When a word is in italics we pause and notice it…
give it emphasis…
give it meaning.
I’m Jennifer Kindhouse. I love noodles, bravery, and people that dance.
I think I may have forgotten to notice about ten years of my life.
Over a decade ago, I left my career as an actor to be a full time mother to my babies. Life circumstances being what they were – no family nearby, no resources for childcare, and the unpredictable schedules of actors… well, there really wasn’t much of a choice to be had.
I’ve always been a storyteller, so I needed another outlet. After I gave birth to my first son, I began blogging. It was back in the dinosaur days of 2009 under the name Jenni Chiu, and I had a website called MommyNaniBooboo.com (some of that you’ll find archived here on this site). We soon left Hollywood, and I began working from home as an online writer and content creator. It worked out fairly well for me. I contributed to places like HLN, NickMom, Mamalode, and Huffpost Women. I won several BlogHer Voices of the Year awards, and was nominated for a couple Iris Awards…
and just like that almost a decade went by.
I had blinked and when I wasn’t looking, someone had pushed the fast forward button. The blur of raising young children, paying bills, recovering from a trauma, depression and anxiety… it all kept me simultaneously over and underwhelmed. On paper, things were going well, but I felt so disconnected from it all. We had bought a home, opened a franchise, I ran a business, my husband ran for local office…
but I was making more of a living than a life.
I was so disconnected I had forgotten to pause… to notice the moments.
After all, that’s what life is – a massive series of moments. I had somehow let so many of them slip by, plagued by a false sense of urgency and busy-ness. How was it that I felt so relentlessly stressed, and also like I wasn’t participating in my own life at the same time?
If it were possible, I would swear I had held my breath for ten years.
Dear Lord, it is time for me to breathe.
I’m guessing that when I reach my final days on this planet, my brain will replay my life for me in a memoir of moments – all strung together in a timeline of emotional connections…
my son grabbing my pinky, the feel of my husband’s breath on my neck, the pride that swells when I look at my children, that synchronous feeling of choosing to do what you love, the fire of fighting for what’s right, even the heartbreaks and losses that wrinkle my soul…
I want to recognize those moments – to breathe into them, and give them the space they deserve. I want to find balance outside of my internet and social media cocoon – which for me, feeds both contact and loneliness at once.
Currently, by some twist of fate (or untwisting – who knows), I find myself back in Los Angeles and revisiting the acting career I left behind years ago. Somehow I was brought back to what lights me up – what I’m meant to do. My husband got a tremendous job offer, we sold our business, the family was packed up, and now… my arc has come full circle, with my eyes wider and my lens clearer. It is with a grateful heart that this non-white, non-20-something, artist jumps back into the ruthless arms of acting. I can’t wait to be of service to those stories that beautifully prod our humanity.
Some of that will be chronicled on this site, along with my attempts to find that murky middle between striving, mothering, beautifully failing, and living in the moments.
As I move forward, this website is a reminder to myself to re-shift my focus. To be brave enough to let life saturate me, and to (most of the time) remember that every moment I have a choice to be the kind of person I want to be – to participate fully.
May my “memoir of moments” be chock-full.
Life isn’t about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.
– George Bernard Shaw
Life is connection…
It is impermanent…
I’m choosing to put mine in italics.
To give it emphasis…
Come with me.
It might be messy.
It might be amazing.
Let’s see what happens.