I'm Alex, and I am a writer, photographer, designer, musician, avid blogger, daughter, sister, and friend. I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and will be attending University of Missouri for my master's in Convergence Journalism in the fall. I love to capture the world around me and add to the creative movement. Because I have been loved, I try to use every moment to give love. I don't always succeed, but each day I'm taking steps, moving and growing into whom I was made to be. Visit my professional site at www.alexandrajacobi.com.
Listening to my voice on a recording in any form, singing or talking, always leaves me super self-conscious. I never like the way it sounds except on the recordings I make for my YouTube channel that I do over and over again until I like it. And a lot of times, I’m still not completely satisfied with those. And the fact that no one ever likes my music stuff on any of my social media leaves me even more self-conscious like maybe I should never sing in public again.
I know all of this is irrational, especially since I had 9 years of voice lessons and 9 years of being in regular choirs and honor choirs, along with being in the top three chairs in the All-State honor choir my senior year of high school. I know I am at least above average vocally. But, I can’t shake this feeling that deep down I actually suck.
Actually, that feeling is pretty much present in terms of all my talents right now. I need this gray period to pass so I can get back to doing what I’m good at and feeling good about it. This inferiority complex is hindering me from even tapping into a small percentage of the talent I have.
In just 13 days I’ll be moved in 5 hours away from my home, beginning graduate school at Mizzou. I wish that I could look towards it with only excitement, but I have a lot of nervousness. While this summer has been good in giving me much needed rest and allowing me to focus on my own mental and physical health, it has been not good in the fact that it has made me a little lazy and complacent. I find myself thinking that I am going to miss being comfortable and having my security blankets. Even though I dislike my hometown because it offers limited professional opportunities in my field and it feels like I don’t fit in here, I love my family and my church. If I could pick up my family and church and take it with me, I probably wouldn’t come back to Dyersburg, Tennessee, for a long time. But leaving my family behind hurts me every time. I hate that I have to leave and come back to find that my little brother and cousin grew up without me while I was gone. I hate that I can’t come home to my parents on a daily basis and have conversations about everything from the quirky shows we watch on Discovery Channel to life and why we are the way we are. I hate that I can physically see my dad long for me to be home and hope that I don’t move far off. I just hate it, almost to the point that sometimes I want to settle. But then I remind myself that I would be unhappy, only spending my life inside a box and dreaming of a better life. I know, because that’s what I did as a kid. I always longed to make a difference in this world through my work and art. So, if I don’t do this, I’ll forever regret it. Yet, knowing something is the right decision doesn’t make it hurt any less. I’m also leaving my best friend, who I essentially see as my sister. We lived together for four years. I can’t imagine an evening where I don’t say goodnight to either my brother or to her. How am I going to live in a town of strangers and still feel happy and comfortable and fulfilled? But maybe comfort doesn’t play into the equation of happiness. My pastor says that when we stop moving and growing and taking steps, we die. Maybe I’m not meant to do what feels good. Maybe I’m meant to do what makes the best of what I’ve been given. And even if I fail, at least I’ll know I tried.
But right now the knowledge in my brain won’t go down to my heart, so I can’t help but feel nervous and hesitant despite telling myself over and over that it will be fine.
It will be, right?
I was feeling anxious last night as I realized that my journey to a brand new town full of strangers and really talented journalists begins in two weeks. I can’t help but feel torn because I know this is what I am supposed to do and it is where I will feel the most fulfilled, yet I feel the urge to stay here and not abandon my family: the battle of adventure versus complacency. And then I read this, and I slept like a baby.
"You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,’
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Even when I am limited, doubtful, afraid, and lacking, I am being held up by someone greater. So all is well.