I exist.

Hi,

I’ve written and scratched out this sentence about 14 times, but I’ve had all of these words in my head for years. I wanted to first re-introduce myself to you. I feel like, perhaps we don’t know each other as well as I’d hoped. I feel like, perhaps the Internet, social media has portrayed me in a way that might be fake. This might have been my doing, this might be the social media conspiracy BUT I felt like I wanted to explain myself a little bit better. I want to me more real and honest.

My name is Andrea Jane; In face to face life I go by Andie and on here I go by Jane. Jane was my grandmothers’ name and Andrea was 2nd best to Bridgette, which I was not named because my Mom felt Bridgette Britt just didn’t sound right. I’m currently 27 years old, I’m married and I live 4-5 hours away from my hometown. I’ve lived in 3 different states since leaving high school and I’ve traveled to 5 different countries and lots of different states.

I’ve ran a marathon and then vowed to never run more than 6 miles in my life. I’ve eaten pigs ears and have been held at gunpoint in Mexico. I’ve had the chance to see the sunset over the Caribbean ocean multiple times and I’ve smoked a cigarette on the steps of the Piazza del Duomo, in Firenze.

When I type all of this out, it sounds interesting but most days I don’t feel interesting. Most days I feel defeated and a little crummy (but I’m working on it). You see there was a point in my life, in high school when I hated the person I saw in the mirror. I remember feeling like my bones and insides were aching with the amount of hatred I held for myself. I allowed a series of events and decisions to affect me to the point where I felt like I didn’t deserve well…anything. This lead to a lot of self-hatred, which lead to a lot of harmful personal decisions that had a lot to do with body image. So, I’ve also dealt with an eating disorder and excessive exercise, depression, guilt, and the general loss of self-esteem.

 

Once I was able to really process all of those feelings from high school I was able to let things go and really step forward into life. It was those dark and scary things that in the end really pushed me towards a much more adventurous and loving life. One of the biggest things that woke me up from all of that, was the moment I realized I deserved the life I had dreamed of, I deserved the adventure. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of good and bad and fun and scary things, but since the moment I realized I deserved it, I committed to becoming a curator of a beautiful life. The curator to MY beautiful life. So this is why I blog, this is why I post pictures on Instagram, why I post funny, inspirational or random things on Facebook and Twitter. It’s why I try to make our house a home, why I try to make every meal as special as I can and celebrate as much and as often as I see fit. I feel like I deserve a beautiful life, that we all deserve a beautiful life – whatever that looks like and I’m just devoted to making mine the best that I can.

Somedays seeing the beauty of things is hard. I’m introverted, I hold myself to an extremely high standard and I’m very sensitive. I’m also determined and passionate, altruistic, creative and insightful. I wanted to share with you my thoughts and some moments of my true self. This is the first ‘creative’ project I’ve done since sophomore year in college and that was a personal essay. It’s a big step and I’m still not sure if it all worked out but I felt the need to make and share it nonetheless.

I want you to understand that I’m not as perfect (as much as I try everyday to be), I fail a lot. I don’t have extra finances that allow me the luxury of high fashion or globe trotting- but I do value style and travel and work hard to make that a part of my life. I get home from work and feel exhausted but still want to make dinner and make it well because Seth and I deserve that. I choose to celebrate the small things because honestly I’m just happy I can face my own face in the mirror. This year I’m hoping for more good days than bad, but I also really understand that the bad parts are unavoidable – I accept that. I want to put forward a more authentic version of myself in all that I do. Not one that looks happy on the outside but one that is joyful through tears because honestly it’s only the people like that, that I can connect to. Like really connect to and this year in 2015 I hope to connect to more people like that. Meet people where they are at, just sit together in the knowingness of what was and the possibility of what might be. I miss that in my life and it’s interesting to see what a gift that is, the gift of hard times.

Words mean so much to me and while I share them often I want to share my favorite poem. It’s been with me for awhile now and I’ve memorized it to help me see more hope on darker days.

 “I exist as I am, that is enough,

If no other in the world be aware I sit content,

And if each and all be aware I sit content.
One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait.” ― Walt Whitman

 

Here is a video I made with Seth, I wanted to develop this concept to bring Walt Whitman’s words to life the way I feel them- with much anxiety and angst but joyful content in waiting. I was lucky enough to be married to a guy who can both film and write music. It’s amazing to see something that was in my head come to life.

Jane The Philosopher – I Exist from Seth Fuller on Vimeo.

Here are some photographs that Brad Trone took. (I’ve known him since I was… like 8, we’ve shared a many a Sonic runs and car rides listening to loud music and turn out he grew up to be a pretty dope photographer) My hope was to show you who I a really am. Apart from any selfie or great shot on my profile picture these emotions, this is who I am everyday.

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