Circa 1994

I had the chance to revisit my 19 year old mind this week with a reconnection that happened because of […]
Wendy Jones
April 30, 2022

I had the chance to revisit my 19 year old mind this week with a reconnection that happened because of this crazy social media world. I have journals, but the chance  to look back on a letter I wrote to someone else about life in that season, my sophomore year of college, was even more special.  Hard to believe that I have two kids now that are living that life and older than me at the time I wrote those words.  As a writer, a chance to look back on what I wrote is one of the greatest gifts you could give me.  In fact, it’s the reason I started my blog… so that I could give myself and my kids that experience in the future, see the road we all traveled from my view, and hopefully learn some things along the way.  The writing skills at 19 weren’t what jumped out at me though, it was the the story, it’s always the story.  And my greatest realization as I read the screen shot of that letter on my Iphone, was how simple life was back then. The pace, the innocent things that caused the right amount of stress, like a final project deadline, the memory of keeping one room organized and going to bed with all of the laundry done and things in their place. The art of the letter…write, seal, stamp, send off with the hope that it will be received, and then wait to see if someone would take the time to write you back is all history now, but talk about delayed gratification in the best way. 

There have been more stories in the mental health space this week, we’ve lost yet another NCAA athlete to suicide, I didn’t know her, but saying her name out loud, Sarah Shultze, brings chills to my skin.  She is the third athlete in a little over a month to take her own life. I’ve never been to that dark place in my mind, but  it’s scary and heartbreaking every time I try to contemplate it. As someone who has battled anxiety and a dysregulated nervous system most of my life without the  words or realization of what was going on inside me, I can connect intimately to the story of human struggle.  My lens is that of a mom, coach, athlete, and writer who wants to create calm and connection through these stories from the highs and lows of life.  The through line this week was a glimpse of life circa 1994 and the reality of what I live today with my own kids at that same stage.  There are so many differences in how we live from then to now, but the things that ground us stay the same. These  are some thoughts that bring more peace to my mind: 

  1. Presence.  They say that depression is in the past, and anxiety in the future.  I have found so much peace in my life as I have learned to stay present.  But a look back at those 1994 words reminded me of how much easier it was back then to do that.  WIth less illusion of control, fewer choices, and without the ability to know what everyone else was up to at every second of the day, it was easier to focus on what was, just right there in that moment.  I think the illusion of perfection seems more tangible today, but it’s just as illusory as it has always been. Presence is as close as we will ever get to perfect and as we learn to stay in that place, we become free. 
  2. It’s not about forcing, it’s about feeling. Whether you believe life is happening to you, or for you, you are right. Believing life is happening for you gives you more energy to live the life you want to live, and find alignment with what lights you up.  On that path, you will find many things that bring joy, try not to put all your eggs in one basket. 
  3. The ability to care and surrender to the story is both necessary and tricky.  Caring is vulnerable.  It sets us up for the highest highs and the lowest lows.  But I’ve learned from experience I’ll take that life over a straight line down the middle. Surrender is what allows us not to force a storyline in our lives and evolve to the places where we meet our highest potential.  Both loses and wins, whether games, relationships, or careers will change us, and there are plenty of both in a lifetime.  So there is no reason to force anything. 
  4. Believe that if today isn’t good, tomorrow will be. You can’t see what’s coming, so why not believe that the best is yet to come…and then let it happen. What we focus on grows, so choose wisely and have fun with it. I’m always thankful that optimism comes naturally to me because as a perspective it's a game changer.
  5. Believe that you are worthy of love, from yourself and others, without one single worldly accomplishment. This is the one that I send out my own kids, and every kid out there.  Learn to rest in space and know that you are enough, and that all we ask of you is to just be, the rest will flow from there, even if it takes time. 

In the course of a little over a week we've gone from Division I Volleyball highs and lows, IEP meetings with the most brilliant team at Hermosa Valley School who care so deeply it brings tears to my eyes, incredible connections and stories on ‘What I Meant to Say’, and watching my kids surrender to what is and enjoy their lives. Even with my body still compromised from this ankle reconstruction, nothing brings me more joy.  We are so much more than what any one moment brings, but the chance to look back this week was a gift that I am grateful for.  Presence is key, but perspective is the gift that helps us see where we want to grow and BE BETTER. When we choose the right one, we have the energy to tell the story we are meant to tell.  If you ever need help reframing that perspective, I’m here, reach out, the world is safer than it feels sometimes. Your life is meant to tell a beautiful story of joy and resilience, and there is always a supporting cast who helps make that happen. Trust it, believe in it, and surrender to the beauty that is this imperfect life because the only thing I can tell you for sure is that you are enough today, and whether it's a high or a low right now, it will to change. 

With love and optimism,


Throwback from 1994 that always makes me smile:)

***IF YOU NEED IMMEDIATE HELP CALL The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

In addition, 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. While some areas may be currently able to connect to the Lifeline by dialing 988, this dialing code will be available to everyone across the United States starting on July 16, 2022.

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About the author:
Wendy Jones is a mother of four, lifelong athlete, writer, and optimism & resilience coach and speaker. Through 20 years of parenting and relationship struggles, she believes that vulnerability and our willingness to share our stories is a way to heal ourselves

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