Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Use Your Gifts

My story-telling came to a screeching halt last May. It’s been eight months since I last wrote about the trials and tribulations of my 20’s. At this point, I find it really difficult to pick up where I left off. I mean, for me, it’s easy to keep writing since it’s my story; I lived it; I remember it well. But to the handful of readers who were following along, well, I just don’t think they give a rat’s ass to find out whatever did happen to crazy-ass Jackie. And even if they did, how could they just pick up and start reading without feeling lost? It would be like picking up a book you haven’t read in a long time. You have to go back and re-read a couple of chapters to remember what the hell was happening in the story. And who wants to do that with my blog!?

So why did I stop writing? I’ve asked myself this question a lot. I don’t think I have just one answer. It’s complicated. For one, writing about the past stirs up a lot of negative memories for me. It takes me back to those feelings and it brings me down, sometimes for days. So there’s that. 

Second, I’m writing about real-life, still-living people. Do I write a soft, cushy version of how it went down or do I tell the truth? I’m a truth-teller. It’s hard for me to sugar-coat things. I like to tell it like it was. So if I can’t do that, then I’d rather not do it at all. I mean, I CAN tell it like it was, but then I have to think of the repercussions of doing so. Do I want to risk inviting drama into my life? Is it worth it? Is it necessary? No.

Third, I just didn’t feel like it anymore. I suppose it’s because of reasons 1 and 2 that I haven’t had the energy or desire to write. Instead, I have spent a lot more time doing art. Art is great soul-work for me. I’m using my creativity; it’s meditative and relaxing. And it’s pretty. Who doesn’t want to make pretty things instead of remembering ugly times?


Last week, I made an art journal page with the words “Use Your Gifts”. I was referring to using my talents with art. I’ve been doing a couple of online mixed media courses and making little canvases.  (OK, I completed one canvas and I have three others unfinished.)  Creating mixed media art is something I thoroughly enjoy but don’t make enough time for. My art journal page was to motivate me to use the gifts God gave me and create more art!

Today, I got an email notifying me that someone had commented on an old blog post. I read the comment and cried. Suddenly I became so very sad that I haven’t been writing. The comment reminded me that I was able to help people with my writing - not just with that post, but with others too. And that was always my intention with writing my story. I wanted to use the experiences of my past to make a difference; to impart wisdom; to inspire others; to give hope.  And I realized today that story-telling and writing are one of the gifts God gave me and I’m not USING it! 

Maybe I don’t need to share the dramatic, gory details of my story. Maybe instead, my writing just needs to focus on the good stuff in life. Maybe someday I will share my life stories as fiction that way no one gets their panties in a wad and I won’t be the bitch who destroyed another’s reputation. (But if I change my mind, don’t hold it against me.)

My hope is that with this post, I am giving myself permission to change what my blog is about. I’ve been stuck, unable to move forward with writing for such a long time because I knew it was right here, in black and white, in my own words…”My blog is my life-story.” Well, guess what, my 10 readers, it’s not that anymore. Don’t ask me what it is because I don’t know. For now, it’s just me blabbing and writing whatever comes to mind; using my gifts. 


And if you really want to know how the story continues, here is a “brief” synopsis…

I lived with my sister from Sept. ‘92 to July ‘95. It did not end well. I moved out to my own apartment for the very first time at the ripe ol’ age of 25 and I have never had to deal with living with anyone else ever again (other than DJ who moved in with me five months later). Halleluiah!

We got engaged in ’94 on our four-year dating anniversary while on vacation in Puerto Vallarta. 

We got married in ’96 on our six-year dating anniversary and we had a fairy tale wedding. My dad walked me down the aisle. My sister was my maid of honor. DJ cried when he saw me at the altar.  I sobbed during the “Ave Maria” as I placed a photo of my mom at the Virgin Mary’s feet. It was a very emotional ceremony for several reasons. Best of all, I danced my ass off during the entire reception. In fact, I didn’t eat or drink or pee ALL DAY. (OK, I ate two slices of cake, but honestly, that was it.)

My dad and I continued to have a lot of issues for many more years to come. Actually, we still do, just on a much, much smaller scale. Thank God.

In ’98, we bought our first house and have been here ever since.

In 2000, a week after my 30th birthday, I learned I was adopted. Wait. Whaaatttt?? Yes. Big bomb dropped. Explosions left and right in my family. It was not good. Actually, it was VERY bad. Lots of tears and confusion and anger galore. It was the huge family secret that everyone knew except me.

Four months later, I learned I was pregnant! It was one of the the most magical times in my life.  But at my 16-week check-up, I learned I had lost the baby. And that was what I consider the most tragic time in my life. If you thought I was grief-stricken when I lost my mom at age 16, you should have seen me after I lost my baby boy.  I was in a deep, dark, ugly depression for a good, solid year and then some. 

We began trying to conceive again in December 2000 and it became a round-the-clock obsession. I could only think of getting pregnant and nothing else. I also became an expert in the reproductive system and read every article and book I could get my hands on.

Sometime in late 2001, I went to see my first Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). He diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I hated him from the second I met him and when that diagnosis came out of his mouth, I distinctly remember wanting to punch him in the nose. 

In early 2002, I found a new RE and he did a battery of tests as well as a surgery. I had three inseminations and all three failed. More loss. More sadness. More devastation, depression, and disappointment.

In September 2003, we submitted our paperwork to begin the adoption process. It was one of the most liberating and exciting days ever. We were told it would take about 3 months to process our paperwork and complete our interviews, and have our “Homestudy” finished.

In February 2004, I quit my job of nine years and began to nest even though we had not yet been officially approved for adoption (i.e. Our homestudy wasn’t finished). There had been lost paperwork and delays out of our control, but I felt the need to prepare for our future baby. I researched cribs and gliders and strollers. I picked up paint samples and made lists of names. I also decided I wasn’t in a hurry to look for a new job. I was going to take a break.

In April 2004 we got our letter from the agency saying we had been approved and we were now officially waiting to be chosen as parents for a baby. The average wait was 18 to 24 months.
In the meantime, I immediately bought a crib and a stroller and DJ painted the room in a soothing shade of aqua blue aptly called Salty Tear. It was gorgeous.

About nine weeks later, we received the call that forever changed our lives. We had a baby boy! And it was the happiest I have ever felt in my entire life.

In 2006, I got the insane idea that I should try to conceive again. So we started on that roller coaster again. More doctors. More tests. More inseminations. More heartbreak. More depression. More tears. More anger. This went on for longer than it should have. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was just a crazy lady who wanted to have the experience of giving birth. I wanted to meet someone who looked like me.

In 2008, in the midst of my infertility insanity, I started four years of therapy with an amazing therapist who helped me more than any other therapist I had ever seen. I actually had my first appointment with her on my 38th birthday.

Two months later, I searched for (not the first time) my birth mother and this time I succeeded in finding her! Within hours of finding out her name, address, and phone number, I found her obituary online. She had died 20 years prior at the age of 38 – the same age I was at the time. More tears. More sadness.  More depression. More devastating grief and renewed feelings of loss and abandonment.

In February 2009, I finally closed the door on my infertility (again) and we began our second adoption. By this time, our son was close to five-years-old and he desperately wanted a sibling.

In September 2009, our Homestudy was completed and we were officially waiting to be matched with a birthmother/baby.

In August 2011, nearly two years later, our phone rang once more. This time it was my BFF who told me about a baby at a hospital nearby. Within hours, we were meeting our daughter for the first time. That same euphoria I felt with my son, came rushing back as I held my little girl for the first time.

All during these years of grief and loss, disillusions and heartbreaks, infertility and adoption, I had a few people who brought a lot of chaos to my life. I made the poor decision of engaging, which only added to my misery and unhappiness in certain aspects of my life. I can now admit that my participation contributed to a lot of the conflict and drama I dealt with. I can’t say that I don’t regret it. I do. But at the same time I need to remember that those people and those situations served a purpose in helping my soul grow and learn. And for that I am grateful.

In 2012, I had what I consider a spiritual awakening. Since then, I have been on a quest to fulfill my life’s purpose and discover my soul’s journey and destiny. Why did I choose this life? What am I here to learn? How am I making a difference? And how am I using the gifts God gave me?


  1. So glad your writing again. You have a beautiful gift. It's curious how you initially categorize the stuff you write about as good and bad. "maybe I don't need to write about the dramatic, gory details of my story." Yet, in the end it got you trying to fulfill your life's purpose. The experiences in your life have even made a difference in you. On a roller coaster ride, the fun part is going down, but you have to go up first. I hope it's all downhill for you from here! Best.

  2. The entire time I read this, I heard you speaking it. Love you my friend. You're inspiring. One of your many gifts!


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