JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

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Living my story

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I know I haven’t posted in an awful long time, but I am still alive. 

I’ve been trying to think of what to blog about. It’s hard when so much of my life right now feels in process. I’m a giant WIP, or work-in-progress if you aren’t a knitter or other craft-doer. 

My life has felt exceedingly boring lately. I go to work. I go home. Repeat. I sometimes go to lectures or art exhibits or plays or First Fridays. 

I’ve been back in KC for almost a year now but still don’t quite feel plugged in yet. I know it takes time and I need to spend more effort reconnecting with my network here. I thought it’d be easier for some reason. It never really is, especially when you get older and everyone is in a wholly different life stage as you. 

It’s pretty much still nothing doing in the romance department. It’s lame but I’m still working on getting over the guy who dumped me way back when. I’m more over it than then, but it still sometimes hits me how fun it was or how cute he was or why did he dump me? Because I think I’m a pretty cool person, obvs. I just wasn’t his ex-wife. 

I’ve been on and off Tinder and OKCupid. I’ve gone on dates. I’ve gone on very good first dates leading to second-third-fourth-fifth dates only to get the fade (not quite a ghost, but more a slow deceleration and then a ceasing of conversation). 

It is, honestly, exceedingly frustrating to be trying to do all the right things and be all the right things and to have nothing to show for it. I kind of just want to withdraw and become a hermit sometimes, tbh. Hermits don’t have their hearts broken. 

But that’s an update. If you wanted to know. I’m still very much still living out my story. I guess we all are, really. 


Written by Jessica

September 2, 2016 at 9:10 pm

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‘I began to suspect that life itself has a plot’

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How do I happen to believe in God? … Writing novels, I got into the habit of looking for plots. After awhile, I began to suspect that my own life had a plot. And after awhile more, I began to suspect that life itself has a plot.

— Frederick Buechner, “Listening to Your Life” 

Written by Jessica

March 26, 2013 at 1:36 am

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And, I’m off…

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Of OK Cupid. For now. I’d like to meet people in this place called “The real world.”

Let’s see what happens. 

Written by Jessica

March 3, 2013 at 12:27 am

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Takeoffs and landings

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What is it about travel that makes us introspective?

Maybe there’s something in the act of physically moving from point A to point B, or maybe I am just always a solo traveler and have nothing better to do than sit quietly with thoughts rattling inside my head.

Today I’m in the middle of a non-metaphorical journey. I woke up at 4:42 a.m., left St. Joseph and boarded a plane in Kansas City. As I type, I’m sitting in Chicago’s Midway airport, waiting on a second plane to Philadelphia. There, I’m going to hop into a rental car and drive about two hours south to the D.C. suburbs.

The point of this journey? I’m heading to President Obama’s inauguration. And I’m pretty stinking excited about it. I went in 2009, but was unable to actually see the event in person (there was a bit of a ticket fiasco), so I’m excited for a new chance to come back this year.

It was a pretty impulsive, spontaneous trip (I bought tickets Tuesday after being spurred on by my coworkers/a friend), and a bit of a splurge for a weekend getaway, but it’s a good thing. I’ll get to reconnect with a college friend and another Kansas friend who happened to be in Northern Virginia is going to meet with me tomorrow.

I realized earlier just how little travel I did last year. The only times I boarded a plane in 2012 were for a job interview and my sister’s wedding, both flights between MDW and KCI. I need to plan a new trip for the end of this year, when I finally get some time off and all my friends’ weddings are over (they’re taking up my first three vacation days).

Anywho. I’ll update as this inauguration weekend adventure unfolds…and include some pictures, too. 🙂

Written by Jessica

January 20, 2013 at 11:38 am

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Plugging in.

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I’ve been in St. Joe for a month now. It’s pretty wild to think that I’ve wrapped up four full weeks on the new job already and things are a little less new now.

I’m happy to say that I’ve managed to find a church already here. I didn’t really find a church in Illinois (partially me just feeling blah on church in general/me not being a morning person, at all/just being lazy), so I’m really glad to be able to jump in again here.

My first week here, I was driving down a new street and happened to pass by the church, Wellspring Community Church. It’s in a gorgeous old building — as a lot of St. Joe churches are — but I was drawn to the sign outside that said it had a 6 p.m. Sunday service. That is pretty awesome if you’d rather sleep in on a Sunday morning than go to church. Which, to be really honest, has been me a lot in the past. The other thing is that my whole schedule has shifted for this job — I wake up around noon and stay up until about 2 a.m. ish. I’m that much less likely to go now.

But the week of New Year’s, I went and immediately liked the people and the pastor and the night service and came back this past weekend. I also was immediately plugged into (/aggressively recruited into) a small group, which I went to Monday for the first time.

It’s funny how things come together sometimes — God knew I needed this place, and these people. The group is one of all single girls in my age group, 20s-30s, lead by a woman who’s 60. It was really nice to connect with them — I’m already looking forward to next week.

I’m hoping that after a long time of not really actively seeking God, I can come back and really grow in my faith this year. I’ve been reading She Read’s Truth‘s Fresh Start study so far, and poking around other parts of my Bible.

I have been so challenged by the promises in James 4: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you,” and in Jeremiah 29:13: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Stay tuned for more here, I guess. 🙂


Written by Jessica

January 9, 2013 at 4:22 am

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A clarification

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After writing my last few posts, I thought I should clarify — my unhappiness with life in Florida tended to be specific to a few areas, ones that I don’t really feel comfortable going into online. I didn’t hate all of it with a passion the entire time — in fact, a lot of things had improved in general in the months leading to my move that had greatly improved my quality of life. I did want to address some quick things.

1) I don’t hate all of Florida — it’s a beautiful state with a lot of pluses, including beautiful beaches and sunny skies (mostly). I really enjoyed Orlando. If only I actually lived there and not Lady Lake! Life would have been totally different.

2) I met a lot of really lovely people in Florida – ones I miss now that I’m in Illinois. They include coworkers I grew close to, people in my knitting group (including one who became my roommate– hi Kimberly!), people I met randomly (hey Linda and Marty!), and my church at Faith Family in Winter Garden. I didn’t attend as faithfully as I should have and regret not digging in deeper and finding a place to serve, but I really do miss the people I met there.

Ultimately I realized I wanted to be closer to places where I had a stronger network. I kind of up and moved to Florida wanting something new and not realizing how I’d have to completely start from square one. When the novelty wore off, I have to say — I was pretty homesick. I realized how much I valued my family and friends up north and how I’d prefer to be closer to them if given the chance.

That’s one thing that Illinois blows Florida out of the water with — an hour away is where I went to college and still have a lot of ties. Two of my best friends live about two hours away, and pretty much my entire extended family lives about 2.5 hours away. How’s that for a network?


Written by Jessica

June 4, 2012 at 12:12 am

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Things I’ve forgotten

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Whenever you return to a place where you haven’t been in awhile, it’s pretty inevitable that there is knowledge that you’ve gained and lost since you were last there.

I once had a high school history teacher who taught my class the shot glass theory of memory — you can only retain so much before you splash out some of what you had contained. I think this is similar to my moving back. In the process of getting a feel for life in Florida, I had forgotten about life in Illinois. I keep coming across little bits and pieces I’ve forgotten. A few examples?

1. Wind can make the difference between glorious spring weather and misery.

Today it was in the high 50s. After a freeze warning Sunday night, I was super excited. Then I nearly froze to death without my jacket when I went to a fire call. Note to self: always carry a coat until completely reacquainted with the cold.

2. Deer…are everywhere!

Even in the middle of Morris. (Shameless story plug).

But for real — according to a conservation woman I once spoke with, apparently there are deer in Florida, but they just are not as visible or as much of a threat to property as they are in the midwest. I am so paranoid taking backroads at night because I’m afraid one will dart out at me and I will get into a crash. Eek.

This also segues into my next point:

3. I have lost the art of driving with my high beams on

Since deer aren’t as crazy in Florida, and I lived in a more populated area, I rarely used my brights. With the deer problem, it’s kind of a necessity. I may or may not have accidentally brighted several people on my trip from Kankakee to Morris this weekend. Oops.

I’m sure cold and other forms of inclement weather will bring a whole lot more of these. But we’ll cross those bridges when we get there, I guess.

Written by Jessica

April 24, 2012 at 12:31 am

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