Jess GroverPresident, Trent University Alumni Association
Jess's Story :
One of my favourite things to do is create ridiculous names for my life story.
I Was Going to be Productive But Then My Cat Needed a Cuddle: The Jess Grover Story
I Stayed Up Too Late Reading and Now I’m Eating Grapes at 2AM: The Jess Grover Story
I Want To Love Autumn But I Think It’s Really Just Slimy Leaf Season: The Jess Grover Story
While it’s a running joke on the surface, it really does speak to how I view life and all that we make it.
I believe that life is created through our everyday choices. There are times when we take big leaps – or find ourselves pushed from a cliff – but the foundations we’ve built to that point and how we’ll continue to build our lives moving forward speak far more to the people we are, the values we hold, and ultimately, the stories we tell.
I don’t want to be defined by the dramatic and traumatic moments of my life. I want to be known for who I try to be on the simplest of days – someone who is kind, someone who is creative, someone who believes in others and continues to try to make the world a better place. My story is comprised of the small moments and daily choices.
I love the life I lead. I volunteer with so many amazing groups, organizations, and causes in our community. I’m a full-time volunteer and a part-time writer, and I’m so lucky to have a chance to see every day moments changing our world. Our community is full of wonderful people doing amazing things – donating their time and money, living their values, creating genuine connections. My life’s path has been transformed by the small moments you’d least expect: a 10-minute long conversation at a window in Traill College leading to my current role as the President of Trent University’s Alumni Association; an evening crochet lesson on the lawn of Sadleir House leading to hundreds of crochet items that I’ve been able to share with so many; a chance encounter with a journalist turning into an opportunity to write professionally; joining an online wedding planning community eventually leading to creating a group of 30 friends who have been best friends for more than a decade despite living around the world.
The magical potential of each new day still astounds me. Every day, I simply try do my best. Some days, because of my chronic depression and anxiety, that best can feel woefully inadequate. But each day, I have a new chance to try again. Each day, I take the values I hold in my heart and try to use them to make another set of small choices. I’ve learned to let go of any embarrassment over the fact that I regular weep with joy over commonplace moments of beauty. Small moments can be incredibly powerful; they can change you and move you.
In a world that is messy, complicated, and unjust, I try to remember those small moments. Not many are so free from obligation that they can change the world in a single decision, but many of us have a few small choices in front of us every day, and those are the moments that I try to build my life on. Working together, our small choices can build a better world, and the idea brings tears of joy to my eyes.
Happy Tears: The Jess Grover Story