I Survived…And More!

One of my favourite activities on earth is constructive-self-criticism.

And by favourite I mean compulsive.

And by constructive-self-criticism I mean beating the crap out of my self-worth and stripping myself of whatever is left of my dignity.

One day, while aggressively and relentlessly berating myself, about all the things I have yet to accomplish, I yelled at myself (I do that),

Name one f@#$ing thing you’ve accomplished in this lifetime!

Which, naturally, hurt my own feelings but, interestingly enough, led me to sit down and write this list:

I left home when I was 14 years old.

I lived with families, I lived with roommates, I lived with a mob of debaucherous punk rockers twice my age (you know who you are) and I even lived on the streets for a while.

I survived

I went to photography school.

I gave birth to 3 beautiful and brilliant baby girls (naturally and drug free – I might add) and raised them pretty much all by myself.

I got my driver’s license when I was 8 months pregnant with my youngest daughter, so I would be able to get to the hospital the day she was born.

I took a bus to Seattle, 3 months later, and picked up a piano and drove it to Vancouver in a 1 ton truck, with no one but my 2 month old baby by my side.

I tossed everything I owned to the curb, packed up 3 kids and moved across the country, all by myself.

I was accepted to Concordia’s (Jazz) music program even though I had never graduated high-school and showed up at the audition without accompaniment or sheet music and sang an Irish love song and Opportunity by Joan Armatrating… Acapella.

I survived the death of the love of my life/the father of my children without being institutionalized.

I survived Autoimmune Hemolitic Anemia and 12 blood transfusions. Although I suspect I may have suffered post-traumatic-stress disorder as a result, but HEY! I survived.

I survived (so far) raising 3 teenage girls without having a psychotic break (mostly) or giving them up for adoption.

I watched my house burn to the ground with everything in it. 3 times.

I have been heartbroken, dumped, cheated-on, lied to, evicted, robbed, raped, bankrupt, and devastated in countless ways, and bounced back (mostly) Every. Single. Time.

I co-founded and co-produced an awesome series of burlesque shows.

I’ve worked as a waitress, a shop-keep, an usher, a bartender, a photographer, a nanny, a janitor, a secretary, a florist, a pre-school teacher, an intervention counsellor in a homeless shelter, and a resource counsellor for pregnant women and new mothers “at risk”, an actress, a singer, and about 12 other things…

I’ve performed in burlesque shows, rock-shows, dinner theatres, cabarets, festivals, television emissions and films and shared the stage with some of the performers I admire most in the world.

I write stories and songs.

I’ve been published in a magazine (sure it was only 3 sentences for en Route, but still!)

I work three jobs, I regularly perform in front of hundreds of people, and somewhat consistently make love (with words) to the general public via www.sweetvegan.net and www.theladyslounge.com

And a bunch of other cool things that I can’t remember at this exact moment.

Have I accomplished everything I was hoping I would have by now?

Not even close.

But if you had told me 20 years ago that I would have done everything on that list by the age of 41, I’m not sure I would have believed you.

I’m just saying…

Maybe instead of beating yourself up for everything you have “to-do” or haven’t done yet, sit down and write yourself a list of everything you have done.

You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised and pretty damn proud of yourself.

Jennifer June


  • At 2012.04.30 09:18, LIZ said:

    Good work..Jen. We need to be reminded of these things.

    • At 2012.04.30 18:30, Jennifer June (admin) said:

      It works small scale too.
      Today I thought I wasted half the day but when I wrote down everything I got done, I wondered how I fit it all in to one day.
      I am by no means a work-a-holic. I’m tired and unmotivated most of the time, but I think we tend to devalue ourselves too easily.

    • At 2012.04.30 16:49, injaynesworld said:

      Wow! I’m in complete awe of what you’ve done and now feel like a totally sissified, inadequate piece of worm shit next to you. Clearly, I need to get started on that list pronto.

      Seriously, girlfriend. You’re pretty fucking strong and amazing. Every single thing on that list could be a chapter of a book.

      Thanks for sharing yourself with us.
      injaynesworld´s last blog post ..injaynesworld it’s "The Kiss…"

      • At 2012.04.30 18:38, Jennifer June (admin) said:

        You’re so inspiring it’s ridiculous. Worm poop? I think not!!
        And speaking of the book(s) I still haven’t written… *ahem* Don’t forget to ad this to your list:

      • At 2012.04.30 21:05, injaynesworld said:

        Aw… you’re a sweetie. Thanks.
        injaynesworld´s last blog post ..injaynesworld it’s "The Kiss…"

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