pat yourself on the back, please

January 21, 2011 |  Category:   life

You know what’s great? The comments to the last post. Because it seems that people can relate and it has nothing to do with age. 24, 60, 40, whatever, you get what I’m saying. That’s sort of cool, that despite what path, age, or circumstance we’re all in, we can find common ground in our issues. I think my particular issue with confidence at this moment, however, is largely age specific and it only pertains to design, which, admittedly, is a big part of my identity and life. I feel like maybe I was much more cocky when I was younger, particularly when I was in music and grad school. I know I was and I can sort of cringe about it now.

But can I just say something as an older and questionably wiser person (bwahaha, totally kidding)? This addresses the comments some of you left of feeling trapped and not taking risks. There are definitely some things that have held me back because of self esteem issues, but it has never really stopped me from taking risks because I was too afraid. I think the fear of having regrets because of not taking chances is far more frightening than the fear of failure or the temptation of staying in your comfort zone. I think if you look back on your life, you’ll discover that you take more risks than you realize, even if you don’t think this is in your nature. There are days when I feel like our whole life is just one rocky boat of risk – I mean guys, neither of us have traditional steady day jobs. And when I look back on the time I got pregnant with Mia way back in 2003 (and it was no accident, but calculated to the point of hilarity) it could have been a huge wtf moment to any outsider. I had just been laid off from my job and health insurance because of the tech bubble bust. No paychecks, no job prospects, no health insurance with Mark just starting a new job that only barely covered half of our expenses and I decide that this is the time to have a baby? What kind of asinine, reckless decision is that coming from a (mostly) sensible person? You could say the same about starting the business, and I think some family members had.

I think we take risks all the time by just living life. I think it takes balls to overcome and push through every day despite all of our issues and neurosis. So just pat yourself on the back, will ya? I’ll try to do the same.

And take it from the wisdom of a 4 year old who is painting right now and just said out loud, “I’m a really good artist”.

Oh, and one more nugget of goodness for your weekend. I’ve been listening to this record from The Avalanches for 10 years and never knew they made videos. I dare you not to smile at this one. And if you watch till the end, there might be some sort of related message about life in there somewhere.

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  • Lakshmi January 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Wisdom comes from the mouth of babes… 🙂 Have a lovely weekend!

  • laura January 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    what you said about the fear of regret is much worse than the fear of failure.. that’s probably been the largest driving force in my own life, despite my personality. when i started my business, one of the main considerations was– if i didn’t do it, would i end up wishing i did in 10 years. it was a huge, glaring yes.

  • Manja January 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm


  • Marta January 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    This is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you!

  • Lani January 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    What a great video! Thank you….and kudos to Miss C. Yea that she’s a good artist, and double YEA that she knows it! Good job, mom.

  • Hyun January 21, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you so much for the post. I needed it. Have a great weekend!

  • Sara Tejada January 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Jenna, your post couldn’t come at a better time! I have been feeling utterly stuck at work and couldn’t see a way out. Today I am proud to say I gave my two weeks notice!… do I know what’s going to happen? Nope. And sure, I’m a bit concerned, but I’m ready, and I have faith of better things coming our way. Thank you, for everything. Love your posts!

  • Denny January 22, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Holy tofu it’s been 10 years since The Avalanches debuted with that album?

    Sheesh, it feels like I just got it yesterday. 🙁

  • Linnea January 22, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Somehow we benefit from learning new things all our lives, med school after getting established in my old proression feels terrific (when not cramming for exams). By the way, “holy tofu” was a good one:)

  • Sisilia January 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Dear Jenna, I have been reading your website for many months now and I guess it’s time to say hello 🙂 Well, hello.. and thank you for the amazing blog. Your last two posts summarize my current situation at this moment. I just need the balls to live the life that I want !

  • Anissa January 24, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I am one of the people sounding very afraid to move on in the last post and I just wanted to add something. For so many years, I realized that my job just wasn’t fulfilling on any level and tried in vain for years to come up with an alternative that I thought I could competently pull off. Nothing ever felt right and at one point I even applied and was accepted into a program to get my Master’s degree in social work. I was accepted but ultimately decided not to go. Only within the last year did I discover that I would REALLY love to have a store of beautiful handmade art objects. At this point, I am just waiting a few years for my children to be old enough to be home alone after school so that the after-school care expense is eliminated for a little breathing room in the family budget as a store is a potentially risky endeavor and incredibly time-consuming. I think that one of the reasons that nothing felt right all of those years was that I was looking at all of the wrong types of jobs for me. I probably would have been a horrible nurse, paralegal, midwife, etc.

  • Jenna January 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    That’s great news Anissa. Good luck in fulfilling your dream plans!

  • Anissa January 24, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you, Jenna. It’s a big thanks to blogs such as yours for helping me realize this. If it weren’t for you and DoorSixteen, Bloesem, and a handful of others, I don’t think I would have come to the realization of what I really wanted to do.

  • alexis January 25, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Thank you for reminding me that my love of taking risks in an effort to follow my dream does not mean that I’ve lost my mind 🙂

    And I now have a musical crush on The Avalanches