But in a good way

Being back.  2 weeks in.  Where to even start.  That’s a tough one.

Weird dreams.  Weird sleeps.  Not being able to sleep.  Not wanting to be alone.  Moments of appreciation, even more moments of anger.  Mixed emotions.  A mess.  A big ball of confusion.  Yep, that pretty much sums up the past few weeks.

As soon as I got back from Haiti, I threw myself into work.  Partly to make up for lost time in order to pay the bills, partly because of my new found love of my job, but also (what I most recently realized) as a rebound.  Distraction.  Busyness.  Avoidance of reality.  Coming back from Haiti has given me some of the same mixed emotions as that of a nasty breakup.  Those feelings of, “did that just really happen?”; “Is this my new reality?”.  You know, waking up and not really sure how to feel.  Wanting to do anything but be alone so that, God forbid, you’d actually have to FEEL all of those mixed emotions.  Which is what I haven’t quite yet allowed myself to do.  Until the past few days, where I’ve taken some time for myself.

I’ve been putting off this blog post for the same reason as putting off having to deal with what happened.  I’ve been ignoring yoga, meditation and even talking about my trip really at all.  Why?  Because any and all of these things would mean having to digest it all.  It would mean having to admit the suffering I saw and the feelings I became apart of.  Anything that would bring up the uneasiness, I’ve been putting off.  It’s easy to come back and pretend everything is the same.  Looking around and seeing what has been my ‘normal’ for 30 years.  That’s easy.  It’s right in front of me.  This is how it always has been.

Just as it’s easy to pretend everything is okay after a breakup, we all know it’s definitely not.  Things are different.  A massive change.  An adjustment is necessary in order to move forward.  No matter how hard you try to force that smile, things look different.  You become aware of the rawness inside of you which might have been previously covered up.  Which you might not have been aware was even there.  Things all of a sudden seem to be the most real that you could have imagined possible.  As if all of the fluffiness has been taken away.  But in a good way…

Something was definitely taken from me in Haiti.  But in a good way.  For some reason this experience is bringing me back to having my heart broken.  The first time that my fairytale bubble – my fluffy, magical reality filled with rainbows and unicorns – was popped.  The naiveness I held within me was stripped.  This is the first time I remember feeling such raw emotion.  Looking back at this experience, I am so brutally grateful.  Life wouldn’t be the same today without this inner awareness.  This realization of the capacity of raw and real feelings I hold inside.  I wouldn’t be able to express my opinions so easily or hold such a sense of gentle confidence.  I wouldn’t be who I am today.

Something similar happened to me after witnessing and being a part of the Haitian spirit.  I came back to Vancouver stoked on life.  Just as one might at first be stoked to scream at the top of their lungs, stoked on life, “I’M SINGLE!”, before realizing all of the work that is involved with moving forward.  So that’s me now.  I’ve felt the initial ‘high’ of being back.  I’ve screamed the “LIFE IS AWESOME!” at the top of my lungs.  I’ve gained a new love and passion for my job, of being a million times more grateful for everything I have in my life, of having such a greater sense of appreciation with everything I do.  That part was easy.  The harder part comes with some work.  It comes with some anger.  With coming to terms with a less naïve reality.  Which is the best thing that could have possibly happened to me.

I’ve only begun to notice a few things.  A few raw emotions.  For one: don’t bother complaining to me.  I hate to admit it, but I’ve lost a sense of compassion.  I know we all have our own problems, and fair enough, but things could always be worse.  We, for the most part, have choice.  I have a choice.  If I’m complaining about something, it is a new reminder to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.  Why?  Because I can.  Another thing?  I have gained an overflowing amount of appreciation.  For everything.  And I’m finding that people who aren’t appreciative of me, and for what I do for them or for what they have, well there’s not too much room to give in that relationship.  I guess you could say I’ve lost a certain amount of patience for people who just don’t care.  Or, rather, who don’t realize what they can be grateful for.

So to sum it up, I’ve lost a sense of compassion, and a sense of patience.  But in a good way.   Rather than being taken away from me, I have let them go.  A choice. With this, I have gained so much.  SO, SO much.  I am such a deeper, happier, real person because of this experience.  With a new found passion to serve.  I guess we can only give so much of ourselves.  There has to be some give and take.  We can’t give and give and give everything of ourselves to everyone we come across.  I guess I’m just choosing to be more selective.  More selective of how much compassion I want to give, of how much patience I want to practice.  Which makes me feel good.  Which allows me to remain full.  Which allows me to stay in a steady, overflowing state of gratitude.

So the journey continues.  A mix of emotions.  Slowly working their way to the surface.  Slowly.  In time.  But in a good way.

Smile with your heart!

Categories: Uncategorized


  1. I so love this post Jenn
    Your heart has broken wide open
    I love you

  2. Its like you have a little secret about the way the world should work…thanks for sharing the secret. LOVE YOU. Pookie xo

  3. trials only makes us stronger like churchill said [[[ sucess is not final,failure is not fatal,the courage to continue is what matters ]]] go girl,go jt !!!

  4. I 100% understand this feeling Jen. I went on a mission trip to Indonesia last year and I went through a depression when I came back. Mainly because nobody understood what I saw, what I went through even though I tried to talk about it and that was hard to decompress alone. But even though this was over a year ago, I can tell you my view on the world and view on THINGS has forever changed still. It is off but I no longer want things I do not need because I am constantly reminded of the children I worked with that did not have clothes, shoes, food and we filled with joy still- We have it so good here. I only wish everybody could experience how other people have to live on the other side of the world, then we all would be forever changed -in a good way :) As always- thanks for posting I look forward to reading your blogs ever so much!

  5. Keep your friends close and your girlfriends closer!!

  6. Jenn.
    I follow your blog, send it often to friends for inspiration, and allow your moments of joy to seep into my conversation time and time again. Oddly, I sit in Kolkata, India leading a group of 13 university students on a service trip for the past three weeks. It’s our last 24 hours here and I was searching for inspiration on how to transition them back…re entry…re focus of their lives back home. This has given me clarity and I hope to share pieces of this tomorrow as they end their powerful service work here and allow it to transform them. You may have 13 new #1 fans come the end of their travels!!
    Be well and thanks for your constant inspiration. Check out our blog @ smckolkata2012@blogspot.com

    • Meghan, thank you so much for writing this. I am in awe!! India!! I’m so glad you were able to share my words. You are so inspiring! I tried to check out the blog but could not get it to work? Do you have another link?? Thank you so much Meghan :)

      • oops wrong address i gave!–smckolkata12.blogspot.com
        we’re back and safe and I just started catching up on your blog and searching what lulu has open for jobs as of now–very eager for good change!
        be well,

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