April 25, 2012 |  Category:   life

Do you ever feel invisible? That whatever you do, you’re not being heard or you’re being left behind? That nobody cares anymore and you feel like giving up? Seems very juvenile to have these feelings, but I am having all of these feelings this week. I know it’s all cycles and everything. Some unexpected concerns have cropped up. Feels like new territory. I’m just waiting for it to pass.

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  • Sara April 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now– figured today would be a good one for finally commenting. I love your candor, style, writing– you manage to convey a lot without seeming affected. Anyway, you give voice to a lot of my own preoccupations and gratitudes. And not just because I am also a park slope mom of 2. You’re appreciated by this stranger, for whatever that’s worth! Best to you and your family.

  • Rachel (Alive in the Fire) April 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I love that you are honest and courageous enough to mention these feelings in a blog post. I think feeling invisible and wanting to give up are things we all deal with (goodness knows I’m experiencing them a bit myself these days)… so I hope you know you’re not alone!

    From one appreciative reader of your blog… know that you are simply riding the wave life has to offer right now. You’ll make it through. Keep doing what you’re doing, because you’re wonderful.


  • Jenna April 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    @Sara Thanks, fellow Park Slope mom of 2.

  • karen April 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Words don’t come easily to me but I wholeheartedly agree with everything Sara says in the comment above. And for someone who tries to become a better photographer, your photos are my biggest inspiration. Take care!

  • Jenna April 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    @Rachel Thanks so much xoox

  • Kelly April 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    all the time. take care of yourself, jenna.

  • Isabelle April 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    I agree with what Rachel said – this feeling is something we all can relate to an extent, so you are definitely not alone!

  • Annie April 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Sorry you’re feeling down and disconnected. I certainly know that feeling as well. One thing that tends to help me is when I think of all the times I want to tell someone something good about them (even just “what a cool outfit!” to a girl on the subway) and I hold back for some reason. There are probably people thinking good things about you right now that you don’t even know about.

  • Aya April 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I understand that feeling.
    Just know you’re not invisible to this faraway stranger.

  • Christina April 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I’m a mom of three boys in Manhattan with a full-time job and hopelessly messy apartment. Most of the time I feel like I’m fighting to stay afloat and feel isolated and tethered down by responsibility. But reading your blog makes me feel connected to something bigger – that I’m not the only one who struggles with life, the kids, work, loneliness, feeling uncertain about the future, overwhelmed by all life’s responsibilities, etc. You are an amazing writer and have a gift for putting into words the feelings and things that we all experience but are unable to express. Your ability to (so thoughtfully) share your ups and downs gives people like me perspective and a new way to reflect on life. I hope this period you’re going through is short because good people like you (who give so much to others) deserve to be happy.

  • Jackie April 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Yes, I still feel that way. Especially having lived where I do now less than a year.

    It’s a little frustrating but you just have to fight through those feelings; they do come in cycle, at least for me.

  • Hannah April 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I agree with what everyone else has said. I love the way you write; you’re thoughtful and honest and generous when you write your blog, and I can only imagine that’s because you are those things in real life too. I know the feelings you describe well, and I really hope that for you they pass soon. In this grey, stormy corner of London you are very much appreciated!

  • gia April 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I feel it at my current job. It’s a new feeling for me. It’s shocking, that I don’t click with these people and you know what- I’m ok with that. I don’t care for them, and there is another department who I click with… and our relationships help me to feel unique, competent and supported.

  • wendy April 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    yes, yes, and yes. sorry that you’re going through it now – it’s the worst. i hope it passes soon. and thanks for sharing so honestly as always.. hopefully it makes you feel a little less alone.

  • katie//salt+pine April 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Yep, I do. It is definitely one of the worst feelings and it really does come in cycles for me, too. I hope you weather it without too much heartache and that it passes quickly…

  • kay w. April 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    it too, shall pass. you’ve got your immediate family who would be the first to notice the impact if you were invisible/gone, not everyone can make that claim. head up, chin up, and not just a romantic notion, but whatever doesn’t kill us indeed makes us stronger.

  • maja April 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks for so much for sharing your life on this blog, it’s actually reassuring to know other people have challenges and ups and downs too. Sometimes I get really tired of this unrealistic image of perfection that is put forward on blogs.

    I’m having a bad week too. I think there’s something in the air right now.

    Your posts inspire and touch many– please keep it up.

  • Renita April 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Early signs of menapause? Just a thought, my mood/body cycles are becoming very ‘different’ from PMS ….. sometimes when I feel overwhelmed and start to think in terms with the word ‘every’ in them, I know this is an alert that my persepcetive is skewed.

  • TJ April 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    definitely have these moments some time. hope you feel better soon!
    that is such a beautiful image you tagged along with it!
    xo TJ

  • M April 25, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    First time commenting. Your blog is awesome, and your family is very cute!

    Regarding the feelings, I suppose it could be hormone related, unless something has recently happened and had an impact on you/your life. Sometimes things we don’t know the cause to usually is something related to our biochemistry.
    It’s uncomfortable, especially when you don’t even know what’s ‘wrong’.
    Hope it doesn’t stay long 😉

  • Jenna April 25, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    You guys are seriously the best. Thank you.

  • Jenna April 25, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    @Renita. I’ve wondered about that. It could be pre. I am experiencing a lot of things these days.

  • Linn Maria April 25, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Yes, indeed. These feelings have been popping up in my head a lot lately, and it’s this sense of never being _enough_ – never really making an impact, if that makes sense..

    I get so much inspiration and courage from your blog, though. I often write a comment and end up deleting it once I’m done, because I realize that others said it better than me already… and yes, I do realize how that must come off as though I have no self-esteem, but it’s not so much that.. it’s more the feeling of not bringing anything new to the table, that I don’t have the energy to come up with something better, and brighter.

    So here goes nothing… I love your blog, I’ve read every single post, mused over every single picture, and although I have nothing clever to say about it, there it is. I love your blog, you’re not invisible : )

  • erica April 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    oh. yes. i feel that way too. all the time. i’m at this beautiful arts residency with amazing artists and, at dinner, i feel that way all the time.

    but, like you say, it passes.

  • Jocy April 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Jenna, Yes, I feel that way many days – and helpless too. I try to remind myself these are cycles. I will be on the mend soon and this too shall pass. But it’s hard when you’re in the middle of it, you know? Hope you feel better.

  • michelle April 25, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    I have been feeling exactly this way for the past few weeks, but I’m not as brave as you are to say it out loud. I wish you the best and that the feeling passes for all of us.

  • jacqueline April 25, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I feel that way a lot. I feel like an outgoing person, but have had trouble making friends since college. In many ways I feel like I am invisible, and that people don’t notice me or think about me when I’m not contacting them. It’s difficult to struggle with those feelings.

  • sharon April 26, 2012 at 12:56 am

    I’ve been reading and relishing your beautiful blog for a while and am commenting for the first time to tell you that you are not alone, I find that sometimes, in the midst of gray stretches of time, poetry helps. Here’s “For Loneliness” by John O’Donohue:

    When the light lessens,
    Causing colors to lose their courage,
    And your eyes fix on the empty distance
    That can open on either side
    Of the surest line
    To make all that is
    Familiar and near
    Seem suddenly foreign,

    When the music of talk
    Breaks apart into noise
    And you hear your heart louden
    While the voices around you
    Slow down to leaden echos
    Turning silence
    Into something stony and cold,

    When the old ghosts come back
    To feed on everywhere you felt sure,
    Do not strengthen their hunger
    By choosing fear;
    Rather, decide to call on your heart
    That it may grow clear and free
    To welcome home your emptiness
    That it may cleanse you
    Like the clearest air
    You could ever breathe.

    Allow your loneliness time
    To dissolve the shell of dross
    That had closed around you;
    Choose in this severe silence
    To hear the one true voice
    Your rushed life fears;
    Cradle yourself like a child
    Learning to trust what emerges,
    So that gradually
    You may come to know
    That deep in that black hole
    You will find the blue flower
    That holds the mystical light
    Which will illuminate in you
    The glimmer of springtime.

  • shaz April 26, 2012 at 2:00 am

    Thanks for sharing your life so openly with everyone. I agree with another commentor that says many blogs out there unrealistically perfect. I appreciate your honesty and openness. Reading your blog feels like a honest chat with a friend – no pretenses and really heart-felt. You say out loud what many of us can’t. Thanks again.
    shaz from across the world (Singapore)

  • Arbi Citrawardhana April 26, 2012 at 7:24 am

    For me the cure is always: deep breaths, good book and ice cream. In a quite place. Preferably somewhere like Bilbo Baggins’ house 🙂 Cheer up soon!

  • Steph April 26, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Your posts often resonate with me Jenna, and today more so than ever. I too have been feeling a little invisible lately, wondering what difference I actually make – at work, at home etc. It probably is partly cyclical, and also for me, I turn 40 later this year, and I think its also to do with a sudden realisation of how short and fragile life really is. Deep down I do know that I make a difference, as do you – to your family, your friends, and clients, and, judging by the replies to your posts, to the many readers of your beautiful blog. But your feelings aren’t juvenile, just human. You have a huge talent for writing and illustrating your life story, and I for one appreciate this. I hope it passes for you really soon.

  • marisa April 26, 2012 at 8:16 am

    ug, yes. I feel that way lately – bleh….but it passes…it has to pass

  • Anna Emilia April 26, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Yes. And sometimes I want to feel like invisible (: That way it is easier to observe the nature, the surroundings.

    Happy belated birthday Jenna! And happy happy spring (it is finally here too).

  • Mieke Zamora-Mackay April 26, 2012 at 11:12 am

    You are being heard. Believe me, I hear you.

    I enjoy your blog immensely, and thank you for sharing a lot of your life with all of us.

    It will pass. I feel just like that too at times. Thank you for being human.

  • Lakshmi April 26, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Waiting for it to pass is the wisest solution. So also, observing with detachment.

  • hyun April 26, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Thanks for sharing your feelings. It came as surprise to me since everything you do seems successful – thriving blog, business and life. I been feeling what you’ve been feeling, and I know that it will pass like everything else even though it’s hard to see that when you are in it . I just wanted to say you are truly talented and gifted artist.

  • bronwyn April 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Yes, I do. I’m sorry you are feeling that way bit I think it is always comforting to know others feel that way too. I think we have to feel this way sometimes. It makes us introspective, it makes us reevaluate things. You are certainly heard in this space. So many people love your photos, writing and perspective. I hope it passes soon.

  • Candace April 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Invisible? Not to be a Debbie downer, but try talking to a black woman, one that is trying very hard every day to be accomplished in this crazy society. You’ll get a whole new perspective on the word, invisible.

    On another note, the world is different for a woman in her forties. It is a time of deep reflection, re-invention, deep inner work and above all, change.

    It is when life truly begins.

  • Jenna April 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    @candace. hmmm, not to start any race issues here since this post is not about that AT ALL, but last I checked, I’m a minority in this country too.

  • Ez April 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Yes. Absolutely! You are definitely not alone in this Jenna. I hope the feeling passes for you quickly. I know how daunting it can be to find yourself in the middle of a cycle like this.
    And P.S. Thank you for having the courage to articulate these feeling in such an open space. I think the isolation one can feel when these sorts of emotions are circling in your head makes it very challenging to reach out and let people in…and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your candor. It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one that goes through phases like this. Thank you again!

  • Jess April 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    First time commenting. I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and I want to let you know that even as a 23-year-old, your writing has resonated with me. You speak about real, honest, and meaningful things instead of presenting carefully staged images of a perfect life (as many other blogs strive to do). Yet I still find myself admiring the kind of woman you are, and hoping that someday I’ll have what you do — a beautiful family, a career that you love and put your all in, and a dedicated spouse. The world is big and crazy and it’s easy to feel invisible, but you already have done so much! I only hope that one day I can do the same. Sending you good luck hugs!

  • Tamsin Allen April 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award on my blog –

    If you don’t participate in awards, memes or blogging games then feel free to ignore the tag.

    But thank you for inspiring me with your blogging. Txx

  • M April 26, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Jenna, I grew up in Sweden and there aren’t many Asian people there at all, so reading through your posts about culture and ethnicity took me right back to my own childhood. I always felt different, but in a way I still didn’t.

    I currently live in Australia, much more multicultural, with many Asians from different countries. The Chinese population here is the highest. I have to say that when comparing living here to Sweden (or any place where Asisns are a minority), I can’t deny that it feels *much* more different. Though I find myseld not ‘fitting in’ with the Asians here because most of them are very into their culture and such, wheras I grew up in Sweden, where my (one or two) Asian friends there are all ‘westernised’, including myself, if you know what I mean.
    Always stuck inbetween, somehow, in other words! Gah!

  • Jhope April 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Jenna. We all ‘see’ you out here. I find the right music, heard through old school headphones (along with some real deep breaths) can be super soothing in the evenings. I’m thinking the sortof open ended week is what threw you for a loop. I really relate to that.

  • Cynthia April 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Jenna, I read your blog everyday you post with my morning cuppa, and treasure your authenticity and lovely photography. I know you mentioned that this week is different than others because you have a free week…do you think this may be unsettling for you because you are so used to being in a crunch mode? I really appeciate the time and openess you share with us, I hope you feel better in the morning.

  • Jenna April 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Thank you Tamsin for the nomination, and for thinking of me.

  • Jenna April 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    @cynthia @JHope, I had monday off which I was sick in bed, but ended up working this week after all! So no…it wasn’t that!

  • Amy April 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Jenna – I read your blog regularly but never comment- just wanted to let you know that I admire your courage to say what you are thinking and feeling. I love your writing and so many times I find that you’ve articulated something that I felt but couldn’t put into words. Thank you so much for sharing.