So I Went to Wyoming

2 07 2014

…and I kept a brief journal of my trip. I know. You’re such lucky readers.

6/27/14 – Wyoming, Day 1

I tried communing with nature, but it was muddy so I gave up.

My cousin, on the other hand, tried to drive across a stream and his truck is now stuck.

Did I mention he's a doctor?

Did I mention he’s a doctor?

So most of the men-folk and several women are working on that mess, while I sit here and avoid venturing forth into the mud.

Did I mention I hate mud?

It’s evening now. The kids are outside running around and a small group of adults is playing Carcassone. I’m not playing because I hate strategy games even more than I hate mud.

Still, I feel a little bit left out.

There are a lot of people here. I love them all, but the sheer proximity—it’s a lot to deal with for someone who really enjoys solitude.

The decor here is Western American rustic. Or something. Basically, there are a lot of dead animals staring at me and it’s creeping me out.

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6/28/14 – Wyoming, Day 2

Today I went shooting and I drove an ATV. I feel so bad-ass.

You can't tell, but I'm totally behind the wheel of an ATV here. I promise.

You can’t tell, but I’m totally behind the wheel of an ATV here. I promise.

I just sang in the family talent show. I feel less bad-ass now, but still pretty awesome.

6/29/14 – Wyoming, Day 3

We went to church at a local congregation this morning. The talks were on faith, which is personally relevant to me right now.

Last week my therapist brought up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and we talked for a bit about faith. About how faith is more than believing in something—it’s knowing that if your hopes, your dreams, everything that if good in your life comes crashing down around you, you’ll still believe.

Faith, as one of the speakers said today, is more than just a feeling. It’s a choice.

So today I choose to have faith. I choose to believe my life will not always revolve around my depression. I choose to have faith that one day I’ll look up and realize my life is so much more than I ever expected it to become.

I choose. I believe.

6/30/14 – Wyoming, Day 4

Headed home today. We’ve had a great time here, but I’m still kind of glad we’re done.

We did run into some traffic on the way home.

We did run into some traffic on the way home.

So there you have it. I know, pretty exciting stuff. I bet you can hardly wait until my next post!

 





Writing is Hard

10 06 2014

There are so many distractions in the world—so many excuses to stay away from my keyboard.

Writing is hard.

I write blog posts in my head all the time. I tell you all about the woman I met at the playground who was just angling to give me her business card, the jerks who swore at me when I refused to sell them pseudoephedrine because they didn’t have proper ID, the way I struggle to get out of bed every day, but I do it because my children depend on me and I can’t let them down.

So much to say.

Sometimes I wonder if I did tell you these things, if I wrote all the thoughts in my head, if you’d keep coming back. After all, not every post is thought-provoking, award-winning content.

I worry.

But I need to write. Writing is a healthy outlet for me, and the longer I go between posts, the less I write, the harder it gets to turn to my keyboard.

So now I make a promise to you. I will write at least one blog post per week. Those of you close to me, or even those of you who are simply casual readers—keep me honest.

Writing is hard, but it’s what I know, and I don’t want that to change.

Y’all come back now.





Good Enough

8 04 2014

You’re so much more than good enough.
~ Sarah McLachlan

Thursday night we had the first rehearsal for this year’s Listen to Your Mother show. Did I mention I’m doing that again? Because I totally am. I know.  I honestly can’t believe I was chosen for a second year in a row, but apparently the casting director is suffering from some sort of brain-wasting disease, because there I am on the cast list.

Anyway. It was my first time meeting this group of women—over a dozen smart, talented writers—and even though I listened to my favorite nerve-soothing Pandora folk music station on the ride over, my heart couldn’t quite decide if it wanted to reside in my throat or my belly as I knocked on the door.

I was the third woman to arrive, and the other two seemed perfectly nice. We made small talk and waited for the others.

And then the fourth woman arrived.

“Hi, I’m Jenny-” I started, and she cut me off.

“Oh, you don’t have to introduce yourself. You’re like a celebrity to me. I know who you are,” she very nearly gushed.

Wait, what? A celebrity?

Apparently this woman, who appeared perfectly sane, is some kind of…fan of my writing? I was flabbergasted. Actually, I still am. I mean, I enjoyed the Listen to Your Mother experience last year, but I certainly never expected this sort of reaction.

Which brings me to the point of my post. I know—logically—so very many things about myself. I know that I’m smart. I’m fairly certain that I’m funny. I have a gift for writing. I’m musically quite talented. I could keep going, but you get the idea.

But I believe I am fundamentally flawed.

Now, if you were to ask me if good old Bob down the street has something fundamentally wrong with him, I’d be the first one to tell you that we’re all children of God and God doesn’t make mistakes.

I cannot apply this logic to myself.

I faced this room full of women who are smart, gifted, funny, and talented on so many levels, and I felt…less than. I felt like no matter what I said, no matter what I did, it would never be good enough, because I will never be good enough.

I will never be a good enough mother.

I will never be a good enough wife.

I will never be a good enough person.

The next day, my newly-discovered fan sent a friend request on Facebook. Her profile picture showed a smiling face with a hand held up next to it, and on that hand was written, “I’m Imperfect & I’m Enough.”

Enough.

The thought struck me in the shower (because let’s admit it, all the best inspiration occurs in the bathroom)—maybe, just maybe, it’s not about being good enough.

Maybe I just need to accept that I’m enough.

I’m definitely imperfect. I’m far from good enough. But I am enough.

And you, out there reading this? This applies to you as well. You are enough. Whatever is going on in your life, wherever you are…you are enough.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. It means more than I’ll ever be able to adequately express.

xoxo





Keep Breathing

26 02 2014

“I want to change the world.
Instead, I sleep.”
~ Ingrid Michaelson

I am depressed.

I hate those words. I hate that they exist at all. I hate that depression has a foothold in my life that I just cannot seem to shake loose. I hate that I sit on my couch and run through all the things I need to do and then I curl up in a ball and do absolutely nothing.

I’m not lazy. I’m not procrastinating. I’m not lacking motivation.

I am depressed.

I want to get back to blogging, but when I open a window to start a new post, everything goes blank. I don’t know what to say anymore. I don’t know how to say it. The medium that I love so much is suddenly intimidating.

I am…well, you know.

I look for the positive. I got out of bed. I took a shower. I talked to a friend. It could be worse.

It has been worse.

Still, that’s not exactly how I want to live my life. “Sure, I’m depressed, but I’m not to hospitalization level, so hooray!”

I want to be happy.

Why does it have to be so hard?





I Am Trying

17 02 2014

I wrote this in April 2011 but never published it because I was being less honest about my depression and I was scared of worrying the people in my life. I’ve decided to share it with you now…well, honestly, I’m not quite sure why. I just like the writing, I suppose.

Feeling scared today
Write down “I am ok”
A hundred times the doctors say
I am ok
I am ok
I’m not ok
~ eels

I stand in the shower and look at my blood vessels—a branching, complex network, relaying blood to the tips of my toes, the rough spot on my elbow, the curve of my hip.

My body contains approximately 60,000 miles of blood vessels which circulate a little over five liters of blood. Step back from any squeamishness you have and imagine that color—a rich, gorgeous red. Picture the stark contrast to the pale pastel blue of my veins.

It is beautiful.

Millions of vessels. Capillaries, veins and arteries. A nick here, a scratch there. A satisfyingly fat bead gathers on my fingertip when the doctor performs my monthly blood thinner check; a rivulet streams down my shin when I cut myself shaving, pooling at the bottom of the tub until it flows down the drain, pink ribbons swirling.

One small slip, one wrong cut, too much curiosity, and all five liters will leave my body in minutes.

It is terrifying.

I’m not suicidal…I’m just fascinated.

I’m not okay.





Remember Me?

5 12 2013

Hi. My name is Jenny, and I used to blog a lot.

I’m not entirely sure what happened, to be honest. Obviously there was the depression, but that didn’t stop me from blogging, so I can’t use that as an excuse. I certainly didn’t run out of things to say. You can ask any of my friends and they’ll confirm that. If there’s one thing I never stop doing, it’s telling people what I think.

Maybe I just got lazy.

But look! Here I am! Admittedly, I’m here mostly because I’m bored. Some of you might ask why I’m so bored. Here’s a pictoral explanation:

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If you’ll take a gander at the top of my humerus, you’ll notice it’s not quite right. “Good heavens, Jenny! You’ve broken your humerus!” I hear you saying (okay, you’re probably saying arm instead of humerus, because you’re not all into medical stuff like I am). “How on earth did you do that?”

Umm. Well. See, here’s the thing…apparently I’m a 90-year-old woman, because I slipped and fell in the shower. Just call me Grace.

So I’ve spent the past 2.5 weeks bored out of my mind, because yes, that’s my dominant arm. I can’t work. I can’t drive, because both of our cars are stick shifts. I can’t shower by myself.

But I can (finally) type. Lucky you!

Wow, this post is boring. I’m so terribly sorry. But they can’t all be Nobel-worthy. Really, what do you people expect from me? I’M ONLY HUMAN YOU KNOW.

That’s it. I’m done with this post. I can’t handle the pressure.

P.S. I’m thinking about trying my hand at fiction. I’m not sure the world is ready for this.

Oh, screw you, WordPress proofreader. Pictoral and humerus are totally valid words. WHY IS EVERYONE SO CRITICAL?

 





Happiness is…

30 09 2013

My therapist asked me to write a list of things that make me happy.

He’s a very wise man.

It sounds like a simple task, yet it’s been giving me fits. Still, it’s something I need to do and I want to share the start with you. After all, you hear plenty about the things that make me unhappy. Why shouldn’t you join in relishing the things that bring a smile to my face? So tonight I write the beginning of my list, with the plan to add a few posts here and there that expound upon the same topic.

  1. Hearing my boys laugh
  2. Holding hands with Car
  3. A good nap
  4. Coloring
  5. Crocheting
  6. Chocolate
  7. Reading a good book
  8. A hug from Car
  9. Going out with friends
  10. Talking to my brother on the phone
  11. Getting a haircut
  12. Sleeping in

It’s not a very long or profound list at this point, but I know I’ll think of more to add to it. I have faith that I can do this.