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In Life Reflections by Jen Johnson

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Jen Johnson

Jen Johnson

This week I’m on a short vacation to Portland with my friend Bree. We’re staying at the Ace Hotel, which has all the requirements necessary to be considered appropriately Portland cool: a turntable playing real vinyl, in-house Stumptown coffee, Sega gaming systems with old TVs and original controllers, a photo booth, and a Ms. Pac-Man machine.

It also has a work area on the second floor mezzanine where hipsters like me (ha) convene with their Macs and cappuccinos. I’ve been spending my mornings working and while staring into space waiting for inspiration I noticed a huge old library cabinet along one wall. Work or procrastinate? The choice was obvious, so I began trying the various doors and drawers to see if any would open.

One did and inside was a pile of handwritten notes, some dating back to 2009, scribbled in pencil on the white notepads corralled on the large oak table in the middle of the room. Apparently hundreds of previous guests had left messages behind. Work or read them? Again the choice was clear.

Sleeping drunkenly with someone–One night stand? Suppose so. :-\

I used to gaze at you like people gazed at the night sky.

If only I was a unicorn I would stab people with my head.

I turned 31 today. I don’t know what I’m doing.

That was my one chance at a life-long love and I ruined it. Still miss him.

I’ve thought about suicide.

I used to think the moon had holes going straight through it and I prayed every day that “Wrinkle in Time” was true.

So many sorries, so many smiles.

I’m the maid of honor and I don’t know how to tell her she’s settling.

I wish the love of my life would find me.

I lost my virginity at age 4. Only me and the other three participants know….now you do too.

I’m becoming the person I promised myself I’d never be, and that scares me to death.

Why do we lie to ourselves?

I have way too much weed in my underwear.

These are the people who stayed here before me, maybe in my very room. And maybe, if we hashtag and share this enough, one of them might even see this. So in the comments, pick one of these messages, respond to its author, and share this post on your own Facebooks and Twitters. At Rebel Storytellers we’re all about hope, empathy, and action. Why not take some action to share some hope?

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Jen Johnson

Jen Johnson

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After years of event planning and business reengineering, Jen realized she didn't actually want an office job and instead started a freelance writing and editing business in 2007. She hasn't starved, and she's had the opportunity to work with great organizations like The Los Angeles Dream Center, XXXChurch, Visioneering Studios, and The Association of Related Churches. Today she lives with her husband Matt, his two teenagers, and a really big dog in the Philly suburbs where she continues to write, pursue a seminary degree, and stay up too late.
Jen Johnson

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