Here’s To You, Jane

28 Dec

Marilyn Monroe triumphant.jpg

My blog has a follower. My blog has a follower! And it’s not my mom!

This girl “Jane,” a stranger from Kansas, somehow found me, even though we don’t know the same people. Jane wrote to me today – she wanted to tell me that she enjoys my blog and is looking forward to seeing me go on more adventures.

Jane also shared a little bit of her story, and it has affected me.

Jane dropped out of college last year when her widower father became ill. Her older brother is a videographer for a popular political candidate and his career path was too promising to quit – they all decided – so Jane sacrificed her education, for now, to move home to rural Kansas to care for her father (she didn’t say it that way but that’s how I see it). Jane waits tables at a local restaurant, and takes her father to all his doctors’ appointments, the pharmacy, the store, and she makes all his meals for him.

I have never known struggle or sacrifice like that.

I feel a little foolish for having emoted so much about my relationship when there are other people out there with real struggle.

It’s a little silly and confusing and humbling that Jane reached out to me, the girl who moved across country and started a blog because getting dumped is the worst thing that’s ever happened to her.

When she’s waiting in doctors’ offices for her father to finish appointments, Jane reads and surfs the Internet to help her imagine her way out of her family’s circumstances. I don’t know if Jane reads this for amusement (probably) or for inspiration (I wish), but she has given me a new motivation.

I’m done using this blog to get over my relationship with a dumb guy. Today I begin my new mission of inspiring Jane and anyone else out there who might be following this. No matter what situation you find yourself in, there is always a way out. You can own how you think and feel. You alone must find your sources of joy and strength and I’m going to try to show you how, as I discover it for myself.

So here’s to you, Jane, whether you asked for it or not: you’ve inspired me to inspire you.

–Jennifer

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