Archive for the ‘thoughts’ Category

Breaking the cycle of negativity…

I grew up knowing that my mother was different than everyone else’s mom. It was something I had to learn to accept, though to this day I’m not sure I did until this year.  I wasn’t the easiest child during those early years either. I’m sure I still am not in her eyes. But somewhere along the way from childhood to adulthood, I’ve just stopped resenting her.

This year was the first time in my life that when people asked me of my spiritual beliefs I could truly say that I was very spiritual. Maybe not in the “traditional” Southern Bible Belt way, but I pray and I put faith in more things than I have ever in my life. My head is spinning with change.  Positive change. A word so overused this year but very appropriate to my growing. Discovering who I am was never something I felt I had to journey but somehow I am on one and I’m not as scared as I thought I would be.

I’ve always loved my mother, but one word I can never put to her is the word change. She’s just not a fan. Though her words from years gone by are less harsh, they still hold weight in my heart. She is manic depressive. I have to tell myself that everyday when I think of what she may have said or what I anticipate her saying. Even though she is more well than not through medication, she still is the mother I watched have breakdown after breakdown and I for one was a child who had to grow up fast.

This morning was a breakthrough for me in all of this I’ve just written. No matter what you try to attach to what shapes my mother, beyond her control or otherwise, one word I have to associate with her is negativity. She is a wonderful woman, loving and kind and I don’t say this as a way to insult her passive aggressively. But as I move along in my path in life, and as she has so much trouble accepting much of it, her general words on it all are not supportive. For years I craved acceptance and for years to come I will have to forget about asking or wishing for it. And in growing I have to shut my mind and ears off to words that will no longer help…especially these: “You know IT runs in the family.”

Let me tell you about IT. My grandmother, uncle and mother are very familiar with IT — mental illness.  Suddenly a mention of having trouble getting out of bed or the fact that I have been working on projects to help non-profits seems all to familiar to my mother. “You have highs and lows. You always want to do different things.”  What I reminded her of is that I have a thyroid disorder as I’ve mentioned in this blog before and so does she. The thyroid has much to do with mood and all around general health. And in the mornings that I have trouble pulling myself from the covers, I don’t dread my life. I’m just tired. And through my wanting to help people anyway I can, I’m not overly simulated with mania, I just want to make a difference.

I let her know today that I have to break this cycle of negativity. We have to as our own selves. We have to make our own path and follow it even if it feels scary. Even if your family doesn’t approve. You just have to take YOUR step. No one else can do it for you. And not everyone will applaud when you take it.

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Twitter replacing my blogging…?

I don’t think I can shut this blog down. Though I know my readers have probably left me long ago. I just don’t have the focus for it now that I’m on Twitter. Is that pathetic? Who knows for how long this trend will last. But I’m micro-blogging everyday on my page @Jenice78. I have a lot to say and sometimes nothing at all. But in this world of get it now, short and sweet, blogging can become pretty difficult. How about you? Are you finding the same problem?

I will surely come back here again very soon and talk to you some more…if anyone is even left! But until then, you can read my ramblings on my Twitter page. And I still continue to update my photo blog at artsbyjphotography.com.

Who else is still out there, WordPress writers?

Wearing your heart on your car

A few weeks ago I was stuck behind a large truck on my way to work. I often am stuck behind a large truck or two on my way to work. This particular truck, however, had the normal “offensive” stickers all over it. One of which said, “Welcome to America. Now learn English.” I posted about this topic on my Facebook and got quite a response. Although I do understand the frustration of trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t know much English (and the irritiation that comes with knowing that some families choose not to EVER learn once they arrive here), imagine being in their shoes. And let’s just remember that when we visit outside of our Land of the Free, we should never assume everyone there will or CAN speak English. In this instance I found myself torn on the topic for the reasons I mentioned above and for the fact that I am an American. And I know how many people who come here want that affiliation but don’t have it yet. Bumper stickers as food for thought isn’t really a new thing. But I have found myself noticing them more these days. My friend, who is a farmer for a CSA, gave me a sticker that says, “Who’s Your Farmer?” Well, she is. And I was proud to display it. And it must have been a pretty cool sticker because when I came back to my car after lunch in Deep Ellum yesterday, it was gone. Peeled clean off. I guess they wanted Marie to be THEIR farmer too…

But all of this just makes me wonder, should we wear our thoughts, ideals, emotions and our hearts on our cars? In the journalism biz, we are pretty much forbidden to place political stuff on our cars. It shows bias and is frowned upon. However, I’ve seen plenty of J folks sporting their beliefs loud and clear on their back windows. And in today’s interesting climate in the media industry, does this even matter anymore? The rules have changed. We have changed. So is it wrong to share our thoughts as openly as what we stick on our cars? Even if you aren’t a media type, what about if you are a teacher? A pastor? A therapist? Should your car remain silent and forever hold it’s peace?

Don’t mess with my trash…

It was bound to happen.

A few weeks ago I forgot to set my trash bin out the night before pickup and decided, stupidly, to leave it out the rest of the weekend as to not forget for today’s run. Not a habit I plan to develop because I think it is very tacky to keep that thing out. It makes the neighborhood look bad.

Anywho, I still had a few bags left the next morning and trotted out in my nightgown (also tacky) and got ready to dump the rest of my stuff when behold! There were several black bags of trash (filled to the brim, mind you) that I knew darn well were not mine. On top of that, they were filled with yard waste which you all know is a no-no. It wasn’t even bulk week! I was reminded of that King of the Hill episode…the same thing happened to Hank, though I was only a tad tempted to dig through the bags of trash to ID my bin-stuffer.

Mad as Cain (or McCain for that matter), I looked around and tried to see who the culprit was…yes. In my nightgown. All I did was kind of look for evidence of who might have cut some branches down recently. And of course I could not figure it out.

What would you have done? I’m sure this won’t be the last time this happens and even if I put my trash out the same day, who is to say someone won’t add last minute junk to my bin?
I need advice as a new homeowner, missing her old apartment dumpster.

I know my quest for advice is a little late, because once I got dressed that morning, I went to my computer and got to work. I typed these words:

KEEP YOUR TRASH TO YOURSELF

THIS IS A FRIENDLY REMINDER

TO THROW YOUR TRASH IN YOUR OWN BINS.

IF YOURS IS FULL, DON’T WAIT TO THE

LAST MINUTE NEXT TIME…

I posted this note on every bin on my alley. Think the neighbors hate me yet?

Confession…

I have an increasing crush on John Popper! Maybe because he was so sweet and considerate and he didn’t know me from Adam. He didn’t have to get me in that show. And he didn’t try anything funny…more than I can say for people who aren’t traveling musicians weary from the road…

Don’t worry. I’m not going to go crazy fanatical or anything. But I may consider flying to Washington for the end of their tour! Or maybe I’ll just dream I did. 🙂

photo by jenice johnson

By the way, I shot the above photo at House of Blues Dallas on Nov. 5.

The John Popper experience

OK. So I’ve always been a fan of Blues Traveler. But I have to admit, I’ve never been to a show.  So when I saw John Popper at Frankie’s in Uptown on election night, I was star struck but didn’t really know much about Blues Traveler’s latest album. However, after chatting for a little while, Popper said “Write your name down” so I could get into their show at House of Blues the next night.

I grabbed a matchbook and wrote it down. And because I’m way too curious, I decided I would head out to HOB last night to really see if my name was on the list…and sure enough it was. Along with backstage stickers!

But like I said, fan — but not really aware of the new stuff. I’ve always heard BT puts on a great show and me-and-john-popperlast night was no different. He played the old standard, “Run Around” of course but some of the new songs were cool too. I’m definitely going to get the CD.

After the show, and a few harmonica tosses later that I managed to never catch but one guy got knocked in the head with, we got to head to the Green Room. I wasn’t even in the door when he yelled, “Jenice! I was looking at that book of matches today and hoped you would come!” and then he kissed my hand.So because I didn’t get the photo on Tuesday, I got my picture taken with him where he proceeded to kiss me on the cheek. Look folks, I’m not a groupie but that was kind of cute. He even signed my reporter’s notebook and asked, “Did I spell your name right?”

When we left I got his artist manager’s card and they seemed interested in photos…or maybe they were just being polite. Either way, who cares! It’s not everyday you get a kiss on the cheek from a Grammy winner.

Must have been shock…

I saw Jesse Jackson cry tonight. And so did you. But that emotion didn’t overwhelm me until I got home from a night of election watching (and for the record, I’m not a Jackson fan and let’s only HOPE that his emotion was sincere and not the fact that it wasn’t HIM on that stage giving an acceptance speech). You see, most of my friends are white. Not that they are not aware of this monumental moment in history, but they can’t or even don’t try to imagine what it feels like to be black and have the first black president in the White House. There I said it. And it was hard too. If you follow my blog you know I have a VERY hard time making race an issue for much of anything. I think it’s an enabling thing to do when we lean too much on such a frivolous notion. And don’t get me wrong. I didn’t vote for race. I just voted. And mainly my points of why I voted for Obama are lost on a few people. I was a McCain follower at first, then Obama, then McCain…you get the idea. I was torn for all of 2008. I was unsure. I was not certain that any vote I could cast would be the right one.

Yet, I still just can’t shake the sheer emotion I felt when words have been continuously spoken: “You will remember when…” And I will. Even in the noisiest of bars tonight. I felt something changed. Even in the slur of celebratory, and in my friends’ case, sorrowful shots (!) I will always remember when, and the shock has yet to wear off.

Yes, I’m finding it hard, even through all my arguments here about race not being issue, to just say, “So what? He’s just a black man…”