Someone very dear to my heart summed me up last night and I thought it sounded pretty neat. It went something like this:
Jenna is Scientist/Yoga Instructor/Horses for Special Needs Volunteer/Dog Running Buddy/Homeowner/Landlord/Phsyical Therapy Volunteer/CPR & First Aid Certified..(and those are just my jobs/volunteer work)
With all those activities you’d think I wouldnt have enough free time for running, bike riding, reading, cooking, socializing, writing in this blog, spending time with family & friends, etc…but somehow I do.
Have you ever labeled yourself with all the things you’re involved with? And have you ever asked what those things objectively say about you? Everything we do defines who we are to the rest of the world, and its kinda neat to see the component parts all put together in one “lump sum.” Together the parts are what make us whole..perhaps every now and then we should “take inventory” of our component parts and decide if it’s time to move on from something or focus more on something else…because figuring out who we truly are is an everchanging journey that we must actively pursue for ultimate happiness and peace.
Level One YogaFit Training at the Richmond Alternative Center for Health, May 14-15!
Yoga is: Awakening. Breathing. Centering. Discovering. Experiencing. Focusing. Growing. Healing. Inspiring. Journeying. Knowing. Listening. Meditating. Nurturing. Opening. Perservering. Quieting. Releasing. Smiling. Trying. Uplifting. Valuing. Welcoming. Yielding. Zesting.
“It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.” — Diane Ackerman
Went on a run to Belle Isle and back on my lunch break today with Caitlin..even though we’re both smelly and sweaty and gross now, it was totally worth it! (Wonder if my co-workers feel the same way?!)
Down by the river I saw this guy I sorta know, a very dark and mysterious guy, who just this past weekend I saw naked. Naked yes, at the Disrobed show at Gallery 5. Didn’t know I was going to see that side of him til I showed up that night to see the exhibit…seemed like it might make things kinda weird for any future encounters..but now that I have seen him again, (fully clothed this time) I realized that just because I’ve seen him with his clothes off doesn’t change the fact that he’s still very mysterious to me and I really don’t know much about him. Which is cool cuz I kinda like it that way.
But it makes me think about the depth of relationships required before you know someone that intimately, or the lack there of that exists a lot of times. After viewing that exhibit I couldn’t really put into words what I thought about it..at the time I didnt really know. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out how you feel about something, but now I think I know what it means to me.
So I gotta thank that mysterious guy I kinda know for unknowingly helping me come to that realization. Gotta say I wasn’t suprised to see his name on the list of models, he’s kinda a walking work of art in my opinion. And I do think there’s something both savage and beautiful underneath all that exposed flesh I saw..but it will always be a mystery to me.
On Monday night I went to this event at Balliceaux with my girl-friend Caitlin. A night of storytelling based on the theme “___ in the Closet.” The first part of the night a bunch of storytellers who planned on being part of the event told stories, and then the last part of the night consisted of random people who put their name in a hat and got selected to tell a story on the spot. I was one of those people. I’m not usually the type to put myself in the center of attention, let alone share a personal story about my life with people I don’t know, let alone people I do know for that matter. But I had a story to tell, and it’s one that has been very prominent in my life for the past 7 months…or even longer actually.
I got a little discouraged and almost didnt put my name in the hat when I found out you couldn’t read an excerpt from something you’d previously written..see I’m pretty good at organizing my thoughts on paper, but not usually so good at speaking in a way that makes sense…but I decided that the story I should get up there and tell was one I knew well enough to pull out of my memory, so I went for it. And I guess life decided I was ready to share it, because my name definitely got drawn out of the hat.
I told a story about the most amazing way I’ve ever met a guy and started a relationship…but the real point of the story was to be honest with everyone and tell them that I proceeded to destroy all of that amazingness in a bout of anxiety, alcohol and sex…all forms of escapism, which one storyteller talked about..and living out of the rules of society, which another storyteller talked about. And part of the reason I had to get up there and share was because of all of the guilt I’ve been putting myself through, knowing what I’ve been capable of and knowing that not many people know that dark side of me. Yet another storyteller spoke of guilt such as this.
If I could go back to my storytelling event, I would have made a point to connect my story to all of the previous ones, because I always like to find a way to bring things together. But I’m really glad I got to share even though I kinda sucked at ending it. Caitlin told me its probably because my story is a story of love and life…it doesnt have an ending, its just another chapter in my book..
So yesterday I rode a horse named Bay Lena. She’s not this horse, this photo is from about 2 years ago. But this photo is documentation of one of the last times I was on a horse before yesterday. I always seem to have a natural ability to pick up right where I left off with horseback riding. Anyway, Bay Lena is a much smaller version of the horse in this photo, and she hasn’t been ridden hardly at all in the past two years. Her and I were on the same page, and we seemed to get along rather well.
When I got to the barn Bay Lena was chasing a pony named Blackie around one of the pens, and they were full speed ahead. Blackie was rearing and kicking at Bay Lena…and these were the two that were about to be ridden. After seeing that, I was nervous, but that’s one thing you absolutely can’t be when you’re sitting on top of such a big strong animal..give them a hint of an idea that they can get away with something and they’ll walk all over you. When it comes to horses, someone’s always in charge, and when you’re riding one it better be you.
It’s amazing how when I’m working with a horse I can overcome any fear I feel..I’m not able to do that in a lot of other situations, but when a horse is involved I can recognize the fear and let it go. Mostly because I know that if I’m afraid, the horse will be able to sense that, which will make him not trust me among other things.
I’m hoping to start riding more often, getting some horses that haven’t been ridden enough to the point where they can be used in the lesson program. I really enjoy working with horses that need work even though I don’t have much training on the subject. And I’m realizing I have a lot to say about horses, which I wont elaborate any more on now…but probably more to come in the future!
Went to Sticky Rice for Blingo last night…first time in a few months. Thought I’d test out the new guns in bars thing, cuz it can get kinda wild in that place when the pace of the game starts pickin’ up. Just tryin to be prepared.
But on a serious note, one of my best friends is leaving town soon so I did something unusual (though perhaps something I should make a little more usual) and went out on a weeknight to spend some quality time with her at one of her favorite Richmond events. Sarah Bellamy is a girl I’ve had some of the most amazing times in Richmond with for the past 9 years and I will definitely miss her so much!! I’ll miss hangin out on the porch hearing tales of the latest egyptian love over a glass(bottle) of wine, yelling at weirdos on the street as they walk by (sometimes inviting them up only to find out they are creeps), cooking out on the grill, watching the fireworks from the roof on 4th of july (Sarah’s FAVORITE holiday!)..I’ll miss the guidance I’ve had on many a text message…Sarah knows just how to say things when I’m overthinking them..but then again, if Sarah always helped me with my text messages, we wouldnt have died laughing so many mornings as I read the dialogue (or oftentimes unintentional monologues) from my own creative mind. Sarah’s always offered her couch for me, and many other friends to sleep on. True southern hospitality! My Richmond Virginia just won’t be the same, and I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that way…(is this post emo enough for you yet Ian?!)
BUT I’m so excited that she gets to move somewhere she’s always wanted to…watch out Philly, your world is about to get a lot more fun :) And I can’t wait to visit her up there…its only a 4 hour drive!
Cheers to Sarah and the new adventures ahead of her!
Tonight I made these meatballs…minus the lettuce cups, just because I didn’t have any lettuce…so I threw them over spaghetti noodles instead. OH MY these are super tasty! The only other adjustments I made to the recipe were leaving out the cuc & carrots (again, didn’t have any) and only put a couple tablespoons of fish sauce in the dipping sauce. Reason being, fish sauce makes my nose turn, like REALLY smelly feet, and in my experience it kinda tastes that way too if you put too much in. (I’ve never tasted smelly feet per say, but you KNOW what I mean!!) Maybe I should have trusted the recipe, but it still turned out wonderful. The cilantro flavor is really strong so cut back on that if you’re not a fan of cilantro…but to me, the more the merrier! And if you’re lucky enough to see me at lunchtime tomorrow, which is only a select few lovely state employees, you just might get a sample :)
Might be a bold title for my first blog post, but that’s kinda in line with how I like to do things…although that wouldn’t be most people’s first guess about me. In most situations I tend to stay quietly on the sidelines, observing life as it goes by, making choices that keep me safe. In reality, I’m the kind of person who wants to take risks, who wants to be noticed, who wants to do things that matter, things that aren’t necessarily easy to accomplish.
To do that, I’m going to have to take some risks, and I found myself in a situation earlier today that gave me wisdom on how to best do that.
While running on the North Bank trail today after work, I found myself being drawn to leave the path and continue on through a cemetary up above the trail. Considering that I was due back at the YMCA in 45 minutes for my favorite yoga class ever, I stopped for a second to make sure I was making a good decision. [Stop-and-think: the difference between impulsivity and spontaneity.] I decided that the somewhat sketchy person I passed at the head of the North Bank trail, who I could possibly encounter again if I didn’t switch paths, was reason enough to change it up.
In an effort to look out for my own safety, I was now more aware of the ever present ticking of the clock as I ran along the paved cemetary road. Pretty soon I realized I was not in Hollywood Cemetary, as I had thought, but another cemetary right next to it. The problem with cemetaries is the fact that they are surrounded by fences. These fences keep people out so they dont wreak havoc on the place at night, but they also trap me in when I’m trying to run the most direct route from point A to point B- which in this case happens to be though the giant burial ground rather than around it.
The point in which I realized my unintentional imprisonment was the moment I started looking for a way to get around the fence situation. There were a few trees growing along the fence, which I definitely tried to climb..but the prickly-ness of the barbed wire at the top was just too threatening once I got up on it, so I retreated in hopes of a better option. After running along two sides of the fence, that better option came in the form of a portion of fence which had been raised up enough to shimmy under, and which someone before me obviously created in order to accomplish the same goal as me. [No idea is ever original.] I shimmied under the fence with the newfound determination that I would in fact make it to yoga, though the dirt crawl left me feeling a little more “one with nature” than I had imagined I would.
The point is that scaling a fence in broad daylight is risky enough as it is, but when you add the threat of barbed wire, the distance to fall down from, and the chance of injuring my foot or leg beyond immediate usability, it really wasn’t a risk worth taking just to get to a yoga class.
Turns out there are rules to the risk-taking game, and rules aren’t always a bad thing like us risk-takers sometimes like to think.