Oh, hello there! Do I know you? Some of you I do. Maybe some of you are new. I don't know who is who. (Maybe some of you like to chew blue glue in canoes! I don't; do you?) I have been blogging since 2000 (or, as we called it back then, "online journalling"), and over the years I've come and gone enough times that I've done quite a few introductions.
The very first introduction is here, transferred over to this site from the old journal that I called "Internet Persona": I'm not in the mood to introduce myself, even though that's probably how one should start a journal. Is that how I should start this journal? You (yes, you - who else is reading this besides you?) might like reading this more if you knew something about me. Of course, what are the chances that you (no, not you, the rest of you) are reading this if you don't know anything about me already? I should do it anyway, shouldn't I? The short version, at least. For posterity...
After that there are some boring facts, some of which are still true, some of which are not. I am not 30 anymore; I am 42. I am not an attorney at a law firm, or an attorney at all (not really). I am still left handed and blue-eyed (sort of; they're more grayish greenish these days, it seems like). I have not been single in a little over a decade, having gotten married in November 2002 to the then-boyfriend that I was about to move in with back in August of 2000, and since 2004, I do have kid(s) (first Katie, then Annabel). I'm no longer in Chicago, although I am still in the U.S. midwest; I've been in Fort Wayne, Indiana since July 2010.
I still drink a lot of diet Coke, I still listen to a lot of music, my name's still Jessamyn and most people still call me Jessie. I no longer dance around the living room for exercise, but a little over a month ago I started doing a Couch to 5K program (I had to take a couple of weeks off after I hurt my knees falling down the stairs. I hope to get back to it this week, after I'm recovered from this flu or whatever it is).
It has been over 12 years, and so much has changed. I know that I have changed, too, but I also know that I am the same. I am the same me, deep down inside, as I have been since I was 2nd grade or earlier. Or at least it feels that way.
Here's another introduction, this one from December 2010: "Oh, hello there! Let me introduce myself. Actually, I have a hard time with introductions these days, because one of the first questions people ask is something about what you DO, and I don't have a good answer right now. I'm a stay at home mom, sort of. I'm unemployed (and still collecting unemployment, for another week and a half). I'm a(n) aspiring photographer. I'm the wife of the director of music here at the church. I sing in the choir. Grudgingly, but with a smile, I admit that I'm licensed as an attorney in Illinois, although not here in Indiana.
It turns out that I'm relatively uncomfortable with general uncertainty. (Gee, who knew?) I am happy, these days, most of the time, most of each day, with most of the parts of my life."
And then I talked about how I loved our home - the one we rented for the first two years we lived in Fort Wayne, until the landlord opted not to renew our lease this past summer and we had to move - and how I loved the feeling of possibility, how the days were passing quickly, how I'd been exploring my new surroundings, how overall, I was doing well.
Sometime after that, everything went to hell.
I exaggerate. Not everything went to hell. Geoff's job has been fine, he and I remain glad to be together and grateful for each other, the girls are doing well, we've been generally very physically healthy. Nothing really went to hell, actually, except what was inside of me. I just...broke. I look back at what I was writing at the end of 2010, and I remember that not too long after I'd hit "publish," I was crying and feeling sad, not because anything I wrote was untrue, but because my state of mind was so fragile. I think maybe what eventually happened is that I got so tired of feeling crushed so often that my hopes rose less and less high, until my even keel was not a good thing, but rather some sort of one-foot-in-front-of-the-other death march that left me feeling numb on a good day, and semi-numb (but also worthless!) on a bad one.
I have come through that. I no longer think that a robot would be able to parent my daughters as well or better than I do. I no longer think that the world would be a better place without me here. I no longer wonder how I will make it through the next day or the next week or the next month or the next year. I no longer believe that I'm unworthy of love. (It feels crazy to type all of that, even; it seems ludicrous to act like I felt that way. Who feels that way? That's so melodramatic! And yes, I guess it was. But yes, I definitely did.)
I'm Jessamyn, and most people still call me Jessie. I work part-time as Communications Assistant for the church where my husband Geoff is the director of music & organist. I sing in both of the church choirs he directs, and sometimes I even sing a solo. I am trying to launch a photography business, and am enrolled in a certificate program at the local university for (would be) professional photographers. Starting this Thursday, I will also be working part-time as a preschool teacher at my 4 year old daughter Annabel's preschool. Geoff's three jobs are as the church music director, as music instructor at the university, and as accompanist & assistant director of the choirs at the university. Katie is in 3rd grade at an arts magnet school, where she's taking violin and piano and choir and dance. She also loves art and is a great reader who's recently discovered she's also good at math. We live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in an old house that we bought this summer; there's a lot I'd like to change about it, but there's also a lot I love about it, including the yard, the three toilets, the skylight in our bedroom, our very own washer & dryer in the basement, a great wooden deck off the back door. Since we moved in, I have painted every downstairs room.
I am left handed, and I drink a lot of diet Coke, although not as much as I used to. Now I also drink coffee, and I always have water on hand. I have one brother, and he has two children, my niece and nephew. My dad & stepmom, my mom, my brother & his kids all live about an hour and a half away from us, which I love, even though I still don't feel like I see them enough. Our days are busy, which is almost always a good thing. I am on a near constant quest to eat better and get more exercise and lose some weight (three separate goals, really, although I recognize they're all related), and right now is no exception. I'm 42 years old, and I have given up thinking that my career path is going to have any sort of linearity to it. But I have not given up hope that I will enjoy what I do for a living.
It's nice to be here. I hope you'll be back.