All posts by jEN

I'm jEN and I was born poor in the midwest of America more than three decades ago. I'm a vegetarian. I'm am artist. I'm a Macintosh geek and make my living with them. I believe that the Golden Rule is the only religion that the world needs. I love a freakishly broad range of music. I love movies. I volunteer. I love animals. I have many meaningful tattoos. I need to see the world and it's ancient treasures- just haven't gotten to it yet. I kicked cancer's ass. I have a passion and a lust for life. I'm holding a smooch just for you. Welcome and enjoy your stay. jEN

Still not ready to talk about the last year, but

I was ever-so-good and went to bed before midnight last night because I had a 9am dentist appointment today.
Insomnia gave me the finger and so I spent the first four hours in bed in an anxious stupor, because my brain decided it was a PERFECT time to try to remember the names of my flat neighbours from 2004-2010.
I could not get to sleep until I 100% remembered at least one of them; she lived two floors down, and was the mother of someone I worked with. We were city living, so didn’t really know any of the neighbours.

I could, however, remember that one neighbour had weed growing under camo cover in his garden (next to ours), and that his flatmate – an older gentleman with great taste in sweaters – died, but I can’t remember if he died because he got stabbed in the neck in a pub toilet, or if something else did him in.

Got to the dentist twenty minutes early. Still no cavities (ever). Might celebrate with a little leftover easter chocolate… and a nap later.

So much more to talk about (pandemic, world events, etc. etc.), but I’m not ready to process it all into words. At least I decided to make this a blog post, instead of a FB post. It’s a start.

Hello, 2020

Don’t know who sacrificed a goat, virgin, or child to a volcano for me, but these first nine days of January have already beat 98% of last year for goodness.

Last year was ridiculously hard, and I was more than happy to see it end. And fortunately I did see it end and didn’t give up. Gods know I nearly did. Several times. Ugh.

This year has been interesting in its infancy. My personal art work started evolving and getting fun towards the end of last year and that has brought an interesting business opportunity my way, which I’ll hopefully be able to talk about in a week or two. For now, know that I’m metaphorically getting bugs in my teeth from smiling so hard as I ride this funky roller coaster.

Good start, 2020. Good, fricking start.

(And yesterday was my birthday and it was pretty good. Winning.)

Life can be better

There’s been a lot of difficult stuff happening, not just recently, but seeming to build like a snowball rolling downhill for the past few years. In no particular order, the past few years have been punctuated with deaths, horrible world events, personal lows (mentally and physically), misunderstandings and communication failures, professional doubts, anxiety, and expenses. All this is enough to stomp even the most optimistic unicorn’s heart into a pile of bloodied glitter and broken spirit.


Life can be better.

Burying the positive things that have happened beneath the dark shadows of the negative stuff is too easy. Almost seductive. Like wandering through a dense forest, it can be difficult to focus on the light struggling to part the trees or that the path has to go through a terrible bog before the clearing. I have spent the better part of the last few years in the worst mental and physical health of my life (except for that pesky cancer thing a bunch of years ago), and lately – through last winter to now – things have felt so very heavy. So heavy that suicidal thoughts have become too frequent, desire for self-harm difficult to ignore. Retreat. Hide.


Life can be better.

I have a good life, in general. I live in a beautiful place. I make enough money to survive (not on my own yet, but as an equal partner). I make art for a living and it is all I’ve ever wanted to do my whole life. I wake up every day near someone who loves me. I just had a delightful, fifteen minute chat with a delivery person in the sunshine. I have some really great stuff I aim to achieve in the very near future (professionally and personally). I have friends. I have a car that keeps running. I have exactly five of ten nails without chips in the polish. I just petted a cat.

So life can be better, but the focus has to be on the better, not the unfortunate. I struggle a lot in this body of mine – my brain isn’t wired to behave, my body is not efficient – but I keep going. I am, perhaps annoyingly so, optimistic and positive. Even now, as I sit here typing this and with several fresh and painful days of tears and depression behind me, I am looking for that light between the treetops.

I am doing the best I can.

Be kind. Be good to each other. Take time to talk. Take time to rest.

Keep going.