Getting Messy

The past few years have been a tumultuous time for me. I would hesitate to call it a “rough patch” or a “dark period,” though truthfully it has been those things at times. I’ve been diving deep into the shadows of myself, wrestling with them, accepting them, slowly but surely giving the world a glimpse of the things I’ve kept hidden for so long, for fear I would be judged unworthy. And in the light of day and within the warm space that opens from completely emptying one’s self, I’ve come out the other side, broken and reassembled, cleansed and infinitely freer.

Now I realize, just one paragraph in, you might be thinking, “Hold up Jenna, what exactly have we gotten ourselves into here? Is this blog going to be some sort of ‘Chicken Soup for the Neurotic Soul?’” No, that sounds horrible…although someone should get moving on the copyright for that because I can picture it in the little rotary bookshelf at my neighborhood pharmacy and it would sell a million copies.

It takes a lot to get down to the dirty, scary work of stripping yourself of the distractions, empty desires and addictions that accumulate over a lifetime of fearing your shadows. But with that work comes one of the greatest gifts that we as humans are given, and the thing that I hope to accomplish here: the ability to let loose our creative spirit. As savvy as I have always believed myself to be in hiding the bad and showing only the good, I realize now that there is no lens of perfection that can separate the two. They are inexorably and necessarily intertwined. Creation doesn’t come from a place of peace and detachment and perfection. It comes from being blocked, being angry, from the energy that builds out of frustration and the new perspectives and knowledge that come from being hurt, reaching limits and watching things crumble around you. I think that’s the only way to get to the radical kind of creativity that many of us are searching for.

I chose to call this blog my “workshop” for several reasons. First, I want this to be a place where I can create and dream up new ideas. When I was a little girl, I would wake up before everyone else, and sit in my little wooden chair at my little wooden table, arranging my blocks, organizing my Play-Doh tools, building with my hands, finding patterns in the things around me, and dreaming up new worlds and ideas in my head. I’d like this blog to be that quiet time and inspiring space for me now, because I don’t get up quite as early as I used to, and, sadly, I no longer fit in that adorable little chair.

I’ve also accepted that it does not come naturally to me to talk to others about my deeper interests and to open up about my more creative talents. So this is a way for me to be brave, let myself be seen and hopefully engage others who have similar interests and a desire to connect and create.

Finally, I like the idea of this being a workshop because I’m not sure what direction this blog will take. I hope it will be a constant work in progress, just as I am. I am familiar enough with my tendency towards perfection to accept that if I had waited for the day when I realized, oh, this blog should ONLY be about [insert amazing topic here], I would never have started it. So here are some of the things that fill me up and that I’d like to dig into here, in some way or another:

  • Writing
  • Craftsmanship
  • Music
  • Books
  • Games, puzzles and learning
  • Wonder, imagination and “magic” spaces
  • Organizing and making things and environments beautiful
  • Minimalism and simplifying life
  • Honesty, openness and self-expression
  • Other cool sh*t I haven’t thought of yet

You might be thinking, “Daaang Gina, that’s a big list!”


But I think we all have a million ideas, sparks of creativity and flashes of divine inspiration churning in us in any given moment. We’ll leave that “know your brand” and “focus your message” business to the blogging experts. I’m excited to see where the “flood you with stuff from every angle imaginable” approach takes us instead. And I promise to keep showing up, telling the truth and being as open and creative as possible. Especially on the days when all I want to do is hide under the covers and eat Nutella.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you come back soon.