Embrace the beauty in living life unfiltered.

Thank you for reading my stories, laughing along, and being brave enough to share yours! 

life happens

Life happens.

How many times have we uttered that phrase?

Those two words are cold hard facts.

One day you’re 20, without a care in the world. Then somehow you’re 35, worrying about age spots, interest rates, and your recent Google search is “how to stop dogs from peeing on your petunias.” Life happens.

Those two little words can act as a source of comfort, too.

A flat tire that makes you late for work?  No worries, life happens.

Lately, I’ve been thinking not about how life happened but how much I happened to my life.

Through so many phases, styles, successes and mistakes, this life experienced me.

All of my choices, for better or for worse, have brought me to this moment, this life.

Jim Carrey once gave a commencement speech at Maharishi University in Iowa where he advised students that, “the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.”

That sentiment guides the way I try to move the needle in this world. It’s why I became a nurse. It’s why I started this blog. The richness of my life comes from helping others and sharing my truth.

Yet, it has been months since I last blogged. Hey, life happens.

In that time I’ve spent what has felt like years thinking about my writing and what that looks like as I keep happening to this life.

Is This Naked Life the best expression of gifts I want to share with the world?

I’ve felt a tension inside trying to answer that question. A giant knot of doubts and insecurity tangled up with glimpses into a life full of possibility.

When doubt returns on the scene, I know I’m at the crossroads of a growth opportunity.

This all too familiar feeling is one I recognize as an invitation to stay in a comfortable space or to expand into something greater.

To be honest with you (as is my practice) I’m proud of how I happened to this little corner of the Internet. I’ve shared intimate details of my life with you in order to better connect us all. I think I’ve done it well. My Mom says so anyway.

But it’s time to move on and explore new possibilities in writing.

I want to tell you of the paragraphs of my life where my existence felt too challenging to bear and how I wondered about finding its relief.

I want to type out words of regret over how I spent the last days and months of my dear aunt’s life.

I want to invite you in on the crippling fear I felt when my mom, sister, and I found out about my brother’s drug addiction.

I want to write sentences of joy about my beautiful brother’s brave journey through recovery and print them on pages you’ll hold with love close to your chests.

I must release the pain of how it feels to have a father who chooses alcohol, anger, and control over a life with his own family.

I must work, through written words, my increasingly mixed feelings of having children.

I need to mourn all of the death I have seen in my career as an oncology nurse and explain what witnessing so much despair has done for my perspective on life.

Those sacred stories will require me to pour out my heart and soul. And I will. Elsewhere. Hopefully on paper if I finish in enough time that books still exist.

I imagine the opening lines of the story to be something like this…

"What do you do for a living?"

"Mostly my focus is undoing massive and deeply rooted negative patterns I learned growing up in my family."

(Blank Stare.)

"Oh, you meant like my job?!"

I hope you’ll read it. I hope you’ll love it.

As my writing journey goes beyond This Naked Life I promise that I will keep moving the needle, making a positive impact in this world. I want to keep caring for others,  showing up as my truest self and baring it all so that you feel connected and safe to do the same.

I will keep expanding and happening to life in big and bold ways. I will keep happening to life for the rest of my days.

It is my promise. It is my purpose.

Can’t stop. Want to stop like every five minutes. Won’t stop.

With all the love and gratitude,

Jen

letting go