Former Girl, Current Rule-Breaker

Jessica Zollman is a freelance commercial photographer from the Bay Area currently living in Los Angeles, CA. Of her work, she says, “I’m drawn to vibrant colors, geometric patterns, and nature in unnatural settings.”

“Visibility helps us feel less alone, and I want women to see themselves.”

Is there any advice you wish your former self could have received from your current self?

If I could give my former self any advice it would be to spend less time resenting our Mom and more time appreciating her and the sacrifices she made for us. She raised us all by herself after her husband unexpectedly passed away and I took a lot of my own personal traumas around that experience and projected them onto her. She didn’t just do her best; she raised a strong, no-nonsense, powerful, determined woman and that couldn’t have been easy. She deserved more patience, vulnerability, and expressions of love from me. I’m so grateful I have that opportunity now, as an adult. But I wasted a lot of time blaming her for things beyond her control and I wish I could go back and do better.

What’s your greatest hope for your future self?

That I never stop investing in myself. Personal growth has become so important to me as I approach my mid-thirties. I want to continue to live my life with an open heart, an open mind, vulnerability, compassion, and love.

What’s a hope or wish you have for girls growing up in 2020?

That whoever they are, whatever their background, sexual orientation, race, or gender they’re able to see themselves represented in our media, in powerful positions in our government, and in public figures. There are so many untold stories that are SO important and really should be told. Visibility helps us feel less alone, and I want women to see themselves. I hope more and more young women feel empowered to put their stories out into the universe because they are important and they deserve to be heard.

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