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Updated: Mar 20, 2023

Instead of the DOING

Hey friends,

My book manuscript is handed in, and I’m officially in recovery!

People keep asking me… how do I feel?!?

And the weird thing is that, normally, I’d have an answer for that. Normally, I know exactly what I’m feeling, and I can share the details of my own processing, with clarity and details. Normally, I’d already be crafting the experience of the last nine months into a story.

This is how my brain normally works: I’m forever crafting the story of my life, and weaving my experiences into the fabric of my identity, in my own mind.

I think it’s a writer thing, but I’ve always been this way. And until recently, it’s never wavered.

Honestly I think I’ve been the happiest when in the middle of story crafting. Like, I love the experience of making plans for a future experience that I want to weave into my story, and I love reflecting on a past experience, and figuring out how it can fit into, inform, or augment my story.

Before I left NYC to build my online business and travel full time, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about the person I would become, and the story I would be able to tell myself, in that future. I took pleasure in imagining how brave, and cool, and interesting I would feel, and was so excited to be “the kind of person who” lived that life.

Likewise, I was sooooo scared the first time I went skydiving, but I lovvvvved how I felt after, when I could reflect on the experience, and weave it into my sense of identity. It made me see myself as brave, courageous, badass, and powerful, in a way that was permanent and tangible, and brought me immense joy. I’m the kind of person who can jump out of a plane.

This is what I mean by story-weaving: I love to be an active participant in the creation of my own self-image. Yes it’s work, sort of: there is a doing about this process, rather than a being. But it makes me happy, and it’s something that I’ve done so consistently throughout my life that I never even stopped to think about the fact that not everyone does this.

More than that though, I’m realizing that other people enjoy hearing about my story-crafting, and that it actually makes up a huge chunk of how I connect with people, whether I’m writing about it here, or talking to people IRL.

I say that because I find myself, for the first time in life, in the position of not having something to share; of not doing the weaving.

Book-writing was extremely taxing in many ways–I’ve never channeled my creative energy into something so completely. And apparently, my book-writing energy and my story-crafting energy are drawn from the same well, because that well is now bone dry.

It kinda makes sense, right? I depleted all my creative energy, and now I don’t have any left over to process and weave the experience into myself?

All I know for sure is that people keep asking me how I feel, and I don’t have any answer. When I search inside myself lately, looking for the space that’s normally full of stories, there’s just nothing there. I just kind of feel… neutral; quiet.

Not good, not bad. No plans for my future, and no idea what happens next. Not even any curiosity about who I am on the other side, yet.

And while that all feels appropriate to me, it also feels a bit awkward with other people. Because people aren’t used to me being neutral or quiet. They’re used to being invited into my story, and right now… there is no story. I’m not crafting or weaving anything; I’m just being right now.

It’s hard to explain, but also wildly vulnerable. To be here, without doing. To be here, without sharing. To be here, without entertaining.

It feels like being naked, but I think it’s important to normalize the not-always-doing. The pause; the rest; the in-between. The empty, and the neutral.

That’s why I say I’m in recovery. Because despite the capitalist, patriarchal urge to always be doing—to be fixing, trying, building, crafting, or even healing—there’s no need.

This is enough. The being is enough.

Sending you a huge hug,


Jessi Kneeland

PS: If you’ve been wanting to do private or group coaching with me, that’ll be opening back up soon! For transparency, private coaching starts at $850/month, and group coaching at $550/month (with different package options), and you can apply for either here.

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