Life as a 20-something: “Go with your gut. That’s the only way to find Yourself.”

Life as a 20-something: “Go with your gut. That’s the only way to find Yourself.”

Jess’ 3 Daily Rituals: (1) Yoga / Meditation, (2) Green dranks & (3) Essential Oils

Jessica Vitucci has always struck a delicate balance between Cool and Unconventional.

Simply put: she’s the type of person who can pull off wearing her grandma’s over-sized jacket in a way that makes you rethink your wardrobe.

By age 24, Jess has already become deeply immersed in the world of textile design. Her perfect (typical) day consists of waking up with homemade green juice, doing some Yoga, & weaving on her life-sized loom (and no, she is not some Poser Hipster Brooklynite).

Sound like a dreamy Free People ad? Well, we can all draw some inspiration #goals from Jess’ healthy & artistic lifestyle.

But, her path to the Garden of Eden has not been linear.

Jess recently graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology after many switches and turns (and a short stint at Philadelphia University). While on that journey though, she has realized that Passion is better than Comfort, and no — she’d never be a Sorority Girl.

So, how do choose Passion when your Right Now is pretty good? How do you push yourself to find the Real You?

“I’m a Dreamer. And, that’s okay — especially at this age. Eventually things will be calmer, but now, there are so many possibilities. I want all of them.”

Take a step back

Jess always thought her college career would be pretty typical.

…But, when is anything in her life Typical?

When Jess first arrived at FIT as a wide-eyed freshman, she had this image of what College would be like, what it should be like. The rolling grass, the late night parties. You know, High School all over again.

“I felt this pressure to find the same thing that everyone else was experiencing when I got to college. But, that doesn’t happen in New York.”

And, Jess is an explorer. So, she packed up her bags and moved to Philadelphia for another shot at the College Life.

Of course, the rolling greens and sorority days weren’t the only aspects of college Jess was searching for. Philly U is renowned for its textile program (most graduates end up designing at places like Anthro & Urban). And most importantly, she is constantly on the look-out for her next Growth opportunity.

But, it took having everything Jess had imagined about college right in front of her to realize That’s Not Her.

So a year and sometime later, she moved back to FIT to finish her degree in the City that Never Sleeps (and Jess can tell you — she never slept with all-nighters pulled in the weaving lab).

“When I got back to FIT, I felt like I aged 10 years. Things that seemed like homework to me during my freshman year were actually worth it. I appreciated everything so much more.”

Because sometimes, in order to get to where you need to be, you need to take a step back. Or sideways.

Realize that Comfort is not everything

Some of us experience life’s Aha Moments later in life. Well — Jess had hers at the age of 19.

When Jess decided to leave Philly and finish her degree at FIT, she “knew there was no turning back. I knew how much longer it would take to graduate. And, it’s not how I pictured my life at all.”

But, it was the best decision she made.

Because, Jess did Her. She realized that “there’s only so much time you can spend living someone else’s life. Really, you only have one chance. I can’t imagine if I spent the rest of my years in a sorority — I would have been so unhappy, because that’s not me.”

It’s a hard decision to come to — and most never reach It. To not care what other people think. To Do You.

So, I asked her: How did you get There? How were you able to become confident in your decisions to go against the grain?

With a self-effacing laugh, Jess simply said, “It’s a journey. You’re never going to feel comfortable or satisfied. But, you have to go with your gut.”

We all have to remember that difference between Comfort and Passion. Because, you can never have both.

Find inspiration in the Imperfect

Jess lives her life constantly searching for inspiration in those Imperfect moments.

And the best part about Imperfection? It’s everywhere.

One of the qualities that has made Jess so successful is her ability to seize the moment, and never stop exploring — no matter how perfect (or imperfect) the moment may be.

“If you have easy access to an ocean, spend time near it. If you have a backyard — or window sill even— plant something. Nothing is ever going to be Right or Perfect, but you need to make it that way.”

We’re always going to feel like we’re teetering on the edge of almost Adulting. There never will be the exact job that lines up with your dreams, or the boy with no flaws.

See It for what it is, and then — what It can be.

In Jess’ words: “Taking advantage of what I can has kept me positive. I hope I can be that way forever.”

We all can be Almost Adulting forever, living inside the Imperfections.

Thanks, Jess.

If you enjoyed this — check out my blog, On Adulting, for more observations about this weird time as a 20-something.

Interested in Jess’ work? Check out her website!


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