) I, and that means so much for me. And so I need to do that because at the end of the day, I’m getting older, my parents are getting older, my dreams aren’t dying, but windows of time are starting to get smaller for me to do the things that I want to do. And I’m still fucking young. And so I have time to shift and change and all that. And I still have time but don’t have time. And I want to just be who my little 12 year old self thought she would be. And that’s from physical to work to this, whatever. I want to know what it means to show up as who I’ve always envisioned myself to be. However, that has manifested because I might not be on Broadway right now winning a Tony, or out here getting any other accolades. And I’m saying that because I’m also not saying those things cannot happen. Again, key from everything all at once, who was a Donny and and Indiana Jones just fucking got his first Golden Globe after 20 plus years.

Lesley Logan
Did you see, did you see Jennifer Coolidge accept her golden globe? (Jessica: Yes ..) Oh, my God, we’ve known her since we were little kids. And she was … right? But like, but like, she’s like, she’s like, and I just kept doing those replays. I just kept doing them and, and now my neighbors talk to me.

Jessica Vann
Yes … It’s all one of my good friends. I was like, I’m gonna have my teeth and turner come back and she came back in her 40s. So like, let me let me do me, you do you? And mind the business that serves you like you, I gotta be in my business. I gotta be in your purse. And we don’t keep a Gucci and you’re gonna live your life, how you need to live it and I’m gonna, you know, I’m gonna do while you’re doing your business. I’m gonna support you. I’m gonna cheer you on. I’m gonna say go forth. Live your best life. What do you need from me? How can we support one another? That’s what I’m wanting? Because I will have she said, I ain’t rockin a hill in my 80s like Taylor Chair.

Lesley Logan
Oh my gosh. Okay, Jess we could keep going. But, but I just have to say like, thank you for sharing your journey because I I feel like so many people listening right now feel so seen because they have been trying to like, make it look like they’re doing all the things right? They’re doing all the things. It’s like, actually, everybody is just fucking trying hard to do the best they can. And that is if you are doing it for you. That is so important. We’re gonna take a quick break. Find out how people can find you, follow you, you know get to get to support you and what you’re doing. All right, Jess, where do you like to hang out? Which ah the social media, you’ve a website? Where can people work with you?

Jessica Vann
Oh my gosh, where do I hang out? If you’re in Chicago, Hit me up. Let’s grab some whiskey key haven’t drank drank. But you can follow me on my, I’m your here on the social media streets on this side on one part of the internet’s, you can follow me on Instagram @jdotjourney that is j d o t, j o. Can I spell j d o t j o u r n e y, jdotjourney, out here on these on the other end of the internet’s on the TikTok, you can find me @jesssssssvann. It’s a bunch of s. (Lesley: Wonderful.) You can hit me up on my website if you’d like … she be kind of tough to work with. Just go to jessvanncreates.com. And just like shoot me a little hey, hey, hey, here’s how you found me. And we can figure out how whatever support you need on the organizational level or one on one support. I do coaching in some capacity just mainly on like, just navigating workspaces. So that can go as well as just like, what does it mean to find your joy? And how to pretty much what I do? I’d like to embed on all the folks that that is your essential ministry to come forth. And those are really my my, my website, my socials, oh, and LinkedIn too. You can find me on LinkedIn. I’m over here too.

Lesley Logan
That’s people like,”Are you on LinkedIn?” I’m like,” I think my team has me on there. Yes.”

Jessica Vann
I’m on LinkedIn over there. I think I’m just Jessica Vann over there too.

Lesley Logan
But are you still hosting your podcast? Are you dropping episodes with that?

Jessica Vann
So fun fact, thanks for bringing that up. I do you have a podcast Tomfoolery and Shenanigans. Are you surprised? I am not. So you can hit that up listen to season one. I am actually this year as part of my restart and rebuild and foundational is the goal is to bring that back by the end of the year. (Lesley: Wonderful.) So that season two is actually be up top of next year. So that whole production process will start to come through but don’t see what we did over a season a lot of good time. It was in the height of a lot of things. So there’s some very pertinent conversations that happen but yeah, Tomfoolery and Shenanigans on most of all your platforms, Apple and … (Lesley: Wonderful.)

Lesley Logan
We’ll have all the links in the show notes make it real easy for y’all as you are listening to this. Okay, before I let you go. (Jessica: Yeah.) Bold, executable, intrinsic, targeted steps that people can take to be it till they see it, what action steps do you have for our listeners?

Jessica Vann
I’m gonna say this. This is gonna be very cliche, because that’s the real thing. So some actionable things that you can do is rest. Rest.

Lesley Logan
Oh, we haven’t had that one. That’s so good.

Jessica Vann
Listen to your body. Rest. Veg when you need to veg, watch TV to disassociate if you need to. That’s what you need to like. Because at the end of the day, we are we are vessels and it needs to be filled. And some of the strongest things that we need to do is fill it is rest and to feed our brains what we need to come back strong. So just rest. Chill out. Breathe. Listen to your body. It’s okay. You can like I get up at four o’clock in the morning if your body’s like you know what I need a little extra hours. Just rest.

Lesley Logan
Oh, that is the best. I’m, that’s so great. I love to hear what these action items are because I’m always like, “What are people gonna say?” I’m like that one haven’t had rest on there. So thank you for always be unique and wonderful in my life. I am so grateful to know you and have this conversation with you. Y’all, how are you going to use these tips in your life? What resonated? Make sure you tag @jdotjourney on Instagram or on theTikTok thing you can tag her as Jess and we’ll have those links and the @be_it_pod. Let us know because we want to know how you’re being it till you see it. Thank you so much for being here Jess and for everyone listening and until next time, Be It Till You See It.

Jessica Vann
Bye!

Lesley Logan
That’s all I’ve got for this episode of the Be It Till You See It podcast. One thing that would help both myself and future listeners is for you to rate this show and leave a review. And, follow or subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to introduce yourself over on IG at the @be_it_pod on Instagram. I would love to know more about you. Share this episode with whoever you think needs to hear it. Help us help others to BE IT TILL YOU SEE IT. Have an awesome day!

Lesley Logan
Be It Till You See It is a production of Bloom Podcast Network.

Brad Crowell
It’s written, produced, filmed and recorded by your host Lesley Logan. And me Brad Crowell. Our associate producer is Amanda Frattarelli.

Lesley Logan
Kevin Perez at Disenyo handles all of our audio editing.

Brad Crowell
Our theme music is by Ali at APEX Production Music. And our branding by designer and artist, Gianfranco Cioffi.

Lesley Logan
Special thanks to our designer Mesh Herico for creating all of our visuals, (which you can’t see because this is a podcast) and our digital producer, Jay Pedroso for editing all the video each week, so you can.

Brad Crowell
And to Angelina Herico for transcribing each episode, so you can find it on our website. And finally to Meridith Crowell for keeping us all on point and on time.

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