2020 Vision: Let me reintroduce myself

This year has not been the one I imagined it would be. I’m not going to lie, when 2020 started I had high hopes. I had hoped things between my daughter’s father and I would work out. I had hoped to run the Chicago marathon for the second time. I had hoped to be a science teacher in a local High School. While none of these situations panned out, so much more, better things have happened this year.

I have been inspired by both a good friend of mine and Gwen Stefani to list out all of the abundance that happened this year. So, please enjoy:

  • I got to spend so much more time with my amazing daughter Aria.
  • I financially survived my income getting cut in half overnight in March.
  • I learned to adapt to a pandemic by utilizing my toolbox of skills and experience and becoming a relief vet tech.
  • I learned how to tutor and eventually teach over Zoom.
  • I continued running despite the marathon being cancelled. I ran a virtual relay with my friends.
  • I started my 2nd Master’s Degree in June.
  • I stepped out of my comfort zone and became a science teacher in a local Middle School.
  • I am now on the right path towards my career goals.
  • I travelled to Denver and Door County and spent some quality time in nature.
  • I went on some interesting and new dating adventures despite Covid-19.
  • I sold my 2007 Jetta for a good price. Kind of bittersweet, as it was my first new car that I grew out of.
  • I’m gearing up to buy a safer and upgraded car for Aria and me.

While I am still a work in progress, I have come further than I thought I would this year. And I am looking forward to what’s next, despite the pandemic. 2020 has been good to me, and I am excited for 2021.

Let me end by saying: Let me reintroduce myself. I’m still the Jen you know, but I am growing everyday. You could say I’m evolving. Until next time.

Growth comes from discomfort

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re likely aware of the many protests occurring in order to bring about changes in regards to how people of color (POC) are treated. This is not a new fight, it’s actually been going on for hundreds of years. The hate crimes/ police brutality are not new either, they are just being video taped more regularly thanks to technology. Through everything though, we as a people know that change won’t come from us just sitting at home. We must unite, protest and march together to bring about change. White people along with people of color must come together to bring about the needed changes. We must not remain silent.

It’s easy to see discomfort is a necessary thing to endure in order to grow as a nation, as a community, and as humans. A lot of people get stuck. A lot of people get comfortable. Many people are so comfortable, they’re miserable. Actually I personally know several people who are comfortably broke. So broke they can’t even feed their own children, and yet won’t step out of their comfort zone to relieve some of their expenses or make more money.

Breaking a habit, trying something new, taking a risk, making new connections, or putting yourself in a totally new situation won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it. Calvin Coolidge says “All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”

I, for one, know that I am not happy with my current financial situation. I also know that I have the power to change it. I want to grow not only financially, but also spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I want to help students learn and better their lives through science and beyond. I know I have to face some discomfort, I actually get really nervous giving presentations/speeches. Especially on video. And here I am jumping into teaching (likely virtually) starting in July. So I know it will be uncomfortable. I know it’ll be hard. I also know it’ll be worth it. I will be exhausted but also full of joy.

What area of your life are you trying to grow or change? Are you sitting idle hoping for things to just magically get better, or are you putting yourself out there to get uncomfortable and force yourself to change?