“Jennie Joy,” they said when I popped out into the world, naked as they come, and naked I came except for a head full of hair so thick they called me “the Russian.”
No joke, the Russian…
So there I was, hairy as could be and trying to figure out how to fit into this world along side all of my bald baby friends so delicately covered in peach fuzz.
And thirty-some years later, so goes the rest of my story of trying to figure out how to fit into a world that I wasn’t made for.
I’m still pretty hairy and rough around the edges, but I smell like egyptian musk and blackberry sage when I take the time to clean up. I’m in recovery from being a middle child, a preacher’s kid, a co-dependent, a people-pleaser, being mis-understood when I said no the first time, being broken-hearted one too many times, an aggressive eating disorder, an adult child of a dysfunctional family, divorced parents and severe depression…
And yet, life goes on. While I am by no-means perfect, equipped with all the answers for how to conquer and overcome, I am very much at peace with imperfection, and a little more skilled at navigating the inevitable darker seasons of life.
It is well with my soul… even when it’s not.
And so the story goes, giving up the story I used to tell, that every thing was fine, when in reality everything was not; claiming the truth, ugly as it may be; and learning how to live well without excusing myself to settle for anything less than a full life.
I cry hard and laugh often. I love to dance, second only to writing and third only to surfing… the ocean is my medicine and where I most experience God.
I think the best romance is made up of chocolate and peanut butter, and the best love story belongs to Johnny and June Carter Cash. My mom doesn’t know I have four tattoos and this is my way of telling her. I’ve gone from barista to flight attendant to dog walker to preschool chef to now pursuing that which I love most in life, writing, comedy and art.
Thus continues life in my thirties. With a lot of baggage and a long road ahead, I’ve shaken off all the unnecessaries, packed light for the rest of the journey and expressed my desires while surrendering my plans with (sometimes hesitantly) open arms to the God I believe in. I’ve never been more terrified and more excited in all my life.
I’m showing up for life, again, a little late, but better late than never.
Thanks for joining me on this raw and real journey. It’s called a spade, and it ain’t always pretty, but real life beats all.
Jennie Joy (jj to most, jennie to a few, and “hey lady” to the other dog walkers when I don’t pick up after the dog)
You can also find me over at jjbarrows.com