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Adulting and Encouragement: Journals and Jessica Simpson

Inspiration to keep writing my story/my blog recently came from an unusual source: Jessica Simpson.

This past year I listened to her book on audible, Open Book, and learned that she has kept journals most of her life. She was inspired to do so by her cousin and best friend, Sarah, who journaled, and who unfortunately died when Jessica was just starting her singing career. Sarah’s journals motivated Jessica to get herself a notebook and kept her cousin’s legacy of writing alive.

I went on a 11 hour and 22 minute journey with Jessica, listening to her words as she told her life story. And I savored it. In the print version of her book, she shows copies of her hand-written pages, chock full of her scrawl. I could see how her love of writing produced not only the book I was enjoying, but beautiful song lyrics that many of us sing.

After hearing her tell her story, I found her to be insightful and much more humble than I expected. No, she’s not perfect by any means. And sure, her book could be a publicity stunt. But as a fellow writer, I just don’t think it is. She is just too raw. And she ends her book with powerful words that I wanted to share with you, because they shouted wisdom to me:

“Pain is where the tools are,” I said to my therapist the other day. If you’re someone who has a lot of tools, I’m sorry, but I am also hopeful for you. You have so much to work with.

If you read Jessica’s story, you’ll learn that there is a lot of pain. Just as there is pain in all our stories. But Jessica ends on a truthful and wise note that pain is not without its benefits. It can give us tools: for example, it can give us humility, compassion. understanding, and endurance (leading to strength). The list will vary from person to person and from situation to situation. But these utensils are there for us to work with, and I would argue to even rest with.

We could also discuss the tools we maintain to help cope with anxiety such as deep breathing, exercise, or positive speaking. Some of Jessica’s devices seem obvious to me with her singing and her journaling. She said it herself:

There are certain things that make me relax, like writing my journal. That's the only time that I'm relaxing. It's the only time I really get to examine myself.

I have no idea your impression of the famous singer, author, actress, and fashion designer who is Jessica Simpson. But bottom line, I’m so thankful she wrote and wrote and wrote, ultimately displaying her own life tools and encouraging us to expand on our own.

Let’s be sure to keep other people’s stories in mind as we live. We can truly help one another.


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