Hello Again

I first picked up The Diary of Anne Frank while hanging out in the library of St. Francis Junior High School at lunch. It was the beginning of Grade 7 and I still had not found a group of friends to roam the halls with, so most of my lunch hours were spent watching a group of boys play Myst while huddled around the library’s lone computer. I’d watched them play the game so many times without making it to the end that I grew bored and started browsing the books on the shelves.

I heard about the diary before but never actively looked for it with the intent to read it, but it sounded a lot more interesting than listening to my Language Arts teacher read Beowulf to the class (what a snoozefest!) As I read the diary, I found myself relating to Anne — her relationship with her family, her aspirations, and her writing in general. The diary became a springboard for my interest in Anne Frank, the history surrounding World War II, and the stories of other Jewish people who lived through the Holocaust. It also ignited my love of reading biographies, journaling and, later on, blogging.

So, to make a long story short… I’m back.

You see, I have this pesky writing talent that mostly sits dormant save for a few lucky humourous tweets I’ve been able to churn out. And, after a lot of self-reflection (because what else is there to do during a pandemic?), I decided that I need to start using this talent and make some mark on the world. I’ve never aspired to write a book or use my talent to make me money, so blogging is the next best way to get my writing out to as many eyeballs as possible.

I’ve laid a few ground rules for myself so I will actually want to come back and write more blog posts for this space.

  1. I will not be writing about Lethbridge — Sure, it will pop up here and there because, well, I live here. But my posts will not be promoting the city. This blog is a personal blog about me — my life, my experiences, stories I want to share, etc.
  2. I will not be sticking to a schedule — I might write a blog post once a week, I might write three! I might not write a blog post for a whole month. It doesn’t matter. This is my show and I am the ring leader! Deal with it.
  3. I will not be sold! — I am not, nor will I ever be an influencer for anything. I have been approached in the past to write sponsored blog posts, but I was never comfortable with it and always declined. If approached, I will continue to decline because my comfort and my space are sacred.

If you are still reading this, I thank you. It was a big decision for me to come back to doing this, so these ground rules were important to me.

I hope you will continue reading my blog and, more importantly, enjoy doing so.

— Jenn

The state of the View

2017 was a year of personal growth for me.

At various points throughout the year, I found myself questioning why I was doing something that was not making me happy. Why was I trying so hard to foster a friendship that felt so one-sided? Why was I shopping at a store when their products didn’t appeal to me anymore? Why was I trying so hard to be accepted by a group of people when their interests were the polar opposite of mine?

Why was I wasting my time?

A few major events occurred this year that shook me to my core and strengthened my resolve to live a more authentic life.

Chris Cornell‘s death on May 18 was unexpected and heartbreaking. I didn’t become a fan of his until his work with Audioslave, but once I did I worked my way backward and understood why he was a such a well-respected artist. I mourned the loss of a good human being and the fact that I would never hear my favourite Audioslave song, Like a Stone, performed live. It was a harsh reminder that we never know how long we have with the special people in our life and we need to appreciate the time we have with them.

We were in London the night of the terrorist attack at London Bridge and Borough Market on June 3. Luckily my husband and I were in our hotel room at the time, but we had been in the exact same area the day before. It was a chilling feeling to know we were so close to tragedy, and yet a huge part of me felt so far removed from it because in my mind we were still in Canada just watching the events unfold on the BBC. I’m still surprised that I was unfazed and ready to continue sightseeing the day after. The event really didn’t hit me until we came home, and I’ve struggled with wanting to travel far from home ever since.

Then I lost my hero.

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, passed away on July 20. I became a fan of Linkin Park just as I was finishing grade 12, and their music helped me through the years that followed as I transitioned into adult life. It was Chester’s voice, his raging scream, and his raw emotion that helped me feel like I wasn’t alone in the myriad of emotions I was experiencing at the time — Chester was with me. When he died, I felt gutted and abandoned. I still feel abandoned and find myself crying whenever I think of him. He helped me get through 17 years of my life and I was unsure how I was going to go on without him. I still can’t listen to any music by Linkin Park because hearing Chester’s voice hurts so much. As a way to sort of hold onto Chester forever, I got my first tattoo on August 4 of the six-sided Linkin Park logo behind my right ear (my right side is my dominant side). The placement behind my ear symbolizes how I became a fan through their music. The placement on my head symbolizes Chester’s struggle with mental illness.

Now he is always with me.

These three events helped steer me towards becoming my authentic self. I’ve felt like I’ve wasted a lot of my time with things I shouldn’t have so I have shifted my focus to doing more for me: I surround myself with people I like being with,  I do more of what I enjoy, and I’m getting better at putting myself first.

Which is why I’ve decided to push my blog to the side indefinitely.

Time and again I’m told I’m a talented writer, but other writers will tell you how awful it feels to write when you are completely uninspired — it’s soul crushing. Keeping up with a blog schedule and writing week after week while uninspired becomes more of a chore, and the more I did it the worse I felt. I don’t want to do that anymore. I may write something at some point in the future and feel it best to post it here, but I don’t know when that will be, if at all. I’m active on Twitter, so you can continue following me there if you’d like. I’m still iffy on how active my Instagram account will be in the future, but I do think I will close the Facebook page.

Thank you for reading my little blog for however long you have been. At the very least, I hope you learned a little bit more about me and my view of the world.

— Jenn