My name is Jen Rollins and I fully believe in things that others do not. No, I’m not talking about Sandy Claws (I love Nightmare Before Christmas) or the Easter Bunny, I’m talking about things that resonate deep within my soul. Things that help me make fast decisions and lead my intuition. Things that make my heart smile.
Here’s a short list of things I believe to be true*
I believe that people are inherently good. This is where people usually bring up Hitler as an example. No really, almost every time I’ve said this someone asked about him. Hitler is an anomaly, and yes, there are examples of others through history but they’re also rare. I’m not saying that people don’t go through times in their lives where they make bad decisions or hurt others, that’s a part of growing as human beings. It hurts us to hurt others so we intuitively want to do it less. Most people want life to be easy and to feel good, detracting from that is usually temporary and doesn’t serve your higher good.
I believe in possibilities and the unknown. I’m one of those weird humans who thrive in the grey area. As a constantly anxious over-thinker, I’m able to see all sides of how a story could play out. The way I visualize it, there’s never only one path, it’s more like three.
The first path is known and familiar. Think of it as the road trip between Edmonton and Calgary. It’s flat, there’s one hill and every now and then someone yells out “cow” and you all look. The more you go down this path the easy it is to put yourself on autopilot and check out for a bit. It’s boring but comfortable.
The second path is more scenic. Think of it as a road trip through the Rocky Mountains. It’s full of turns and beauty but it’s also full of unknowns like wild animals in the road and construction that could slow you down for hours (and hours and hours) or you could hit a patch of really icy roads. The risk is higher but you get to see the mountains and smell the fresh air.
The third path is you and machete. It’s tough, slow and likely going to hurt you but there’s also a possibility of something big and amazing on the other side. This is either a path for a person who feels so confident in their choice that they’re willing to risk it all or they go into it unprepared and think it’s going to be like a road trip to Calgary and end up starving, in tattered clothing but has stories you wouldn’t believe.
Which path would you normally choose? The standard route, the scenic route or the big adventure route? I’d almost always take the scenic route. I like the idea of adding a little magic and unknown into the mix and not always knowing what’s around the corner. I’m okay with being uncomfortable in the short term for something I want in the long-term and natural pauses are okay. Welcome even. I would rather live a life of depth than a shallow one. Oh, and that third path, I’ve taken it enough times that my intuition lights that baby up and reminds me to back up slowly and try another route.
I believe in the power of community. Growing up there were a lot of times where I could have gone without but I actually rarely did. Neighbours, teachers and my friend’s parents stepped up and helped. All without being asked. Charities, foster homes, and supports were offered when we needed them and that kept us out of a lot of unsafe and unhealthy situations.
Sure, it can be hard to accept help but I can tell you I’ll never forget the day that a regular at the bar I worked at tipped me $500 to help me pay for my post-secondary school books. I’ll never forget the day my teachers paid the fees for me to go to grade 6 camp because they knew my parents couldn’t afford it. I’ll never forget the day when a gorgeous dress showed up in the mail because my friend decided I needed to feel like a princess at a big event coming up and knew I would never be able to justify it as a newly single mom. I’ll never forget the feeling of knowing that if need anything at all, I have people who are willing to jump on planes, hop on ferries or drive as far as they need to be here for me and my daughters. I am so very grateful.
I believe that community is a circle. As things have gotten better and more secure in my life I’ve been able to give back more and more. Not just financially but with my time and expertise as well. I volunteer a lot and always have an open door (physical or virtual) if someone needs to be heard, seen, or lovingly appreciated just as they are. I will always help out or give as much as I can because I know I wouldn’t be here without a community of helping hands and hearts.
We are not meant to be islands. We are meant to create amazing communities of people who are there to support us, love us and call us out on our shit when we need it. Appreciate your communities, people!
I believe in myself. While that may not sound revolutionary, in a way it really is. Self-love, self-compassion, self-care…these are all buzzwords that don’t add up to a lot if you still feel like you can’t accomplish the things you want to or be the person you’re meant to be.
In January I decided to stop eating sugar and flours, so I did. In September I decided I wanted to start running and get up to running a 10k. I’ve already completed two 5k runs and I’m well on my way to that 10k. Sure, you can chalk this up to willpower, but I think it’s more than that. I didn’t walk into either of these things thinking I would fail. I always knew I would succeed at them because I believe in myself.
As for becoming the person, I’m meant to be, this one is a lot more complex and messy. 7 years ago I fantasized about being in a car accident on the way home from work so someone would care about me and give me a break from my life. I didn’t want to die, I just wanted a pause from the pain that I was feeling. It sounds terrible saying it but it’s the truth and I try not to hide from my darkness anymore. Instead, I dive into these shadow parts of myself and spend time processing and healing them while forgiving myself and others. Bypassing and ignoring this trauma certainly wasn’t helping me so I needed to find another way. A way to integrate all of my pieces together – good, bad and the ugly.
I know that all of the experiences I’ve had have bruised and broken me but they’ve also made me more beautiful. I believe that I am a gorgeous, energetic, glowing mess of a woman and that makes me smile. I’ve worked damn hard to get here and to appreciate all of my positive attributes and flaws and I will continue to work on my own bullshit every day because I believe in myself.
Bravely Believing Forward
*These are the things I believe right now, at this very moment. I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.