It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to.
What do you answer to?
This is Jewel’s favourite quote and the questions she asks her guests all the time. It makes you define yourself and not have anyone else define you. This time, I was able to ask her the same question.
For Jewel, she answers to who God defines her. She answers to being worthy of belonging in the community and to the personification of her name - Jewel - a rare and precious person.
Jewel and I met sometime around September. We just hit it off at the first meeting. She has been around the world and lived life. It’s the humility she has and the care for others that emanates from her.
Her podcast, Let’s Talk About This Offline, began last year during the COVID lockdown. Being an avid podcast listener, she kept thinking to herself that she could also be a podcaster because she had so much to say.
Let’s Talk About This Offline came about because it was a phrase she always heard at work and the conversations she had offline were so much more interesting. These conversations made her think about the world around her more than the conversations she had online. This sparked the idea of creating a podcast of conversations with people about offline topics.
These conversations help shine the light on differences for people and also find their commonalities.
WE ARE ALL SIMILAR IN MANY WAYS
Jewel’s podcast is a platform where she conveys that we all go through ages, stages, and seasons. We all go through different adversities and we build resilience because of these challenges. Through these hardships that we all go through, we each have our own fire in the belly that keeps us coming back for more.
Through her podcast, she gives people a platform to share their stories which makes her listeners see that we truly are the same and we all want the same things.
“Oftentimes, we forget that we are all human regardless of your race, gender, sexuality.” @jewelt73 #chasingdreams
“It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” - W.C Fields
As a little girl, young Jewel wanted to be a writer. She was an avid reader and loved other worlds, especially science fiction and fantasy because in those worlds you could create whenever you wanted and the rules were arbitrary. They didn’t matter because they weren’t the rules where she lived in. She loved reading because this gave her a way to travel in her head.
She grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. Their home was open to everyone, where her family and friends would always gather on Sundays after church. During these gatherings, she was able to hear so many different kinds of conversations from all walks of life. It was an eye-opener for young Jewel to know that her world was bigger than her little home. It created a wanderlust in her that sparked her curiosity in other people and their experiences which made her embrace life and live it to its fullest.
“If you take a step forward, people take ten steps towards you.” @jewelt73 #chasingdreams
Balancing travel, work, and family
Being a lover of life, Jewel lives it to the fullest. She embraces each and every moment and this spills over into her work. She and her husband travel around the world talking to all different types of people from all different backgrounds.
Through her travels, the best advice she got from an older and wiser woman was, “A lot of people are going to tell you that you can have it all. You CAN have it all, but you can’t have it all at the same time.”
Going into marriage and motherhood with that mindset, she was open to the idea that this season may not be for her to work outside the home. This may be the season in life where you’re going to take one for the team. There may be days that would be mundane and long, but that doesn’t mean it will be that way all the time.
When you choose to have a family, the truth is, you have to understand that things will come your way. You can chase all of your dreams, but you can’t do it all in one day.
Sometimes, people are so quick to say that things didn’t workout, therefore they can’t have their dreams. One setback can sometimes dishearten them from chasing their dreams. But we have to remember that setbacks are the steps for a stronger comeback.
“You can have it all. But you can’t have it all at the same time.” @jewelt73 #chasingdreams
Starting her own business
Jewel was a notoriously bad baker at the beginning. But she did all the financials and overheads and saw that this was an inexpensive business that she could pursue. So she began reading, learning, and researching about cooking. She read cookbook after cookbook.
What she learned from the experience, going through the whole process and being forced to reinvent herself, she learned that she can always land on her feet. She learned that no matter where she was in the world, no matter what she needed to do, she had her own back and could handle anything life threw at her.
“What I learned from that experience, going through the whole process and being forced to reinvent myself, shIe learned that I can always land on my feet.” @jewelt73 #chasingdreams
Switching to a growth mindset
Our default mindset is the one of fear. It’s our ego telling us that we need to protect ourselves which causes us to stay in our own comfort zone.
Going through her hardships in life, Jewel believes that she went through that experience to learn something. Life was teaching her that she can have it all but not at the same time.
We all go through something that makes us feel not right, like something is off. There’s an irritation and a queasiness. You just don’t feel good. We all go through it at some point in life.
The question is, do you listen to yourself and what your inner voice is telling you when you feel like something is off?
SELF LOVE IS NOT SELFISH
We all go through these difficult and challenging times in life. It’s essential to listen to that inner voice that’s telling us that something is not right. Instead of pushing that feeling away and distracting ourselves, we must learn that self-love and self-care is not selfish. You can come first.
Self-love and prioritizing yourself makes you a better mother, better spouse, and better person. As a mom, Jewel saw that she was a guide and an authoritarian figure to her child and found that she was able to be a much better one when she first took care of herself.
At some point, you have to realize with your partner that it’s not 50-50. It’s 100-100. You need to each be at your 100%. But of course, there are times when the relationship is 90-10 or 50-50. But when you talk about who you are as a person and who you are formed to be, you’ve got to be your own best friend, your own cheerleader, and your own hype man. You have to.
When Jewel’s mother died, this was a life-changing experience for her and her family, making her realize that when you leave this earth, you leave by yourself just like how you came into this world. So, you come first. Take care of you.
At the end of the day, when you lay your head on the pillow, you have got to be okay with who you are. But if you aren’t, don’t be scared. That’s an internal red flag that tells you to do some self-checking.
“At the end of the day, when you lay your head on the pillow, you have got to be okay with who you are. But if you aren’t, don’t be scared. That’s an internal red flag that tells you to do some self-checking.” @jewelt73 #chasingdreams
WHY WE STRUGGLE WITH SELF-LOVE
It’s been said over and over again in the airplane before take-off, “put your own oxygen mask first before helping others around you.”
This is the same with life. Take care of yourself first so that you can give from the overflow and care for others. However, a lot of us struggle with this. If you’re going through a mental health crisis of any kind, just love on yourself until you get better. But once you are in a good place, sit back and re-evaluate your direction and where you are.
A huge factor for self-love and care is the people you surround yourself with. As the saying goes, “If you show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.” This applies to all areas of your life. Be around people who are in the direction you want to be in.
“If you show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.” @jewelt73 #chasingdreams
NOT EVERYONE WILL BE IN YOUR LIFE IN ALL STAGES
Just like in an airplane, there are stopovers in life and not everyone who was with you from take-off will be with you until you reach your destination. This doesn’t mean that you or they have failed in any way, it’s just the way of life. Some people will be with you for a reason, season, or a lifetime.
Jewel has learned not to hold on to people who leave. That only damages yourself and you give all of your power away when you do that. You’re not a bad person for letting other people go. So don’t feel guilty.
Having done this repeatedly in her life, Jewel realized that you will find your tribe wherever you are and that is a beautiful thing about life.
“When you do move on, it is not your job to go back and get them.” @jewelt73 #chasingdreams
“Date yourself. Be your own best friend.” @jewelt73 #chasingdreams
DEALING WITH NAYSAYERS
There will always be naysayers and sometimes they can even be your friends or family. In those moments, you have to realize that when you’re doing something new, inventive, creative or different, you are moving outside of the box that others have set for you. You are creating your own box. Sometimes, other people can’t take that so they try to put you back in their box.
People will put their own fears and perceptions upon you like a jacket. But remember that you are running your own race. So other people’s feedback shouldn’t really matter. You are on your own unique journey and you get to focus on that.
GOING THROUGH LIFE’S CHALLENGES
We all go through hardships and challenges. You may be going through one right now, but remember, it won’t last forever. It is temporary.
A lot of the time, when we are going through hardships, we think we are the only ones going through this specific situation, but you are not. So if you are having a hard time, remember that the pain will pass.
“You are going to go through some stuff but know that you can come out stronger on the other side.” @jewelt73 #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take–
Don’t let the fear take over.
The fear will come when you step out of uncharted waters. But rely on your plan and keep pushing through. Consistency is massive. When you are consistent you will see the results over time.
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