2017 – the year of podcasting, healing, and stepping into my own…finally.

The theme of the year really has been around continued healing and shedding of stories I no longer need to protect me. Don’t let all the good fool you though…scroll down if you want some of the not-so-good.

  • I’ve healed enough to allow my husband to truly have my back. I’m no longer alone in life. (I get that I never really was BUT it took me 47 years to believe that.)
  • I no longer question if I’m a good person or not. HINT: I am…usually.
  • I moved through my fears and started my podcast. I told perfection to fuck off because I have important work to do…and I believed it.
  • I no longer want to escape from it all. I’m comfortable in the messy middle and welcome the dark days. The only place I want to escape to now is my home with my family.
  • I’m not sure how to best articulate this one. I’ve always tried to be a good mom but this year the nurturing side of mothering finally clicked for me (after 27 1/2 years lol!). More to come in the first episode of Season 2 as Dyana Valentine turns the tables on me!
  • I showed up more than I didn’t. For me + others.

ginormous milestones achieved

1. I realized I am no longer lonely and I’m not sure exactly when it happened. One day I was and then I wasn’t. I attribute it to healing myself enough that I was ready to open myself up to being hurt by women other than my mom. Loneliness has plagued me the better part of my 47 years so this was a HUGE realization.

I even spent a weekend yurting with my local crew of witchy women!

2. I started something I’ve been dying to do. Ok – not literally dying BUT for years I’ve been banging my head, trying this ‘thing’ and that ‘thing’ – trying to find ‘my thing’. And I found it. Going There was conceived somewhere between St. Paul and Nashville on a road trip with my daughter to see Queen for the second time this past summer. Yup. Seems serendipitous to me too.

I’ve had the pleasure of hosting intimate conversations with 14 amazingly phenomenal women – each with their own unique stories of heartache, trauma, grief, addiction, and so much more. Nothing thrills me more than getting a message from someone saying how a particular episode touched them or changed their thinking…helped them feel less alone.

YES. My ultimate goal…to help myself and others feel less alone. I’m finally doing my part and god damn am I proud of myself.

Kerrie Blazek and I talked about our tendencies to isolate and the sadness behind the smile. Natalie Vartanian shared the trauma of her father’s suicide when she was a young kid and how it still impacts her intimacy in relationships. Shelley Rezai talked about losing her mom to addiction and how it influences her art. Rita Chand shared how she wants to put the diet industry out of business and the apology she received from her mom that she didn’t realize how badly she needed. Jesse Kahat made us all want to call our moms. Marie Poulin and I talked about similar experiences growing up with parents with borderline personality disorder. Emelia Symington Fedy made us all a little bit uncomfortable with her views on motherhood but man..could we relate! Sally Hope talked about feelings of abandonment and extreme emotions. Thais Sky and I talked about the worthiness wound and defined our views on ‘broken’. Dyana Valentine fascinated us with tales of dreaming for a living and the near-crippling grief from her father’s death. Ashley Beaudin talked about sharing the imperfections including her sexting addiction and disrupting shame. She openly shares her stories that many of us would keep hidden. Go, Ashley!! Laura Egland made us almost pee our pants (um – I maybe DID pee my pants) over the retelling of having her car repo’d on her birthday…while masturbating. Susan Stewart also had us belly laughing as she talked about writing a book to validate her existence and how comedy = tragedy + time. And finally, Alex Franzen shared how a one-star Yelp review was the impetus for her new book, You’re Going to Survive.

Phew! That was a lot to type, lol.

other miscellany

I proudly marched in my pussy hat with others celebrating the strength of women everywhere.

Took a pottery class with a few of my witchy women.

Lost 30 lbs so I could fit into this gorgeous shirt from my mom in Ecuador and then promptly gained it all back.

I fell down the side of a bluff while hiking with a friend in Red Wing, MN.

Watched my daughter literally shake with excitement over getting to see Queen not once, but twice.

Took my daughter on an epic road trip to Nashville (to see Queen a second time) by way of Louisville and Knoxville and stayed in the cutest Airbnb ever.

I volunteered at a gala for Emerge Mothers Academy (I’m one of the mom mentors).

I entertained folks with my cat in the freezer story at my friend Laura’s, The Tell November event in Fargo, ND (check out Laura’s episode!).

Experienced huge amounts of nostalgia when I made my great-grandmother’s soft and chewy ginger molasses cookies. Soooooo good…email me for the recipe!

Shared images on insta that had my nephew saying, “Um…mom? I’m not sure I should follow Aunt Jennie on Instagram…”. No, nephew, you should not.

Amongst many others, listened to a must-listen (read) book of our times – The Hate U Give. Read (listen) to it.

Pleasured my self a few times while reading the hottest erotica – The Temptation Series by Ella Frank. So. Damn. Hot.

Fell more in love with this guy.

And lots more. You can see most of it here and here.

i shared my story with others

Jenn Taylor’s #rerouting

Sarah Aschkenas’ Messy Roads to Motherhood

Melanie Scroggin’s Mine Space

Veronica Grant’s Love Life Connection

Brodie Welch’s A Healthy Curiosity

Carrie Rubin’s The Modern Mom Society

lest you think it was all rainbows + unicorns…

I can assure you…twas not.

I had a major what I like to call – FUCK YOU, PATTI – moment that set me back a number of months. I tore down my website, went into hiding, licked my wounds, reminded myself I was a good person, dug a bit deeper, and remembered that she too is a victim of emotional abuse. So I gave her some grace.

You see…Patti wasn’t wrong but she also wasn’t right. But whatever. Like I said, Fuck you, Patti.

I also had my normal bouts of depression and melancholiness. Tis all a part of being me. I’m used to it now and I have my hubby to help watch for early signs.

My mom stayed with us for a bit in the summer and we had some suuuuuper difficult and intense conversations. Ultimately they were good conversations but man…hard to sometimes speak our truths and see the other’s reactions. Still…necessary. Mom has agreed to be on the podcast with me which should be super interesting + powerful!

My husband lost his job and I had to step it up and be the one to emotionally support him. I guess this overall is a win for the year because #emotionallymaturing but still…our finances took a heavy hit.

See above. I lost (yay!) and then gained (boo…) 30 lbs. It truly isn’t about the weight but about how much my body HURTS. My groaning knees and aching back and lack of energy….those 30 lbs made all the difference in the world.

 Phew! 2017 was busy and 2018 is shaping up to be even more so.

I’m looking forward to: cozy + intimate conversations, family road trip to Utah, witchy getaways with girlfriends, movies, concerts, coffee dates, framily get-togethers, Seasons 2, 3, and 4 of Going There, continuing to heal, falling more in love with my hubby, supporting other’s on their journeys, redoing our backyard so we can host summer gatherings, so much laughter, and I’m sure…plenty of tears.

Here’s to living life to the fullest in the messy middle…

jen

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