who am i, and why does it matter?
My name is Jenn. By day, I am a public high school teacher. But really, I am an elemental, an Irish Celt with a Slavic heart, a writer, a raver, a tattoo enthusiast, an avid reader, a recovering addict (11 years clean!), a recycled hippie, and a traveler. I cry a lot, especially during movies with the theme of Good v. Evil. I have RBF (resting bitch face), and I love a hot cup of tea more than most things. In my idealistic mind, I believe, with all of my heart, that the human condition can be transformed into the human experience through open-minded communication and love. But that starts with doing the self work, unpacking privilege of all kinds, and dismantling systems that benefit the few.
Communication is key. My goal with this website and podcast is to share stories. It's amazing how one person and/or one story can change your life. It can give you hope, motivate you to change, shift your perspective, and most importantly, give you a role model. "If that person can do it, I can, too." That notion of following someone else's lead was a large part of my addiction recovery.
It's become my life's work, through teaching, writing, and podcasting, to share these inspirational stories because if a story can reach that one person, the person that needs to hear it, doors of possibility can open for all.
We are all connected. Our stories may illuminate our differences, but stories remind us that we all face the same challenges. They may manifest in different ways, but pain and joy, happiness and despair, anxiety and hope don't discriminate. It's time to work together and listen so that we can ALL grow and live the lives we are dreaming of.
September 6, 2008 was the day I chose to change my life. I decided I was done being a drug addict. I didn't want to puke anymore. I didn't want to do another hospital trip. I was sick of lying on a bathroom floor wondering if I had gone too far this time. After a rough 7.5 years trying to figure out my life at a local university, I graduated with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy. Add three rehabs trips to the mix, and you have a weird success story of sorts. Since there weren't many jobs with those degree requirements, I traveled, worked in retail, and focused on figuring out where I fit in this world. A few years later, I graduated from Simmons with a dual masters in English Literature and Teaching. For 8 years, I taught high school ELA to 9th graders and AP lit students in public education. During that time, I also dabbled in teaching college courses, ran a competitive cheerleading program for 5 years, and worked as an online academic text writer. I've even spent a significant amount of time in my family's machine shop to make extra cash. After a tumultuous 2020-21 school year, I quit my teaching job, a choice that did not come lightly. I simply need a break--from everything. I'm not sure what the future holds for me, but I know I will follow my heart as I figure it out.