Get Gutsy: Celebrating One Year of Life Outside My Comfort Zone

This time one year ago I was quite a different person.

I sat at this same kitchen table, sipping a mug of coffee, preparing to hit “publish” on a post that would kickstart a series of events that would alter my life for the better. Thank goodness I did.

A year ago today, I started this blog, coined the phrase “Get Gutsy” and made the decision to leave my comfort zone, get out of my own way and begin taking risks to reach my goals and live a happy life.

Over The Weekend…

It only seems appropriate that the weekend before the first anniversary of this blog took me further out of my comfort zone than I ever could have imagined. In addition to running a 5K and screaming my way through Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind The Walls (both scary in their own right!) I did two major things that the old Jessica never would have even considered:

1. I took trapeze lessons. Yes, you heard that right, TRAPEZE lessons. When Aversa PR reached out and asked me if I’d like to try out a two-hour trapeze class at Fly School Circus Arts, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. After I said yes, the butterflies set in, but for the sake of the blog and practicing what I preach, I knew I had to follow through.

I arrived at Fly School Circus Arts in Philadelphia, not knowing what to expect, but excited and scared at the same time. I’m not afraid of heights, but climbing up the ladder, standing on the tiny platform and finally letting go and flying left me both terrified and exhilarated. I won’t lie; there were some serious moments of panic before leaving the platform; shaky knees, sweaty palms, the whole deal, but after letting go, flying and even accomplishing hanging upside down and doing a back flip dismount, I felt more proud of myself than I ever could imagine.

Stay tuned! I’ll have a full recap of my trapeze class on the blog later this week (Edited to add: here’s the full recap post). In the meantime, you can check out my public Facebook album of photos from this incredible experience.

photo-1132. I modeled for a blog photo shoot. Tired of cutting my face out of group photos and calling that a “headshot,” once and for all, I decided it was time to take some professional, but fun photos for my blog. My good friend and photographer Stephanie from Artfully Adored happily agreed to indulge me and follow me around New Hope and Doylestown for a day of photos.

Let’s get one thing straight; I’m not a model. While I’ll gladly pose for photos with friends and am even guilty of the occasional Instagram selfie, “modeling” in public on Sunday afternoon was a scary thing for me. From the dozens of people passing by as we tried to get photos on a busy walking bridge, to the random car beeps and lots of questions and comments (“Very pretty!” “See you on the cover of a magazine!” “What are you taking pictures for?”) I tried to remain focused and ignore the curious stares of passerby’s.

Of course, I’m a human being and as soon as Stephanie sent me a couple of preview photos, I immediately found flaws in all of them; we are our own worst critics, after all. But you know what? Even though I hate the way my knees look in the blue dress photo and my hair isn’t perfect in the close-up shot, I’m sharing them anyway. Because this is who I am. I believe that I’m beautiful inside and out, I’m confident and I’m excited to share all of that with the world. I can’t wait to see the rest of the photos.

Get Caught Up

In case you haven’t been around for the entire year-long journey, I invite you to get to know me, subscribe to my free newsletter, learn more about what it means to be gutsy and click through to some of my most popular posts from the past year:

Answer This: When Was The Last Time You Did Something For The First Time?

Stop Trying To Find Yourself And Do This Instead

Change Your Thinking: Turn Your Quarter-Life Crisis Into a Quarter-Life Opportunity

21 Definitions of What it Means To Be A Sister

An Important Reminder: Be Kind To Yourself

There Will NEVER Be Enough Time (But If You Want Something Badly Enough You’ll Find It)

The Pursuit of Balance

Niche Blogging vs. General Blogging: Why a Multi-Passionate Approach Can Help Grow Your Blog

On Life and Loss: A Tribute to My Grandmother

Why I Wake Up At 5 a.m. (And How Waking Up Earlier Can Help You Achieve Your Dreams Too)

The Year of Conquering the Impossible

How Saying No Helped Me Open Up To A World Of Yes

Stay Tuned

The one year mark is just the beginning. There’s so much more to come from this blog and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Future plans include:

  • A #GetGutsy Twitter chat
  • A free ebook that I hope to launch before the new year.
  • A Get Gutsy essay contest with some fabulous prizes.
  • Even better, more exclusive and useful content in my Get Gutsy newsletter.

And of course, more of the same gutsy and motivational content you’ve come to expect and love here on the blog.


Thank YOU! Thank you for sticking around and sharing your advice, stories and inspiration with me. Your comments, tweets and emails mean the world to me. I hope you’ll stick around to see where this story continues.

  • Congrats on the 1 year & photo shoot! I recently found your blog and have loved reading new and old posts. Looking forward to reading more in the next year.

  • Meg

    Happy one year! The photos are lovely, and you’re right: we are our own worst critics. I would have never noticed the things you did, and I think the shots are great! Your positive attitude and get-gutsy motto are inspiring. Can’t wait to hear about your trapeze class!

  • Congratulations! And shoot girl, no one looked at your knees or found your hair out of place. You look gorgeous! I love that striped shirt!

    Looking forward to hearing about the trapeze class and seeing what’s in store for you in the next year!

  • Congratulations! It sounds like you’ve accomplished so much this year! The pictures are lovely and holy moly! trapeze lessons. (P.S. I loved New Hope! It’s so quaint — the perfect escape from the city!)

  • Congrats on one year. This past year sounds like it was awesome for you! 🙂

  • Congrats, Jessica! I am working on getting out of my comfort zone too and enjoying following along with your journey 🙂

  • Congrats on one year! Anna and I took a trapeze class a few years ago and it was so terrifying and exciting at the same time. I love reading your posts so here’s to many more years of gutsy blogging 🙂

  • Well, I for one didn’t notice your knees or your hair. Just that gorgeous smile of yours!

    Happy 1 year anniversary to your blog! And I am soooo jealous of those trapeze lessons. Looks like so much fun!

  • Happy anniversary! Those pics are adorable! Also, sheesh, the trapeze lessons. I could never. And I rarely ever say never. 😉

  • Here’s to many more years of hopefully becoming progressively gutsier!

  • Congratulations on your one-year blog anniversary, Jess! It’s always exciting to hit a milestone. Looking forward to all the new things you’ve got in store for your corner of the internet! (I’m currently compiling a list of ways to expand my blog, too”” so you’re acting as an inspiration.)

    Your trapeze shots look so cool that I’m tempted to start looking for classes to try something similar”” aerial silks. Thanks for the push. 🙂

  • Congrats on one year! Isn’t it amazing to see how far you get in a year when it’s all documented for you in your blog? I love looking back on the progression I’ve made.

    I love your photoshoot pics! So pretty!

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