My mom thinks the letter ‘y’ is a feminine letter.

Don’t ask me why.

But when she was 18 she worked at a bar with two other girls named Kim, and that combined with her dream of becoming a famous singer was enough to push her to legally change her name from Kim to Kym—she wanted to be one of a kind.

Somewhere in between that decision and having children she must have decided on the femininity of the letter, because both my sister and I have y’s in our names.
I can’t complain though, the more unusual a name is the more I like it. I’m grateful that I’m not plain old Jessica.

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 1.31.52 PM
My hometown-Traverse City. I’m on the right, my brother’s in the middle, and my sister’s on the left. She’s three years younger than me, but she got an even higher dose of the tall genes than I did.



I’m the oldest of three and I grew up a chatty kid who loved the spotlight. Pretty much the moment I discovered I had vocal chords I started talking and never shut up.

My mom put me in dance classes as soon as I turned three, probably because anytime music was playing I would pull out my plastic stage, drag my parents to the couch, and make my dad video tape me dancing. Can you say obnoxious?

My mom probably figured if I was going to dance all the time I might as well learn some better moves (let’s be honest, I’m sure it was for her own sanity).

Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t get enough of it.

Sixteen years later, I still can’t.

I’ve had dance five days a week for 3-5 hours a day for as long as I can remember. Here at college, I’m in a dance club that is much less of a time commitment, but enough to let me keep dance a part of my life.

These past two years that are no longer dominated by dance have left more blank space in my schedule than I’m used to. I have more time to study, not that I do. I have more time to draw and doodle and color (yes I do mean color, as in coloring books meant for 5 year olds). I have more time to watch Parks and Rec and New Girl and Grey’s Anatomy. And I’m starting to use some of that time to write.

I’ve never been, and still wouldn’t call myself, a “writer”.

I take as many English classes as I can and enjoy writing for those, but I’m not someone who writes in my spare time or records interesting ideas that are bouncing around in my head as I walk to class or watch the drink my coffee.

I procrastinate.

I write a sentence.

Then I procrastinate some more.

Eventually though, usually when the deadline is so close I can’t avoid it anymore, I begin to actually write.

That’s when the rambling starts.

Once I get going I’m always overwhelmed with how much I want to say and all of the different ways I want to say it.

One idea leads to another and I’ll share my thoughts on one point until something else emerges, and then I’ll sprint way too far down that path before I turn around and walk back on track.

Strangely, this part of the process- actually writing the paper- tends to be the quickest and easiest part for me. When I’m in the zone, I’m in the zone, and before I know it I’ve written a paper a good 3 pages over the limit that still doesn’t say everything I wanted it to.

But then I fix it again. And again. And again.

And after enough of these cycles, it usually turns out okay.

Or it doesn’t.

But hey, the process is a process right?

2 thoughts to “Jess-why-ca”

  1. Hey Jessyca,
    I love how you began with the story behind your name and your mom’s infatuation with femininity of the letter Y. It’s a nice little insight into who you are. I understand what you mean by getting overwhelmed by how much you want to say and the different ways you can say it. I find myself writing the same sentence 4 ways before choosing what phrasing I like best. Like you said though, it’s a process.

    You also said you wouldn’t consider yourself a writer. I’d like to politely disagree. From my point of view, you’re just as much of a writer as the next person. Every writer is different. You don’t have to be buried in a journal or sporadically writing down your thoughts throughout the day. If you don’t want to confine yourself to the label of a “writer” I won’t make you and I completely understand why you won’t. I’m just here to let you know, from someone who didn’t think she was a writer either, that you don’t have to write every day, week, month, or year to be a writer. It’s in everything else you do from reading a book to watching a movie or texting your friends.

  2. Hi Jessyca! After reading your intro post, I discovered that we have a lot in common. I too grew up as an extremely outgoing child who’s life was consumed by dance classes. Although I decided to take a break from dancing once I got to college, what I learned from my years as a dancer have stuck with me and helped me in both my academic and social life. I am interested to know, have you enjoyed or struggled with a life that is not dominated by dance? Another similarity between us that I noticed is that I also don’t consider myself a “writer”. However, Liv’s comment made me realize that we should reconsider the definition of what it means to be a writer.

Leave a Reply