Published Writing

Published by: Thought Catalog

I Can't Be Ready For It If I'm Not Ready To Listen
December 7, 2015 By: Jenna Reiss

For the last 10 years, I’ve been asking the world’s spirit for a man that understood me, yet let me be me. I’ve been asking for a man that both supported my hippy-ways and my stereotypical sorority girl interests at the same time. I’ve dreamed of a man that had my back no matter what, but would also push me to think about other perspectives, and would ask me the hard questions so I never took life at just what it was. I’ve wanted to be challenged, while also loved and endlessly supported. I’ve asked for something stable. Someone who knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it. Someone who knew he loved me as much as I loved him and wanted to give me his endless forever love without question.
I now have that man. I have the perfect man for me and I still question life and love. My therapist asked me the other day what else I would be looking for. I had no answer. Truth is, I don’t know. I think I’m realizing for the first time that what I was asking the universe for, I may have gotten, but I might have been asking wrong. I should have been asking the universe to help me find that love and support in me. I’m the one who doesn’t love and support myself and am holding myself back somehow.
Now that I know my man exists, and that I want to hold onto him - I need to work on myself. If I don’t want to ruin what I have been given, then I need to think about what I can do to fill myself. I always believed that you shouldn’t need someone to complete you. Your perfect partner would be someone who compliments you. Your significant other should help bring out the best in you, while also supporting your individualism and ability to complete yourself.
So why am I still asking myself and my man for the completion of my creative soul? Why am I so worried about not being interested in traveling to the same cities together, or worried that he doesn’t want to come to my coffee shop with me? Why does that matter if he’s there to support me in making the decision to go? Why does it matter if he pushes me out the door to get to my coffee shop, and pushes me to never stop exploring or pushes me to follow my everyday love and passions.
I’ll never stop asking the universe for help, but sometimes it’s just time to look within. Relax and be with the experience because I can’t be ready for what the universe has to offer if I’m not ready to hear it.

Published by: Thought Catalog

Walking Away Doesn't Mean You Love Them Any Less
June 2, 2014 By: Jenna Reiss

People enter our lives for a reason. They come and go satisfying a need for companionship, love social stimulation or many other emotional and physical needs. Some stay for years, become a partner in crime, grow and change with us, while others stay for a much shorter period of time than we might have liked. Regardless of when the time comes for us to say goodbye to an individual, we either find ourselves embracing their exit or incredibly pained by the transition. 

By nature, individuals are forever changing. It's an endless cycle as we grow through the developmental phases of life towards the new identity our body will take on in the next phase. Through this creative, professional and emotional growth, we are more than a few different people over the years. It can be troublesome to embrace this self-transformation on our own, let alone the inevitable effect it will have on our relationships as well. 
As you take on your new role in your next phase, you are accepting that your creative self might be larger than you originally thought; your dreams, perspectives shift, and your wants and needs in a relationship grow with you. Accepting that someone, whether a dear friend or someone you’ve only just met but have an affinity for, might not be changing with you can be painful.

Drifting in and out of one another’s life, we all serve each other a purpose. We teach one another lessons and learn new things about life. Once that purpose has been fulfilled, or that knowledge has been passed and lesson has been learned, we go our separate ways.

Accepting this, the fact that some people might have already served their purpose in our life, accepting that some people might not fully support us and our growth, not on purpose but just because you are no longer aligned, can be painful. You may associate with someone for 30 years before a time comes that you no longer serve one another a positive purpose and have to let go.

Letting go or walking away from a relationship doesn’t mean you love that person any less. It doesn’t mean you don’t think of them, or don’t still keep a slice of love for them in your heart. If you’re naturally heading on separate paths, it can be very peaceful to just accept the love you will forever have and keep on swimming.

There are also some people you will never walk away from no matter how different your life’s paths become. In order to keep these people around sometimes we just have to re-evaluate the relationship. Find the new place for it in your life. When things get rocky, ask yourself if there is an amount of rocks that will make you walk away. If not, find the new place that this relationship now fits in your life. Whether you’re experiencing the loss of someone or loving the impact said individual has on your current life, shapeshifting with your relationship is what will make a good bond, a good love, great.

Published by: Though Catalog 

The 4 Main Types Of Breakups You'll Probably End Up Going Through
February 3, 2013 By: Jenna Reiss

1. The “I will never love again” Breakup:
You are head over heels in love but have only experienced one another. You’re breaking up to see what else is out there. After a few months of him calling you and you trying desperately to fish in the sea of men, you hear that he has moved on and officially named someone else his girlfriend. You are absolutely devastated that he moved on without you, and the post breakup trauma begins despite knowing that you initiated the breakup in the first place.
Eventually, you’ll have read all the breakup books, watched all the right movies and you’ve been seeing your shrink for the past few months, years, whatever. You finally accept the breakup for what it was, him for who he is, you for what you need, want and deserve. You are free to move forward.  

2. The “Love Does Not Conquer All” Breakup
You’ve known each other for a few years and either always had a crush on him, or you’ve done the on and off thing for awhile. You finally make it happen and both give this relationship your all. The love is wonderful, deep, meaningful and passionate (as is the sex) and the honeymoon phase is beautiful. Sooner than later, the reasons you were “on and off” in the first place catch up to you. The relationship becomes exhausting. You’re distraught knowing that you both really want it to work but it just doesn’t. You had thought this was the kind of passion you were supposed to feel, and therefore, as love works, it was supposed to conquer all. This breakup involves no anger, no confusion. You both cry that it has to end. Neither of you want to let go. You never get angry, or hate him. Instead, you’re just sad at losing your best friend. You smile when you hear he’s doing well. You don’t secretly wish you’d run into him because you know you need the space to separate the lightening bolts that stand between you. You feel a longing for him, but it’s mostly a longing for someone to share your life with. He even contacts you one day months down the line, and you have a brief, yet meaningful conversation about your mutual respect and longing for one another, while recognizing the impossibility of existing within one another’s lives romantically. One day you might even be friends.

3. The “I’ve met someone new” breakup
You met, he courted and you began dating all before you were officially broken up with your last boyfriend. You didn’t cheat on him, physically at least, and truth is you’ve known for a long time that the breakup was coming. That someone new coming into the picture has lessened the loss and only strengthened your certainty that it’s time to leave the ex in the past. Moving on this quickly doesn’t mean you never loved him, or that you no longer care about him, just that you’ve found someone else who was able to show you what was missing before. The pain may be stronger for your ex in this breakup, but he knows it was inevitable and for the best nonetheless. You go your separate ways and truly have no reservations, doubts or sadness about leaving behind your old friend and lover. You know you both will be much better off without the other.

4. The “I like you so much it scares me” breakup
Speaks for itself.
The dumper has no balls to speak the truth. Dumper cannot seem to find the courage to face the significant other and say ‘this isn’t working for me anymore’, or ‘I don’t like you enough to date you or work through our issues’. Sleazy, unfair, and cowardly is what this breakup feels like. Do you think it’s happened to me?

Regardless of the breakup type you experience, time will allow you to get through all of them. From the most painful breakup to the easiest, you will love someone else again and one day, who knows, you might even have to prepare yourself for when you find the person you never end up breaking up with. 

Published by: Though Catalog 

Being Single and Completely Fine With It
December 17, 2013 By: Jenna Reiss

The first wave of marriages happens in our early to mid-twenties. These are the people who have been dating since high school, college or just after. It includes the lovers who have stood the test of time, the homemakers, the “I know what I want in life” couples, and maternal and paternal individuals who want kids at an early age.

The second wave is the early 30-somethings. These are the people who may have been in love before, had relationships in their twenties with people they thought they would marry, and the people who find it crucial to explore a deep sense of self before falling in love again. These people attend the first waves weddings solo, they are living with roommates and/or potentially picking up to travel the world.

People say there’s a pattern that occurs with both sets of waves and that it’s a revolving door. Apparently some from the first wave will find themselves getting a divorce, while others start having babies and begin life as first time parents. The second wave are potentially playing catch-up to get their life back on the track they believe it’s supposed to be on, or find themselves married to Mr. Wrong because they were in too much of a hurry to fit the timeline in their head.

In today’s world we are waiting longer and longer to get married, have families and settle down – we’re traveling the world before getting jobs, living in our parents home to save money, getting married later in life, and having babies way before a ring is even in the picture. What happens if you don’t find yourself fitting into any of these waves? Is it possible that there’s another, un-described wave that people haven’t found out about yet?

If you don’t find yourself fitting into a societal wave when everyone else around you quite easily does, it’s difficult to feel confident about where life stands for you. Watching everyone around you make these major life changes can cause restlessness and uneasiness about the path you have chosen

Instead of living in fear that the waves are shaping and crashing without you and wrestling with the lack of understanding in your intention for the next phase of life – make yourself aware. Begin meditation classes, or perform your own act of serenity so your intention is put out into the universe. By doing so, even just saying it out loud – “I need guidance towards what’s next for me”– the solution will make itself present when you are ready to hear it.

Listening to your instinct gives you the real answers. The ones that are not always right in front of you. Separate fact from fairy-tale and stay sane when you’re watching all your friends move forward in a wave. Whether you’re struggling with your next career move, coupled-up, single and looking, or single and just fine, thank you very much – putting your intention out there will give you peace with where life is supposed to be taking you.

By listening you’ll find the guidance you are looking for.

Published by: Though Catalog 

6 Ways To Find Solace In Your Loneliness
September 30, 2013 By: Jenna Reiss

1. Be patient

It takes time to become comfortable with you. It takes time to get to know who you really are and understand what you really want, make decisions for yourself and feel at ease in the sweet and utter silence of your own presence.

2. Start small

Go on walks alone. Use your headphones to bring music to your ears and soothe your brain from making you believe you’re a freak for walking alone. When you feel comfortable with that go to coffee shops, libraries and parks alone.
Bring a book if you feel naked, but practice putting it down for periods of time to enjoy your surroundings, the people, the noises, and the conversations. Try the same coffee shop without your headphones. Sit at a large table, one in which you are forced to share so you meet someone new. You may even strike up a conversation you never thought you would have had. That’s what coffee shops are for, and without your headphones you’re introducing yourself to the world. You’ll find this becomes ritualistic -the walks, the coffee shop and park visits without books or headphones become meditation to you. Your aloneness begins developing into a form of salvation.

 3. Next, take yourself to dinner

Go someplace you’ve always wanted to try. Somewhere you will indulge deeply and passionately in your food. Find yourself smiling because it’s all so delicious. Order dessert to top the meal off and eat it slow as you look around and see that the world is too concerned with the conversations at their own table to judge you for being alone. Some may in fact be wishing they were you instead of involved in the social obligation they were in fact obliged to accept.

4. Go dancing

If you go somewhere you’ve never been, somewhere where you won’t run into anyone you know, than it simply becomes your body on a floor moving to the beautiful sound of music. No one will notice you’re alone because you’re simply allowing your body to dwell in the soft musical instruments and moving freely like the body was made to move. A new conversation may even begin and you’ll have an epiphany to add to your creative well.

5. Embrace the loneliness

When you are painlessly able to get through these movements, you’ll realize that lessons from kindergarten really are true. You are special. By embracing our loneliness we find a deep love for our own soul.

6. Acceptance

Instead of giving in to the societal fear of loneliness, accept it for all that it is. Allow your heart to be broken, and tears to fall, then move on. Help yourself heal by fulfilling that creative art form you’ve been neglecting and decorate your home with beautiful crafts that make you happy. Embracing the loneliness allows you to feel joy and happiness for the most important person in the world, yourself.

Published by: Liminas Magainze
Trial and Error
By: Jenna Reiss

Upon entering the working world as a quarter-lifer, you find yourself one of two groups: those who are certain of their career paths and move confidently forward chasing their dreams, and those who sit horrified among the undecided.

As excited as we are for our friends who are trusting in their chosen career paths; it can be incredibly overwhelming for those of us who don’t quite know our calling.
While we watch what feels like everyone making the right decisions for their future, we become paralyzed with fear at the thought of having to decide what kind of environment we want to be in EVERY DAY, for the REST OF OUR LIVES.

But being too focused on trying to answer that ominous question about our 10-year plan can actually be self-destructive. We become unable to focus on the smaller steps, the simple decisions, like what sounds good for right now, or what industry/job does NOT sound horrible to do on a daily basis for one simple year of life?

When I graduated from college I got a job teaching English in Spain. I had always been passionate about teaching, and like many post college graduates, I decided not to use my degree in journalism. That year in Spain was a year well spent. I learned more about myself than I ever knew I needed to learn, and when I left I was leaving with the knowledge that teaching was not my next step.

When I got back to the U.S., I further explored the education system by getting a job working with children with disabilities. I truly fell in love with every child I worked with; however, after a little over a year, I found myself remembering my passion for advertising. I had needed a break from it after college, but something inside me was telling me it was time to taste it.

I am now working at a creative advertising agency. The advertisements I work on are not exactly the kind of impact I’m hoping to make in this world, but what I’m learning is that I’m not exactly sure of where my passions and career will take me, but for now this industry fits me and my lifestyle

Allowing myself to dive into each passion that sparked my interest in college is how I’m learning what job I want to do everyday for the rest of my life. This feels right for right now so I decided to go with it and give it my all. When it no longer feels right, I will determine my next move.

Don’t let the career fear take over. Look at what sounds the most intriguing to you right now, and jump in. It might take a few different tasting sessions, but it will help you search through your passions. Once you’ve allowed yourself to explore your interests, you can focus on how to translate those passions into a daily income, and build your career path from there.

Be patient and remember that no job is a waste of time- there is always something to be learned about yourself, your wants, and your needs.

Published by: Liminas Magainze

Making New Friends as A Twentysomething Woman
By: Jenna Reiss

Tonight, I felt like grabbing a drink, maybe having a few laughs and some meaningful conversation. I wanted to hang out with someone I truly enjoyed, someone who nourishes my soul and brings a smile to my face.  I don’t want to call the “facebook friend”, or the friend I’ve known for forever but don’t REALLY know, and I definitely don’t want to call the party friend.

For us Liminas woman, the social scene during our post-college yet pre-marital years, can cause a lot of angst and frustration. Personally, I have quite suddenly found myself somewhere lost among friends I’ve known my whole life, friends that became family in college, and the friends I am supposed to make in this new “adult” life. To add to the dilemma of finding my place in this new social scene, I have my first real job that I actually care about proving myself in. This leaves me with very limited time to develop any scene at all. It is much different then the social life we’re used to having.

Growing up we all had our different social scenes. You were apart of the popular crowd, or the queen of sports. You had friends since the 2nd grade or younger, and your high school boyfriend was the guy that used to live across the street from you. Then, you move to college, where you are allowed to reinvent yourself. No one cares about what group you were a part of in high school, or what you got on your SAT’s. You become a new you. You grow into someone you start to truly understand. Rather quickly you develop a new social life that reflects this new you. It’s comprised of girls from your dorm hall, the sorority house and people from group projects. Then, because generally in college your biggest responsibility is making it to class, all your time is spent with your newfound family of friends who share your same interests. Quite literally your social life becomes your whole life. Unfortunately, sooner than you’d like, you hit 22, and you graduate.

Right when you had thought your safety net seemed solidified and unchangeable, you find yourself thrown back into the social unknown. For the most part you are solid distance away from the people that made your net, and you are placed smack in the middle of the real world. 

Adjusting to the real world social scene has been a transition I never read about in Cosmo or in any of my college textbooks. It has been much more difficult than I anticipated, and that is foreign for me because I am the social butterfly friend. I have always been a part of at least 3 different social scenes, I talk to everyone, and I love meeting new people. However, as a twentysomething woman, this new scene has caused me a significant amount of turmoil. The only solution I’ve found to ease the nerves is to go with the flow.

Similar to how you might start dating, the adult social scene requires you to meet friends in real world places. You are supposed to meet friends through work, through a friend, or in a workout class at the gym. You can no longer bond over your hatred of your soccer coach, complain about dorm food together, or live within a one-mile radius of everyone you know. I think the overriding problem is that it is much harder to become friends with other women than it is to get a date!

 If you see a man and you want him, you could walk right up to him and ask him on a date (easier said than done I know). However, women are much harder to break into. You cannot simply walk up to a woman and ask her to be your friend. As intuitive and social creatures by nature, that behavior would immediately cause our red flags to go up. We would read that as needy, dramatic, and extremely uncomfortable. Asking for friendship is unacceptable because our relationships with one another are built over time. It’s important to us that we get to know one another in great detail, and as we analyze facial expressions, body language and listening skills, we will decide overtime whether another women will become our friend. 

Sometimes, I find my internal social butterfly pushing me to reach out, grab that woman I don’t’ know that well, and tell her that intuition tells me we would be good friends. Then we could instantly begin sharing and swapping our passions and life secrets. But then I remember the time and care it takes to build a beautiful friendship. I remember that the women I have in my life now are amazing women, and they will continue to be a part of my life for years to come simply because we took the time to build us.

It’s the quality of the friendship that matters most, and to get quality you need time.  It can be easy to leech onto the party friend or the facebook friend when all your soul-filling friends are busy with their separate schedules. But instead, try practicing patience. With time, your intuition will prove to be right about that one woman friend.

Sooner than later you’ll be expressing your passions, reading and talking about your favorite book and listening to what makes your new friend tick. She’ll meet your other soul-filling friends and together you have begun conquering the adult social world. When you bond over passion, soul, emotions and interests, you’re building a lifelong friend. The kind of friend that will become the old lady in the rocking chair next to you. The one you will be taking lamaze classes with, and the one by your side through all the menopause and wrinkles. These are the friends that last a lifetime.

Published by: Liminas Magainze

Dating as a Twentysomething Woman
By: Jenna Reiss

(As a Liminas woman, you quite possibly could be the single gal amongst friends who are dating their college boyfriends, or engaged to their high school lovers. This perspective is written for those women, so they know that they are not alone in dating as a twentysomething, and that their hitched girlfriends, are undoubtedly more than excited to hear the single gal stories.)

I thought I had gone through all of the most influential firsts that happen in ones life: first kiss, first heartbreak, first home away from home and first college party.
These firsts will never be forgotten; however, they are moments of your life that you experience differently than the firsts that come your way as a twentysomething woman.

Sometime in your mid-twenties you find yourself at your first real job, paying for your first set of groceries, and living in what is probably your first self-financed apartment. It’s this time in your life, that you realize, whether you are newly single, or well into the game, you will be entering the real world of dating for the first time. This world, for many, can be of the utmost feared firsts for a twentysomething.

As one can imagine, when my college boyfriend and I broke up, I felt a number of emotions. In general, we had both known it simply wasn’t working. So, when we had “the talk”, although of course I felt sadness, I also found myself feeling a wave of relief.  That relief lasted about as long as your first sexual experience, because it quickly turned to fear when I realized that I was now entering the real world of dating. Now, on top of all the other emotions you feel when walking away from a loved one, I was feeling terrified. I was not only starting my first real job, (well, first job that I cared about), but I was also entering the real world of dating. I was horrified to play the game.

Meeting men in the real world. What does that even mean? Well, first of all it means not having classes to use as an excuse to study with your crush, not having your posse of girlfriends to use to get word to the new hottie that you’re interested, and it means no drunken bash to use as a sighting point. No, instead it means meeting men at weddings, at the gym, or at happy hour. It means taking a risk and putting yourself out there to be rejected, or adored.  It’s terrifying.

 But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my heartbreak round-two, it’s that the relief I felt was there for a reason. I didn’t have to allow myself to dwell in fear. No, instead I could recognize that fear was there, and change my perspective. I decided to let my fear instill excitement. Now, I was going to be experiencing first hand, everything I’ve been reading about in Cosmo since I was seventeen. I will now understand the horror of a bad date, and the laughter that comes when telling your girlfriend about it. I will understand the wonder and anticipation preceding the first date with that cute boy from Trader Joes, and the butterflies one feels when the new boy next door finally asks you out. The dating world is just another first that, as a twentyomething woman, I am ready, and now excited about experiencing.

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