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.

Kindest regards,

Jenn

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Thirty-four and more

I’m not one of those women that hates telling people how old she is. It sometimes takes me a moment to remember the number, but when I do I have no qualms saying it out loud. So I have no problem telling you that, this past Saturday, I turned 34.

Am I where I thought I would be when I turned 34? Hell, I don’t know! When I was younger, I don’t think I thought much about what would happen to me past 30, so I am not worried one bit that young Jenn would be embarrassed or shocked about how my life is today.

So who is Jenn today?

I find that I can best express my thoughts in point-form:

  • I am married to my loving, supportive husband of almost 10 years.
  • I have a caring, precocious three-year-old daughter.
  • I am happily employed as an administrative assistant in an industry I am interested in and an organization I am proud to be a part of.
  • We live a comfortable lifestyle and thankfully carry no debt.
  • A minimalist lifestyle appeals to me and I am working on removing unnecessary material possessions from our home. (Too much “stuff” makes me anxious.)
  • I’ve lived the life of a dancer for the past four years and am now trying to figure out what my next hobby/activity/passion will be.
  • I’m working on becoming a healthier person by steering my eating habits in a more positive direction and exercising more than I used to.
  • I love rock music and hope to see plenty more live concerts in the future.
  • I love London, England, and am over the moon excited to travel there for a third time in May/June of this year.
  • I am passionate about what I think are out of the ordinary things like Kill Bill, Linkin Park, and Anne Frank. (Sometimes I fear these passions make me too one-dimensional.)
  • I require a lot of down time to recharge my batteries, so I’m often found at home rather than out on the town.

For the most part, I am happy with the person I am today. It has taken me a long time to be able to say that.

Thirty-four years, even.