The Truth About Jen

21 Nov

Yesterday I played “5 Truths and a Lie” to test you, my readers, on your knowledge of the real Jen. As a recap, your options were:

  • I’m an emergency preparedness nut
  • I know a martial arts technique which focuses on pressure points
  • I placed in a state free throw competition
  • I worked at a collection agency
  • I was dropped on my head as a kid
  • I have ear problems that cause church bells to go off in them every once in awhile

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of you guessed correctly. I am not, in fact, a martial arts badass who could take you out with the touch of a finger. A girl can dream.

I suppose the plethora of correct answers means that you are learning more about me from reading this blog. This shows how far I’ve come.

When I first began Sips of Jen and Tonic, I only wanted to post humor here. I like writers who have strong writing voices, and whose work is consistent. I recently told Le Clown that my goal has always been to write one way so well that you could identify my work even if my name wasn’t attached to it.

I think I’ve always focused on humor because it’s safe. You tell a story, you make people laugh, you bond with your readers. You’re able to make a connection from behind the safety of your own walls.

The first serious post I ever wrote for this blog was titled “Tears of a Clown” which was actually written during last year’s NaBloPoMo. It was the first time I openly discussed my struggle with anxiety and depression.

I almost didn’t post it.

I mean, it was exactly how I was feeling at the time. I believe in living authentically, and being completely honest about the crappiest parts of yourself is as authentic as a person can get.

So I posted it.

But I was terrified. It wasn’t so much that I thought readers would judge me; most of the people who frequented my blog wrote about their own struggles on their individuals blogs, or blogs like Black Box Warnings. I was afraid people would be disappointed.

“I came here for the LOLs and she’s talking about her sadsie life?”

“Did I miss the punchline?”


I love making people laugh, and I enjoy writing in a way that brings a little bit of fun to someone’s day. I’m a free spirit, and I think life is meant to be lived out loud. I enjoy watching terrible reality television shows, and I have a potty mouth.

I am also a person who likes reading educational texts, and appreciates a good documentary. I love discussing philosophical theories, and Scrabble is my favorite game. I like to spend a lot of quiet time alone, and prefer going to bed early than to partying.

I am definitely two sides to the same coin.

It’s why I’ve always hesitated to post more serious or reflective material here. It’s not that I haven’t had the ideas or motivation; rather, I assumed people only wanted to read about one side of the coin. I had become embarrassed of the other side of me.

This blog is beginning to be a true reflection of who I really am. Sometimes there are laughs, sometimes there are tears, and sometimes there are meaningful conversations. For the first time since I started writing 7 years ago, my readers are finding out the truth about Jen.


Thanks to Laments & Lullabies and A Heart on the Matter who played 5 truths and a lie on their blogs yesterday.

74 Responses to “The Truth About Jen”

  1. Wendy Reid 11/26/2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Great post Jen. I love you. 🙂 xo

  2. Claire 11/26/2013 at 6:09 am #

    I found your blog fairly recently thanks to NaBloPoMo and I think you may just have become somewhat of a personal hero for me. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen, but translating that passion into a readable blog that people enjoy has been a somewhat elusive process for me (it doesn’t help that I’m completely socially retarded on and offline).

    I love that you’re embracing various parts of your personality. And it’s even more wonderful that people are responding to you. Rock on ❤

  3. javaj240 11/22/2013 at 7:58 pm #

    It’s funny — in a not that funny kind of way — but what I’ve discovered is that some of my most visited posts are not the humorous ones. Go figure! (I’ve explored the possibility that I’m not that funny, but that can’t possibly be true!)

    I think the reason for this is that people like to see others “turn their coin over”.

    I also think it’s harder for people who write humor to delve into the serious stuff — it forces us to lose our armor, to be metaphorically naked. The more you doit, though, the easier it gets!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/24/2013 at 1:01 am #

      You’re totally right. The more you’re vulnerable the less it feels vulnerable. Also, I think when you write humor, there’s a bit of mystery and intrigue there. Like, what is going on behind the mask of funny?

  4. shreejacob 11/22/2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Isn’t that the point of well….maybe not. I’m glad that you are now comfortable enough to show all your sides because if it weren’t for all these sides we wouldn’t truly be human, right? 🙂

    • shreejacob 11/22/2013 at 2:59 pm #

      Oh…I also wanted to say that sometimes just one type of writing in a blog or even a book isn’t as fun…it’s nice when it’s mixed up and even though I’ve only just started following you, I enjoy the mix’s like a well prepare cocktail 😉 hehe

  5. She's a Maineiac 11/22/2013 at 4:04 am #

    Oh, I hear you. Whenever I get set to post something very heavy and serious, a little part of me wonders if my readers will be turned off. But then, I think, ah, screw it. It’s my damn blog! I write because I need to, not because I want to impress someone else. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it. Actually, I’d much rather write funny stuff most of the time anyway.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/24/2013 at 1:00 am #

      I like what you write no matter what it is. I think even the more serious stuff tends to be a bit edgier which I love. Maybe that’s the key to writing both– having that “bite” in it no matter what you write.

  6. Doggy's Style 11/22/2013 at 1:27 am #

    I was wrong!
    I don’t do “serious” on my blog, because it doesn’t come out easy. The first time I wrote something serious was thanks to Le Clown too, he invited to write a post for The Outlier Collective, I was freaking out, I had a few headaches but it was a nice change.
    I personally like your style.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/24/2013 at 12:59 am #

      I think freaking out is mandatory when you write for Le Clown. He really helps push people waaaay outside of their comfort zones.

      I’m glad you were able to get out of your own head, and take a leap of faith.

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