The Live Sincerely Project is the labor of love of three sisters: Jessica, Vanessa and Christina.
You know that kind of super-close-knit siblings, who absolutely fight over petty stuff but who also are each other’s best friends, and who have joint entire-life plans that entwine a thousand ways and end with living as next door neighbors in the nursing home? Yeah, that’s us.
We’ve always been big on kindness and thoughtfulness. One day we brainstormed for 5 hours to come up with a motto for our business (together we are also Blustery Day Design) that summed up the way we felt not only about graphic design, but also about life. We ended up with “Live Sincerely.”
In 2006 our business and personal lives were tossed upside down, when middle sister Vanessa was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. As she weathered treatments and surgeries, she adopted “Live Sincerely” as her personal motto, even tattooing it with her favorite flower (a pink peony) on her ankle in an unexpected-for-her (but awesome!) move.
As she endured treatments and surgeries, Vanessa shared her journey with cancer with close friends and family, and we were so grateful to have much support and love from them.
Everything changed when the cancer metastasized to a stage IV diagnosis – spreading to her lymph nodes, bones, lungs, brain lining and brain.
The Live Sincerely Project – the beginning
As there is currently no cure for stage IV breast cancer, once she was re-diagnosed, Vanessa lived her last years with her own mortality staring her in the face. This is what spurred us to, together, create The Live Sincerely Project.
Vanessa immediately felt a burning desire to keep spreading our message – bigger, better, to more people. If this was to be her lot in life, she wanted to use her life, and her story, and even her cancer, for something good. We began to post more revealing and introspective updates, first in collaboration with Vanessa and then on her behalf once she was unable. She used every day she had left, in person and on this website, to encourage all the people who were following along, to not wait, and be their best self and live their best life, NOW, always. (This is Vanessa’s story.)
We (Jessica & Christina) also had to start to process our own lives, now, as we faced a new future without our beloved sister. The two of us wrote the Live Sincerely Pledge in the middle of a particularly rough night with Vanessa — trying to figure out our blueprint for getting through what was happening and yet to come. We kept writing from there, telling hard truths and sharing our own stories as they unfolded. The more we wrote and shared and listened, it became obvious that even though it’s scary to think about, life somehow only gets bigger and better when you realize it will end. Living sincerely was our own way through this.
The Live Sincerely Project – now
Vanessa died in February of 2014. We miss her every single day. The Live Sincerely Project carries on, spreading this message so dear to Vanessa’s heart, and as a place where we examine all the many facets of being gloriously alive, now. We’ve dedicated this project to exploring what it really means to live sincerely, and how we can fully do so. This is us learning, growing and sharing our struggles and successes towards living our best, fullest, most authentic lives.
Unlike Vanessa, we might not know what we will die from or when, but the fact remains that our time on this big blue planet is not forever, for any of us. Life is crazy hard and crazy wonderful. We ALL have a finite amount of time in which we get to enjoy all it has to offer.
We warmly invite you to be a part of this journey. No one can go it alone. We would love for us all to help each other embrace this big overwhelming topic with open arms and hearts and minds.