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I took this extremely candid (🚽) photo this morning after I had a really exciting mental moment.
During a typical stream of thinking, I had the thought that I’m excited for next year and what it will bring.
I, Jaydee, depressed for many years with little to no hope for the future or dreams, am excited for next year.
Tears (see photo) sprang to my eyes when I realized what I had just thought.
What this means to me:
•I’ve lived in what feels like survival mode for a very long time. There has not been much that has me eager to continue my existence long-term.
•Thinking of the future with a positive lense, rather than with trepidation or anxiety is HUGE.
•IT MEANS THAT THE WORK I’M PUTTING IN IS WORKING!!!!! 🥳🥳🥳💃 It means that the “courses” I take, the groups I involve myself in, the personal development, the things I read, the small choices and actions I make, and the conversations both internal and external have made a difference. The effort that’s gone in hasn’t been in vain.
What is it that I’m excited for?
There’s nothing specific.
*giggles* That is mind-blowing to past versions of myself. There is nothing happening for certain next year. I have no clue where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing. Yet I’m excited for the possibilities.
It doesn’t have to be another year of the same old; of repeating patterns and biding my time.
I have potential and so does my future.
There is a later version of myself with tears in her eyes thinking about this exact moment.
The moment I step into hope. When I realize that I am enough and I have what I need to create a life worth looking forward to. When I see that the doors around me are open; the gate to my cage is open and the key is in my hand.
The moment I shed my identity of sufferer. Yes, the pain is still there and it will always be valid. But that’s not who I am. I’m not made of broken bits, I am WHOLE.
I cannot recall the last time I took a proper razor to my legs.
My skin has always hared it, becoming red and irritated. The “razor burn” and eventual ingrown hairs were painful and embarrassing. At some point I just started using electric trimmers and take it down to stubble level.
This took getting used to. Initially I was nervous about people feeling or seeing that I wasn’t smooth.
It’s a thing; to be convinced that others are occupied so much by your presence that they would notice something so small. I must admit I have had to, as an adult, unlearn some seriously judgemental narratives about other peoples’ bodies and how they adorn them. That softening of my perception of others allowed space for me to become more comfortable with my body how I want it to be; though I am still discovering how exactly that is.
This year, since interacting with people has dwindled, I’ve not been thinking as much about the length of my body hair. It’s such a secondary thought that I’m not sure the last time I even trimmed my legs. Usually this would mean they stay covered, but this time I’ve worn a (calf-length) skirt to work.
Maybe surprisingly, I like my leg hair. It makes me smile when I see it and it’s fun to play with. It’s not soft. In fact, it still feels like stubble to the touch, though lengthy.
Today this is on my mind because I’m getting a new leg tattoo. Now, only the section where the tattoo will be needs to be clean shaven. The rest of my legs could very well remain hairy or be trimmed. Pretty sure the tattoo artist will not judge.
My mental struggle is with the fact that photos will be taken. It’s common practice for artists to take photos of their work and post it on social media. Oftentimes they don’t name names or tag the person in the photos, as the emphasis is on the artist’s work. I understand I could have anonymity.
There are a few thoughts at play here. I don’t want the judgement. Even if I’m not tagged, I’ll see the posts and the comments. The perceived silent judgement would be on my mind (as it is when I’m unshaved in public).
Thing is, I’m getting another leg tattoo next month by an Indigiqueer artist and for that I will certainly leave my legs hairy. I know I will have absolute safety and acceptance in that community/space, both in person and on social.
So why am I overthinking the length of my leg hair today? Today’s artist is new to tattooing, with a background in calligraphy. She’s a grown ass women and mother, yet I’m worried about messing with the aesthetic of her feed and portfolio? How wild.
More and more I ache for people to be able to show up in their bodies in the way that best suits them. Hairy or not hairy. Soft or firm or somewhere in between. Step by step I’m getting there in my own life, though it is an almost daily consideration.
Now I am off to get ready, which will include trimming my leg hairs because that is how I feel most secure today. I will mourn my length loss until we meet again. 😋
As with many of my posts, this didn’t really have a purpose or an end. It was something that I felt I needed to say. If you’re feeling some type of way, I see you. My heart is with you and you are never alone in this world or your struggles.
She didn’t even take pics 🤣 Gotta love overthinking!
At the 🡻 bottom 🡻 of this post I have attached the voice note audio that this is based off of! So if you would prefer to listen rather than read, that option is available to you (scroll down). It is not exactly the same as what is written, but pretty close. Please let me know if this is something you would like to become a regular thing!
Onto the post!
I was “diagnosed” with depression autumn after graduating high school (18). Diagnosed is in quotations because it was quite unceremonious. My mom and I went to our doctor, told her that I was extremely low mood and energy and she prescribed me Zoloft (an antidepressant that my mom had used for her moods). And that was that.
It’s been quite a ride since.
I have said to God so many times that if I can at least help other people through what I’ve gone through, then all of the suffering is worth it.
Is that a bit of a martyr mindset? Maybe.
Today as I was cleaning off a whiteboard, I saw the phrase “don’t waste your pain.” It’s something that I heard a while back and it really resonated with me.
It’s just… there have been so many days where I don’t want to get out of bed. That I don’t feel that my life is worth living. And there are other days where I’m able to sit with someone in their pain and their discomfort and they feel seen.
That is kind of worth the constant pain that I feel when I’m not seen.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s so fucking hard.
Keeping the mindset of don’t waste your pain is helpful to me. It keeps me grounded, in the sense that the work that I do isn’t in vain. That saving myself isn’t a mistake. Showing others that they can manage and that I understand it doesn’t feel like it and that they don’t want to. It’s impossibly tough to know that you’re going to experience pain, yet choose to show up in spite of that. It’s brave in a way.
At various times in my life people have used the word “strong” to describe me. I never used to understand it, because all I felt was weak.
Seriously though, I feel like such a weak human being. Constantly.
But here are these people saying that I’m strong and I was left wondering what strength they were seeing.. After conversations with them and really looking at myself I see that I am strong. Because I’m making choices to continue. To better myself even when I don’t know what the future looks like and even though I risk all of my feelings of safety by doing so.
But I’m strong.
I want you to say this along with me. I know it feels corny; it absolutely does. Just take a second, put your hands on your hips in a super hero pose, even if you’re sitting.
Say out loud “I am strong. I am strong. I am strong.”
Deep breath in. Hold it at the top. Exhale.
Breathe into the fact that you are strong.
And no one gets to define what counts as strong for you. Honestly, there’s some weightlifters out there that can lift a whole tonne of shit, but lifting my body weight off the couch or out of bed sometimes is more weight to lift.
Make your pain count.
Don’t waste your pain. And don’t wallow in it! I say this as someone who is 29 and I spend most of my time ruminating and thinking and….. trying to escape my mind and how much I live in the past and the future. I’m terrified of the future, and I’m broken by my past. Still I carry on.
Get up. You can do the things. When you see other people that are down or going through something, don’t waste your pain. Don’t let the experiences you’ve gone through and the new data that you now know go to waste. Use what you’ve learned and when/where you’ve fallen apart and brought yourself back together and show others. Tell others.
I’m nervous about sounding narcissistic (will write a future post about narcissism), but I am what I know best. I am, in reality, what I’m most passionate about. My brain, my inner world, my outer world. I am my biggest focus. Even when I try to run away from that fact.
I talk about myself and my experiences because that’s the background that I have. It’s what I’m most knowledgeable on. And that’s all I can give you. I can give you what I’ve learned. I’ve learned stuff in school, and from other people, but what I can tell you best is what I’ve experienced. Not just the things from the books or the Ted talks. It’s me.
The fact that I’m still here.
And I’m trying every single day that I remember, or that I feel strong enough, to not waste my pain. Because my past self is worth honouring today and tomorrow and every day after that. My current self is putting in the work to make sure that the pain I’ve felt had purpose, had meaning. Even if that’s just me making meaning.
The lessons I’ve learned the hard way are worth it. When my words and what I’ve gone through helps others feel seen it is worth it. When I am who I needed when I was younger it is worth it.
It’s funny, we have these plans and timelines for our lives, but how often do we think about the very base parts of what we’re aiming for?
Let’s go deeper.
My life certainly doesn’t look like I thought it would. My timeline was: -Married by 21 (technically ✔️) -Schooling done by 25. -Finished having kids by 28.
Whoops 😅 Didn’t factor divorce into those plans.
Now here I am at 29. Living “in sin” with my boyfriend, jobless with only a diploma that won’t do much for me career-wise, and no babies.
Although 30 isn’t for 365 more days, I’ve started to label myself “almost 30.”
Quick side story:
I do this thing that drives David (my ex-husband) bonkers. When it reaches roughly February (my half birthday), I start calling myself the age I will be becoming. So this year it sounded like “I’m 29 in August.”
Back to it!
With the intensity of the decade-turning number 30, I feel the gravity of it. The pressures of the world (and my own internal expectations) have me reeling over the things I once thought would be mine by this age. For instance, the nagging voice in the back of my mind loves to remind me that womens bodies are not as suitable to bear children the older they get. I’ve never wanted to be an older parent, and indeed that’s what I eventually will be.
At this point in life I understand that all the buzzing thoughts surrounding age are arbitrary, but that doesn’t make it suck any less.
Returning to my first point, the base factors of what we aim for.
The goals I had growing up were marriage, education, and offspring. Though I am not married, I am so loved that even writing this sentence brings tears to my eyes. I may not have the degrees that could help me to have a career, but the schooling that I did changed my life and taught me more about myself and better ways to be than I knew was possible, and it opened doors I didn’t know I could even access. Although we haven’t been blessed with babies just yet, I am re-parenting myself and breaking generational curses/traumas so that I can be the best possible parent (and partner).
My childhood self created goals that society would want for me, without thinking of the emotions behind it and what each goal being accomplished would bring me.
Now, as an almost 30yr old (😉) my goals look a bit different.
What do I want from 29?
Passion. Less numbing. More love, less ego.
What does 30yr old Jaydee want from 29yr old Jaydee?
-Action. Allowing emotions to be felt, then flowed through and honoured. Instead of stewing, acting (Actually, I’d love to act again as well, so maybe that can be a goal). -Love. Being slower to anger and quick in love and empathy. -BREATH. Legit. Breathwork will change things. Do it. -Calm down on binge eating. -Inner child work. Please do this, 29. Your future self and babies need this of you. -*Less fear.* Trust yourself, your love and your body/mind/voice. -Take care of my body. Every day, not just the days I feel like it. -You are capable and can be flexible. -You are not alone. Ever. There will never be a nanosecond where you are loved and cherished.
Life is heavy but I am here.
How about you?
What are some new “goals” that you are creating for yourself, with the base aspects and emotions of the results in mind? Let me know in the comment section, or send me an email (click the envelope below)!
This week’s post is a flashback to a song I wrote February 2016.
Miserable, impatient, lonely and sore Been in this place countless times before Tired of feeling pathetic and useless Don’t know how much longer I can do this
What a mess what a mess what a mess Don’t even need to confess Just look at me It’s so clear to see There’s just no point, just no point
Why bother When your feelings are nothing but fodder I’m just a plaything for others to use Yet knowingly I let them abuse
What’s the point When your entire life is out of joint There’s just no point, just no point.
It’s always interesting to go through my old notebooks & journals. Writing has been a way of expression and, to a degree, escape for as long as I can remember. When I was young I would write stories, as well as “songs” like this one. As the years went on the stories left, but the songs remained (though now it’s been a long while since I’ve written one).
My writings come from deep emotion. Most often it’s pain and sadness. (Gotta love some angst!)
Reading my previous writings can transport me to the Jaydee of that time. However, I sometimes I see more of my current self than I’d like to. Cycles are hard to break. The more I look back on myself the more I see how much I lacked healthy coping mechanisms. The songs from the past 15 years have such similar underlying themes. The first verses explain it well. With reflection, I understand how much of the pain was due to boundary issues, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Do you ever look back on your old creative/emotional outlets? What feelings come along with the experience? Let me know if the comments, or send me an email (click the envelope below)!
This morning I was looking through photos from 4 years ago (prompted by Google photos) and an emotion that I’ve been feeling since yesterday crashed over me. That feeling was shame. I cried and I cried while looking through these old photos and screenshots.
Let’s rewind so I can give you some backstory.
In spring of 2012 I got married. We’d known each other for 6 months and were both 20 going on 21. We were madly in love and I needed a place to live, but our Christian families wouldn’t have approved us living together out of wedlock.
David had never had a girlfriend before me; I had been with several people before him.
Throughout our marriage, David went above and beyond. Always. Worked full time, fed us both, paid for everything, cleaned, had a social life, cared for me, and kept close with his family. I…. had so much within me that I didn’t deal with; I felt such a void that my marriage couldn’t fill. My depression was overwhelming, I felt no sense of purpose, and didn’t truly know how to take care of myself, let alone another person. As time passed, our physical relationship soured. So much so that my body no longer wanted to be touched by him.
But if you remember, I already felt empty. Desperate to feel, I turned to other people. I cheated. Emotionally and physically. I betrayed the man that loved me more than himself time and time again.
I became physically ill. Stomach problems for seemingly no reason other than the anxiety & stress of living a life that was not congruent.
In 2018 I went on a 3 week trip with a friend. David and I talked the whole time I was away, and we both really thrived during that time. When I returned home, it was instantly back to normal, even though we didn’t want it to be.
We went to couples counselling (not for the first time) and the counsellor wanted to see us for individual sessions. When it was time for mine, she looked at me and basically said, “You know what you want, what is it.” She offered to help facilitate the conversation between David and I. The next week, just before we were leaving for our session together, I told him what the session would be about.
He was, understandably, devastated. He didn’t understand (though at some level, he did). I knew that he would never leave me or end things, and that if I wanted both of us to live a better life it would have to be me that made the decision.
Now, please realize how much middle there was that I’m not speaking of here. There was attempts at healing, there was reconciling, there was forgiveness, there was attempted growth and learning. In our own ways we were both mentally stuck and could not work past it. David and I to this day are still friends. We still talk, and (pre-covid) hangout semi-regularly. He and I “grew up together” in that we spent our formative early 20s with one another.
Fast-forward to yesterday & today’s feeling of shame.
When I look back on how and who I was, I weep for her. I was so broken, so sad, and in so much internal pain that I did not know how to deal. I betrayed myself for the affection I longed for. Other people became collateral for my pain.
Why am I talking about this?
Shame thrives in the dark. As Brené Brown says in her book Daring Greatly, “Shame derives it’s power from being unspeakable.” If you know me, you know that I’m pretty open and will quickly say that I was a bad wife. Most know about my infidelity. Shame (and fear of the judgement of others) would have me believe that I am a bad, irredeemable person. Yes, what I did was so wrong that it shakes me to my core. I was in survival mode and was too focused on my own searing pain to take responsibility for the harm I caused others (I will be writing another post to talk more about this).
Yet, I know, with everything that I am that things can change. People can grow, and they can learn. I am grateful for those that have forgiven my past misdoings, and that give me trust to be better now.
As self-serving as it may feel, I have to show compassion to myself for how I acted and who I was. That’s where healing and true change takes place.
For anyone reading this that feels shame in your soul: You are not alone. I see you, and your pain.
More from me soon. ♡
If you’re feeling brave, allow the comment section to be where you share your shame. (This is a safe space, and I ask for everyone to treat it as such. Comments are moderated by me.)
We are angry. There are so many reasons why. We are angry. We cry, we cry and cry. Justice is what our souls scream for. Justice for those who deserve so much more. We feel it in our throats, our voice and lungs depleted. But we can’t give up, there’s much to be completed. We are furious. This heat will carry us on. For we are united and together we are strong.
My being is so full of anger these past days that it has been spilling out. So much so that I secluded myself today. I went to a nature reserve I’ve never been to where I could be alone. No headphones or music as I would usually have. Everything in me wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, but it did not come. I yelled ever so slightly, but the underlying roar aching to escape was not there. As I type this, my throat still feels constricted. The fact that this strong anger that has been bubbling in me came to a head with the news of George Floyd’s murder where his throat was crushed is not lost on me. There is a heavy feeling of suffocation in the world currently. It’s felt by many. Now, I am a very blessed and protected white woman from a reasonable socioeconomic background. Prejudice is not something that threatens my life or livelihood. This has allowed me to coast along without educating myself properly, because as an empath that felt like too much for my emotions to handle. That is an ugly thing to type and admit, but there it is. No longer. Injustice is not acceptable. I will offer a voice to those that need (and ask) for it. I will learn more, I will be a better ally. Change has to happen. LASTING change. It starts now.
PS. I have taken down the photo that was here, as it is not appropriate to have my face as the representation for the anger that is in the world right now.
Hello, new website! Welcome to Jaydeelyn.ca. I can’t begin to express how excited I am for you to be here reading these words. Thank you!
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the type of person that I want to be. I want to be a woman that stands up for things. Someone that shows themselves in ALL times (and angles); not just the good ones. I would love for people to know that they are seen, and that they have meaning.
The people that I engage with the most are those that I feel akin to. The ones where I look at their life/personality/circumstance and think “it me!” That is what I want to be for others.
There is something so incredible in feeling like you can relate. Recently I saw a post normalizing hip dips (some of us have hips that dip in the middle, instead of curving out). And, let me tell you, I. Was. Ecstatic. 28 years I’ve been self conscious about this thing, but this beautiful woman on the internet was not only openly showing hers, she was talking about them. You’ve likely seen a LOT of people posting their home workouts during this quarantine (and the subsequent people complaining about seeing it). I have been posting when I go to the gym for a long time. For me, it’s largely accountability. There’s also an amazing side effect where my posting about working out has encouraged others to work on their health! People saying they have taken action because of a part of myself that I have shown is a feeling that is hard to describe, in the best way.
This, of course, comes with an inevitable layer of risk. Will people still look at me the same if I show them my unfiltered, tear-streamed face after a depressive morning? Am I exposing my struggles to an audience that won’t engage with me? But, my cellulite is showing!!
SO. Here I am. I am Jaydee Lyn and I am showing up. As Kacia (host of the EmpowerHER podcast) likes to say, I’m doing it with my butt clenched! Fear, impostor syndrome, naysayers be damned.