Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Read-Through

It was 2004 when I first started my blog. That was at  Then I got Moveable Type and a domain name and moved to I found it difficult to blog there because the blog reminded me so much of my friend Karl, with whom I had originally started blogging. Karl passed away in August 2008, and it is the first time I have experienced a death that reverberates through my life even today.

I have recently been thinking about taking up blogging again, so here it is. I decided to return to this blog, because even though I chronicled taking care of my father until his death of melanoma in June 2011, it's been long enough (hey, I stopped blogging in about June 2011-- coincidence?) that I can write here comfortably. And I am tired of sprinkling blogs through the Internet.

One of the reasons I decided to start blogging again is that I have so much going through my head every day that I feel like my head might spin off if I don't try to get some of this out and organized. It's like my closet: I have clothes, but I don't know where all of them are all the time. So, I have been taking them out of my closet, laundry baskets, and drawers, and trying to organize them so I can dress for work more easily in the morning. It has actually been somewhat slow going, and this blog is going to be sort of like that.

I have also been inspired by my friend Bibi's recent return to blogging, too. I find myself looking forward to her updates, which is surreal, because I haven't really read/written blogs for quite some time. It seems like at one point we were all doing it, and then Facebook sort of eliminated the need to blog as a way to keep in contact with people, so gradually we all left off. And by "we were all" and "we all left off," I mean the five people I can think of who used to blog and now don't. I wouldn't want to generalize beyond that.

I left Kirksville in January 2011 to stay with my father in Utah during his illness, and so, not being in town, I didn't see very many people I used to see out and about.  But even after my permanent return to town in May of 2011 (I moved my parents here, and then my father died), I have been relatively reclusive. During my first marriage, I honestly did not know what it felt like to feel comfortable or happy in my own home. I remember Sam's first grade teacher telling me that she loved being at home so much, it was hard for her to leave. I really could not put myself in her place. But my life has changed now, significantly, and now I really would rather be at home than anywhere else. Even having to go to the grocery store really irritates me, though you wouldn't know it to run into me.

I'm a cheerful person. I am cheerful by nature. I joke around a LOT. I love to laugh. But I wouldn't say that I am a happy person or a content person.

Recently, I listed the ten most influential books on me, and I included Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women. Part of why I love these books is that they show people displaying incredible grace under pressure. And that has always been an admirable trait to me. However, I don't know that I am capable of grace under pressure. Sure, I'm capable of being polite, courteous, funny, compassionate, but I feel sort of broken. I have no ambition, and no hobbies. And very little interest in either. I feel like I am going through the motions of my life, but I haven't felt very engaged with it for years. Instead, I feel like I try to escape into my head so far that I'm not really left in the real world. I have recently gotten into the Red Hot Chili Peppers, so the line from "Can't Stop" iterates on repeat: "This life is more than just a read-through."

But I can't seem to get past the read-through part. I worry that I am wasting time, years, because I should be interested in more, doing more, participating actively in life more. The other day, I was smoking a cigarette outside of work (I have three jobs, and smoke at one because I have a pack of cigs to finish off-- I have, for the most part, quit and switched to my e-cigarette). One of my co-workers told me, "Aw, Jen, those are going to kill you," and I glibly replied, "That's the point!"

But I'm not really being glib. Life has been... difficult, crushing, abusive, good, ecstatic, complicated, up, down, whatever. But it hasn't really been all that. I find that it's like a movie or a book that I think is going to be really smart and satisfying and then I am left slightly unsatisfied and want to eat ice cream instead so I'll feel better. I worry that I will regret this attitude and my paralysis, my inactivity. However, then I think that even when I regret it, it won't be for long, because then I'll die and I won't have to worry about this crap anymore.


  1. "I have no ambition, and no hobbies. And very little interest in either. I feel like I am going through the motions of my life, but I haven't felt very engaged with it for years." You pegged it, sister. Spot freaking on here. Here's to hoping there's a spark out there somewhere. Love you.

  2. I love your candor. I'm so glad that you're blogging again. Tommy and I used to sit in our house on Pierce St. and read your Jenorama posts aloud. It's so nice to hear your voice coming through my computer screen again...Even if it's hard to hear that you are going through alot.