Tag Archive | Strength

Enjoying the Journey

I often feel as though I’ve had numerous lives because of the journey that I am on.

I’m sure it’s something we all feel when we reach a certain point, everything wrapped up in neat little packages of time: Childhood, High School, College, First Job, Marriage, Children, Second Job etc.

When I was young, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. As I grew older, I simply went down the path that I started, facing a lot of detours along the way, unbeknownst to me that I would end up where I am now.

Through a great deal of hard work, sacrifice, focus, and determination I have this wonderful life that I am so thankful for every day. I get to be a wife, mother, mentor, and writer. I couldn’t have envisioned all of this years ago, even if I tried. But it certainly wasn’t easy to get here. There was an incredible amount of pain, tears, moments of incredible anger and frustration, and endless moments when I simply felt lost. Miraculously, I was able to realize that life goes on and so could I. Whether it was in my career or in life, I somehow came to the realization that life wasn’t about just getting somewhere… it was about enduring and enjoying the journey. It was about stopping and smelling the flowers along the way. It was about enjoying the small victories and the tiny successes. It was about love.

I never imagined in all of dreams, how long and treacherous this journey can be, and I felt unprepared. There have been many moments when I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, travelling a road with strange companions and dangerous enemies while on the path to an unknown destination. Like Dorothy, there was a time when life was simple. But then it became more complicated, the choices bigger, and the stakes higher. Every step taking me somewhere I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go.

Life’s journey isn’t for the faint of heart. Too often, we are quick to give up and throw in the towel. Marriage, job, relationships… If we aren’t “Happy”, we quickly give in. If we aren’t satisfied, we just quit. If we don’t like something, we just move on to the next thing. Instead of being tenacious, working through it, fulfilling our commitments and standing up to the challenges, we throw in the towel. It’s a mentality in life that I don’t understand because it’s not the path that I have even chosen. It’s not that I took the high road, it’s simply that I took the long road because that was the path that seemed to best fit me.

I could never do things the easy or simple way. I’ve been told that time and time again throughout my life. There have been times when that has served me well and others when it has caused an excruciating amount of pain. I didn’t always enjoy the journey but I’ve always grown from it. We are trying to instill some of this is our children, not because we want them to experience pain, but because we want them to grow in life. We want them to enjoy the journey and find their path. And we don’t want them to be faint of heart.

Sometimes that journey is easier and the road isn’t as bumpy. But for some it’s full of twists, turns, and roads that seem downright un crossable. I don’t have any idea what type of journey my boys have ahead of them just as I didn’t know what I had in front of me. I still don’t know what lies ahead of me but for now, the path is peaceful and seems safe.

Tomorrow, that could all change.

I’m regrouping and gathering my strength. I’m refocusing on the things in life that matter most. I’m anticipating what may be out there, but experience has taught me that there is sometimes no way to be prepared. So I’m stopping to smell the flowers, bask in the love, take in the sights, and enjoy this journey for one more day.

“Your journey never ends. Life has a way of changing things in incredible ways.”~Alexander Volkov

Happy Christmas

I’m happy this Christmas.

Really, truly, and peacefully happy. Not because there is a BIG box under the tree with my name on it. And not because I’m finally done my Christmas shopping.

I’m just happy.

I’ve had horrible and sad Christmases when I’ve lost loved ones either to uncertainty, death or to themselves. And they were so difficult that I don’t even know how I made it through. But for the first time, in many years, all finally seems right with the world.

I’m not happy because everything is perfect. It’s happiness that acknowledges that it’s not, but that life remains worthwhile. It’s happiness you can only know after you’ve been through a valley. A deep, dark, endless valley.

I won’t freak out this year when things don’t happen “on time” or exactly as planned. Because I have the most wonderful people in my life and I am a fortunate person. I’ve made it through some of the valleys. So I’m going to gather my strength, count my blessings, and love my precious ones like there is no tomorrow.

Because it is certain in life, that there will be more valleys. But for now I am going to enjoy the beauty of Christmas.

I hope that you will too. And that it will be beautiful, magical, and full of love.

Resilience

I love this Rose bush for so many reasons.

It’s set at the edge of my driveway and there’s a story behind it. A few years ago, I didn’t like where it was planted. I thought it was awkward and out of place so I decided to transplant it to a different section of the yard. I dug it up and moved it to where I thought it would look best.

The next spring, much to my chagrin, it sprouted back up in its original spot. The rose bush was coming up nicely in the area that I moved it to and I couldn’t figure out how it managed to grow back in its original spot, after I dug it up, roots and all.

I decided to leave it and see what happened. The first summer it grew up some, still gangly and out of place. Every time I left the driveway, I shook my head in annoyance that it was still where I didn’t want it to be.

But last summer it really took off and started to become something bigger than I ever imagined. And now, it’s a huge beautiful bush.

I’m amazed every time I look at it, at its resilience. When I reflect on its growth, I think of how my life has somehow rendered the same amount of strength and resilience.

I’ve also been uprooted many times, but somehow I’ve managed to stay rooted to the original place I started from. I don’t know how, but it’s happened.

I wrote about it in my book, reflecting the strength of human nature through my characters, Brynn, Rose, Adam. And I’m amazed at how human nature, nature in general, can somehow demonstrate such growth and beauty after being completely upended. Yet somehow we just journey through and manage to become more amazing and more resilient than we ever thought possible.

Whether its a cancer diagnosis, marriage difficulties, loss of loved ones, or difficult beginnings. We somehow find ourselves growing through even the most adverse conditions. It’s a lot to envision from a simple Rose bush, yet every time I look at it, I think of where I’ve begun and where I am now.

The Roses continue to grow and the bush gets bigger and more beautiful every day. There are hundreds of buds on it now, and I am happy every time I look at it. I think that we are the same and that over time, we grow and become more beautiful, more amazing, more than we ever imagine in spite of ourselves and our conditions.

I can’t wait to see how beautiful it will be in a few more years. And I I ever move, I’m taking it with me, uprooting it again. Hopefully it will grow back for whoever lives here after me, demonstrating its beauty and resilience once again.

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Getting inside Jen’s mind

I recently self-published my first novel on Amazon.com, “Leaving Eva.” It’s a story that’s been bubbling inside of me for years, and one day I finally starting clicking away at the keyboard. Suddenly Eva came out.

I’ve always been pretty private about myself, about my life, for most of my life. Self publishing was a big step for me in joining this very voyeuristic world that we live in, and I was uncomfortable at first. I’m a pretty social person, working very closely with people every day, in my grown up job. But private about myself and about my thoughts. Writing a novel meant that I had to bare a little bit of my soul to the world, terrifying to say the least.

So a blog seems pretty ironic to me.

But I decided to start one as a way to connect. As a way to improve my writing and drive my passion. I’m realizing that by being so closed off most of my adult life that I’ve been missing out on a lot. ‘

So I wrote this book. It’s not a romantic comedy, or a sexy thriller or a love story. It’s ugly, and sad, and downright depressing at times. It’s about loss, and love, and being lost in your fear and in your own mind. I wrote it because I needed to and because it just came out as easily as breathing, sometimes. I wrote it because I was abandoned as a child at the same age as the main character and I needed to exorcise some demons.

I don’t know who will follow this blog. It’s just about me and my thoughts about life, about family, about writing, and about anything I can think of to write about. Writing has always been a passion, a salvation, and a way to lose myself in order to keep myself sane.

Welcome to my blog. I hope you will visit often and lend me your feedback and your comments whenever you feel inspired to do so!

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