A Moment Of Awareness And Gratitude

jenn and the city suicide mental healthEvery now and then, I force myself to take a step back. I take a step back and express my gratitude for everything I have.

I’m not rich by any means, I don’t live a very luxurious life. I’m a simple girl, who has had to deal with her fair share of headaches in my life. But – I’m here. I’m fighting the constant battle that is depression (throw in my severe anxiety and it’s a double whammy).

A couple of years ago I was at my lowest of lows. I had given up and felt as though there was no point in even trying anymore.

I attempted to take my own life.

But somehow – I made it through. So while it all could have come to a crashing halt that day, it didn’t.

Though it’s taken me a long time to get here, I am finally, genuinely happy that it did not.

I am surrounded by love and laughter every day, and for that – I am grateful.

The Power Of Positivity – My Personal 21 Day Gratitude Challenge

So, let me tell you a story. I woke up this morning feeling great. I haven’t felt my best over the past couple of days, but last night I got a great sleep – and I woke up this morning happy, and eager to get the day started.

21 Day Gratitude Challenge | The Power Of Positivity - Changing My Train Of Thought | Jenn and the City

When all else fails, this beauty makes my heart happy.

Our kitty cat deciding to sit on my dressing table and watch me get ready helped too. ❤️

I headed out of our apartment, on time, and caught my regular bus, where I was pleasantly surprised by how empty it was. Usually it’s quite busy, but today there was maybe 8 people on the entire bus. I thought to myself, “This is a great sign! It’s going to be a great day! Or, as Tony the Tiger would say…a grrrrrrreat day!”

That feeling didn’t last too long though. As I walked from the bus down to the subway platform, I was greeted by hundreds, if not thousands, of other commuters.

21 Day Gratitude Challenge | The Power Of Positivity - Changing My Train Of Thought | Jenn and the City

Shout-out to the lady in blue, smiling though! I see you, ladybug!

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Chapter 8 of 12; 2017 Edition – The List of JennJenn

Over the past few months I have found myself at a road block, mentally…creatively. I’ve been conflicted when it comes to this blog. When I first popped up on the blogging scene, I put in the work and it paid off. I was at every event. I was working with some of the top PR firms in the country. I was signing off on partnerships left and right…but I felt as though I lost *my voice*

I had to take a step back. I had to live my life to find my voice again.

And that’s exactly what I did…and continue to do.

So…I’m back, baby!

…never not laughing when I’m with this guy #TBT

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2017 is just flying by, isn’t it?! It feels like just yesterday I was ringing in the new year with my fave guy, but poof – here we are in August already.

Now that we’re more than halfway through the year, I wanted to share of my goals. My plan, as of right now, is to check back in on this list every month. I’ll give updates to the goals I’ve already shared and maybe even add to the list. Who knows? We’ll see!

The List of JennJenn*
  1. Get more sleep. Not just clock in more hours, but get BETTER sleeps.
  2. Less junk food, more fresh fruit and veggies. No explanation needed…it’s about time.
  3. Once I heal from my recent fall (sigh) – get back in the gym.
  4. WRITE MORE. Open myself back up and let the creative juices flow. Not for blog hits – but for me. Writing is my therapy.
  5. Weekly dates nights with M. <3
  6. Remember to take my vitamins every day. AKA – stop being so darn forgetful.
  7. Buy a bed skirt. (Putting this here more so as a reminder for me to buy a bed skirt LOL)
  8. Try out a new recipe and bake something delicious.
  9. Call my grandmother more often because she’s simply the best.
  10. Spend an afternoon at the beach before the snow comes back.
  11. Finally finish Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

And you know what? I’ve opened up the comments here on le blogaroo – so let’s get chatting!

UPDATE: not sure why, but the comments feature seems to not be working properly…ugh – sorry y’all. I’m working on it!

Let’s make blogging fun again! *throws confetti*

*Yes, this is a wrestling reference but instead of adding names a la the man, Mr. Jericho – I’m adding goals. NBD

PS: It is annoying the heck out of me that that list has 11 items. Ask M – I need things in even numbers, or multiples of 5…even the volume on the TV has to be. LOL

PPS: 12. Stop being so particular about the little things…like list numbers and TV volume levels.

Fighting The Ongoing Mental Health Battle

…just because you see smiles on the outside, doesn’t mean everything is alright in the inside.

Fighting the fight with depression (or any mental illness) is a constant battle. Trust me, I know.

It’s not always easy, but it’s worth the fight. I promise. Again, trust me – I know.

If you’re struggling – reach out. Talk to someone, anyone. Be open and honest…as difficult as that may be. It will help. Try to remember – you are not alone.

If you know someone who is fighting the #mentalhealth battle – be proactive. Reach out to them, remind them that you’re there. It’s not easy to reach out for help when in crisis, so by being proactive and simply reaching out to say, “Hey – I just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing.” could be life saving.

So often after we lose someone, we hear, “I can’t believe it – they always seemed so happy.” Life isn’t always the sunny selfies you see online, my friends. It’s real, and at times – it’s hard.

Those suffering have often programmed themselves to smile through the pain…and to suffer in silence.

That silence? That’s the killer right there. The conversation needs to keep happening. It needs to not stop. Ever.

If you’re the one suffering, I promise you, it gets better. Again, again – trust me – I know.

It may get rough at times, but that’s life.

Your happiness, your life – it’s worth the fight.

If you’re in Canada and in crisis – here is the contact info for Suicide Prevention:

Need Help

My Journey To Reclaiming Father’s Day

I tried so hard to get my thoughts onto paper yesterday, on Father’s Day.

I sat down, pen in hand, on more than one occasion wanting, yearning, to get my thoughts and feelings out. Alas, the page stayed blank…minus a few teardrop stains from the overwhelming emotions I felt taking over and bubbling out in the form of exasperated tears.

Father’s Day has always been an emotional one for me. My father left when I was very young, and I have no memories whatsoever of him. I mean, I have a few pictures that I’ve held onto through the years and my multiple cross-country moves…but memories? Yeah – I don’t have any of those.

Reclaiming Father's Day

One of the last pictures ever taken with my father

Sure, I had “father-figures” growing up, but besides my grandfather (my hero) these so-called “father figures” were, how should I say this without sounding rude….umm, they were not so great. I’m just going to leave it at that, because that’s a whole ‘nother blog post and one I most certainly cannot get into right now.

…anyways.

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Living Life In The Moment…And Loving It

For years, I’ve openly and eagerly shared almost every aspect of my life online. Whether here on the blog, on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or event Facebook. But over the past couple of months – not only has so much changed in my life (personal and professional) but I’ve taken a step back. I’m sharing a little less, and attempting to live in the moment a little more.

This last weekend for example, we headed out to my cousins bat mitzvah on Saturday night, and then M’s cousins wedding on Sunday.

let’s bat mitzvah!

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It was an incredibly busy weekend – but well worth it. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t see my family nearly as often as I’d like to.

So when occasions like these come up, and we all get to be together – it’s comforting.

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A Letter To Myself | Dear 13 Year Old Jenn Jenn

jenn jenn and the city
Dear 13 year old Jenn Jenn,
 I know life is very hard right now…and to be honest, it’s not going to get any easier any time soon…but I need you to have faith.
I need you to have faith in yourself. Believe in yourself, just a little more each day.
Your struggle, your story – all of it is shaping you to become who you were meant to be. So, stop being so hard on yourself.
Learn to forgive those that have hurt you so badly…trust in the forgiveness process…it’s healing.
You need to learn to love yourself. You need to love yourself before you can open your heart.
You deserve happiness and it’ll come, I promise.
One day you’ll wake up and be happy, really, truly, genuinely happy. You’ll have love in your life and you’ll finally believe you deserve it.
And when that day comes, you’ll look back on the struggles and realize – everything as happening for a reason; leading you to where you were meant to be.
I love you,
Jenn Jenn

Words I Write | Depression Sucks But I Do Deserve Happiness

The last couple of weeks have been a little rough. I’ve opened up on Twitter and Facebook about my struggle, and how the overwhelming wrath that is depression has slowly been taking over.

Real life isn’t always the silly selfies you see online. Real life can be hard; real life can be exhausting. Social media offers only a glimpse into our lives. We choose what we want to share, and what we don’t. Personally – I am trying to be more open, sharing the good and the bad. What you don’t always see though, are the days that I cannot leave my bed; the days where my depression tightens… the hold it has on me and I feel so utterly alone and stuck. What you don’t see are the days where I have full-blown panic attacks; where it feels as though the walls are closing in on me and I can’t breathe, nor see through the overflowing tears. What you don’t see are the times where my anxiety is so crippling that I’m left questioning myself, my worth, my everything – all because that little voice in my head is telling me over and over how unworthy and useless I am. What I do want you to see though is that even through all of this – happiness is possible, you just have to choose to fight for it…to fight for yourself. It gets better. #BellLetsTalk

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If anyone has ever battled depression, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s that constant feeling of unworthiness, of helplessness. When asked by those around me why I was feeling so down, all I could do was bleakly answer, “I don’t know.”

I was scared. Honestly – I was terrified. I felt myself slipping into a dark place, one that I hadn’t been in for almost four years.

February 17, 2013 – the day of my suicide attempt

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#BellLetsTalk | Don’t Let The Conversation End Here

It’s #BellLetsTalk Day, but I really believe the conversation surrounding mental health is one that should never stop. We need to talk about it so that those suffering feel less alone. We need to keep the conversation going so that the stigma can be removed – and hopefully then, everyone suffering will finally get the help they need.

jenn and the city sitting on the beach discussing mental health

I’m going to share some things I have learned over the years when it comes to mental health. Whether you yourself are battling mental illness, or you know someone who is – these tips will help.

1. If you don’t know what to say to someone who is struggling, just let them know you are there for them. “I’m here for you.”

The feeling of loneliness is palpable. “I’m here for you.” These four little words can change someone’s mind frame immensely. When someone is suffering from mental illness, and is in distress – they feel utterly and completely alone. By letting them know that you are there for them, that may help them open up and start talking. You don’t even have to do anything other than just tell them, “I’m here for you.”

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Words I Write | Rants And Rambles And Friendly Reminders

If you follow me on Twitter, you will likely have noticed that I have this sort of tradition, habit, whatever you want to call it. Every morning (Monday – Friday, at least), my very first tweet will be a friendly reminder to love yourself. A gentle reminder to be a little less hard on yourself and to realize you are doing the best you can. A reminder that sometimes it’s ok to not be ok. They’re just some simple encouraging words that someone may just need to hear that morning.

It started out innocently enough. I sent one out one morning, to be honest – it was more so for myself than anyone else. I needed that reminder that day. I was surprised with the feedback, though. People thanking me, both publicly and in private DMs, for the encouragement and kind words; letting me know how much they appreciated reading it and how it put an instant smile on their face.

I continue sending out these messages every morning, and they increasingly get more popular. The number of retweets and likes keep increasing, but more importantly – more people are seeing the tweets and benefiting from them. And I’m benefiting from them.

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