I often refer to Jessica as “my favourite person” or “my Jessica” (usually when I’m trying to say “my best friend” and “Jessica” at the same time). Jessica is my absolute best friend in the entire world, and while that may sound childish, the truth is I just have no other way to describe the connection we have in a way that makes sense.
We’ve been best friends for 7 years now. We’re the kind of friends who don’t remember how we actually met, but it’s apparent that we fell in love in a friendship way almost immediately. We have lived through high school and University together – the most formulating and difficult years of one’s life, in my opinion. We were best friends for a year before I even knew she had a Facebook account, and once a year we go back through our Facebook friendship to cringe at the idiots we are. Just last week we spent three hours sitting in my driveway talking, regardless of the fact that we just had a three hour lecture together. We’ve lived in different cities, and will be really long distance next year (</3). There’s no one else in the world who I trust as much as I trust her, and she’s the only person I get super sappy with. Jessica is a genius. She is never stressed (total opposite of me) and is truly someone who has been fooling us all. Honestly, there’s no way her life should be as put together as it is. Her motto is to “work smart; not hard.” She’s the student who has bought maybe two textbooks in her entire life, wrote every assignment the day it was due (not even night before), will know the answer before you even ask the question, and will somehow have the highest mark despite the hours of Netflix she watches. She loves traveling, calendars, and stationery. She calls herself obsessive, but I see her as being driven and passionate about the things and people she cares about. Honestly, her only flaw is that she doesn’t understand how precious, beautiful, smart, and fantastic she is.
In short, she’s amazing. And I want to share her with you.
Red Hot: So for this interview, we’re going to do it over text because knowing us a half hour interview will turn into a three hour discussion about our biggest fears and how to deal with periods.
Jessica: Oh my goodness, this is actually probably the best way for us to do this, otherwise you’ll ask one question and we’ll be off ranting about something else for 3 hours and you won’t have an interview to record (Laughs).
RH: So to start, what does being a hot mess mean to you? Would you classify yourself as a hot mess?
J: Okay, well I have a theory, it’s not really a theory, but it’s a theory. My theory is that everyone has two selves; the internal self that only we (and maybe our closest friend and family) see and the external self that everyone can see. I really think being a hot mess is when your internal self is, well frankly, a damn mess, but your external self is cool, calm, collected – unflappable, if you will. The hot part is fire, like my life is not just a regular mess, it is a mess that is also on fire. Very hot mess.
I definitely would consider myself to be a hot mess. Honestly, I know that I exude calmness and confidence, but deep down my internal self is really freaking out about my future. I don’t know where I’m heading or what I’m going to do. I pretend I have things figured out or pretend it’s totally cool if I don’t. But in reality, I am really freaking scared of not achieving what I want to achieve and not realizing my dreams. Life is messy, but the first step is recognizing how much of a hot mess you really are and then living it anyway.
RH: Unflappable (Laughs) No, that’s honestly a great way to put it and it’s so interesting to see how everyone is defining “hot mess”. I can definitely see that though. You are so calm and collected and many of my friends have commented on that after they meet you, but like I’ve seen that very real chaotic side and it takes even me by surprise.
J: (Laughs) I had to bring up unflappable, but yeah.
RH: Like you said, we recognize that hot messes seem put together on the outside even if that’s not the case inside; is there something that people often think you’re really amazing at but in reality you feel like you’re faking? What’s a talent/skill/ability that you’re actually confident about?
J: Honestly, I felt like I was faking a lot at work during my co-op job. Everyone there was super supportive and always made me feel like I was so amazing at my job, but secretly I felt like I really didn’t know what I was doing. I always felt like I didn’t know enough and was just sort of making stuff up as I went along. It was actually super scary and stressful at times, but I ended up working through everything and managed to have everyone convinced I was amazing. In terms of what I’m actually confident about, it would have to be academic abilities. I’ve always been super comfortable at school and even though I’m a major procrastinator, I actually love being in school and am really proud of my academic achievements. I know I can get really good grades and I know I can do all that’s expected of me in the academic world. I think a lot of it has to do with confidence that I’ve built up throughout my high school and university career.
RH: I think that’s a very real fear a lot of people have when they start a new job or even just when they have a “real job” so it’s comforting to know others feel like that as well. I’m glad that you’re able to recognize your strengths though! I definitely think that your confidence and strength in your academics has helped you transition into the real world. Because even though you felt like you didn’t know what you were doing, you did well enough that all your coworkers loved you!
J: Yeah, I suppose that’s true. It was also really helpful to get that constant support from the office because it helped me a lot when I was doubting myself.
RH: Yes for sure! That coworker support is helpful!! This brings me to my next question: in those moments of self-doubt, what keeps you motivated?
J: Okay, so this is going to sound very “Leo” of me, but honestly it’s my desire to impress others that really keeps me going when I’m really doubting myself. This is maybe not the best attitude to have, but it helps keep me motivated. I lose motivation really easily when there’s no one there to hold me accountable. I work best when there’s someone I can show off too; I want my boss to know that I’m more than capable and I want him to even be a little impressed by what I can accomplish. Even with more personal things, like physical fitness, I can always push myself more when there’s others around to keep me motivated, and yes, I secretly want to impress them with my abilities too. I know it’s dangerous to care too much what others think and to do things for the sake of others rather than yourself, but I also recognize that what I’m doing, whether it be personal, professional or academic, is for me in the end. I just use others for motivation when I can’t find it in myself.
RH: I honestly didn’t know that about you! Motivation comes from different sources all the time. I think as long as it’s a goal that you want, where the motivation comes from doesn’t really matter – like there’s no right way or wrong way to be motivated. Moving on, what’s something you’re really passionate about?
J: Oh gosh, okay, I think I’m going to have to say creativity. I was going to say dance, which I am really passionate about, but I think that stems from a larger passion for creativity. I love creating things, making something from nothing, and expressing my thoughts through mediums other than words (which I am generally pretty terrible at).
RH: I totally get that! I think our friendship is built on the foundation of creating new things, whether that be together or separately. I will admit, I thought you were going to say travel. I know that’s something you’re passionate about, but do you think that stems from the same thing?
J: Yeah, travel is something else I am really passionate about. That’s an interesting way of thinking about it, but yeah I think it might also stem from my passion to be creative in part. I think the places I am fascinated with are another way of expressing who I am and how I think. I also think that I love travel because it leads to creativity in the sense that it might make you see the world differently than before. In addition to that though, I am also obsessed with learning about new places and experiencing different cultures which contributes to my passion for travel as well.
RH: This is all so great! I love that you have this sort of insight into what your passions really are and how different aspects of your life contribute to that. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. Is there anything else you want to add?
J: Thank you for the opportunity to participate! I am flattered you wanted to hear about my view on the world. Actually, I just want to say that I really realized a lot about the way I see the world by answering your questions that I might not have realized or acknowledged if I hadn’t taken the time to really think about these ideas. I hope everyone who reads this takes the opportunity to think about how they feel about these questions and evaluate their own personal and world views.