The dip

September 14, 2012 |  Category:   life me rambling travels

Hard to believe, but there are less than 4 months left in the year.


When I look back at this year so far, 2012, I think of it as a lost year. It wasn’t exactly a bad year, but there’s been something off about it like it just never got going. I don’t feel like I accomplished much, or grew, or learned. I didn’t go in any one direction. I didn’t go backwards or forwards. It’s been… fine, but if you are even remotely like me, you’ll understand that fine is not fine.
In my efforts to create as much of a stable life for our family as I could over the last 5 or so years, I think I’ve recently come to realize that the stability that I craved might also ironically be the thing that is keeping me in the same place. Things are chugging along, not always smoothly, but life is happening, no doubt. But we’re also in that space where things have been status quo for the last few years. And this is my struggle. There has always been some major life change in the last 24 years – moving from apartment to apartment, from state to state, from school to school. Traveling, jobs, careers, back to grad school, marriage, a new baby, our first mortgage, a second baby, a new business. You know how it is when you’re young. It’s all big and scary life changing stuff, but it’s also really exciting. We’re at an age, however, when the big stuff is settling down. The kids are getting older, we’re settled into our apartment and refinancing. Like I said, life is happening, but sometimes I can’t help but think, what’s the next big thing? Where is the excitement?
If I knew the answer, you can bet that I would be making a plan to get us there. But I don’t. I haven’t known for years. And I’m not really used to that. I’m lost, and yesterday I actually felt angry about it for the first time. This directionless feeling has taken away any motivation to want to actually do something about it because I don’t know where to go. As a result, life and business and my career is just moving laterally and not up.
Ok, you are thinking MID LIFE CRISES. Maybe you are right (I have actually been wanting a small tattoo, hahahaha!). Hormonal changes which I guess is normal for someone my age is not helping things either and I suppose that will get worse (sorry, family). I’m neither sad, nor happy, but I am working hard to push the equilibrium towards happy. So, we make the few trips that we take every year a priority in how we spend our money so that we can break out of our everyday world. I make sure to meet new people and see friends because they mean the world to me and keep me sane. I keep the house nice and tidy so that we have a nice home to live in (though I’m beginning to think that this particular OCD is just a distraction to create this illusion that I have my life together).
And then there is this space which I have kept up for 4 and a half years. It’s also directionless at this point. What is it for? I don’t really know anymore! Sometimes I feel like it’s predictable and every year we have the same pattern: freakout during the holidays! Another birthday, another anniversary! Here we are in Seattle again in August, just like every year! Why in the hell am I sharing all this with strangers? I love getting emails from readers who have expressed that I have helped them achieve clarity in their lives in some way. That is amazing. But it’s also funny because I don’t feel like I have anything figured out in my life right now, less so than when I first started writing here.
I’ve had a few friends this year end businesses, closed chapters in their lives and moved on to different things. I’ve been keenly interested in their stories. I also found a small little book on my mother’s bookshelf, The Dip, by Seth Goldin. I started reading it. In a really quick nutshell it’s about winners who know how to quit things at the right time. It’s not that I want to quit anything right now, but I am in a dip and I do need a change, preferably a big one.

I’ve also come to realize that this is why I have such a deep connection with the NW. It represents a time when I made a big change. It represents a blank slate, new experiences, and the feeling that something was going to happen even though I didn’t know what. It’s also about youth and music and all that other stuff steeped in early 90s nostalgia, but it’s that feeling that I miss. It’s an interesting realization when I think I might have this connection with any other city had I chosen to move to, Boston let’s say, or Boise, Idaho. Who knows. Maybe NYC represents that for some of you out there too.
It’s definitely a myth that people should have their lives figured out by the time they’re an adult in their 40s. Maybe some people do, but I don’t. I may not have the guts anymore to facilitate change like I did when I was young, but I have to believe that I can’t be that scared of it even though the responsibilities make the risk greater. I just have to laugh sometimes that the things we spent so long building in our lives to create this stable life for ourselves and our family can be the very things that make you feel trapped sometimes. We’ve arrived! But where are we? That’s classic mid-life crises fodder right there. So I don’t know what’s going to happen, if anything is going to happen, but I will spend a lot of time trying to figure stuff out. And if I don’t, I’ll see you back here, I’m sure.

You Might Also Like

  • Michelle from Holley & Gill September 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I needed this post. It’s where we are at now, and we are still clueless as to why and how we can shake it. We’ve plotted so many scenarios and changes but keep coming back to our current situation and asking ourselves why would we change all of this, why do we need to change all of this. Should we wait for something to happen or do we push ourselves outside of this mid-life comfort zone?

  • Anile | Girlfriday September 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Oh golly, I hear you, and I second you. My 40s are closing in fast and while it doesn’t freak me out (I prefer to be proud of my body for getting me this far, but I chalk that up to having chronic illnesses that make me a lot more grateful than I’d normally be) I do wonder what the hell I’m doing, how much time I’ve wasted, etc. This year in particular has been a bit of a non-starter, as you said. Maybe if I dig a little deeper I’ll find more meaning in it, not to mention we all need “quiet” years because we’d all be insanely burnt out if we didn’t have those. Kind of like fallow fields. I better not even get started on burning out, either. Anyways, this is me rambling. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

  • Karen September 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I just wanted to say that I enjoy reading your blog. Mostly because it’s real. I look at other blogs, but mostly for their glossy pictures, seemingly perfect lives, and cool craft DIYs that I say I would someday recreate but never will. I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts because they’re real and I have yet to come across other blogs that is like yours. So, thank you.


  • rick September 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I really agree with some of your readers that you somehow always are able to eloquently put into words how a lot of us are feeling. I don’t visit your blog often, but when I do I love listening to your thoughts, and a lot of it, I can really related, though we’re at different stages in our lives. As far as figuring it all out, I don’t think you ever will. It might be our tendencies to compare our lives to others, that sometimes makes us feel like we’re going nowhere. In our ways of always wanting to check off boxes on our lists, maybe try to just enjoy where you are at this point: you family, friends, and what you have built. To a stranger like me, it seems like a wonderful place to be.

  • Jenna September 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    @Rick, oh but see…that’s the thing. Sure, life seems fine from the outside – and it is. It’s not about NOT appreciating what I have, and I’m not talking about comparing my life to others either. This is ALL internal. Maybe its a personality thing, maybe it’s a mid-life crises thing. Take Mark, for example, who is really different than I am. He’s pretty content with where he is in life. Many people are. I think that some people have the personality where they’re always looking for something more no matter where they are in life, and maybe that is the problem. Acceptance (complacency?) is hard for some…

  • Dee September 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    As for life patterns, I went through a mental readjustment a few years ago (I’m older than you) that was helped when I read that most careers do plateau after an initial trajectory upward. I remember feeling that something was wrong because my career was doing that. As for the blog, I am a long time reader who absolutely loves reading about your life–in some ways it’s similar to the one I left when I took a teaching position in a southern city. To me, 2012 on sweetfineday is the year that Mia smiled in picture after picture.

  • Andrea September 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Had someone say to me…happiness is a by-product of being in the flow of life. If you allow life to happen and you enter the flow with open-eyes and observation, happiness (and direction ;-)) will come.

    And this from a Type A.

    Love your blog!!

  • Anne September 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Dear Jenna!

    I don’t recall ever having actually commented on any of your posts though having wanted it for quite some time now. The reason I haven’t I think is because you bring out such big emotions in me that how am I supposed to reply to that in just a few lines (therefore, since I am responding now, I want to apologize if this turns into a novel! ;))? However, I need to thank you! Your writing is so very beautiful and reflected and even though I am a 26 year old Danish student with no kids yet and our lives are, both geographically and mentally, wide away from each other, I constantly find myself nodding along when you describe a certain feeling or dilemma or something like that. You have a special melancholy about your texts that I so adore. I guess it’s because you mix your beautiful honesty with your likable sense of humor. You to me are so human and that’s why it doesn’t matter if you live in the Big Apple with your lovely family and I live in a city the size of an apple compared to yours (though being the second largest city in Denmark – wuhuu! ;)) because you speak to me in a way that sometimes I feel like your writing my journal when it comes to emotions. In a way it gives me a feeling of security. I mean, I guess we all like to be able to relate and not feel alone with our thoughts, but to me it’s like an amazing universal gift that on the other side of this planet is a beautiful woman in a completely different place than me, and yet we have such similar emotions and thoughts. It makes the world so big and yet personal at the same time. And if not for any other, this is the reason why I beg of you to remember the importance of you sharing your life and honest thoughts with strangers! I know that’s what I am to you, but then again, I am also a person that smiles when Mia and Claudine do something cute (which isn’t rare, I can tell you – such beautiful kids!), who laughs at your sweet jokes and sarcasm and often sheds a tear when you point out some feelings I mysef have a hard time putting in to words. So thank you, Jenna! You have no idea what your writing means to me!

    I guess it’s a scary thought suddenly finding yourself in what needed to be a place of stability and then stability itself makes the world seem rocky. But there’s also a very vital thing about I think. Life keeps wanting more of you (and so do you of life!) and therefore I think it shakes you up from time to time to make you remember that you always have to reflect on your situation, as frustrating as that may be, in order to always be in contact with yourself. I guess that is an ongoing challenge life brings us and to me it seems obvious that it comes at times when you actually thought you were done seeking challenge in a particular form. So maybe you should not focus on your situation as being just fine but be glad that you’re aware “fine” is not good enough. That means you haven’t given up which means your life is currently moving forward this year of 2012!

    Sorry if I don’t make sense (and sorry for my English – it’s so rusty, but I haven’t been writing things in English since highschool!), but I hope you got my message, that what you do matters – if you don’t see it, we are a lot of readers who do!

    Love, Anne – who doesn’t feel like a stranger!

  • Renita September 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    This has been a weird year …. the method that has been working for me so far is to ‘be still’ … I don’t always have to be the influence of an outcome (of course most of the time it’s an outcome that I want) and watch just what happens … it’s a challenge for me because I am OCD too … I can’t help but poke at the hornest nest or overfocus on completing a task … I started a creative class that I know nothing about. I figure being a “beginner” again will help ease my energy to (do) something

  • Jenna September 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    @annie, thank you for commenting to this post and taking time out of your day to write this! It makes me smile. And such wise words too. Who says that wisdom comes from age? xo

  • Jenna September 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    @Renita I like your “being a beginner” perspective on things. Very interesting…

  • Eve September 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I find it amazing how many times I can read your blog and find that you can put into words what I’m feeling. Sometimes it feels like the lifestyle I am trying to create is not actually the lifestyle I want. Part of me wants stability but part of me wants the adventure of not knowing what’s next. For me, 2012 is the year that things are starting to fall into place but that scares me a bit.

    Reading your blog is like talking to a close friend. Honest and open with the type of vulnerability I would not be able to share on a public space. I hope that you get enough out of this to keep it going for years to come.

  • Nataliya September 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I agree with another commenter that your posts bring up so much emotion it is awfuly hard to comment in a coherent way :) thank you. to say i feel the say way would mean to say nothing at all. there are so many options out there, and yet i’m at a loss about where i want to go. i’m a planner. i’m a decision-maker. but when plans don’t pan out and decisions are impossible to make, the waiting game (the standing still game) is definitely something to endure. i try to look at it as a cocoon. time is needed before a butterfly come out of the cocoon. I feel it is the same with ideas. they need time to grow, mature and be born. somewhere in the depths of our minds. they simply need time.

  • Elizabeth September 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Wow, me too! Ditto! I’m having this same kind of day where one of the main things that provides the stability I need in my life is making me cry and feel trapped. It’s ridiculous, and I’ve been giving myself a stern talking to all day long. Thanks for putting this into words and sharing it, and for reminding us all that we’re not alone!

  • MCC September 14, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Jenna, you might find as much comfort in these words as I have. Stay well.

    “Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. To stay with that shakiness – to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge – that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic – this is the spiritual path.” – Pema Chodron

  • Jenna September 14, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    @MCC thank you for that quote.

  • jacqui September 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    . We too are seemingly locked in the comfort of stability, when all along we were the types to throw caution to the wind, travel without a second thought, be spontaneous, think of today and not tomorrow. Now tomorrow seems scary unless it is accounted for, signed of on.
    I recently came back from my first trip ever to NYC. I went without the husband and kids and i feel like i had an… adventure! It revived me and excited me yet I have found it really hard to settle again back home on the other side of the world. It’s made me … want again, though I’m not sure what. It’s made me dissatisfied. It’s made me hope that 2013 brings something different.

  • Mrs. Jones September 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I often have the feeling that I’m waiting for my life to begin. Which is crazy considering I’m married, raising two adorable kids, go to work everyday and try to maintain a social life (kids play dates count right?). But I’m plagued by that “what else? what’s next?” feelings. Like there has to be more that I’m missing. Hang in there and please do share when you figure it out so I can copy your secret :) And you’re right 2012 has not taken off as expected but depending on how you look at it that could be a good thing. There is security in the predictable.

  • jen September 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    jenna, do you think maybe the stability has to do with the fact that you have kids now and kids more than anything need stability in their lives. i remember reading somewhere that the 30s are the best time for starting your own business because when your 20 you’re too young and in your 40s, it’s not cause you’re too old, but you’re less likely to take risks since you have more responsibilities. i think it’s part of the normal ebb and flow of life and does anyone really know where they’re going in life?

  • Aya September 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Your first paragraph–this is me!!!

  • Stephanie September 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Like many readers have already stated, you frequently put down in words what a lot of us are feeling internally. I think the need to achieve the next big thing comes from us being in the creative field (I’m an architect), Type A personality, and constantly striving towards the next milestone. It’s a feeling that will never really go away, and I guess the best we can do is not to think too far ahead, which is a paradox because we’re the type of anal, organized people who can’t help but plan.

    Last year, when I thought everything was supposed to go as it’s ‘supposed’ to, I got pregnant by accident, to someone in the US military who was only visiting the country for a few days (I live in Australia). As a result, I’m now a single parent to a 4-month old baby who will never know when she will meet her father. I’ve had many low days, but reading your blog daily always makes me feel comforted, and that I’m not alone. I love your taste in everything and often when I’m by myself at home with the baby, I’m always uplifted by the pretty things you showcase. So thank you. I do apologize for this long and rambling comment, but please keep writing, it really means a lot.

  • Desiree September 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Hi Jenna, I have read your blog for some time now but not left any comment before. I love your blog both the way you write and your amazingly beautiful pictures. What you wrote today really touched me. As many already have said you do mange to put words to the feelings many of us may have but don’t know how to describe. I totally agree with you that it is harder for some people to be content and happy with here and now. I am still working at that. I lived in Alabama for four years and then I deeply wanted to return to Sweden (where I am from). After moving back to Sweden I realized just I loved the adventure of being an expat after all even if it is hard and difficult many times. For me it has been hard to be fully content with what I have and not always carry the feeling that the grass may be greener on the other side. It is something I am still working on. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in what you feel. I am sure you will find more rewarding challenges in your life and more thrilling moments. Maybe dips are needed sometimes in order to fully appreciate being at the top. Life is kind of a roller coaster and a dip is just something temporary.Thank you for a great blog and for writing so honestly.

  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag September 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Miss Jenna — I have no sage advice. We’re the same age I think. And I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. But I do know this — I adore your blog. Your words are the thoughts in my head and it helps me to see them here.

  • Hanna L September 15, 2012 at 1:22 am

    I have to say, these pictures of Seattle are the most beautiful ones I’ve seen in a while. I used to live there and it is really nice reading your posts.
    Thank you

  • Janine September 15, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Hi Jenna,

    That was an interesting post. You covered a lot of the issues that have been in my mind recently (but much more eloquently!!). Actually, right there is one of the reasons you (should) write your blog – you have a great gift for grabbing those vague thoughts and feelings that we all have, grappling with them and writing about them so vividly and eloquently, most of the comments have mentioned that. You are a very talented writer as well as photographer and mum and everything else.

    Anyway, we recently had a big change and moved cities, after 13 years in the same house, with our 10 and 7 year old. We were very happy and contented there with lots of friends, nice house, good schools, a vibrant city. I really wanted the children to have a stable childhood in one place because I’d moved a lot as a child(and adult!). So when my husband got his dream job I was worried about giving all that up and starting again (I’m 45). But now, a month in, I think it was the right thing to do. My husband is on cloud nine, the children love their new school, it’s a great town and we have the excitement of discovering everything anew. On the other hand I want to carry on going to our usual holiday (vacation) places because I love returning to the same places with the children (you talked about that in your Seattle posts).

    I think maybe we just need a balance of stability and change/newness in our lives. Something new to stop things getting stale. Not necessarily as big as moving house but just a little shake-up.

    Thanks for helping me to think about and process all these issues!
    Janine x

  • Marta September 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I don´t know how you do it but every time I check your blog you write exactly about the things that are on my mind as well. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts.

  • JC September 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    As someone still in my 20s and feeling lost in my post-undergraduate life, this is so incredibly refreshing to read. Thank you for being so honest.

  • Miranda September 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Thank you for your gorgeous images and honest writing. I am thinking of you as you look and consider, within and without. For me, building a faith life/community helped, once I found a nurturing place that truly cares without judging and that lives, rather than just professes. I recognize that everyone’s path is different, of course. As for happiness, it’s such a delight, but there can also be gifts in those times when it’s low tide. Though those are often slower gifts, and sometimes unwelcome at first glance, they’re real, too.

  • Caroline September 15, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    I will also add my voice to many above… Frequently when I read your posts they are articulating what I am feeling and going through. Its this internal life we all have, but you reflect it in such a genuine and heartfelt way. A rare gem.

    Similar to the quote someone left you, I’ve been finding solace in this Rilke one and hope it speaks to you too.

    “Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”
    ? Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

  • Roseann September 16, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Sounds like you need to get a cat or a dog. They increase quality of life ten fold.

  • Jocy September 16, 2012 at 5:53 am

    First, these pictures are so beautiful and make my heart ache for the NW!

    Second … do people actually ever know where they are going? My partner seems to be a similar disposition as Mark. He’s content with life. I, on the other hand, always want more. For a while, I chalked it up to my inability to try living abroad and working in human rights/international law. But having done that for nearly 3 years now, I realize there’s just something in me that will want more, that will question, and that may be a tad more restless than others. It’s not that I don’t appreciate all I have done in the past few years, but I so hate feeling stagnant for so long. I feel the need to grow constantly, to challenge myself, etc. Maybe as I grow older, I’ll also embrace the stillness that a full life can bring.

  • gracie September 16, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Teenage angst, mid life crisis, we all still have to live through them and they have a purpose and are no less intense for having labels.

  • Lena September 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    hi jenna,

    i get excited when i see a post from you because i love what you write about.

    i can relate a lot. i felt like this last year, and then this year i started an exciting new work project. it has been a light bulb moment for me to see how much my work is key to my happiness, when it is work that is creative and challenging. i had been working nonstop for so many years it was hard for me to see… and then having eli was a break and a chance for some perspective. now when i look back at the times in my life that i was happiest, they are times when i’ve been the most creatively challenged. i relate so much to how you describe your personality of never being content with fine and always searching for more. since you’ve talked about your design work feeling stagnant lately, maybe this is key for you too?

  • Jenna September 17, 2012 at 1:33 am

    @Stephanie thank you for sharing your story, and for your nice words. Appreciate it and best of luck to you and your baby!

  • c.w September 17, 2012 at 2:08 am

    I, a thirty-one year old mother of one and a beijing-resident also feels the urge to write something here, like, this kind of existential void, that we are caught up with, in NY, in Copenhagen, and in Beijing, etc, is a universal human condition. As I grow older the sense of inability often hits me, and I sometimes wonder if I have become the kind of bourgeois person I so scorned. When I was younger and poorer I was much happier, and was not bothered so much by material comforts and aesthetics of consumption, etc. I was idealistic. Then I got married, owned a property and the kind of life slowly owns me, and the intricacy of feelings I have to deal with in my family life gradually drains my youth, and so I age. At thirty-one, I really don’t think property, like a house, and the sense of stability attached to ownership matters anymore. Life’s journey is nomadic, It asks for little impedimenta. Often life is about sober reasoning, like the ones we are having, which is indispensable for a good life.

    Please forgive my poor English and my taoist romanticism. But this is how I think about it.

  • Robin September 17, 2012 at 10:49 am

    So there with you! Ready to sell everything and move to another country and work for the peace corps, start a dolphin sanctuary, join a cult, etc.

  • oilandgarlic September 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Your post reminded me of an article I just read in Whole Living magazine that said 15% of the population are novelty-seekers and “need” the thrill of learning new things, while 15% are the opposite and hate new things. Most people are in-between. The article’s main point is that everyone can benefit from learning new things and that learning new things can make people happier and more engaged with life.

  • Brenda September 17, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I just saw a quote that read “when you are through changing, you are through”
    – from a fellow ‘more’

  • Holly September 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I don’t know. I keep coming back to the idea that we just live too long now. I once read a quote that said that no intelligent human living as long as we do now should be interested in having just one career in their lifetime. I’m looking into a second now, and though it’s scary, I’ve just sort of lost interest in what used to ignite my passion. I can’t be surprised, as before the turn of the century, I’d almost be dead by now. :)

  • Patricia September 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter…Just wanted to respond to your thought-provoking blog post!

    I’m a little bit older than you, and I’ve lived what you’re talking about, this lull of stability. People would tell me that this was the ideal life, that stability is what we all “should” want. For me, it was like wearing a pair of jeans that were just a touch too tight.

    It felt so strange, because all I – and my husband – said we wanted was some stability. But the reality was, what we really wanted was for the life-rocking changes (and subsequent chaos) to ease up.

    And when it did, we forgot to pay attention to the little changes that were happening to us on a daily basis. Over time, those changes nudged us into a direction that was … well … big. (Move across the country, start a new business, etc.) Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook the small things in the search for the next big thing in our lives.

    Just my two cents….

  • lh September 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I can’t even remember how I found your blog, but I check in now and then and always get lost in your beautiful words and photos. I’m also a mom of two in Brooklyn and relate to this so much (actually I feel like I relate to so much you write about). I long to create stability and traditions for my kids, but as someone who has moved around abroad and tried lots of different things, I sometimes wonder, Will I wake up in 15 years doing this same exact thing? Thanks for putting that questioning down in such a lovely way. As for why you do this blog – I don’t know – but it’s pretty clear I’m not alone in appreciating your thoughtfulness. Oh and PS: it seems to me like your life is pretty exciting and full!

  • victoria September 20, 2012 at 4:26 am

    I’m 42 and I have to say, I keep waiting to feel like I have anything figured out. Like you my husband and my two girls are my constant, but everything else remains a question..

  • Neisha September 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I believe we go through this “mid-life crisis” type thinking twice in our life. Once when we are teenagers and are trying to figure out who we are and where we fit in and the other is now in our late 30’s and 40’s. It’s like a cycle. My suggestion to you is to come back to you. Look within for the happiness and comfort you seek. It’s not out there and trying to reach that place externally will not work. It’s all in you.

  • Deirdre September 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Jenna – What a beautiful post! In so many ways I’m in the same boat — I totally want a tattoo or a nose pierce and my husband is horrified, so I might settle for a tattly. I’ve had crazy hormonal ups and downs for the past few years and basically medicated so that I wouldn’t hate myself for being such a bitch to my husband AND kids. That has helped. So has starting to exercise again, which has felt soooo good. I’m also listening to more music after years of Dan Zanes and Music for Aardvarks. Now the kids now like The Police and The Beastie Boys and cheesy dance music, which has it’s place in my life for sure (remember that Palladium convo we had way back?).
    What is different for me is that I left my full-time job this year. Not to start a business but because I had been wanting to forever and the time came when I could make a graceful exit and still get unemployment. I’m able to be with my kids and not think about client meetings or juggling the laundry and food shopping and subway into Manhattan. It is REALLY nice. But this will not last – we have no money! So I’m hoping that was my ‘dip’ and I’ll move on to something better (that also pays the bills). I hope YOU are proud of the fact that you get so many people, especially women, engaged on this important topic – and many more – with your poignant and honest writing. THANK YOU! (and sorry for the ramble)

  • SedaSD September 22, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I like your blog and keep reading it in batches and every time you write about something I have been feeling and thinking about in a similar way. Like many said, you put it into words nicely and it helps me understand my emotions better.

    BUT, you always have a down side, always there is something not working for you, in your life, career etc. I think it will never be settled and good and done and perfect and successful and (fill in the adj.) etc. for you. This is your personality.

    I have a similar personality and by reading your blog now I understand that if I constantly try to figure it out and think of what betters life, I will be like you which I don’t want to be, no offense :)

    I think more than I do, maybe you do the same. With your posts, I try to think less and do more. Thank you for that!