Category Archives: diary
Well, this is it. My last day as a twentysomething.
I really would like to have some sort of epic last journal entry but I just don’t have one.
My twenties have been hard. Sometimes they were downright horrible. Other times were the best of my life this far. I’ve traveled up and down the California coast, to the South, across the country to the Midwest, and across the world to Belfast, Northern Ireland.
I’ve made some amazing friends, fallen in love, gotten my heart broken, found God, lost my way and sorta found it again, and discovered that I have the strength to pull through difficult times with enough help from my friends, family, and God.
I’ve had a couple of okay jobs, a very horrible job, and finally have a job working for a company I love. They’ve all taught me something new. I’ve had a lot of money, a little money, and practically no money. Somehow, I usually have enough money to get by.
I’ve taken risks. I’ve had some wins. I’ve had some losses. I’ve wished and hoped and seen some come to be and others have remained a dream.
I’ve lost two of the most important people in my life – my grandpa first and my grandma second. I had the privilege of holding a newborn baby, hours after she was born. I’ve met some amazing little girls who aren’t my own nieces but whom I love just like they were. I see hope and a future in them. I can only imagine the life ahead for them and how they will grow and experience some of the same things I’ve experienced.
I’ve learned that, as alone as I feel sometimes, I’m really not that alone. There’s always going to be someone to reach out to. Things aren’t always going to be easy but they won’t always be tough either. I’m not a twentysomething anymore but I’m still me.
I don’t feel like I should be thirty but I am. Time to deal with it and face this new day tomorrow with a hope for a future that is fulfilling, meaningful, and full of love.
Last night I had a dream that we went to Disneyland, went on all the rides, and didn’t have to wait in line! (8)
I didn’t actually have a dream like that. Those are lyrics from an Ataris song I used to be obsessed with around the year 2003.
Any time I feel like reminiscing, I turn to the songs I listened to back around 2001-2004. Those were the years I started branching out from the status quo, stopped listening to the radio, and started listening mostly to indie rock, pop-punk, and emo. I loved it!!!
Those were the days I would stay up all night talking to people on an old school blogging site called Melodramatic.com and thought I was so rad because I had x’s and “emo” in my username before it was trendy. We would talk about all the angsty things going on in our lives, all the broken hearts we had, and the parties we went to. Oh the drama… How young and stupid and unaware we all were.
Then I grew up and the website starting breaking and being down more than it was up and there were these new sites called myspace and Facebook. They were different and encouraged you to actually know the people on the site instead of just making random friends with people across the inter webs. So that happened and the awesome music talk stopped and I started actually paying for music since it became illegal to download it…illegally.
But my love for music never waned. It grew as the number of candles on my birthday cakes did. I couldn’t get enough. I needed to explore more than what they were forced to play on the radio. I started going to more and more concerts and discovered new bands through that venue as well as finding new friends with new and interesting music to listen to.
As the years have passed, I’ve never stopped loving music and discovering new artists. My tastes have become much more eclectic and diversified. But no matter how much my musical tastes grow, the bands I listened to from 2001-2004 will always hold a special place in my heart!
Peace, love, and chocolate chai tea lattes,
PS Please leave me a comment and let me know of any bands you think are awesome!
I’m so not going to write it all out again.
Mostly because my computer sucks and I did it all on my phone.
So, just know, it was epic and awesome and, in the end, I decided I’m starting to actually be optimistic about the next 10 years of my life.
And there was a grumpy cat photo. See below.
So, I haven’t been writing because, well, life got in the way. I wouldn’t trade the past few days for anything though.
There’s been some way crazy stuff happening but there’s been some really, really awesome stuff happening too! Hence, why I haven’t written.
I’m getting nervous for my birthday. Despite #alltheamazingthings that are coming up in the next 12-13 months, I’m still not ready to leave my twenties behind. I know that I’m still going to be me but that stupid 2 changing to a 3 seems to signify the end of my youth and the beginning of my adult life. As if now, I’m not allowed to silly or go on crazy adventures because that’s the sort of stuff that goes on in your twenties not your thirties.
I feel like a broken record and I don’t want to anymore. I am looking forward to going to San Fran for the dreaded day. I’ll be helping out/staying at the YWAM base there. By helping out, I mean that I’ll be tagging along with my friend who’s a missionary there and hoping to get to do some ministry. I also hope to meet up with some people from the #STARTexp if we can arrange it.
Today was a really positive day. Good things are happening. Good, crazy, amazing things are in the works. I’ll share when the time is right. For now, I’m off to sleep way past my bedtime.
Peace, love, and pumpkin spice lattes!
So my bestie forwarded me an email about punching fear in the face and joining a revolution of people who are setting a goal and working towards achieving that goal, no matter how scary it might be or how crazy it may seem.
So naturally, I decided to face my biggest fear and challenge myself to write songs. Only three songs though since three doesn’t seem super intimidating to me. I can’t decide whether or not to just make them all worship songs or what kind of music I actually want to write. I know I want it to be of the indie folk-rock kinda scene-ish persuasion but we’ll see how it comes out.
Here’s the scariest part…once I’m done writing the songs, I’m going to play them for people! Eeeeeek!!! At least I have some poetry to kinda fall back on and work into songs. The hardest part so far seems to be coming up with strumming patterns that don’t sound like other songs I know. Maybe that’s why so many worship songs sound similar? We worship leaders get used to playing other people’s music and then write stuff that sounds the same-ish?
Idunno. But anyways I’ve now publicly announced to my partner and to everyone who reads my blog that this is my goal. So you might be able to expect some non professional sorta crummy demos to be posted in about a month and a half or so.
Now it’s time for bed. I feel like an old person. I got home after work and was so tired, I feel asleep before 9pm! Oops. Now I’m up and I need to try to sleep instead of staying up reading and watching Back to the Future.
I love leading worship in Acton rehab. It’s not like anything else I’ve ever experienced. I guess the closest thing I can relate it to would be if I were a rock star on stage in front of a huge crowd and the crowd was singing louder than I was. It’s awesome. And it’s awesome not because they’re singing and then clapping for me, but because they’re singing with me and praising God together and, when they clap when we’re done, I know it’s because they feel the same joy that I’m feeling.
I used to be so afraid to sing in front of others. Well, that’s not entirely true. Back before I started dating the guy I thought I was going to marry, I would sing all the time around anyone and anywhere I wanted. Random people would tell me I had a good voice. In fact, I remember in 5th grade, this guy I had a huuuuge crush on was the first guy to ever tell me he loved my voice. I was flying higher than the moon with that compliment and I actually believed the strangers who told me they liked my voice.
Then I started dating my ex-fiancé. At first he was nice about my singing but he later turned really mean. He would tell me how horrible I sounded and would say that I should just be quiet. Or, if he was feeling nice-ish and passive aggressive, he would just turn the volume up high so he couldn’t hear me. Because of who he was to me – the supposed love of my life – and because of how persistent he was, I actually believed him and eventually stopped singing around people.
Fast forward 6 years and you’d find me single again and wanting to sing again but still insecure. But I had an awesome best friend who was really supportive and another friend who was really encouraging and together, they convinced me to audition for choir at another church. I made it into the choir, gained some confidence and heard clearly from God that I was meant to be on stage leading worship.
A year later, I bought my first guitar and, 8 months after that, I played a worship song in front of my favorite worship leader at church and she became my mentor. She is one of the most talented and amazing worship leaders I’ve ever met and I respected her opinion so, when she encouraged me to lead worship with her at Acton Rehab, I said I’d give it a shot.
It was sooooo scary!!!! I’d played in front of my friends at small group when I first started out but I know I wasn’t very good at playing. I’m still not amazing or great but I’m sufficient. Then, one day, she told me that I was ready to start leading worship in Acton all by myself. Man, that was scary!!! But I slowly started gaining more confidence and became more comfortable leading worship. Eventually I got to a level of comfortability where I could enjoy leading worship and not stress so much about playing the songs right. It was awesome!
I have been leading worship in Acton on an almost weekly basis for about a year and a half now and leading worship for the College Group for about a year as well and the two groups couldn’t be more different! The ladies in Acton Rehab have such a passion and desire to worship that almost all of them are on their feet during worship and usually singing so loud that I can’t even hear myself sing! It’s super personal; I stand in front of them in a small room and play my acoustic guitar without a mic or an amp. At College Group, I’m on a stage above everyone else and there’s all these lights on me and I’m plugged in and singing into a mic. The group reacts to worship differently too. Usually the majority of people at college group are sitting down and I can’t hear any of them singing with me. It’s not necessarily a bad experience; I love leading worship anywhere I can get the chance to worship, but it’s different.
Acton’s been the best thing ever because it’s where I learned how to lead worship while being surrounded by ladies who are supportive and loving and genuinely excited. It’s been the worst ever because it’s spoiled all other experiences for me. I’ll always want to hear a chorus of voices singing praise along with me because it makes it about God and not about me at all. Acton has taught me how to screw up royally while playing a song and still be able to laugh about it. It’s pushed me to be better and learn and grow and, most importantly, it’s where I learned how to trust that this leading worship thing is something that God truly wants me to do. And that’s a wonderful thing.
My best friend’s niece is awesome. Well, all three of her sister’s kids are awesome but this one in particular. She was the first baby I ever held (when she was 1) and she took one look at me and started screaming for her mom. It traumatized me a bit. Now, she loves me and she’s one of my favorite people on the planet.
A little back story, in case you don’t know already; Brandi is my best friend and her family is pretty much my adopted family. They’ve been there for me since forever and I love all of them to pieces. If anything, God forbid, ever happens to my mom, I’m fortunate enough to have them in my life and know they will be there for me. So, her nieces are almost like my nieces and, since I don’t have kids of my own, they’re kinda the most amazing kids on the planet.
Her middle niece and her oldest niece both love playing with my hair but her middle niece is always the one to start with the “Jenn, let me brush your hair” and then proceeds to pretend to cut it or will put it up. Sometimes she will pretend to put makeup on me. She almost always asks me why I don’t grow my hair long (believe me, I wish I could make it a foot longer right now!). I always let them do it because it seems to bring them so much joy that I can’t see denying them that fun especially when it doesn’t hurt me.
She asks a million questions and cracks me up! Last night she was eating chips and asking questions when Brandi asked her why she is eating chips. Instead of answering, she just takes a bite of her chip and throws the other half back in the bowl and then runs away. It was so hilarious! I don’t know if she realizes just how funny she is but she is always doing something cute or funny to make me laugh. She has told me before that she wants a lip piercing like me and her aunt (my bestie) so I can totally tell that she’d be one of my friends if she were older. She’s just way too awesome for a little kid.
Same with her oldest niece. She’s like a mini teenager already. She crazy and silly and super fun to hang out with. She’s only six but she’s got an amazing talent for dancing and entertaining. She stayed up last night with us watching So You Think You Can Dance and outlasted her mom and her grandma and her younger sister. I didn’t see much of her when she was a baby but it’s been so cool to see her grow up from a toddler into this little kid/person with all these thoughts and a cute, quirky personality!
Her youngest niece is still a baby – she just turned one year old a few months ago – and I had the awesome privilege of getting to hold her when she was only a couple of hours old. She was so tiny and precious and she gripped my finger and almost made me weep because she was so tiny and awesome. She too went through her phase where she didn’t like me (at least I feel like she didn’t) but now she’s starting to not just stare at me like I’m an alien. She actually let me pick her up and she didn’t scream or cry! It was a mini miracle. Haha. I love her to pieces though. It’s so cool to have held her when she was new to the world and it blows my mind every time I see her walking around and hear her talking. I’m sure it’s worse for parents but I feel like they’re growing up too fast! They need to stay my little friends forever!
I felt bad for a while after I broke up with my ex fiancé because I lost my chance to have kids. Time has taught me that it wasn’t right for me to be with him and I wouldn’t have been happy and it wouldn’t have been good to bring kids into our relationship but I still have a desire to be a mom at some point in my life. When I was feeling my worst about it, I was doing a women’s bible study by Beth Moore and she talked about how God doesn’t always give us exactly what we want but He will always provide and, one way He does this is with kids. She said that she knew a woman who couldn’t have kids of her own but she was able to work in children’s ministry in her church and she got to be a part of those kid’s lives every week and it was like a replacement for having kids of her own.
I’m aware that it’s not the same thing at all; a mom has a lot more responsibility than a babysitter would have. However, I kind of get what she means. God knew that it wasn’t and still isn’t the right time for me to have my own kids so He gave me this awesome opportunity to have a friendship with my best friend’s nieces. I get to have fun playing and hanging out with them and buying them cool things without the responsibility of raising them. I get the joy that comes from knowing a little person and watching them grow and seeing them develop a personality! Even though they’re not related to me by blood, I feel like they’re a part of my family and would do anything to protect them. They’re literally some of the coolest people I know and some of my favorite people on the planet. Im blessed to know them and blessed to have their family as part of my adopted family.
So there’s really no excuse for me letting myself down. I made a commitment to this blog and then gave up when life got super busy. There’s really no guarantees that it won’t happen again and again but I can’t try to resurrect this poor old blog.
In short, what happened was I got super busy being a leader of an actual worship team and then found out some rather depressing news about my ex-fiancé that had to do with the fact that he couldn’t keep it in his pants when I wasn’t around 24/7. There’s not enough time right now to go into all the things I’d like to say to him or about the situation so I just won’t.
Then dropped off the face of the earth and have now decided it is time for this to become a reality again. After all, there’s so much that has happened since I stopped writing and so much left to happen in these short last months.
So stay tuned. I hope I won’t disappoint you.
This morning I saw the most beautiful red sunrise ever. It was like the sky was on fire! One of the best parts of living in the desert is the sunrises and sunsets we get to see. It’s romantic in the classical sense but also in the sense that we get to see God’s beauty in His creation and fall in love with Him a little more. And I really do. You can’t help but be in awe of the beauty of creation and when I think about how much more beautiful God is than the lost beautiful sunrise and how He sees me as that beautiful, how can I not fall in love with God more!?
But anyways, today was a good day at work. It was long but busy for most of the day so that was great! My boss is so funny sometimes! He found this conspiracy theory website that had us cracking up for a while. It made the afternoon just more awesome than it already was. Lunch was even great! I like getting to eat lunch with Jason. It’s nice to have a friend to sit and scarf food down as quickly as possibly because we only get 30 minutes to eat. Not to mention that he’s funny. Lol.
After work was so great! Joel, Bruce, Jason I., Kelli, Brandi, Crystal, and I went to get sushi. I had a baked chicken roll and, surprisingly, it still tasted like sushi. I also had 4 cups of Soju Cocktail – very potent stuff that doesn’t taste strong. I didn’t get drunk but I definitely felt the alcohol. It was good to get out and have a good time with my friends. Especially since Joel was able to come with us and we hardly ever get to spend time with him.
After dinner, Bruce, Crystal, Brandi, and I went to Brandi’s and ended up listening to music, playing guitar, painting, and talking. It was wonderful. I love getting to play guitar! It’s so fun now that I’m a little more confident. And I got to share with crystal some of the accomplishments I’ve had at Acton Rehab. I’m seriously so proud of her for being so brave. She inspires me to be brave and bold. I’m going to be so sad when she leaves. But hopefully I’ll get to go to Australia in the fall for my birthday.
The night was filled with great conversation and learning new things about friends. I love getting to know new people and finding out all the little things they enjoy. I like finding common ground and interests and hidden talents. I’m so proud of my friends for being bold and in awe of their talents! I’m blessed to have such amazingly talented friends who inspire me and encourage me and are such a joy to be around.
Life is just really good right now and I want to embrace it and acknowledge it. Even though there are some bad days, they’re mostly good and I give all the credit to God for that. I don’t deserve these blessings but I’m thankful for them and thankful for my friends. They’re pretty amazeballs. Until tomorrow…
Peace, love, and chai tea lattes,