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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#WorldMentalHealthDay | It Gets Better, I Swear – It Does Get Better

These posts are never easy to write. Scratch that, they’re never easy to start writing…but, once I get started – it’s as if I literally cannot stop the words from coming out. So…if it sounds like I’m rambling a little bit it’s because I likely am and am not even going to edit this before I post it because then I may chicken out and not hit publish…

I can’t tell you how many times I have started a post of this nature, gotten a couple of lines in and the overwhelming feeling of failure/embarrassment/whatever takes over and I cannot continue.

*At this moment I have exactly 374 posts in my draft folder…that’s not including what I’ve written in my notepad on my phone, or the notebooks strewn and hidden all around my apartment…each of those are in double digits…

Most people don’t even realize that mental health is something I have been battling forever. They see the ‘happy-go-lucky’ gal they know online, and don’t realize there is so much more to it…to me.

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Words I Write | Sometimes It’s Ok To Be Selfish

jenn and the city

Real life isn’t always the silly selfies you see online. Real life can be hard; real life can be exhausting.

There will be those days where you feel down and out; those days where you feel frustrated and angry.

Those days where you will just want (and maybe even need) to just shut out from everyone and everything…and that’s ok.

There is no harm or shame in taking a little time to yourself.

It’s a healthy thing to do – disconnect and just ~*LiVe*~ your life.

It’s become so easy to get preoccupied and swept up into this whole thing, this “online life” we live…but, take that step back every now and then.

After the rain, the sun will reappear. There is life. After the pain, the joy will still be here.

Recharge and refocus your energy.

But always remember that no matter how bad it seems, it will get better.

…ok, love you – bye.

Oh, Look – There’s Jenn Again…Look At Her Sucking At Adulting #TypicalJJ

I see people around me, with so much more responsibility – spouses, kids, multiple jobs, mortgage payments, hiding their receding hairlines, dealing with that one lone nose hair that refuses to give up, (it’s like – go away Hairy Larry* – no one likes you!) and I wonder to myself, “How the heck do they do it?!”

Then I’m left feeling like complete dirt about myself, more so than normal, because these functioning adults are kicking butt at adulting and doing all the adulting they can…and I’m sitting here having wine and ordering pizza for dinner…again.

I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with wine and pizza.

They’re two of my most favourite things in the whole entire world…but I mean, put a vegetable in your body once in a while, Jenn. Sheesh.

So as I stuff my face with another slice, slurping down wine in between bites – I had to wonder to myself…

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I Have A Confession To Make…I’ve Been Faking It

jenn and the city

Have you ever had a moment where you looked at a picture of yourself, and just didn’t recognize what you saw in front of you? That happened to me the other day. This past weekend, I had to get some filming done for a video submission that was due this week – so my friend Jen graciously offered to come downtown and help me out. So we spent all day and night Sunday filming different clips, and then later that night I pieced them together to create my submission. As I laid in bed, at almost midnight, I re-watched the video again and again. I was just so uncomfortable with what I saw, how I looked.

Not for nothing, I pulled a muscle in my arm earlier that week and was comatose for the majority of the weekend until I was finally able to move again on Sunday without crying out in pain…so that MAY have had something to do with how exhausted I looked, but nonetheless…

If you’ve been following me on social media, or even here on the blog, you’ll know that over the past few months there have been some changes in my personal life. On top of that, what you wouldn’t know, is that there has been a lot more going on as well, professionally and personally.

Basically – I’ve hit a rut.

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