They say never write for free. But I’m doing my stretching right now and sometimes you have to get your voice out there, be brave. The words you select and the words you leave out tell readers a lot about you–meaning manifests in surprising ways. Experimenting is necessary.
I really haven’t been myself for the longest time, it feels like…I haven’t been getting enough sleep at night, I’ve been having nightmares during the few hours of sleep I do get, I want the pain to release me from its tight grip. I don’t understand why I act the way I do sometimes.
The other day the exhausted me was more than a little disgusted at my piss-poor planning for that week. I tried to do all nighters, I tried to keep my commitments. I failed my own expectations and it hurt my pride. I had so many assignments due that day, too many people to meet up with. I had a “what the hell are you doing with your life” talk with myself while I waited for my next class. Did I know? I had an inkling. In the end, everything miraculously worked out after a couple of prayers and my brilliant plan to chain myself to a desk at the library so I could write a rough draft essay before it was due that night.
I’ve learned a lot these past couple weeks. I realize more than ever that friends will come and go. Friendship is something you can’t force on anyone. They have to put in the same amount of effort that you do or it is meaningless. Memories seem to come out, they scream at you. At the same time, you smile at hilarious moments and remember the insights with clarity. And sure, it hurts, especially when you lose a friend and say to yourself that it’s time to walk away! What do you do when someone stops caring? You might just blow them off.
I made a new friend this week. She showed me kindness without expecting anything in return. She showed up unannounced. It’s so easy being around her and I see her glowing around the people she cares about. An opportunity to grow closer is here at my feet. It’s arrived when I need it most and I think I want to take it.
Part of my positive outlook on life comes from my family (the Jopsons). I see again and again that I have wonderful examples of people who put others first, resolve problems with diplomacy and not through harsh words, the integrity they possess to get something done. Money is not the most important thing to them. They are sometimes too humble. The values they place first in life–keeping in touch and strengthening relationships inside and outside the family, education through schooling and showing kindness to people for the sake of kindness alone are what they’re about.
I am Jennifer Tennant Jopson. I am more assertive, I am learning to tell people what I need without feeling guilty. I can say no. I am free. To do what I want to–I shape my life based on my passions and the little things, too. I knit, I crochet. I do amateur photography when I remember to bring my camera along and I like working out because it makes me feel good. On Saturdays I enjoy reading Rolling Stone in bed. I take the time to work on my talents, making up for the years I thought no one cared anyway and would it matter much at all. I will go to the beach this summer and stand up paddle board with a friend of mine. I sing for myself and I sing to God. This is what I do.