so much on my mind

August 5, 2010 |  Category:   life

I mean this has been a slow summer, right? (though I am working a bit right now). But my mind’s been bouncing around like Pong on caffeine and I haven’t been able to get to sleep til 3am most nights. There are ideas. ALOT of ideas and I’m making connections, some of which I feel will be very important some day, but right now I’m paralyzed by the thought of executing them and I feel like I’m all over the place. I know I over think. I know that I am, still, even after all these years and life lessons learned, crippled by the thought of doing something that is less than perfect. I am a control freak. I know that these are my greatest obstacles, but even the slightest hope that I’ll be able to leave behind the things that I don’t want to do anymore will, in the end, push me through. I *have* to believe this.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the paths that we choose to take in life, whether it was calculated, organic in its progression or accidental. It may not have been completely clear at the time, but I think I’m old enough at this point to look back and see the that each step, each job, each project has led me to where I am. I can pinpoint the exact moment in my life exactly 10 years ago that, had I made a different choice, would have most likely led me down a much different path. I look at some of my friends and classmates and see just how far they’ve risen up in their careers (by the way, DO NOT start poking around and looking up where your friends have ended up if you’re feeling even a little insecure about yourself, because you’re most certainly going to feel like craaaap). Had I made that other choice, I could have been like them. I have worked on some very interesting and high profile projects so I don’t understand why I sometimes feel a slight tinge of career envy when I know that corporate life isn’t for me. It is confusing. Perhaps it’s just human nature to measure yourself against your peers, but this feeling is uncomfortable.

I know I slipped in the line about the “store” rather casually a few posts back. The truth is, we are doing it. I don’t know where, I don’t even know when, but it is more in the “near future” rather than “far”. It is so overwhelming though, you guys. I don’t even know where to start. This may just be the hardest thing that I will have ever done in my life so far.

ps. the J.Crew catalog. I want. Everything. Or maybe I just want the styling. btw, I just saw on the class list that Jenna Lyon’s son is going to Claudine (and Mia’s old) preschool. I promise I won’t start stalking just so I can see inside their brownstone in real life. No. No, that would be creepy and just plain wrong.

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  • chelsea August 5, 2010 at 12:38 am

    jenna, this is all so relevant in my life right now as well. the analyzing, the crippling fear of failing, of not meeting the expectations i’ve set for myself. the self-doubt, the panic about my career, my lifestyle, my salary level & making the mistake of sizing up that of others. it’s all so, so relevant & a constant challenge every day to reverse that behavior — or at least quiet those thoughts. i’m certainly rooting for you in all of your upcoming endeavors. you’ve got this.

  • quyen huynh August 5, 2010 at 12:48 am

    congrats on taking that leap of faith. there is never any doubt that it will be successful. by the way, i feel the same about the new jcrew catalog. stunning and want it all.

  • Anna @ D16 August 5, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Maybe it’s because I’m up early after very little sleep, or maybe it’s because you’re SO good at putting into words all of these fears that I am so familiar with, but I’m actually in tears after reading this.

    Fear of imperfection is my greatest obstacle as well, and it’s stood in the way of me accomplishing so many things that I have dreamed of doing. It’s hard for me to see myself as anything but a failure, if only because I know what I’m capable of.

    Congratulations on making the decision to go ahead with the store. That alone is one of the hardest parts of the process!

    p.s. That JCrew catalog (currently stationed on my coffee table) made me want to throw away all of my clothes and start over as a new person.

  • Adele {modernemotive} August 5, 2010 at 8:17 am

    You have a knack Jenna of writing posts I could of written myself.

  • Renee August 5, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I’ve been carrying their new catalog around my apartment for the past week. It follows me to every room. Love it! I think this is the first time I’ve commented on you blog…very inspiring.

  • Manja August 5, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Oh, this is just so weird. Your thoughts, it’s like listening to myself. I was talking to my sister (who is beside my husband and our baby boy the most important person in my life) yesterday afternoon when we met for coffee and saying how is it possible that I can be such a coward? I can be so insecure about my work, although I have been doing it for 10 years now. For a very long time, all I wanted to do is illustrate children books. And, I have, I’m rather good at it. But recently, I want more. I want to do prints on clothes, design children clothes, tea sets… The list goes on. And I am terrified of failing, terrified of not having enough time during the day.
    And, I want to be the best mom for my boy, he deserves it.
    Is it to much?
    Anyway, I just felt like sharing this with you.
    PS. What you said about career envy, hahahah, I know exactly what you mean. I think most of my class mates make more money than me. They work the long hours in advertising and are worn out and unhappy most of the time. Also, none of them have a family yet. So I tell myself that it’s not for me:) Actually I know it.
    Thumbs up for the store! I would love one as well. Hopefully one day…

  • ChantaleP August 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Yay! Store is in the works. Even the way you said it, so casual. lol. Believe it or not Jenna, your friends (even the ones on the highest corporate ladder) are probably doing the same as you and envying you. Goes both ways.. I think it’s exactly your fears & perfectionism that’ll propel you towards your goal and make it a success.

    btw: g’head and stalk! but you know, casually ;p.. still waiting for my catalogue.. : (

  • jennifer August 5, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Oh god, right there with you. On all of it. Is it this unrelenting humidity that is driving us all to insomnia? Big congrats on the upcoming store- I’m all about huge change these days so it warms (ugh. more heat) my cockles to hear of people taking leaps of faith.

  • Jenna August 5, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Anna, sorry to make you cry πŸ™

  • miranda August 5, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    your life is beautiful

  • diamondkelt August 5, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Wow! Store is going to happen afterall?! Awesome πŸ™‚ It’ll work despite the over thinking.

  • Amy August 5, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Okay, I loved this post. (Here’s my favorite line: “my mind’s been bouncing around like Pong on caffeine.”)

    What changes you all are going through! I am always astounded, though, at your insecurity about your work and career, lady. I personally find your work amazing and lovely. But we’re all human, and I totally understand where you’re coming from. Hope you do see your talent clearly sometimes…I know your readers do. (-:

  • amanda August 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Jenna, I’ve just discovered your blog and i’ve just sat here entranced by your words. It’s not often that you can come across a blog and be instantly engrossed by the author’s writing.
    I totally relate to this post and myself feel like I’m on the precipice of something…at that fork in the road where a big decision will shape the years to come. It’s bloody scary but liberating.
    Thanks so much for your post. It helped me a lot.

  • Ashley at Hither and Thither August 10, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    I’m with everyone else–I love the way you put things. I’m usually a skimmer, but I find myself hanging on every word. So well put.

    Congratulations on taking this big plunge. I, too, will be rooting for you and look forward to seeing you thrive in the next phase of your business.

    And speaking of great clothes: where do you get all of the cute dresses your girls wear? They are the most stylish little ladies (or should I say rock stars)?

  • Karen August 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    right on!!! happy to talk shop if you ever need someone to bounce ideas off of…whether it’s figuring out how to configure the space, what time is best to open up every morning, or the best ways to guarantee your retail help actually arrives on time. Congratulations! Very exciting stuff!

  • dengesiz July 3, 2011 at 6:35 am

    thanks you πŸ™‚