From Surviving to Thriving - Interview with Jessica White

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From Surviving to Thriving – Interview with Jessica White

Jessica and I first met as young girls on a soccer field. I have always admired her authenticity and when I watched Jessica share on Facebook the journey she and her husband Jason recently went through in moving their family from New Jersey to coastal North Carolina, I knew it was a story that had to be shared. Have you ever dreamed about taking control of your destiny by picking up and moving to a completely new place? Read on to learn how Jessica and her family of 5 made the powerful decision to live life on their own terms.

PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY

I am a 38-year-old working mother of three very active kids and am a wife to an amazingly hard-working husband. I grew up in New Jersey, the middle kid in a family of five, and lived there for most of my life. I have worked various jobs throughout the years from design work to running an in-home daycare while my own children were babies. I am now a partner in two restaurants that my husband and I own and operate together.

YOU RECENTLY MADE THE DECISION TO MAKE A BIG LIFE CHANGE AND MOVE TO COASTAL NC, WHAT WENT INTO THAT DECISION FOR YOU?

So much went into our decision to move out of New Jersey but mostly it was my belief that there was more to life than just the routine of going to work to pay the bills, surviving not thriving. One day I just stopped, I looked at our life and thought “if me or my husband died tomorrow would we have lived our lives how we wanted to, on our terms?” and the answer was a big NO! I was living my life for everyone around me, making decisions and sacrifices to benefit others but not myself and Jason was working very long hours, always stressed out and never getting to spend time with our kids. He wasn’t able to be the father that he wanted to be and I was stressed trying to compensate for his absence. I had always wanted to live outside of New Jersey, I wanted a less expensive area with a warmer climate and a more relaxed feel. The southern coast of North Carolina was where my heart called home ever since I was a young girl. My family vacationed there every year and when it was time to go back home I was always overwhelmed with sadness. I longed to be left behind, toes in the and sun on my skin. I knew that this was the place for me.

HOW DID YOU KNOW IT WAS TIME FOR A CHANGE?

We had been contemplating leaving NJ for years, we discussed it frequently but the timing never felt right. In our last few years in NJ I watched my kids classmates bury their parents at an alarming rate, other parents in their late thirties and early forties were dying and leaving behind young families. Every time I would hear one of these stories (which was about 3-4 times a year) I would take another look at our lives and think about making a change. I decided it was time to take a trip to NC to investigate whether this was actually a viable option or not. I went alone and I visited neighborhoods and checked out the schools and the beaches. I figured that this trip would either convince me that this was our future or it would help to get this idea out of my head. What I found was exactly what I was looking for. After that trip, everything just kept falling into place which is how I knew this was the path that we were supposed to be following. It was finally the right time to go.

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART OF THIS PROCESS FOR YOU?

The absolute hardest part about this move was the people that we had to leave behind. We have nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, parents, aunts, uncles and so many amazing friends who we are not living close to anymore. Some of these people have chosen not to be a part of our new lives and that is really hard but all in all, I wouldn’t change one single part of this journey.

WHAT IS ONE SURPRISE AFFECT YOUR MOVE HAS HAD?

My husband and I have a new found dependence on each other that was never really there before. When we lived in New Jersey we were always surrounded by our families and they would fill in the gaps of our daily lives, be there to help with the kids, be a listening ear or a place to go to for advice. Now all those things we find in each other, we are a true team of two, working together at home and in our businesses. We spend way more time together now than we have in the last 8 years and we are able to enjoy each other more and communicate much better. I knew that this move would strengthen my husband’s relationship with the kids, I just didn’t realize the effect that it would have on our relationship.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO LEAD A MORE INTENTIONAL LIFE OR MAKE BIG LIFE CHANGE?

Think about how much you actually want to make a change, if it is in your soul then you will feel the pull. Lots of people say that they want a change but really deep down, they are happier with keeping things the way they are. I always fell back on my original question to myself, “if I died tomorrow, would I be happy with my choices?” Now the answer is a big “YES”! I gave it my all, I took the chances, swung for the fences. So many people told me that they thought that our move was a brave one. I didn’t feel brave when I was doing it, I felt that if I didn’t make this change then I wasn’t appreciating the precious life that had been given to me. Each day is a gift and no day is guaranteed, if we don’t live each day with intention and meaning then what are we doing here? I was very lucky that I had a husband who supported me so fully, he didn’t see my vision when we first set out but he knew I needed it and he trusted in my instincts to know which way we were supposed to be heading. I am forever grateful for his love and support, its something that is not as easy to come by as it may seem.

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Amy Young

I'm Amy, a marathon-loving mom of three, who guides others towards intentional living based on my own journey of feeling unfulfilled despite seemingly having it all.

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Hi! I'm Amy.

I’m Amy, a marathon-loving mom of three, who guides others towards intentional living based on my own journey of feeling unfulfilled despite seemingly having it all. I stress the importance of aligning life’s choices with my inner values rather than societal expectations, which often leads to a disconnection from true happiness. By advocating for self-awareness and intentionality, I seek to prevent others from feeling lost, urging them to redefine success to find genuine fulfillment.

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