Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Dear God,
I'm letting others dictate how I feel about me and I know that's not the way to live life.  I can't seem to find the words or attitude to keep those in my life happy or pleased with me as a person.  My last entry was about longing for the day to be myself.  But according to others I am the problem. I have the attitude.  I have not been nice.  And well, tell me how you feel, but I'm going to tell you back to basically F-off and that you're wrong.  

Yeah, this entry is why people hate blogs.  This entry is why I hate blogs, but it also the reason why I respect anyone that puts their opinion on anything out there.   That's not to say that I haven't thought about what they said and attempted self-reflection.  And well, the final verdict of that is me taking their feedback the entire other way and just quietly breaking down to myself and remembering that I have only myself in this life.  It's me desperately waiting to pick up the phone and call others but fearing the rejection and the criticism that making me feel desperate and depressed already.  

I'm writing this because God, I need you to be my shield.  I really need protection right now from the opinions of others. Once upon a time I was happy and looking forward to everything.  I had a smile for everyone and everything.  I felt I had something to contribute.  And well, today and so far in 2014, I got nothing.  And I'm starting to feel nothing.  I received a gift today from a co-worker.  A beautiful hand drawn picture and in a great frame.  And when I received it, I was so thankful because you don't think people remember you, but they do.  As I look at it now, I think, "I can't be all that bad."  God, please help me see more than the supposed bad and the things that make me unworthy of people's friendship and love.  I matter and I just need to remember.

Thanks for listening/reading.

- CC

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

When You're Just Trying To Be...

This year has been a little nuts for good and bad ways.  In the constant search of determining who you are and who you are meant to be, one day you wake up and realize - this is me!  This is who I am.
The day that you can introduce yourself to yourself can be an emotional day.  It's emotional day because you are going to see parts of you that you hate and resent and regret.  However, you will also see someone beautiful.  Smart.  Sexy.  Appealing. Honest. Perfectly imperfect. You will be naked in front of yourself without taking anything off except the smile, anger, frustration. and confidence that you show others.  When you have that naked moment, don't be too quick to get back dressed.  Look at yourself for a while in that moment and take it in.  Because you will have to face, defend, protest, and be whoever you see.

I LOOOONNNGGG to be myself and to be 100% accepted for that person.  Newsflash, Jenn, you won't be.  No one will ever fully accept you only because you will never fully accept yourself.  There will always be things you want to tweak and change and if you're foolish enough to listen to others, you may try to change everything about your DNA.  I wouldn't suggest changing for others.  Depending on what day you catch me, I may not suggest changing for yourself.  Sometimes, it's okay to ride out the person you are and who you're becoming without thought or doubt.

Be honest with yourself first and then let other people in on the inside joke that is you when you see fit.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Love Letter to Akron

Dear Akron,
Even as I write this, I can't believe I finally left you.  At times I didn't think I could.  I didn't know where I would go if I left.  I didn't know where the money to leave you would come from.  But mostly, I didn't know where the courage would come from to live a place I was comfortable.  Ten years I gave you and you gave me.  I didn't think I would ever like you and if I could ever call you home.  I didn't think we would have anything in common or ever find a common ground. 

Our beginning started at a time in my life where I thought nothing could touch me and that the world wouldn't leave too many scars on me.  But through you, I learned that I already had scars and if I didn't take the time to deal with them and the new Akron scars, I would never be the person I was meant to be.  I discovered so many things through you.  I tell anyone that I really learned about God and Christianity in Akron.  Do I always follow what I learned?  No, but at least I have a foundation to turn to whenever I need to be led the right way.  I really felt (and feel) God's presents in a way there that I had never experience.  I have a real relationship with Him and the last eight of those years I can thank Akron for that.

I also discovered so many marvelous about myself.  I discovered that I really could take care of myself.  I knew this prior, but Akron was really the stomping ground for this growth.  I am a well functioning adult and you contributed to this more than you know.  I also discovered that I have the ability to make friends and create a new family in any environment that I am placed in.  I am so grateful for my Akron family.  I hope I was able to say and express that in so many words to each of my family members before I left and even still when I'm in communication with them.  So many times in life I doubted that I could really be a good friend to others, but my time with you proved that I have a huge heart and it is fully equipped to love others and accept love from others that weren't blood family.

So Akron, I have left now and there were things I didn't discover there that I thought that I would.  First and foremost, I never found a pizza that took my breath away.  Please work in that in my absence.  I didn't discover and establish my own family there, meaning getting the husband and children package that I saw others get once they moved there.  You are such a family-orientated city and I loved that about you, but I only loved it because I thought I could get that from you and I never did.  I was bitter some of my years there for not getting that package and having the family of my dreams.  I am happy to say now that I have never been so grateful not to have those things.  It could be because of my career and academic goals and the fact that a family would get in the way.  It could be because I never saw eye to eye with any Akron guys.  But really, it is because I am leaving you a better and more complete woman than I was when I came.  I wanted imaginary things to define me for so long like a husband and some kids.  I know now that I don't need those things.  In fact, my dreams for myself have expanded so much that I do not know if that package is the end all and be all for my life.  Ultimately, it is whatever God wants for me and I am grateful He placed new dreams and desires in my heart and sent me on a new journey where I can become closer to the family members I already have. 

Well, Akron.  It is time for me to say goodbye.  Thank you so much for what you brought to my life.  I knew always that I would leave you and that being an Akron lifer was not for me.  I hope you will always remember me for my honesty, humor, and my heart.  Just be sure that the next Pittsburgh girl that enters your presence can be served a good slice of pizza.

Love ya,

Monday, September 17, 2012

A September to Remember

This month I fell in love with three men...again.  Not entirely to their faces, but at least in my own heart.  I don't what happened, but I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the dating pool that I already knew was tainted with disappointment and unrealistic expectations.  It all started with the new man I was attempted to let into my life. Since he was new, I wasn't in love with him, so he is not one of the three men mentioned above. I had doubts about him and instead of listening to those doubts, I allowed myself to invest time and energy into someone I thought would be worth it...even if it meant that every insecure part of myself would come out.  Well, it didn't turn out good and I lost a good amount of money on someone that doesn't even acknowledge my existance anymore.  I told other people the experience with him was my birthday present to myself.  I called it that because in a moment, I made a decision to not be a stupid, naive woman that would allow someone to treat me like I was just an object in their world versus an equal, beautiful human being in their world.  As much as it hurt, I never felt so empowered in my life.  It took someone to treat me like trash for me to acknowledge within myself how valuable I really am.  Alot of my love lessons I unfortunately learn the hard way.  I can't just learn by the instincts that God shows me via the horrible preview to coming attractions.  I have to star in the straight to hell (I mean video) movie.

In the case of the three ex-boyfriends I had contact with this month, it took about 10 minutes of conversations with each of them to remember what I loved about them.  I took an evaluation recently in a book for my job.  According to my evaluation results from the book, Strength Finder 2.0, one of my strengths is individualization.  Individualization as a strength means I can see people as individuals and that I am good at seeing what is unique and special about them.  I don't just clump people into groups.  I figured out individual likes and dislikes, etc.  If you have ever received a gift from me, you'll know I try to find something for you that I know you will like, not just what I think you will like or what I think you should have.  How this relates to my exes is that in those 10 minutes or so, I remembered why I loved them.  Not why society, their family or other friends, or even themselves loved about them, but I thought was their beauty and uniqueness.  I know what attracted me to them and of course, in those moments I felt those feelings.  But just as quick as I felt them, I also felt the cold reality of why I shouldn't be with them again and why it didn't work the first time.  And I am semi-kicking myself for having feelings again for 10 minutes about them.  Why would I revisit a past that I thanked God numerous times I overcame?  Is because of my recent birthday?  Is it because it seems most of my Facebook friends got married this year?  Is it loneliness?  Or is it because at this stage I thought I was mature even to handle them?  Well, I found in two cases that it is actually the men that are not mature enough to handle me, if they even want to.  In one case, I think my prayer of them getting over me actually came to pass and now like a typical human being, I am mourning the fact that I no longer hold a priority place in their life.  Now, my calls to them go to voicemail and texts go unanswered.  I love prayer for something, it happens, and then I get mad and sad about it.

So what did I learn???  I am still working through the type of man I want and what I need in a relationship.  I know I should know this by now.   I'm actually starting to see how much I love myself and feel it inside but I know I still have work to do.  The moment I left that new guy I felt this overwhelming love for myself and my happiness because of my actions that day.  I just remembered in that moment that I am beautiful, smart, have a credit score over 700, a new paycheck in my account, and a working cell phone, which means I'm not stuck anyway and I don't have to take the crap pie he was trying to sell me as cavier.  I ultimately want someone who acknowledges that I am important in their world.  I want to be in a committed relationship.  I want to meet the friends and family.  I want to laugh and cry in front of you.  I want to hold hands as often as possible (thanks guy #3 for reminding me how special that is to me).  I want everything Joni Mitchell wanted in the "All I Want" song.  I want to know what I require in the man that will be my husband and continue to have the patience to wait for it.  And not just the Christian standards, but what I want in my husband that will be those individualized things what will make me happy.  Yes, it has been a busy September.  I just pray October means moving forward, even if I have to continue to go at it alone. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

What's a Comfort Zone?

On this November's eve, I wanted to take time to thank God for three amazing opportunities that I had in October. Without planning it, this month really took me out of my comfort zone of "coulda, shoulda, woulda, but didn't" and I actually put some internal thoughts into action.

First up is the wonder single's retreat I went on during the third weekend of the month. This is something that I honestly forgot about until my close friend reminded me of it the week before. The sad part is I told her about it a few months ago. This retreat was hosted by another local church and a co-worker told me about it. Apparently, this church has a great single's ministry that I've heard about for years, but never took myself to anything they. The only thing I forgot is this church has two single's ministries; one for people in their 20s and 30s and one for 40s and above. Guess the retreat we signed up for? You got it! One that Dorothy's Zbornak, Rose Nylund, and Blanch Devereau would have attended if they were Christian and practicing celibacy. With all of that aside, we had a wonderful time. We met really nice people. During the weekend, we sang songs, did crafts, watched a bonfire, and attended workshops. I'm glad I didn't realize what I said up for because I would have judged it and not gone.

My second activity made me deal with an allergy I have. I'm allergic to cooking. Ask anyone. I would rather eat out and get every meal out of a paper bag than make it myself. That's not to say I can't cook. I just choose not to. But I realize this mindset has to change, so as a birthday gift to myself I signed up for a cooking class. The class was called Culinary Basics and it lasted five hours. I told this class last Sunday, October 23rd. What did I make, you ask? We made chicken stock, homemade vegetable soup, sauteed chicken breast stuffed with fresh herbs and mozzarella, asian-marinated grilled fish, basmati rice pilaf, green beans with caramelized shallot vinaigrette, and individual chocolate souffles. Can you say yum? Now, before you pat my back too hard, I have to admit we worked in groups of four for every dish, so it wasn't totally solo act. We all worked really well together and everything was delicious. The instructor was nice and supportive and answered all of our too lazy to find out for ourselves cooking questions. It was an amazing experience.

My final October activity is something I told no one about. Yesterday, I took an improvisation workshop at a theater in Cleveland. It was taught by a lady that teaches at Second City in Chicago. Just in case you don't know, Second City is responsible for such comedians as Tina Fey, Steve Carrell, and Stephen Colbert just to name a few. It was awesome and the best part is that I got to participate in the activities, including one improv scene. I got an amazing response from everyone and I really enjoyed it. Being in a corporate trainer, I talk in front of people all the time and constantly answer questions on my feet, so it was good to think on my feet for fun and use a little profanity in the process without feeling like the worst person alive. In January, the theater will have level one classes, so pray my time and my money hold up and I can continue this activity.

The best part of each activity is that I didn't have to be a certain size, age, color, gender, or anything. Each activity was filled with different ages and walks of live. Before I did the last two activities, I asked God, "are you sure?" God put these desires in my heart for a reason and I just had to be willing to search them out. I learned this month that a desire doesn't have to stay a desire and if you're not careful, you wake up from a dream and not remember anything about it. Have a dream and desire will only get you so far. It's about stepping out of your comfort zone and doing those things you've always wanted to do.

Monday, October 10, 2011

An Age in Review - Part Two

I did what I wanted to do while I was 30. I prayed over major decisions like, "should I spend most of my income tax on one of my credit card bills?" And, "should I go to California for vacation? And if so, can you please make a way for a friend to go with me?" (Thanks Melissa!) But really, this year was all about me and what I wanted. I practiced spending, gluttony, and selfishness and it felt great! I spent money on clothes and ate out a lot! I also spent money I did not have by way of going back to school for my masters. (Thanks gov't!) Gluttony can be seen in my lack of a six-pack and settled in back fat. My selfishness, however, was not all in vain. This year I was able to do more for friends and family than in years past. Also, since I didn't entirely leave God, tithes are always paid and I contributed to special offerings when I could.

The real reason it took so long for a part two was because of the realization that I have left things that once held meaning to me. My Sunday School class, other church activities, songwriting, and my writing career as a whole. This year I walked away from what I thought was my purpose. Mainly because there is something people don't tell you about your purpose: that's a lot of work! Especially if you are a writer. It's a very solitary thing to do and if you thrive on people like I do, it can feel more like a punishment than a fulfilling task. And that's what it felt like. I have no connections. No one to be beside me when I do my craft. I have no one to help me with the songwriting. My one connection left town and when he left, so did my interest. Songwriting was something that honestly came out of no where and I only started because I liked a boy and didn't know how to tell him.

So to recap, my year without purpose has comprised of eating, vacationing, lots of television watching, sleeping, and ignoring the phone calls of people that are a) living their purpose and b) will make me face that I am not living mine. This is the first year that being a grown up felt overwhelming yet fun. This is the first year I saw my body change and didn't (and still haven't) immediately done anything to stop it. This year of 30 was the first year in years that I felt smart again because of school. I liked being the student that people admired and also the one that stood out because like a crazy person, is studying something I have no background or idea about. And the non-purpose living me wants to drop out soooo bad! However, after this semester, I will be half way done and so it makes no sense to give up. It actually makes no sense to give up on anything I want to do.

I have decided to put no expectations on 31. I hope that whatever non-purpose funk I've been in will grow up and get the heck out of my body!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

An Age in Review - Part One

Monday, September 5th was my birthday. I turned 31 on that day at exactly 2:27 p.m. This year's birthday celebration was different than the past few years. I was (and still am) sick and was alone most of the day. Secretly, I wanted that. I wanted to peace and quiet. Really, just peace, which I'm still working on. The quiet was nice, but with cable, how quiet can it really get! Although I didn't blog a lot this year, most of my blogs had one major theme: being 30. 30 is a magical age where you enter a new decade and deal with society's and your own expectations of yourself. 30 was in some ways the best thing that could have happened to me and in other ways, I curse its existence. So, instead of having just a plain old year in review, I want to review myself at 30 in this entry. I want to take a honest look at myself while it is still fresh and while I still remember.

I don't bring up past blog entries, but if you read those, you will read how my thinking changed at 30. In fact, I blamed so many of my decisions on the age that taking accountability without it was not an option. I blamed my metabolism problems on 30, when really I like to eat and I like to eat a lot. Since my financial situation changed drastically on the positive side this past year, I have been able to dine out more and spurge on the foods I like and not just the ones I'll settle for. However, the foods I like the most are not the healthiest and what my new found fortune also brought me was back fat and the beginning stages of a muffin top. I say "beginning" only depending on what pants I'm wearing. Today, my dress pants are not tight and loose, so no muffin top when I sit!

30 also brought out that fact that some of my goals were not accomplished. This I do not blame on 30. I blame laziness and a fear of success I never realized I had. I knew about my fear of being rejected by people like family, friends, and men I want to date. The fear of your deepest desires and dreams being rejected scars me more. When you pour your life into something, people being critics and not seeing the passion can scar you. I know that 31 will have to bring out the guts in me, even if that means literally wearing big girl panties every day so that I can be confident in my abilities, then I may have to do that.

One dream fulfilled was FINALLY going to California. I went to San Francisco in July and had a blast. It was the sunny California most people dreamed of, but really it was my dream. My dream California experience consisted of walking a lot, not being too hot to concentrate, seeing national landmarks, and being completely surrounded by diversity. I can count on two hands the number of white Americans I met when I was there. Most people had accents I did recognize and I loved it. The crowds had moments of overwhelming, but really, it felt good to be a tourist with other tourists. It made my want and desire to be there fell legitimate and necessary for not just me. My dream vacation was fulfilled. Now, the next California experience I would to be sunny, just to compare and contrast.

With the change in income, 30 brought out my inner glam girl in more than one way. First, I began experimenting with my hair as soon as the 2011 began. I chose my hair dresser because I knew she would get me out of my hair box in a way that was stylish and also with a touch of patience. I haven't had the same haircut twice this year and it's been great. I haven't been able to fit my hair into a real ponytail all year and since I am over the age of 18, that's great (my hair dresser's words, not mine for those offended). I'm also a red head now, which I never thought I'd be. I always wanted to be a brunette. Once she made me one, I realized that it was unnoticable and had to go to another color. My hair in review I would definitely give five out of five stars to. It also made me look younger, which I never thought I would, but I love.

There are other things I need to tell you about me at 30, but I have to get back to the grind. This is only the start. Being the focus of my blog, I have to put into words 30 and my christianity. I'm actually still unsure how to describe. Just know for now that the "being all God has called me to be" segment might surprise you, just as it did the 30 year old me.