Meet Jordana: Growing Roots

growing roots

I still marvel at how the twists and turns of my never-dull life landed me a single mom of two great kids (Kaylie, 13 and Chase, 11) in Westchester, NY of all places. I have no complaints, at least most days. Occasionally I do have the sense of being a transplant, and I suppose I am, but I’m proud to call Westchester home and that’s something I’ve yearned for from a very young age.

The daughter of a a Foreign Service Officer, I grew up living all over the world – Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Thailand and England – and traveled to many, many places in between. It sounds more glamorous than it was, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world, despite my lack of roots growing up.

I landed in the Washington, D.C. area for college and eventually law school. I considered that home for a long time until I moved to New York. For years after I moved to Westchester I still missed my former home, as it was the only one I’d ever had and I associated it with my closest ties, my short-lived career as an attorney and my first little condo that was all mine. But gradually and despite my initial resistance, this has become home.

Over the years, I married, became a mother, divorced, moved to a couple of different homes in Westchester and landed in Bedford Hills about eight years ago. My children have been raised here, and it brings me satisfaction to see them grow up and thrive in a nurturing, privileged, mostly kind, beautiful environment where they have the roots I never did.

I gave up the practice of law years ago (too many hours, not my cup of tea, motherhood, etc. etc.). For a stretch of time I gave up working altogether but meandered my way back into part-time work that gives me a taste of grown-up interaction but the time to do what I care most about: being a mom.

When I’m not being a mom I work for a financial advisor, once again landing in an industry I had zero experience or interest in but one that has served me well. My girlfriends are the salve throughout the process, and I’d be remiss to not mention them in the same paragraph as work. They balance out all the obligation with laughter and deep understanding.

Day-to-day is always a hustle, and it isn’t always flawless or even close. But my kids and I keep it real and embrace the imperfection at every turn. There is so much pressure on parents and children alike. We build in our down time in between school, gymnastics, and the back and forth between two households. We love to sing, talk and laugh. There’s a lot of silliness, which I think is vastly underrated these days.

We are avid fans of any singing/talent competitions, lately America’s Got Talent and American Idol. To keep myself sane, I’ve developed a deep love/hate of my Peloton bike, which I often ride at 4:30 a.m. It’s the only way I can squeeze in a workout these days, and it’s worth it (or so I tell myself after a ride). By far, the highlight of my week is pizza with my kids, the exhale and our debriefs together.

The struggle to balance it all is real, but it’s worth it.

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Jordana lives in Bedford Hills, NY, with her two favorite humans also known as her children, Kaylie (13) and Chase (12). She grew up all over the world, landed in the Washington D.C. area for a long stretch and 15 years ago wound up in Westchester, which she now proudly considers home. She's a recovering attorney, now assistant to a private wealth advisor. She spends what little free alone time she has on her Peloton, watching reality and crime TV and listening to a wide variety of music on her deck with a cocktail. She enjoys taking her kids for day trips into New York City, local restaurants in the Hudson Valley, beach vacations in Rhode Island and the occasional amusement park But she also loves just hanging out and relaxing with them at home. She loathes laundry, grocery shopping and vacuuming. Jordana's favorite mottos to live by are don't compare yourself to anyone else (especially when it comes to parenting), don't be afraid to take chances or start over, always strive to be kind, and never take yourself too seriously. And if all else fails, have a good scream into your pillow, and go do something really nice for yourself, or better yet, somebody else.