Updating My Position

27 Apr

I love Malcolm Gladwell’s work. The first book I ever read by him was The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference which led me to read Outliers which led me to read David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. He is a brilliant thinker and writer, and if you’re looking for something in the social psychology realm, you should definitely check him out.

I was listening to excerpts from an interview he gave, and one of the things he said really stood out to me:

“I feel I change my mind all the time. And I sort of feel that’s your responsibility as a person, as a human being — to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.”

This is the story of my life. I’ve changed my political party. I’ve changed my views on marriage. I’ve changed my style. I’ve changed the state in which I lived. I even changed my stance on David Hasselhoff (he’s dead to me now).

Research shows that stagnant water is dangerous as it’s the perfect breeding ground for parasites, bacteria, and disease-transmitting mosquitoes. Flowing water doesn’t offer the same opportunity because the steady movement “cleans house” if you will.

I think this is an excellent metaphor for people. We thrive when there’s some forward momentum in our lives, when we’re allowing new life to be breathed into us on a daily basis.

There were many things that led up to me writing my last post. In my personal life I was struggling: with work, with eliminating certain people from my life, with crippling self-doubt, with a seemingly incurable loneliness. There was also something that happened last year here on WordPress (it requires its own post) that made me the undeserving target for a few very delusional, clearly unstable human beings.

So I quit. I quit certain people. I quit Facebook. I quit this blog. Essentially, I took all of my mental and emotional baggage, wrapped it up in a garbage bag, and threw that shit over a cliff. Then, as we all do when we don’t have any other choice, I got on with my life.

I took a vacation (that kind of turned out to be a nightmare).

jurrasic park, humor, dinosaur, jen and tonic

I hung out with my homegirls.

golden girls, bea arthur, betty white, stay golden, thank you for being a friend, humor, jen and tonic

I searched for hidden treasure with a few close friends.

goonies, goonies never say die, movies, treasure, humor, jen and tonic

I met a nice young man who helped me get dressed.

mrs robinson, the graduate, movies, humor, jen and tonic

I enjoyed being an American.

chuck norris, american, america, 'murica, murica, amurica, humor, jen and tonic, flag, guns

During that time things changed for me. I began to process and digest everything that had happened to me. I let the anger and sadness and emotional exhaustion wash over me, and I was left with little life lessons I could keep in my pocket for future use.

Slowly, I began to miss this blog. This thing I had been so ready to burn to the ground was now something I wanted back into my life badly.

“Can I do that?” I must have asked myself that a dozen times. I’d be seen as a hypocrite, or as an attention-seeker, or someone who was too weak to stay away.

Then I realized I had been asking myself the wrong question. It wasn’t a matter of could I do this, it was a matter of why couldn’t I do it.

And that’s why I’m here. I challenged myself, and decided to update my position.

A lot has happened in the 6+ months I’ve been away, and I am not the same Jen today that I was then. I stopped wading around in stagnant water, and the new flow helped change my perspective on so many things. I’m looking at the world through an entirely different lens, and I can’t wait to share what I see with all of you.

73 Responses to “Updating My Position”

  1. Jana 04/28/2015 at 6:06 pm #

    Celebrities and sports stars are always retiring and then rethinking it and coming back – why not you?? By the way, your pictures were hilarious!!!

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:00 pm #

      Exactly! Now if I could just turn this into a Wheaties contract I’d be set for life.

  2. Psychobabble 04/28/2015 at 4:06 pm #

    Glad you see you back! You get to change your mind whenever you want. Your blog, your space.

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:01 pm #

      You’re right. If someone else was writing this post, I’d be telling them the exact same thing.

      By the way, I got your email! I’ll be responding soon.

  3. saradraws 04/28/2015 at 7:21 am #

    I now have 4.67 reasons to visit WordPress.

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:01 pm #

      The fact that that isn’t an even 5 makes me feel like I failed you.

      • saradraws 05/06/2015 at 11:29 am #

        Ply me with liquor and all will be forgiven…

  4. prettytrippy 04/27/2015 at 7:46 pm #

    YAYAYAY! So happy you’re back!

    Those face hold pictures are amazing. I sincerely hope one of them will grace your Christmas card this year 🙂

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:02 pm #

      I have no idea what this year’s Christmas card will be, but I’m sure some kind of mythological creature/celebrity/imaginary friend of mine will make an appearance.

  5. Amy Reese 04/27/2015 at 2:05 pm #

    Welcome back, Jen. I can’t wait to hear your words of wisdom and all that you’ve learned. Sometimes, a little distance does wonders.

  6. Burns the Fire 04/27/2015 at 12:07 pm #

    Laughing and happy to read you again. Welcome!

  7. Sara 04/27/2015 at 10:59 am #

    Wow, this is a very inspring post. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Sara 04/27/2015 at 11:00 am #

      I meant to say inspiring 😦

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:04 pm #

      Inspring? Inspiring? It all sounds good to me.

  8. Heidi 04/27/2015 at 9:57 am #

    Glad to have you back! XoxoX

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:04 pm #

      Thank you! Also, just wanted to say again how good it was to see you.

  9. Shailaja/ The Moving Quill 04/27/2015 at 9:55 am #

    You’re baaaaaaack! I am so thrilled I’m doing a jig. Which is crazy because I don’t dance! Oh my gosh. Yay you. Yay me! 😀

    • Shailaja/ The Moving Quill 04/27/2015 at 7:04 pm #

      By the way,now that I am sane I wanted to just agree with you on Malcolm Gladwell. The man is a genius. Love his books. Have you read ‘Blink’? Fascinating 🙂

      Oh and also, not sure when you left the scene, but last May I started my fiction blog, which you are now following, I see. Muchos Gracias. If you are still wondering who I am, think back to NaBloPoMo ’13 and Diary of a Doting mom. Yep, that’s me 🙂

      • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:05 pm #

        HEY! Good to see you around again. I would never forget a NaBloPoMo compadre.

        So glad to see you’re a Gladwell fan as well. Haven’t read Blink, but it’s on the list!

  10. rollergiraffe 04/27/2015 at 9:48 am #

    YAYYYYYYYYYYYY! I am glad that life led you back here. I miss the hell out of you.

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:05 pm #

      So glad we worked out our email communication issue. I swear I didn’t light your name on fire (although I can’t say I didn’t do that with some people).

  11. calahan 04/27/2015 at 9:25 am #

    If I wasn’t an atheist, I’d thank God you are back. The internet has been a little less enjoyable and a little less fun without you around, Jen. I hope you’re back to stay.

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:06 pm #

      One of the things I’m most looking forward to is reading your comments. You always have the wittiest ones.

      Also, I may be down your way in the next few months! I’d love to meet up with your and your lady.

      • calahan 04/30/2015 at 7:10 pm #

        Absolutely let me know when you’re around. That would be great to meet up!

  12. daniheart21 04/27/2015 at 8:35 am #

    Yay! I knew this day would come eventually… at least I hoped it would. Good for you! We all go through stuff, and it’s just stuff, and we move on. This is such happy news. Made my day. xo

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:07 pm #

      You’re always so sweet and supportive!! I have an email drafted to you that I need to finish and send. It has been WAY too long.

      I would also like to tell everyone reading this that this woman DID tell me I would be back. She’s either a great motivator or a great psychic (or both).

  13. Jazz 04/27/2015 at 8:10 am #

    Welcome back! You were missed. A lot.

  14. The Cutter 04/27/2015 at 7:36 am #

    Change is good…usually. But sounds like your change is indeed a good one. At least until you change again.

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:08 pm #

      True. Next week I could an evil genius…and the week after I could just be evil.

  15. Vanessa-Jane Chapman 04/27/2015 at 7:11 am #

    Hurrah! A very inspirational post, I look forward to reading more stuff from you again!

  16. MamaMickTerry 04/27/2015 at 6:17 am #

    Hello, my friend!
    I’ve been on a bloggy break myself – but will always come out of hiding to read what you have to say. I can’t wait to see what the world looks like from your new lens. xo

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:09 pm #

      I was so happy to see a little note from you! Blog breaks are nice, aren’t they? You get to breathe a little bit. I hope you will come back soon. It would be a shame for me to come back and not have anything to read!

  17. Cathy Ulrich 04/27/2015 at 5:39 am #

    I missed you, Jen. Looking forward to your wonderful writing and hearing what you’ve been up to! I agree with Carrie, nothing wrong with stepping away and the decision is always ours, isn’t it?

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:09 pm #

      Exactly! Can’t wait to get back into things and see all of your wonderful pictures. You give me Nature Envy!

  18. Elyse 04/27/2015 at 5:38 am #

    Whoo-Hoo! It’s a joy to see you in my inbox. Welcome back.

  19. List of X 04/27/2015 at 5:38 am #

    Personally, i’m not a fan of the change for the sake of the change, because you never know if anyone is peeing in the water upstream of you. 🙂
    But if the change means you coming back to the blog, then I’m all for it. And I’m not updating this position. 🙂

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:10 pm #

      If I had a nickel for every time I waded around in pee-filled water…

  20. Brother Jon 04/27/2015 at 5:28 am #

    I missed you, welcome back. I’m looking forward to catching up.

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:10 pm #

      Yes! I must hear about what’s going on in the world of BroJo. I caught a whiff of a potential love interest…

  21. Brandi 04/27/2015 at 5:26 am #

    So happy to hear you are back. I’ve missed your posts. 💜

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:11 pm #

      I’ve missed being here. Thanks for always supporting me 🙂

  22. Carrie Rubin 04/27/2015 at 4:32 am #

    Welcome back! Nothing wrong with stepping away for a bit. Glad you had a chance to reevaluate some things.

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:11 pm #

      Thanks! I must admit that I’ve been lurking around and still reading your posts. You’re a writer’s writer.

      • Carrie Rubin 04/29/2015 at 2:44 pm #

        Aw, that’s nice of you to say. Thank you. I thought I felt your presence. 😉

  23. 1jaded1 04/27/2015 at 4:27 am #

    Welcome back! Missed you.

  24. She's a Maineiac 04/27/2015 at 4:18 am #

    And we can’t wait, either! Welcome back!! Sounds like you’ve been on quite the journey.

    So you see yourself as Rose? I always pegged myself as Sophia because I tend to just blurt shit out with no filter.

    • Jen and Tonic 04/29/2015 at 2:12 pm #

      I’m really more of a Dorothy: bad fashion, can’t get a date, always saying snarky things.

  25. Drew Ann Timberlake 04/27/2015 at 4:10 am #

    I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better Jen.

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