Jessica’s Passion Interview

Our next interviewee is also someone I have known since high school. We worked together at the local grocery store and she was always so fun to hang out with. We have kept in touch throughout our adult life and it has been fun to watch watch each other grow up. She works for the state and owns her own business so she is always super busy.

I’m Jessica Garcia a new wife, dog mom, soon to be mom to a human, business owner, and program specialist.  I am 28, oldest of 4 from small town Schulenburg, TX. I moved to San Marcos to attend Texas State University where I received my bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts in 2014.  I am currently working for the Attorney General of Texas where I am a program specialist which means I deal with numbers and receipts all day (which is crazy because I hated math).  If you know me, you know that I like to stay busy so about 3.5 years ago I decided to start my own photo booth business. I thought it would be a great idea to earn some extra cash and pick up a hobby.  I had no idea whatsoever what it took to run or start a business, so I have been winging it since 2016. You can find all my fun business ventures @thepicturepodtx.

Jessica Garcia with The Picture Pod
  • What is your Passion?

-My passion being a servant leader and a teacher.  I have a passion for helping others in any way that I can.  I enjoy putting the needs of other before myself.  

  • How did you realize that?

-I have been a servant leader before I even knew what that was.  From a young age I was put in a position to lead because I didn’t have a choice.  My parents spoke little to no English and I was constantly put in charge of things kids usually don’t have to be responsible for.  To answer that questions, I don’t know when I knew it was my passion but what I do know is that it is something that comes natural to me.  I continued to serve in other aspects of my life even when it wasn’t necessary.   

  • What have you done/are you doing to live out your passion?

-I just try to live my life seeking the opportunity to lead, teach, and encourage others.  I love to teach and share my knowledge any time I can. I have served as an AmeriCorp member where I mentored children, helped the community with different projects, and taught English adults.  I try to use my love for teaching during my professional and personal life.

  • What attracts you to your passion

-I genuinely love to see people succeed in all aspects of life.  So many people have helped me throughout my life to get where I am at, so I believe in paying it forward.   I also get so much gratification when I can make a difference in someone’s life. I want to make it a purpose in my life and my heart to always be kind and giving. 

  • If you could go back and give your younger self once piece of advice what would it be?

I would tell myself not to be in a rush to find my purpose in life because figuring out your self-worth is more important.   I would also tell myself to doubt myself less and encourage myself more.

A Year of Uncertainty

Honestly I have been at home this week, working remotely, with the kids on spring break. I knew I have more opportunity to write and get the blog going again but I have sat down and have not been able to write anything. I feel overwhelmed in our world right now. It hit me this afternoon I bet a lot of people do right now. So far I am one of the lucky ones- I still have a job, my family is relatively healthy, and we are okay on supplies. However, being a new member in the freelance community it has been scary to watch some people’s livelihoods vanish overnight. To watch my city cancel SXSW, a 34 year long tradition, knowing that means so many Austinites will have no income to rely on this year is just horrifying. The gig economy is amazing; it allows for freedom and income- a very rare combo it feels like. I see so many restaurant workers, uber drivers, bartenders, and event planners struggling.

There will be ramifications of this event for years to come. I do not have much to offer but a pledge. I pledge to use my skill set to help small businesses and the gig economy as much as I can. I pledge to #shoplocal and #supportsmallbusiness the rest of 2020. I also pledge to watch these larger companies and how they respond to this in the treatment of their employees and allocate my spending to the good ones. We are in uncharted territory now and our world may never be the same again. After 2019 and all the complaining we did about how bad it was, the universe listened. Covid19 is here. Now we need to deal with it and all of the ramifications that it brings. We can all learn a bit more about ourselves and our society, this virus has taught us that.

As this becomes a defining moment in history for our world lets embrace the positive and work to grow in the areas that are negative. I do not claim to have all of the solutions but I do think a general compassion for our fellow mankind and a real push to a more minimalist lifestyle can bring a lot more balance into our world.

Stay tuned this week, I will be posting some resources for you with kiddos at home and for those of us who are looking to expand our minds and skill set. I am using this time as the universe’s way of telling me to slow down and keep evaluating my progress in my own life. This whole blog began as my journey to a happier life and to who I truly am inside- I am taking this as a teaching moment that I am never done growing and learning. I am hopeful to continue to hear good things and I send good energy to all who are struggling now.

How are you dealing with this crisis? What are some ways we can all support our local economies? Were you a worker affected by this- if so I would love to interview you and do anything I can to help.

2020: The Year We Change

This year has been an interesting one for sure. People are really panicking. Stores are running out of food, businesses are closing, markets are plunging, and mandatory quarantines are happening around the world.

In these uncertain times I plan to work to control what I can control. I can control my own attitude and to some extent- my family’s exposure to other people. I am planning for the worst and hoping for the best. Now is our chance as people to be on the right side of history. Help an elderly neighbor or a new parent get their groceries, don’t stockpile 70 hand sanitizers so that people who are in the at risk groups have access, and try to remain positive for yourself and the future generations. When my grand kids read about this in their history class I want them to know through my kids that I handled this with grace and compassion. Decisions made in panic induced emotion usually do not turn out well for anyone involved. Give grace to anyone in the service industry right now because they are either majorly overworked and at risk of the virus or lost their livelihood to the virus.

I am hoping that when the dust settles on this a general society change happens. A positive change would be more remote work opportunities and more of a work life balance. Our society got away from working to live and now it seems we live to work. I would love to see a change in general in society where we are less self absorbed and spend less on trivial things. These grocery store runs prove how many people do not have a well stocked pantry. Maybe it is because I was born in south Florida or because my parents are always ready for a major disturbance but I always have pasta, canned beans and soup, and frozen veggies on hand. I really recommend when all of this settles to always have a few options for meatless meals.

I am using this time to evaluate my families goals and way of life. It would be great to see other people taking advantage of the same opportunity. I plan to use this as a wake up call to change how we live even more. A more minimalist, experience driven lifestyle. I have to look forward and guide my children into a more meaningful life. In the meantime- practice good hygiene and compassion everybody.

Healing Garlic Soup Recipe

My recipe for garlic soup

This recipe has truly been a lifesaver through the years and has genuinely reduced the time my family and I are sick. I recommend making 2 batches and everyone in the household having a bowl if one person is sick. Garlic has been proven to be medically beneficial and during these times I thought this would be a better share than a weekly meal plan.

Stay safe out there everybody! Comment below if you try it and let me know how it works for you! What recipes does your family make when someone is sick?

While you are stuck at home practice some relaxing yoga, brush up on communications skills, or take a tour of an aquarium! I have a list of free online resources here.

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