The Good, The Bad,
And The Very Ugly

By Jessica Ruggieri

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hello!  It’s a pleasure to hopefully meet you someday.  Who am I?  Well, gosh…I’ve lived a lot of life in 38 years.  Weddings, funerals, heartbreaks, joys.  I’ve done a decent job of taking care of myself and at the age of 23, after a complete breakdown, I learned that it is ok to allow others to help me because I do not know everything.  Funny, right?  So the one thing I want you to know about me, above all other things, is that I love people…very much.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve stored away a lot of advice and mantras over the years from mentors and family, but I think the most significant advice came from my boss and friend, Bob Davis. I was completely stressing out (which for a type A person like myself is pretty common) and he pulled me aside and said “take a deep breath and now scream at the top of your lungs!”  He helped me realize that I cannot take my life so seriously.

What is your greatest fear?
Failure. I know. I know. I have this irrational fear of failure.  I’m afraid of not being good at something or being out of control.  I have to work on this every single day to not allow it to dictate my path in life. 

What message do you think every woman should hear?
Every woman should know how beautiful she is. I’ve always had a positive self-concept and when I found out how rare this was, it broke my heart.  I want every woman to feel loved and beautiful.  You are loved and beautiful.

What is your favorite thing about where you live?
If you asked any one of my friends, they would tell you most people think I am the mayor of Wilmington.  I moved into the city about 5 and a half years ago because I want to open my door and spill into my community.  It is messy, manageable, eclectic, accepting, and genuine.  It truly is a place to be somebody.  It is my home and I love it.

What do you love most about yourself?
My confidence. To make a long story short, my confidence, checked with humility, has given me the opportunity to draw people in. I’ve been blessed with this attitude even as a young life.  Because of it, I tend to always be surrounded by amazing friends and new relationships.

Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
Divorced parents. I believe brokenness is one of the hardest things to overcome, and to this day, I am still overcoming. My father left us when I was 11 years old, and he was emotionally absent long before then.  Words and phrases spoken by both parents made a huge impact on who I am – the good, the bad, and the very ugly – and I’m still healing.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned along the way?
I’ve learned that I can only do so much.  By nature, I want to fix and make things right, which is completely overwhelming!  For my own well-being, I have to remind myself this every day.

What motivates you most?
I set goals. Every year, every week, every day.  They can be small goals, like “take a shower” (yes, I put this on my list when I’m super busy!) or big goals like “advance my company to a household name in the next 10 years.” I have physical, mental, spiritual, relational, financial, and community goals, and I check in on myself regularly to make sure I am staying balanced.

How do you manage your work-life balance?
Haha. See above? No, but seriously, I set realistic goals and stay balanced.  I know how to say no to things that do not align with my goals and my personal core values.  I really think that is the key to managing overall balance in life…especially for women.  We have to take care of ourselves and say no to those things that are not priority.

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I wake early, work out, enjoy silence, pray, and read Scripture.  It isn’t always easy, but tapping into those early morning hours before everyone else wakes up and wants something from me is my key to growth and staying in tune with my greater purpose on this earth.

What are your biggest passions?
You may not believe me but I really only have one passion…people.  If I can do anything for the rest of my life-personal and professional-it would be to be the catalyst of people becoming their best possible selves.  My passion to make people smile, to feel really good about who they are and that they would know how loved and important they are, is truly the only legacy I long to leave behind.

-Thank you for taking the time to get to know me.  I’d love to know you too.  Cheers, my friends, to a life full of love and purpose!

Jessica Ruggieri

Jessica strives to inspire others to become their best possible self as well as build authentic community. She says faith, fitness, fun, and friends about sums it up!

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