Jen Gotch on Instagram

jen-gotch-book

Dinner and a show.

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jen-gotch-fashion

When your best friend asks you to watch her cats, she’s kind of also asking you to try on her clothes, chill in her bed, drink her wine, eat her organic tortilla chips and take long hot bath, right? 🐈👗🍷🛀👯😘

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jen-gotch-story

“How are you doing?” Is a question I have been asked a lot over the last few months. My answer is usually, “yeah. I’m good. Highs and Lows. Highs and Lows.” And I am fine. I’m good. I’m hanging in there. I’m f*cking terrified and overwhelmed and 45 and tired and I think my hormones are f*cked up and my depression is always there waiting for me if I want to tap into it. I have ADD and anxiety and at least 4 cavities. And I’m alone, but not, but yeah I am (the trash doesn’t take itself out). And I’m not vain and honestly have spent decades working on my personality so I would not have rely on my looks, but still it’s sad to see them fade. I’m so young and so old and there are hairs growing out of my chin on a regular basis now. I’m taking it in stride and I am grateful to have lots people that treat me like royalty, like family (I’m specifically talking about you right now @streichersisters) that make me feel special and beautiful and of WORTH, especially right now when I am so confused about all of that. If you’ve been kind to me, please know how touched I feel by it. Even if I turn your gesture into a dick joke or something to lighten the mood, it truly does have an impact for me. Thanks for filling me up!! That’s what she said. See I can’t stop. Bye.

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jen-gotch-kitten

One of us just peed on the floor. ☀️💧

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jen-gotch-ig

In January of 2016 my life started to change: friendships were ending, my business was rapidly growing and my therapist of 20 years encouraged my husband to leave me, without ever discussing it directly with me. I’ve suffered a loss of intimacy in every area of my life, and as someone who truly loves to be alone, I have discovered loneliness in a way I had never previously understood. May I say, here, I have a f*cking beautiful, charmed life that I am insanely grateful for, but the human condition leaves room for me to feel this and feel despair simultaneously. Almost 2 years later, as I put all of these transitions behind me I was so surprised to find another set of transitions and challenges waiting here. I was kind of expecting to run through some taut tape at a finish line, be doused with champagne and gleefully handed a giant engraved trophy that said,” JEN GOTCH you did it.” That being said, I’m excited for this next one. I’m scared. I’m out of my body. I’m out of my mind and I’m also more in touch with what I want than ever before. I talk about this here, because every time I do, you always say, “me, too.” So I’ll keep it up. I’ll try to make us proud. Thanks for sticking with me. 🎢

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jen gotch instagram

Just trying to make my way back to my 1998 passport photo. #tbt

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jen gotch

I’m so grateful to have you, this giant group of people cheering me on as I challenge myself to grow and change, face fears and let go. It’s been a gift to be able to share all my triumphs, big and small. It only seems fair that I share the challenges, too. Right now I’m so sad. I’m emotionally under water and have been for months and months. I actually can’t remember what it feels like not to have the raw edge of sadness around my heart, leaving me with a constant dull pain that can quickly turn into something much more intense without warning. and I can’t see a clear way out even though I know it’s there just out of sight. In my experience, sadness is different than Depression. Depression often comes out of nowhere and dissipates just as mysteriously. It feels numb and quiet, less fueled by the internal ramblings in my head. Sadness hurts and it makes me scream in my car at the top of my lungs, shouting “f*ck” over and over again louder and louder and louder. Sadness feels like a problem that needs to be solved and there’s nothing I love more than problem solving so I have been diligent. Too diligent in fact. I’m tired of fighting it. I’m tired of journaling, reading, thinking, meditating. I’m tired of being responsible and evolved and mindful. I’m tired of finding the bright side and I’m tired of smiling through it. I just want to feel helpless and wounded for a few days. I want to walk around crying with a bottle of wine in one hand and a box of entenmann’s donuts in the other. That’s it. I’ll be fine. Just wanted you to know all days aren’t triumphant and smiles often reflexively mask pain, plus I gotta run and get those donuts.

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All text & photos are from @jengotch on Instagram.

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The Work of Hilda Palafox

Hilda Palafox

All art by Hilda Palafox. Follow her on Instagram: @poni

Hilda Palafox wall

Hilda Palafox mural flowers

Hilda Palafox selfie

Hilda Palafox work.jpg

Hilda Palafox art mural

Hilda Palafox brush.png

Hilda Palafox mural

Hilda Palafox artwork

Hilda Palafox working

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Notes to Self

lets do this

stretch_yourself_web

beginanyhow

thankful

Notes to Self

i got you

take a break

to be free

stay awake

Lisa Congdon

All artwork by Lisa Congdon @lisacongdon

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The Purpose of Life

life transformation

“The biggest breakthroughs in consciousness occur when things are difficult; when we have a choice to fall to the worst of ourselves or rise to the best of ourselves.”

“Darkness is the only path to light. It is not our wonderful gifts that make us closer to God: it’s using our garbage to transform ourselves. This is the key that unlocks the door that opens to God.”

“Unfortunately, it is human nature for us to only learn and grow from a place of emptiness. It’s hard to learn when we are winning and on top of the world.”

“God never answers prayers. It is people who answer their own prayers by knowing how to connect and utilize the divine energy of the Creator and the God-like force in their own souls.”

“If I said it once, I’ll say it again: ‘We have the power to change everything.'”

“The whole point of all of this – why we are here, why the world is here, and why we have the political system and leaders that we do – is to achieve change. This is the purpose of life.”

All quotes by Yehuda Berg

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Taste It, Enjoy It — Find Out

quotes by Anne Lamott

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.”

“Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.”

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”

“Everyone is flailing through this life without an owner’s manual, with whatever modicum of grace and good humor we can manage.”

“I am going to notice the lights of the earth, the sun and the moon and the stars, the lights of our candles as we march, the lights with which spring teases us, the light that is already present.”

“These days cry out, as never before, for us to pay attention, so we can move through them and get our joy and pride back.”

“Pay attention to the beauty surrounding you.”

All quotes by Anne Lamott

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Accept the Path

Neil Strauss

“The underlying cause of most unfulfilled lives is that we are simply too close to ourselves to see clearly enough to get out of our own way.”

“I used to think that intelligence came from books and knowledge and rational thought. But that’s not intelligence: It’s just information and interpretation. Real intelligence is when your mind and your heart connect. That’s when you see the truth so clearly and unmistakably that you don’t have to think about it.”

“If I want true freedom, I need to accept that the path leading there is going to be one of discomfort and vulnerability.”

All quotes by Neil Strauss

Photo by Amanda Demme

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It’s the Little Things

French Bulldog

The magic of life is so easy to forget. I’m thankful for all the dogs that serve as reminders. The little things are truly the big things! And life is a divine opportunity to play and have fun.

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