Inner Rebel

Meet Your Hosts: Embracing Our Inner Rebels, Dismantling Expectations and Building Authentic Lives

March 31, 2023 Season 1 Episode 1
Meet Your Hosts: Embracing Our Inner Rebels, Dismantling Expectations and Building Authentic Lives
Inner Rebel
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Inner Rebel
Meet Your Hosts: Embracing Our Inner Rebels, Dismantling Expectations and Building Authentic Lives
Mar 31, 2023 Season 1 Episode 1

Welcome to Inner Rebel, where hosts Melissa Bauknight and Jessica Rose dive into open, honest conversations about life, vulnerability, and rediscovering their true selves. In this first episode, you get to meet your hosts! They explore their upbringing, the struggle with perfectionism, the good girl archetype, and the development of their inner rebels. Through their healing journeys, they've embraced authenticity, radical self-love, and the fight for individual identity. 

Join them as they share deeply personal experiences, wisdom, and the importance of pushing boundaries to create a world that fully accepts and values individuality. Join this revolutionary movement towards self-discovery, growth, and ultimately, a sense of belonging. 

Topics Discussed:

  • Introduction of hosts Melissa Bauknight and Jessica Rose
  • The good girl archetype
  • Questioning beliefs and upbringing
  • True self versus presented self
  • Anxiety and imposter syndrome
  • Self-worth through external achievements
  • Excavating oneself for personal growth
  • The great dismantling
  • The role of mentors and coaches
  • Journey of self-discovery and embracing individuality

If you loved today’s episode, please share your favorite takeaways by screenshotting this episode and tagging us on Instagram! We also have a free monthly community call on the first Wednesday of every month, join here


Follow Inner Rebel Podcast: @innerrebelpodcast
Follow Melissa: @therippleconnection
Follow Jessica: @bydesignwithjess
Visit the Inner Rebel website
Join the Inner Rebel Community Facebook Group:

If you loved today’s episode, please leave a review and share your favorite takeaways by screenshotting this episode and tagging us on Instagram! We also have a free monthly community call on the first Wednesday of every month, join here!


Follow Inner Rebel Podcast: @innerrebelpodcast
Follow Melissa: @therippleconnection
Follow Jessica: @bydesignwithjess
Visit the Inner Rebel website
Check out The Nova Community and become a founding member

Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to Inner Rebel, where hosts Melissa Bauknight and Jessica Rose dive into open, honest conversations about life, vulnerability, and rediscovering their true selves. In this first episode, you get to meet your hosts! They explore their upbringing, the struggle with perfectionism, the good girl archetype, and the development of their inner rebels. Through their healing journeys, they've embraced authenticity, radical self-love, and the fight for individual identity. 

Join them as they share deeply personal experiences, wisdom, and the importance of pushing boundaries to create a world that fully accepts and values individuality. Join this revolutionary movement towards self-discovery, growth, and ultimately, a sense of belonging. 

Topics Discussed:

  • Introduction of hosts Melissa Bauknight and Jessica Rose
  • The good girl archetype
  • Questioning beliefs and upbringing
  • True self versus presented self
  • Anxiety and imposter syndrome
  • Self-worth through external achievements
  • Excavating oneself for personal growth
  • The great dismantling
  • The role of mentors and coaches
  • Journey of self-discovery and embracing individuality

If you loved today’s episode, please share your favorite takeaways by screenshotting this episode and tagging us on Instagram! We also have a free monthly community call on the first Wednesday of every month, join here


Follow Inner Rebel Podcast: @innerrebelpodcast
Follow Melissa: @therippleconnection
Follow Jessica: @bydesignwithjess
Visit the Inner Rebel website
Join the Inner Rebel Community Facebook Group:

If you loved today’s episode, please leave a review and share your favorite takeaways by screenshotting this episode and tagging us on Instagram! We also have a free monthly community call on the first Wednesday of every month, join here!


Follow Inner Rebel Podcast: @innerrebelpodcast
Follow Melissa: @therippleconnection
Follow Jessica: @bydesignwithjess
Visit the Inner Rebel website
Check out The Nova Community and become a founding member

00:00:00 JESSICA
to the very first episode of Interreble. I'm Jessica Rose and I am here with the beautiful, extraordinary spreadsheet, aficionado, Melissa

00:00:13 MELISSA
Oh, thank you. Thank you. That's not what I want to be known for, but we'll work through it.

00:00:20 MELISSA
systems. I love systems and I'm just going to say it. I think that organizing things is a turn on. Back in the day, like I love to color-coded binder. I love automation. I love, like, when my pantry looks perfect and there's little cubbies for things and it's all organized, like I'm on the home edit. That's when I'm, that's not when I'm the happiest, but that's something that brings me an immense amount of

00:00:45 JESSICA
joy. Can you tell me what I don't know what the home edit is?

00:00:47 MELISSA
it's a show. An organizational show. So you just sit

00:00:50 JESSICA
watch people organize things for fun.

00:00:52 MELISSA
I've only watched it once, but I could get

00:00:58 MELISSA
Do you now know how cool I am?

00:01:02 JESSICA
cool. A fun fact is that Melissa and I have never met in person before, and we've been getting to know each other in the context of creating this podcast together. And we had met, I would say, about a year and a half ago and have been working together in some capacity, but we thought that we would use this episode to get to know each other and allow our listeners to get to know us because we are at the very beginning of a journey.

00:01:30 JESSICA
never been able to hug you. I know. And I think there's so much we're still learning about each other. So we thought we would do it live on air, well not live. Yeah. We would do it in real-time for all of

00:01:44 MELISSA
you. We would develop our friendship in the most exposed and vulnerable way that we can do that

00:01:51 MELISSA
recording all the

00:01:54 JESSICA
moments. I feel so stretched outside my comfort zone. I've expressed to Melissa before that I think we're both pretty vulnerable, sensitive people, and we're both used to expressing that vulnerability in very private, safe spaces and actually allowing ourselves to be more public and open our ideas up for many people to listen to and have their opinions on is something that I find very vulnerable and a little bit scary and uncomfortable.

00:02:28 JESSICA
I'm working through those big feelings right now. But I do feel like I have had such an amazing partner in that journey. Melissa, you are incredible at creating a safe space and holding women, not just me, but holding all the women in your life.

00:02:49 JESSICA
maybe we can segue by asking you a question that we have been asking most of our guests. I want to hear in your own words, who are you? And how is that different from who you thought you were going to be or

00:03:07 MELISSA
I'm going to answer in reverse because this is an interreble podcast and I'll do what I want. I thought I was supposed to be the good girl. The good girl to me wants to at least on the surface level make everyone think that I'm the perfect child.

00:03:29 MELISSA
I was raised in a conservative Christian family and there's a lot inside of that box that is not okay. I had a lot of anxiety. For as long as I can remember, I was a 4.0 student. I played basketball through high school, collegiate softball, I was on honor society. On the surface, I had all my shit together and I did. But behind the scenes, I was curious. I really was curious. And I was curious about a lot of the not okay things. Can you

00:03:58 JESSICA
a little bit more specific about that? I know that. This is very public. I might get some letters, but what for you

00:04:06 MELISSA
not okay? Like some letters for my mom. Well, anything related to human sexuality, basically, was super shameful. I was the friend and anyone who listens to this that has known me. I was the friend that, like, if anything came up around anything sexually related, my whole face, probably my entire body would turn bright red. Like I was so shameful about that. Is

00:04:32 JESSICA
why you like

00:04:35 MELISSA
home edit. Yeah, that's why that's my porn.

00:04:39 JESSICA
you're talking about being the good girl, you're saying that there were all these systems in place that made these very human feelings and expressions wrong and shameful. At what point in your journey did you start to feel yourself push up against that? Was there ever a point that you really Or were you always that kid who was questioning

00:05:04 MELISSA
Oh, I believed it. I totally believed.

00:05:07 MELISSA
in and I didn't start questioning, I didn't start questioning my religion till, I mean, I remember a distinct moment in college with my best friend where I was like, oh, wait, I could question this. Like I have a saying and something else other than this.

00:05:21 MELISSA
it? And Mom and Dad, if you listen to this, I love you. And this is okay. I wasn't raised in a family where there was like, well, yeah, there's other choices than lots of different people believe different things. It was very much like, this is what we believe. And this is right. And I never even thought to question it. So I was just in high school starting to do normal high school things, not really questioning that side of it.

00:05:43 JESSICA
were still religious, but you were just starting to dabble and explore the boundaries

00:05:50 MELISSA
you could push. Yes, I was dabbling and sinning. I was dabbling in

00:05:56 MELISSA
to hell. But yeah, I know that why I felt so anxious for so much of my life was that I genuinely felt like parts of me were bad, parts of me were not okay. Parts of me were truly unlovable, parts of me had to be hidden in order to be accepted. And this started to create a disconnect within myself. And I didn't even know that this was the source of my anxiety until probably the last five years.

00:06:27 MELISSA
Oh, well, I didn't have the language for it. I just thought it was like this hereditary thing that I would have and that's who I was and I would always be that way until I wasn't.

00:06:36 JESSICA
does it feel like to believe that parts of you are bad? Is it that when you are a child growing up in an environment where there are these very clear markers or boxes of right and wrong that when you have feelings that seem shameful or you're told to even feel them or think them as a sin that you think something is fundamentally wrong with you or is there something else that you are experiencing as well that made you think I am unlovable

00:07:08 JESSICA

00:07:08 JESSICA
that I am

00:07:10 MELISSA
All of the above and there was a lack of belonging of a lack of belonging to myself. And so how that felt was, I never felt like I belonged anywhere. Even though I was very extroverted, had tons of friends, you would never know. You would never know. I always had this like,

00:07:31 MELISSA
chatty little bitch in my head constantly over analyzing every scenario. Like what did you say? Do you think they're gonna like you? Are they gonna approve of you? Who do you have to be in order to get them to like you? Like I got really good at being a chameleon which is great for a sales career. I just felt the lack of inner

00:07:53 MELISSA
unless I was drinking. And I think what I loved about it was that I didn't have to pretend to be somebody. I could just be free. So you

00:08:02 JESSICA
you had to shape, shift to become what the people around you expected or wanted from you. Yes. And so when you say didn't belong to yourself, you were living for other people and cared more about being liked and accepted than being who you were. So what

00:08:19 MELISSA
you mean? And I, yeah, I think so. And I didn't know that.

00:08:22 MELISSA
I had no idea that was happening, you know? Of course. No, got just clear that. I mean, and I think so many of us do that. And that's a big part of why we're doing this podcast and a big part of why people feel so segmented in themselves and why they are afraid to be seen and they're afraid to be vulnerable. I think this is so common with people. And that is why we're naming it the interreval because it's that rebellious part of you. That's like, wait a minute. It's not a minute. Wait, whoa, whoa, whoa,

00:08:43 JESSICA

00:08:52 JESSICA
I think that's why I'm asking you these questions because I think these feelings are so normal and so universal and we don't always have words for them. So I think what the thoughts were inside your head, what the feelings were inside your body is going to help a lot of people go, oh, that's what that is. I feel that.

00:09:12 JESSICA
I do that. Yeah. And then what do we do with that? So what do you think the anxiety really stemmed from? I know that you're saying that you were living for other people that you were raised in this environment that categorized things and defined boxes of good, bad, evil. But what do you think, when you think back to how anxious you were was there a predominant thought associated with that anxiousness or that sense of not belonging? What did you think was so

00:09:41 MELISSA
about you? And Poster syndrome had a big role. So there was always this, if they find out who I am, if they actually find out, I don't know what they were going to find out.

00:09:53 MELISSA
There wasn't this one thing that inside of me that I could identify, but it was almost like it didn't. matter how good I was on paper, I felt like if I showed myself, I don't think it was more specific than that. If I showed myself, then I would be rejected.

00:10:14 MELISSA
I turned to achieving, right? Like, I'm like, well, my worth is in my recognition for my achievements, which we also do. If I'm playing a college sport and if I have a good job and if I'm making a lot of money and if I did the same, I did to check these boxes and I can achieve my way into feeling whole and complete, which is so not where you're going to find

00:10:28 JESSICA

00:10:36 JESSICA
We're receiving love and validation and all kinds of things.

00:10:39 MELISSA
Yeah. And I think it's a big part of why women really struggle with worthiness. I mean, I think there's a lot to unpack in that. But I think that when you think that your worth comes from what you do, you think that what you do is what makes you worthy. And how well you do what you do makes you worthy. And how well your life looks on paper makes you worthy. But it makes you feel empty if the inner

00:11:04 JESSICA
I mean, we are very powerful learners. When we're children, we don't see the world with a lot of nuance. We see the world through the lens of black and white, you know, what gives me love, what doesn't give me love, what am I validated for, what am I not validated for, what gets me in trouble, what gets me praise.

00:11:23 JESSICA
We don't understand the nuance of our parents' emotional lives and worldview and why they treat us the way they do and their behaviors. We just interpret it as this means I'm loved and this means I'm not loved. And then we quickly learn what we need to do to keep getting love.

00:11:40 JESSICA
if that thing is not actually an authentic thing. And what we need to hide in ourselves or shame about ourselves or shut down in ourselves in order to not be met with disapproval, you know, we all want a sense of love and belonging and we are animals. So we figure out very quickly what it is that we need to do in order to get

00:12:02 MELISSA
I don't think that's an avoidable thing. I'm a mom to a almost six-year-old boy and of course you're going to provide positive reinforcement all the time, right? I'm for sure going to give him complexes about something. I

00:12:15 MELISSA
no doubt about that, you know, so I don't actually think it's like a good or bad right or wrong thing. It's just how we are. And then we get to a certain age where we start to question, well what belongs to me? Is this my belief? Is this somebody else's belief? Where did this come from? Does it feel true to me anymore? And I think it's some time in your 30 to 50s. Like that is when you start to question

00:12:36 JESSICA

00:12:37 MELISSA
how I would answer the original question of who I am now is that I have really leaned into that fiery, curious side of myself. And instead of making her wrong, I have really embraced her and gotten to know her through a lot of different modalities. I've been on a massive healing journey, a massive spiritual awakening, which we can unpack as we go through this podcast journey together.

00:13:04 MELISSA
I've really just been going in. I've been going in. I've been excavating myself for the great apart of the last decade, getting to know me, getting to show myself and really safe small containers of other women and realizing that everything that I'm dealing with is completely normal.

00:13:21 MELISSA
is weird. Nothing is bad. This is the human experience.

00:13:25 MELISSA
I gave myself permission to start showing up in these places and finding that I was met with love and not a lack of belonging. I belonged more the more that I showed. And so now I am on a sole mission to liberate women in the way in which I've been able to liberate myself.

00:13:45 MELISSA
I feel like I will never be done with this journey. This is a lifetime journey. But I really truly want women to feel free.

00:13:56 MELISSA
the only way I know how to do that is to build communities and safe spaces for people and let women know that they are okay, exactly as they are in their mess, in their fears. And the more that I, it's like a beautiful gift. The more that I do this for myself, the more I'm able to serve others, the more I'm able to serve others, the more that I'm filled up.

00:14:21 MELISSA
it's this like beautiful reciprocal relationship of healing for all of us. I'm so grateful for the shit that I've dealt with. I'm so grateful for every obstacle that I've come up against. I'm so grateful that I've had to work through some pretty hard stuff in my adult life. And I wouldn't be who I am and I wouldn't be able to be of service in the way that I am. I wouldn't be able to be here on this podcast with you to talk to the guests in the way in which I do had I not gone into the darkness

00:14:49 MELISSA
And I know that there's always a gift on the other side, but it's hard to see that, which I know you know when you're in the middle of the

00:14:59 JESSICA
It's very finding moment that

00:15:02 MELISSA
see the gift on the other side. It was a When I started doing landmark worldwide and I was in the Self-Expression and Leadership Program, which is all about being a leader in your community. So they start with the individual and then you and groups and then you and community.

00:15:14 MELISSA
And I still didn't like to talk. Like I didn't like to be in front of a room. I definitely wasn't going up to the mic unless I was really prompted.

00:15:22 MELISSA
And I was very scared of being seen, but I stood up and shared something in this woman, Lena, who I adore. Lena was the coach at the time and she stopped me in my tracks and acknowledged me in front of the whole group and was basically like, do you see the way that she commands this room? Do you see?

00:15:44 MELISSA
She just pointed out all these things. I can't even remember what she said about me and what a presence I have and really acknowledging my being. And I was like, yeah, you see me and I

00:15:54 JESSICA

00:15:57 MELISSA

00:16:01 MELISSA
her. I just saw her recently and I like couldn't stop crying. I was like, do you change my life by seeing me? Because her seeing me helped me see me. And I think that's one of the

00:16:13 JESSICA
gifts. I had them open to with an acting teacher and I really just want to acknowledge how

00:16:22 JESSICA
Impactful and important and significant that role is just the act of seeing someone. It is. It's so life changing. I had such a similar shift when I felt so seen by someone that changed the trajectory of my life right after that.

00:16:42 MELISSA
Wow. Being believed in the power, the power of being believed in. It's like it comes first.

00:16:50 MELISSA
have to be believed in and I don't know if this is entirely true, but I think it really fuels the ability to believe in oneself. I think it's such a critical component finding the people who see you and like bathing yourself in their presence and letting them fuel your belief. I talk a lot about vision holders or people that can see things that you can't see yet for yourself or they have things in their life that you want to have.

00:17:18 MELISSA
And you're like, I can see it's possible. They help you see what's possible, right? And so there's all these amazing humans. And I know you probably have a lot of stories over the years of these people that kind of light the pathway for you that you're like, okay, yeah. This is the next person turning on the light that's guiding

00:17:36 MELISSA
myself. Yeah. I mean, every time I have them like a meltdown, I'm like, who knows me? Who can remind me that I'm okay? The step one. Get reminded that you're okay by people who actually know you and that you

00:17:50 JESSICA
So you had a moment where you were deeply believed in and deeply

00:17:55 JESSICA
And then what got

00:17:57 MELISSA
in you? I mean, that is where my entire business came from. It put me on this trajectory.

00:18:02 MELISSA
And literally since that happened, I have known that I was meant to do this work. I have known that I was meant to create community around it. I have known that I was meant to lead, like create chapters of community.

00:18:14 MELISSA
I've known it all for eight years. Since that moment, I did that thing that made no sense at the time, but it really sparked this sole vision. And I remember when you did my first human design reneed and I was like, thank God I said I love my career and thank God I said I'm doing the work that I'm doing because I'm really living my design as you know.

00:18:37 MELISSA
If I had not done that conference and left my career and like taken these chances, I would be so, I don't know what I would probably call off track. Or you would have found another way. That's true.

00:18:47 MELISSA
It's not like it's been crystal clear the whole time. And I think there's an illusion that, oh, I'm supposed to have this crystal clear vision for my future and then I just know what to do. And I don't think it goes that way.

00:18:57 MELISSA
I think you get a spark of an idea or you have a feeling inside of you and you are being pulled towards something and it's your job to just keep listening and to keep putting one foot in front of the other towards that thing and letting the clarity come because you're not going to be clear in the beginning. Like it's definitely taken eight years of work to have it feel very clear today.

00:19:19 JESSICA
it sounds like your relationship to this idea of an inner rebel that we're talking about that that was gradual for you. That you started out in life as the good girl and then there was something inside of you that started to question it and started to feel your way through that and around that. And then eventually started to make really bold moves for your life in order to be free and to find out who you were.

00:19:48 JESSICA
So what is that relationship? What is an inner rebel to you and what is your relationship with her now?

00:19:56 MELISSA
mean, it's just me. Really? Like it's maybe... in me and it has felt like a fight. It has felt like a fight for me. Like I'm like, I will be me! Climb my way home to myself. And it's honestly a journey of love. That sounds so corny, but it's a journey of me falling in love with who I actually am, learning

00:20:22 MELISSA
acceptance of all my imperfections and giving myself permission to be seen in all of that. That's fucking rebellious. And then to go forward and start a movement around it, which I really think I'm doing. I think we're doing. I'm going to label it a revolution, trademark. So that is what it means to me. It's really just the fight to

00:20:48 JESSICA
I love

00:20:50 JESSICA
What does it mean to you? The inner rebel? Yeah, I think as we've spent time exploring it, my inner rebel. I honestly don't know where it came from, but it's the part of me

00:21:04 JESSICA
to compromise myself. That has trusted a feeling inside of me that what I really truly want is meant for me and worth holding out for. And I should, I mean, I have compromised many times, knowingly and often unknowingly.

00:21:20 JESSICA
I mean, it's a huge part of the learning process. But after a certain amount of time of being out of alignment, it kind of naws away at me, and I pay attention to that. So it's a little feeling in my gut, in my soul, that is constantly reminding me of who I really am in my essence, in my core. I think that our rebel is

00:21:43 JESSICA
We live in a world that believes that we should all be the same. I think we have a lot of made up ideas about how the world works, and that we're also supposed to fit into the same box. And we follow these conventions, and we try to live.

00:21:58 JESSICA
We're told to live a life that is very safe. And by the book, here are the things that you need to do in order to like ABC become a professional grownup in the world and have success. And this is the way that you do that.

00:22:14 JESSICA
And I actually don't think any of us are actually meant to be in that box. I don't think there is a one size fits all for anyone. And yet to even question it and to push up against it, at all, people go like, oh, superbellious.

00:22:31 JESSICA
I know who are you. I know who are you. But there's actually nothing rebellious about it at all. It's just we all want to feel safe to show up more fully as ourselves in the world. And we need a world, I think, that gives us all more permission to do so. And yet, that isn't yet the world that we live in. And so instead, it means just to be who you are is an active rebellion. Just to show up in your authenticity is an

00:22:31 MELISSA
know who are you. I

00:23:00 JESSICA
I wish it

00:23:03 JESSICA
I do think that is the world we still live in. I think in some ways, it might be

00:23:08 JESSICA
I still think it's a journey. And I still think we all want a sense of home and belonging in the world. And so it's really scary for anybody to venture outside of the lines because we all want love. We all want to belong. We all want to feel safe. We want to be accepted. And we're not talking enough about the fact that we're all actually

00:23:33 JESSICA
us are weird because we're individuals. And when we're not having those conversations, we assume that everyone else is in the normal club, except for

00:23:42 MELISSA
Yeah, I'm alone. I'm alone

00:23:46 JESSICA
I think we all feel that on some

00:23:49 MELISSA
the thing I will add is I think generationally, right? There was a true and depending, we're both white women who are very privileged, right? So depending on

00:24:01 MELISSA
background, your true upbringing, it wasn't safe for people. Even being a woman, our mom's ages, they were really fighting for this. So we're so privileged to get to talk about an opening like this.

00:24:14 MELISSA
But we carry that generational conditioning of this actually really has not truly been safe to do to be this way. I mean, there were witch hunts, right? I mean, half my friends would have been burned at the stake if they were still doing witch hunts.

00:24:27 MELISSA
200%, probably 100%. So it really wasn't safe. And there's still places where it's not safe. So there is that true risk of it, I think. And yeah, but it's finding that space of, how do I push this boundary in a way that can be safe? Yeah, yeah. And I wish it wasn't that way

00:24:43 JESSICA
wish it wasn't that way too. I

00:24:46 JESSICA
How do I push this boundary that shouldn't be there to begin

00:24:50 MELISSA
To begin with, I know. Well, I would love for our listeners to get to know more about you. So I am going to ask you the same question of, who did you You're supposed to be and you can answer it in whatever rebellious way you want to. You can flip those two questions around, do whatever your wild heart wants to do. So how would you describe who you are today and what has been your journey to become

00:25:15 JESSICA

00:25:17 JESSICA
you were? had a very clear dream when I was a little girl. I was very clear about who I wanted to grow up to be. I thought I would be a famous actress. I definitely wanted to be a mother and have a family. I had very specific dreams and I pursued those

00:25:40 JESSICA
But I think I carried a lot of narratives about how it was supposed to happen, what it was supposed to look like that it needed to happen in a particular way by a particular timeline. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I was supported, but it wasn't like I had any examples around me of people doing what I wanted to do.

00:26:02 JESSICA
I do think I was told a lot of stories by the world about what an actor had to look like, how someone made it and I was told that I wasn't those things. I was a child of the 90s. So if you look at movies in the 90s, who the stars were of the 90s and romcoms were a really big thing.

00:26:24 JESSICA
It was a very particular idea of what a star was and I was told that I would be like the great best friends and the sidekick. And I think as a child really affects you because I think I started to equate my love ability with things that weren't in my control about who I was and put more emphasis on things about me that didn't actually have much to do with who I was at my core. Like what specifically?

00:27:01 JESSICA
Like how I looked, you know, even being told by an agent that because I wasn't tall enough, I was probably not going to get to be a lead actress. Which is bullshit, but your fed so many things. And when I mean, I would wanted to do this since I was like eight or nine and I went to an art school, which was a beautiful experience overall, but I went to an art school.

00:27:23 JESSICA
You had to audition to get into it and there were a whole lot of kids in that school who are already working at 12 years old, 13 years old. And so my perspective of the world was really skewed because I believed that if it wasn't happening then and now I get. Wow.

00:27:43 JESSICA
You know, that I was behind. Oh, interesting. And so it created this, I'm always behind.

00:27:50 JESSICA
I'm never enough. And then I overcompensated, I think with, I mean, I think I have perfectionist tendencies, but I think what I told myself is, well, if I am the best, if I am the best, then that's my chance. That's my way in. So I may not be the most beautiful. I may not be the most this or that, but I will be the best. I worked really, really hard at it and then I think I created sort of an identity throughout school and in my life that I would be the most

00:27:42 MELISSA

00:27:44 MELISSA

00:28:19 JESSICA
I really believed that I was going to, I mean, I have a beautiful friend who I got very close to in high school and we would talk a lot about our dreams. And I remember being so specific that when I'm 30 is when I will be happy because I will have all my dreams by 30. I just knew it would be a road to get there, but by 30, I would have the family, I would be a mom.

00:28:45 JESSICA
I remember turning 26 and having a panic attack that I was behind. Like this was time, mentality for a long time. I just always felt behind and was comparing my timeline to other people's timelines.

00:28:58 JESSICA
So by 26, I thought I should have children, by 30, I'd have my kids, I'd be a star, I'd be winning my Oscar. That's not actually my goal anymore. I was when I was 12. You know, I just had a vision that was so clear to me and I worked harder than anybody I knew to make that

00:29:19 MELISSA

00:29:20 JESSICA
And then life had a mind of its own. So I did hit the marker of getting married at 30 to somebody that I really loved and had been with for a

00:29:37 JESSICA
But then everything from that moment on unraveled my whole

00:29:44 JESSICA
it. Forces so outside of my control, the rug got pulled out from under me. I should be clear that I also had been really steadily working as an actor for a little while at that time too.

00:29:57 JESSICA
So I was like, yeah, I was hitting the markers. So I was like, yeah, I was was on track, I remember feeling an intense amount of anxiety about things not moving fast enough.

00:30:06 JESSICA
the markers. Okay, if I think back to what I cried most about in my 20s and my poor husband at the time, if you were to ask him what was the thing that he had to deal with the most in regards to my emotional meltdowns, it had to do with feeling behind. And I was being really hard on myself, so it was never happening fast enough. I

00:30:29 JESSICA
always comparing. And so I had a lot of pride in the things that were working for me. You know, so the fact that I had been in a nine-year relationship, I really, overly identified with the parts of my life that were on track.

00:30:44 JESSICA
So I had a lot of attachments and a lot of expectations, a lot of over identification, I really believed that if I didn't come in actor by a certain time, that like there was no reason to live, my sense of self was completely wrapped up in that vision I had created at six years old.

00:30:06 MELISSA

00:30:24 MELISSA

00:30:44 MELISSA

00:31:02 MELISSA
And I think this is so relatable though, it's so relatable, so relatable. I mean, I know, you know, I'm like, gotta get there, gotta get there now, you know? And I know so many people that I talk to that are like, if it doesn't happen for me by this age, whatever that is, then it's over.

00:31:21 MELISSA
then I meet these women that are like 60, something years old who are like, I have this big dream, and they're like recreating themselves at all different ages. And I'm like, yeah! But it is, it's this idea that if it's not done by this time. Yeah, I did

00:31:37 JESSICA
to what you expressed. Achievement was a way that I felt validated and loved. And there's another piece that I actually didn't put words to that I think has to do with the interreble

00:31:50 JESSICA
for reasons beyond my comprehension, my dreams were always so much bigger than my circumstances. And I don't know where they came from and I don't know why I had them. But being told that something wasn't possible, I felt something so deeply, so viscerally in my soul that I had to prove that wrong and I had to show the world what was possible.

00:32:17 JESSICA
And I actually think that has been the part that's been actually the hardest to let go of,

00:32:25 JESSICA
that even if I become extremely successful and I am in a lot of ways in my life, but if it's not specifically the success that I told them I would get, that somehow they

00:32:39 JESSICA
their shitty worldview that says these things aren't possible, you know? And that's really hard for me to live with. Because I really believe it on some level that anything is possible and yet not being able to fully yet bring that to fruition is the thing that makes me feel like maybe I don't know what I'm doing. Maybe they are right. Maybe those stories are true. Maybe the world does work in this particular way that I hate. You

00:33:10 JESSICA
I feel the rebellion against that, pushing against that constantly.

00:33:14 MELISSA

00:33:15 JESSICA
So in my 30s, there was a great unraveling. Forces outside of my control took all the things away from me that I ever identified with. Anything that I had overly identified with or too much attachment to got literally ripped out of my hands. When I say it was outside of my control and I'm telling you like these things are not, and they're just they

00:33:40 MELISSA
weren't in my control. I'm feeling anxious even thinking about like, you know, the things that you're like, don't take this, right? That you're

00:33:47 JESSICA
Yeah. And all of them at the same time. All of them at the same time.

00:33:52 JESSICA
I lost my husband, I lost my partner who I loved very much. I lost my home, the work that I was doing right up. I was in a different country without my support system. I

00:34:05 JESSICA
had nothing around me, no sense of home, no sense of self. Everything that I had been working at my entire life, like putting everything I had into up to that point was it was just it was all gone. And I sat in the rubble of my life for a long

00:34:25 JESSICA
had to

00:34:27 JESSICA
without those things. You talked about, you know, the initiation that you sort of go through when you move through your biggest fears, when you go through the darkness, that as... When I went through, it was honestly so brutal.

00:34:47 JESSICA
I really would never want to go through it again, but who I am on the other side of that is way more profound human being than the one I When I was young, no. And like you said, it gives you the ability to hold space for other people and help other people move through those moments because you've really loved them. And that

00:35:14 JESSICA
have envisioned. And it's in losing all of those pieces that I thought were me. I actually got to know me. Who am I really? Yeah. Who am I underneath all about? Who am I underneath all my stories? Underneath all the ideas that I

00:35:34 JESSICA
my life is supposed to look. And it turns out she's pretty

00:35:40 MELISSA

00:35:44 JESSICA
I mean, it's still an evolving relationship. But I

00:35:48 JESSICA
have discovered I am more courageous and resilient than I ever knew. And in building new relationships, I still have lots of incredible friendships from the before times and people I treasure. But in building new relationships in my new life, which is always an interesting thing, because when you go to a new country and you're meeting people in your 30s, you're not bringing the past with you.

00:36:11 JESSICA
Nobody had any idea what my past life was like and who I was in that relationship and all these things. I spent so long trying to explain to them, you don't understand. This isn't the person that I've been.

00:36:21 JESSICA
I'm perpetually single now. But I'm like, I swear I was the person in a relationship for years. This is what I was like.

00:36:28 JESSICA
There was a whole different life I had. They're like, yes, sure, sure, sure. That's true. But yeah, but then you're sort of reflected back to yourself in a new way. It's not like having friendships where they're carrying the past you into the present. They know Jessica from 10 years ago and why aren't you behaving like Jessica from 10 years ago. They're people just meeting you and getting to know you now. And so they were kind of getting to know me at a time that I had the least amount of identity I had

00:36:54 JESSICA
And yet we're mirroring something back to me and noticing and identifying parts of me that

00:37:02 JESSICA
me so much more permission

00:37:05 JESSICA
in the world and in my power.

00:37:09 MELISSA
were they mirroring back that you hadn't that you hadn't been

00:37:13 JESSICA
with? This, I feel like it's going to sound.

00:37:16 MELISSA
Well, call it hot, a hot brag. We are allowed to be, you're allowed to be awesome. So go be

00:37:25 JESSICA
mirrored back to me is a deeper wisdom

00:37:32 JESSICA
I've always had to some degree, but like a much deeper wisdom, a much deeper access to truth and abilities to see people and see situations really clearly see into people's soul and identify what, like how do I wear this? Like who they really are and what is in the way of them being who they really are. It's not like I go around and I'm just like, hey

00:38:01 MELISSA
You know your

00:38:02 JESSICA
block. I can't see it with myself by the way. Like it doesn't work the other way.

00:38:08 JESSICA
It's not my arms, yeah. But I do think I have a gift for nuance and for the gray in life. I think I have an ability to hold space and meet people emotionally in a really deep way.

00:38:20 JESSICA
My resiliency, my empathy, my capacity to love, to show up for people, to hold space for people to be themselves, to be a good friend, my courage. There's a real drive in me to always be expanding and using whatever is being handed to me to grow into the highest, most self-realized version of myself I can be, which is not a linear process. I'm not always good at that, but I think that drive, that longing to be fully expressed and self-realized in this life is something that is always with me.

00:38:52 JESSICA
We could have a conversation about safety because there's different kinds of safety. And I

00:38:08 MELISSA

00:38:59 JESSICA
really important to have particular kind of safety in relationship. That's a different kind of safety than what I'm talking about. You and I create a safe space for each other to be vulnerable.

00:39:09 JESSICA
But then there's a kind of safety that I think cushions me and held me back from discovering everything I'm capable of. Right? There's a comfort zone we could call it that I lived within. And I didn't even realize I was living there. But in the cushion of the relationship I was in, for example, which was again, a beautiful relationship for a really

00:39:37 JESSICA
going through my 20s with somebody and sharing responsibilities and not having to think for myself in all these different ways during really formative years of my adulthood. Yeah. Having that fall away in my 30s made me realize all the ways that I did not know how to take care of

00:39:55 MELISSA
So interesting. Isn't it interesting, too, that's like we think we need to be married. When I had my son at 30, whatever. 33, I was like, I am way too young to have this kind of a responsibility. Nobody this age should even be allowed to have children. This is so young. I don't even know what the fuck I'm doing. Like, how does baby know? Baby, no way. It's so interesting too. Like, I'm like, I don't know. Should

00:40:14 MELISSA
even be allowed to get married till we're like 35? And then maybe by magic, we could extend the reproductive cycle. So we're not even allowed to have babies to or 40 so that we can live our lives and get to know ourselves. You know, it just seems like it's so young. Our

00:40:03 JESSICA
this age

00:40:30 JESSICA
clock is so counter to what actually makes sense because we land in ourselves until we're in our 30s and 40s. Life doesn't make sense until then and yet we're supposed to be able to shape a whole human beings worldview before we even understand our own. So

00:40:49 JESSICA

00:40:49 MELISSA
for another episode. I mean, you sound really cool. I really want to be

00:41:00 JESSICA
to say that I have none of the things that I thought I would have. And yet in some ways I have better things. And I also don't think the journey is done.

00:41:11 JESSICA
I think a really big lesson in it is we can build a whole life from an inauthentic place. We can build an entire structure around ideas and conventions that don't actually align with our personal values. And I know now that whatever I do build from this place, because I'm going to, I'm hopefully going to be around a while and I'm going to keep building things that it can only be better.

00:41:37 JESSICA
It can only be better. I had a beautiful life and I lost a beautiful life, but it can only be better because I am so much more myself and true to myself. So living through the fire, man, it does, you know, it does bring you home to who you

00:41:54 MELISSA
Yeah. Well, and I think that you, you sharing your journey. Thank you for your bravery and the way in which you talk about it.

00:42:02 MELISSA
It gives people hope. It gives people hope that are either in the midst of an inauthentic life, which you probably feel very anxious. If you're like, this doesn't fit, I know it doesn't fit.

00:42:14 MELISSA
And you're wondering what the pathway out is. I think having people show you that it will be okay, even though it sucks tremendously in the middle, that it can be okay and even better on the other side. And for those people that are in the midst of it, that are in the middle of the muck, I'm like profoundly aware of how many people are in the muck right now coming out of the last three years and back in their regular lives and wondering what the fuck is going on and not wanting to be in it,

00:42:46 MELISSA
know. And so I think that this is why we need to tell our stories. This is why we need to have these conversations because through connecting through story, it puts us all on the same plane field and it also gives us

00:43:01 JESSICA
Yeah, it does. And so I think

00:43:05 JESSICA
is all about. It's why I want to do it. And I'm interested in why you want to do it.

00:43:11 JESSICA
But for me, this podcast is is courageously holding hands and entering the muck in those dark spaces and light spaces and discovering our humanity within it, you know, and discovering what's really possible for ourselves if we can have honest conversations, if we have the bravery to really meet ourselves in new ways, to take on life in all its uncertainty and all the unknowns and navigate it in community. I think we're all capable of really great things. So as much as I feel deeply uncomfortable and vulnerable and not sure how I feel about putting myself out

00:43:55 JESSICA
there in such a personal and public way, I know that I am always helped the most by people who stand up and speak from a place of vulnerability and share their stories. Like you said, I have moved through the last few years the way that I have because of that, because of podcasts, because of people being brave enough to talk and to share. And so I do feel a sense of responsibility that the life experiences that I've had can be helpful to some people and the wisdom that I've accumulated for whatever it's worth.

00:44:29 JESSICA
It's going to help somebody out there. And it's better out in the world trying to do good and be of service than be held up in my apartment, like day to day out where I've been the last

00:44:41 MELISSA
while. I know, the lens, this is a campaign to let Jessica out of her

00:44:46 MELISSA
free Jessica Rose, free Jessica Rose. And editing along. Yeah, and I second all of that and I really want people to feel home.

00:44:56 MELISSA
That's what I'll add. I want them to feel home here. I want them to feel home in the community. that we are going to be cultivating because of this podcast. I want them to feel home in themselves. I want them to know that everything they're

00:45:08 MELISSA
is normal. I want them to feel like they've got maybe an easier path forward than we did. Although I'm not sure there's circumventing things.

00:45:19 MELISSA
It's not the word I want to use. By passing, I think that we use our pain and it becomes our gift. I want to have a blast too.

00:45:28 MELISSA
really want to have fun doing this. I want it to be, we'll talk about serious things, but I also know that we're weird and we're going to be goofy. I want it to also feel joyful and light and full of possibility in the midst of all of it and really cover the spectrum of the human experience.

00:45:46 MELISSA
so excited to get to know each other's inner rebels, our guests inner rebels and our listeners. For those of you listening, we want to know you. We want to know who you are.

00:45:56 MELISSA
want to know what your journey has been. We want to know what fires you've walked through or what you're walking through. We want to know what you're afraid of and what you're proud of and all of those things. I'm also really excited who this is going to bring into our lives because there's so many people we have yet to meet and that jazzes me up because you know I love community. So that I'm very excited for it as well. Well with

00:46:23 JESSICA
being said, I cannot wait to see what comes and I'm so excited to go on a journey with you. Melissa, you are an amazing partner and crime