the death of one and the rebirth of another

April 25, 2016 |  Category:   life




It’s only April, but 2016 has already put me through the wringer. Where the rest of the year will go is anyone’s guess. I’m still trying to collect my thoughts and get my bearings around the fact that my tech start up has shut down quite suddenly, but the overwhelming response on that post and on Twitter is testament that our team built something special. I’m working on my own Medium post because there’s so much still to say about this experience, but for now, I’m still trying to process it all.

Watching the city bloom and the way the light progressively changes every day as we move through seasons has made the sadness and uncertainty a bit more bearable. Why? I guess because it reminds me that nothing ever stands still, even when you’re at a low point. There’s always symbolism you can read into Spring – rebirth and all that – but I’m trying not to overthink things and dwell too much on any of it. There’s many lessons to be learned, but when you’re still in the trenches it’s hard to see them for what they are.

I think the most challenging task in the next few months is to stay focused and try to stay away from thoughts that I’m moving backwards and not forward. It would be easy to feel like I’m back to where I started 2 years ago, but the truth is, this is really the first time since my brother’s death that I have stopped moving full speed. I’ve been through two major emotional breaks already this year. I’m pretty strong, but I’ll admit, it’s been really tough, and now I’m dealing with unemployment of sorts. It’s time to rebuild again. I might be writing here more often again and if you’re willing, I’d love to share the journey with you.

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  • Sue April 25, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    I’ll be here, waiting in the wings to see where the wind takes you, and in reflection, me, next.

    • Jenna April 25, 2016 at 10:05 pm

      Thank you, Sue.

  • Marlena Holden April 25, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Wow – what a ride indeed. Sorry to hear about this sudden job change. When giving your all to a workplace with people equally devoted changes, it is such a loss.

    • Jenna April 25, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      It does feel like a loss, like mourning a death. It was unexpected.

  • Jill April 25, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Sending lots of love and encouragement, Jenna!!

    • Jenna April 25, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      Thanks Jill xo

  • Cindy April 25, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you for your honesty. I don’t post often but I’ve followed you for so many years and love reading your entries. Please share and we will be ready to read and walk with you. It takes a good amount of bravery to share your story and journey. I’ve always admired you for sharing. Thank you!

    • Jenna April 25, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      I don’t know if sharing is brave, but if it helps someone sort through similar feelings, then it’s all good. Thanks for your comment, Cindy.

  • ltg April 25, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Having read about your thoughts that you shared here about your view on success for such a long time, I don’t at all believe you are moving backward. It’s a cycle, just as you implied. Sendin much love

    • Jenna April 25, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      Thank you.

  • Jen April 26, 2016 at 2:06 am

    Jenna, so sorry about the start up. I feel sort of like an ass blowing sunshine at a time like this, but I guess I’ll do it anyways. I totally understand the inclination to feel like you’re moving backwards. I’m positive I’d feel the same in your shoes given my personality, but since I have can be more objective in this case, I’d say that even though the start up is closing, you’re walking away from the venture with a lot of new knowledge and skills. From what you’ve written here, it sounds like you had to push through some fears to even take the job in the first place, so that itself is an accomplishment. You’re walking away a different person than you were when you walked in, and I am sure that will benefit you as you move forward. That said, what happened blows. There is a mourning process for the loss, and fears around what to do next, etc., and I don’t mean to diminish that at all! I wish for you time and space to process this latest shift, and eventual clarity (or at least as close to that one can get) going forward.

    • Jenna April 29, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      Jen, I appreciate the sunshine! And you’re right, the experience was invaluable and I learned things that I will apply to our business. That’s not lost on me, but yes there is a period of mourning, which I wasn’t quite expecting…

  • Joo April 26, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Hi Jenna, I always see you as someone who’s constantly thinking ahead, planning ahead, without letting your doubts get in the way. I admire such quality in you and am always encouraged by same. I look forward to reading your posts on the changes to come!

    • Jenna April 29, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Thanks you Joo.

  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag April 26, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Jenna, you’ve been through a lot and I so admire how you persevere. And how much you accomplish. Sometimes lately I don’t understand life – most of the time I don’t understand life. But it’s nice to know that there are people out there, like you, who are willing to put out there how they are trying to understand it as well…….xo.

    • Jenna April 29, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      I don’t understand life sometimes either, Melissa. But I doubt that will change anytime soon.

  • Lakshmi April 26, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Of course, I am willing. 🙂 Onward we go.

    • Jenna April 29, 2016 at 8:34 pm


  • Nancy Moore April 27, 2016 at 8:43 am

    I’m here too, as a native New Yorker, loving your words and pictures of the City and Brooklyn. Makes me feel connected still to a place I’ll always call home. I’ve lived in California as long as I lived in NY but its not the same.
    Please keep writing – sending those thoughts and pictures to us. Thanks.

    • Jenna April 29, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Nice to hear that the blog has helped you feel connected!

  • unha April 27, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    sorry to hear about the company. it’s damn so hard. i’m looking forward what’s next for you.
    lots of biggies here too. life goes on.. xoxoxo

    • Jenna April 29, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      yes, life goes on…

  • Renita April 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Let’s do this!

    • Jenna May 3, 2016 at 3:56 pm


  • Monica April 27, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for many years now, thank you for sharing and always rooting for you! 🙂

    • Jenna May 3, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks Monica for sticking around!

  • Celina April 27, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    I believe you will land on your feet Jenna! I look forward to continuing to follow you here.

    • Jenna May 3, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks you Celina.

  • Sora April 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Thanks again for so honestly sharing your journey with us. I really mean it — I so relate to the many things you have had to say on design, life, entrepreneurship and working with your husband! You are not moving backwards, by any means. I look forward to what you have to share on Medium. Lots of love to you.

    • Jenna May 3, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks for all your support over the years Sora.

  • juliet May 6, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Jenna, Your posts have helped me reflect on my life, choices and relationships in indescribable ways. We all deal with struggles at work, with relationships, but unlike most of us you are able to touch lives by sharing your thoughts. Thank you for your honesty and courage.

    • Jenna May 9, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      Thank you for this comment, Juliet. I’m glad that sharing has helped others.