Author Archives: Jenny Sullivan

Happy Endings

Why is it so hard to live in the moment? It is a commonly spewed piece of advice we all generally acknowledge. No, it’s not healthy to dwell on the past, nor is it beneficial to hover over our expectations for the future. Yes, living in the moment is what we are supposed to do. It’s what we tell others, what we tell ourselves. But sometimes I wonder how much time any of us really spend there. In the present, that is.

I often feel like it’s easier for my mind to flit away in the midst of happiness. It seems backwards somehow. Joyful days should consume those fearful thoughts and dissipate them. But whenever life is good, I feel more terror at the prospect of it getting worse later.

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Daily Beauty

If there’s something I’ve been learning this summer, it’s that there is a lot of beauty in the quiet moments. After all, most of life is made up of them. No one can exist entirely at the pinnacle of excitement and adventure. Life consists mainly of the “routine” daily happenings. What we make of them is what matters.

I find that some people strive to certain goals or aspirations simply to say they have done them. What is the point of that? Doing something just for the sake of doing it… It seems to me that such a pursuit merely involves reaching for a title… nothing more. But perhaps to some, life is just a long list of titles: of conquests and shallow triumphs.

I don’t want to feel I need to do something simply to check it off a universal list. In fact, I don’t think there is a universal list. I have my own path, as we all do, and I want to follow where it leads me. Not every moment is remarkable. But even those unrepeated stories do not fade.

Life and the Art of Writing

Writing a novel is a lot like life.

I’ve realized this, or at least it’s been coming to me slowly, as I work on my latest book. The idea seemed to float through my mind months ago, but then it was only several strands… unconnected, undefined. It began to play out in my thoughts, becoming clearer and more colourful as imagined situations took shape. Before long, I was excited, ready to begin on what I already knew to be a lengthy and arduous journey.

Perhaps what I’m saying is that life is that journey. We don’t have the power to plan out our lives like a writer who structures the plot carefully around their action. We really don’t have much control at all. But we do have dreams. Our minds flit to possibilities that are endlessly appealing, and imaginations are often unbridled. We see the way we want our life to be and expect it to fit within our mould.

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Letters to Myself: Words or Wisdom

You’ll never be happy if you keep comparing yourself to others.

I know that you know that. But it’s so hard to live, isn’t it? It’s so hard to escape from the mindset that being different equals inadequacy, that not doing what the world says you should do means you are wrong and misguided.

Stop listening to the voices. Stop listening to the pressures that speak in the night, the ones that tell you that you are not enough, that you are a failure who has chosen poorly. You are forging your own path. No one else can come there with you, because they are not you. But there is a reason, a reason for every step. Please believe me.

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The Perils of People Pleasing

I have never been the kind of person who is eager to spark conflict or garner hostility. I suppose most people don’t deliberately create confrontation, but I’m not referring to a disposition merely not inclined to seeking ill will. In my case, it might be more accurately described as avoidance.

Perhaps it’s due to overthinking. Does everyone exhaust all the gruesome possibilities of unfavourable reactions from others? For every actual conversation, my mind fabricates many more divergent paths, unpleasant outcomes that will surely arise if I say something to ruffle the feathers of my companion.

What should I say? What will she think if I say that? She might be upset. I think she might be mad
at me. Oh no! I said it. I can’t tell if she’s mad at me now. She might be offended. What is she thinking about me now?

Sometimes reason responds quite succinctly: Why do you care?

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The Vision

What would a life look like without fear?

I don’t pretend to have the answer.

I have frequently fallen victim to fear, disarmed by its silent attacks, a prisoner of the worries it spins out of empty air. I have been tentative, tiptoeing around the fears I have buried, anticipating shadows surely lurking in wait. Fear is a presence I know well, the kind of enemy that, once eradicated, never stays away for long.

No. I’m not entirely sure what a life looks like without fear.

But I know that I want to find out.

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Circumstances

Life hands out my chances,
I cannot but comply
Follow them in trances,
And either smile or sigh

For I live within them,
A slave of what they say
Joy is a fragile gem
And peace a flick’ring ray

They fade when darkness falls,
And shatter under stress
In worldly triumph call,
Dependent on success

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My Place

I’m looking for a place,
A place where I belong
For one familiar face
Who’ll listen to my song

The melody’s inside,
I treasure it within,
How long can it abide
With clips upon its wings?

I struggle to be heard,
My soul tries to take flight
Quite like a fragile bird,
Kept captive from the light

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