29 June 2013

New Experiences=New Knowledge

My date and i went mountain biking today with a group of friends. It was my first time and i was nervous. It didn't help that my date is ridiculously athletic (we are talking 5% body fat. Seriously. No exaggerations this time). i was assured that the trails would be easy and graveled and that even my little cruiser could handle them. Then, yesterday, we decided to both rent nicer mountain bikes from a place in town to make the ride a little easier (better gears and better shocks).

Now, at the end of the day, this is what i learned:

1- There are no graveled, super easy, flat trails at Harriman State Park.
2- i am so glad i rented a mountain bike instead of taking my cruiser. i would have died. Multiple times.
3- One should not decide to take up mountain biking on the hottest day of the year.
4- i have bruises in places that people shouldn't be bruised.
5- If all the girls decide to go one way and all the boys decide to go another way, next time i should follow the girls.
6- Another clue: two black squares at the beginning of the trailhead= experienced bikers only.
7- Ten miles mountain biking is a lot harder than ten miles street biking.
8- Boys won't slow down for you. Even when you are flying down a very steep, very narrow trail covered with boulders and tree roots. Or climbing a very steep incline that never ends.
9- My date doesn't like me-- he was out to kill me.
10- i can do hard things. (Even keep up with the boys on a "two black squared" ten mile long mountain biking trail.) i did keep up. i did not fall down. i did not walk my bike. i did not whine. i am proud of it.

Last, but definitely not least-- if you are accident prone on your feet, adding tires, hills, tree roots and a skinny trail does not help. i seriously did SO well....until out of nowhere the back tire fell completely off my bike.


The entire tire ended up three feet away from my bike.

It shook me up quite a bit; i considered walking the bike back to the car (once we got the tire back on) but i am too proud and too stubborn. And i'm glad i didn't quit. Look where i ended up.

Harriman State Park (by Island Park, Idaho)

i loved it. The view. The biking. The rush.
It was a blast.

26 June 2013

Just a little thing

Yesterday i went to spend the evening at the temple. On my drive over, i received a phone call from my father. So, when i got there i sat in the parking lot for about five minutes finishing up the conversation. There was a car parked next to me with a guy also just sitting there. Upon terminating my call, i locked up my car and entered the temple.

Two hours later, when i got back to my car, i found a note tucked into my driver's side window. It simply said, "I hope this isn't too weird, but I just wanted to say that I thought you look quite nice today. Have a great night! ~Shain W"

That was it. No phone number. No come-on. No request for a date. Just a plain, simple, and oh-so-sweet compliment with no alterior motives. i assume it came from the kid in the car next to me, but i don't even know for sure.

The note is now stuck to my fridge.

It. Made. My. Day.

19 June 2013

Smiling Today

i am smiling today. Here is why:

1- My boss got back from his vacation and i am back down to my normal work load.

2- Peonies are blooming all over my neighborhood

3- My brother is coming home in SIX MONTHS!!

4- i have been using these every night and think i am addicted (especially to the citrus bliss):

5- This is the new background on my phone:

6- My last date dropped these off at my house. Man it's been a long time since i got flowers!

7- i am leaving RIGHT NOW to spend five days in Northern Montana with the little sis.

::huge grin::

15 June 2013

Excerpts from Chapter One

It’s true that I was alive before I met Jacob Fielding Olson, but at the same time, I feel like my life story begins when he entered it. Part of the reason is simply timing-- it was just before his grand entrance that I actually started living and doing interesting things with my life. I was nineteen years old, skinny and fiery. My goal? Be shocking! --which at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg meant studded belts, black fingernails and my favorite hot pink chucks. Let’s face it, I wasn’t really edgy at all. But I did utilize outrageous profanities (“damn” and “hell”), blasted inappropriate music (Pink Floyd and Led Zepplin), and thoroughly enjoyed mocking “Molly Mormons” as I sat on the back row at church in my clunky shoes.

On the flip side of things, I was actually very devout in my religion, eager to be loved, and terrified to talk to new people. I had with no idea about how to make new friends or attract mature college aged guys. The easiest way for me to get (and deal with) attention was to let out my outrageously dramatic side when telling stories, say what was in my head as soon as the thought appeared, and to laugh at myself when I fell down the stairs (which was often).

At nineteen I hovered somewhere in between an awkward teenager and a confident woman. My dreams for the future were ambitious and vivid and I was determined to have a hopelessly romantic life. Since then, I have realized that this is not a movie. This is my life. But back then, it was a movie, I was the star and the ending was going to be happy and spectacular.

In this state of mind, I was drawn to people equally enthusiastic and, well, odd as I was. Enter Crystal at the end of August 2004. Since both of us were English majors and French minors, our paths crossed often in classes. She caught my eye with her bright red lipstick and pearls which, at the time, were as out of the norm as my pigtails and leather bracelets. One day I finally worked up the nerve to approach her and introduce myself. Much to my surprise, Crystal instantly opened up and started talking-- and she hasn't stopped since.

Sometimes I ask myself how we are still friends after all these years and with all this distance between us. I guess it comes back to that moment when I jumped into her car for the first time to go get lunch together. Without thinking about what song was playing, I started singing along.

’I’m a sweet Transvestite, from transexual Transylvania.' 

Crystal slammed on her brakes, almost throwing me through the windshield. 

‘You know the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW??’ she screamed at me. 
Taken aback by her exuberance I muttered, ‘A little.’

It had been only a little over a year since Crystal had been baptised Mormon, and she had never lived in “the bubble” of Rexburg and Mormonism before; as a convert, she felt alone and excluded. 

‘I didn’t think ANY mormons knew that!’

Once Crystal and I established that I also knew Tom Petty, The Eagles, Moulin Rouge and Styx, in her eyes we were meant to be best friends. We shared musical tastes as well as the same major and minor; she latched on and we haven't let go since.

Although we had much in common, there were major differences between us. Number one-- our near future goals. You see, Crystal was on the hunt for a husband, while I was aiming toward living abroad and being independent. Somehow, she sucked me along into her manhunt, which led to some very amusing situations. I tagged along to a open mic talent night where her latest crush played his guitar. Afterwards, we stopped by his trashy apartment to gush about how well he played. As we exited and made our way down the tiny narrow staircase (you can see where this is headed) I lost my balance and grabbed onto Crystal for support. Considering she was wearing tight shiny pants and platform sandals, this wasn’t the wisest option. By the time we both reached the bottom of the stairs in the most ungraceful heap, Crystal had shouted a plethora of phrases that they didn’t teach us in French class. Needless to say, her fling with the guitarist didn’t work out.

Together, we drifted into Fall of 2004. Of all the seasons, Autumn speaks to my soul. When it’s time to bring out the sweaters and hats, to drink hot chocolate while watching the leaves out the window and to sit by a fire and read, I feel myself smiling constantly. Nothing compares to crisp Autumn mornings, seeing my breath in the air and crunching leaves underfoot. The food, the colors, the smells resonate with me. It seemed fitting that amid this season-- seemingly designed solely for the pleasure of Jennifer-- that I met Jacob.

Stay tuned for more from my novel...

12 June 2013

Rewrite this story

Just when i begin feeling confident that the hardest is over, i enter a different stage in my grieving/recovery process and all the stability i felt like i had explodes. This time might be the hardest yet. Nothing happened, really, except i realized how very alone i am-- and how much i hate it. And the emotional rollercoaster ride continues.

As i have been going back and editing my novel, i tend to slip into a layer of self pity; it's hard to see what i had (or thought i had), let alone imagine what i could have had (or think i could have had). i grieve that this is the story of my life so far.

Then i heard this song. i bought it right away and it has been on replay either on my phone or in my mind for the last 48 hours.

Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

"Someone tell me when
I can start again,
And rewrite this story.
How long can I stay
Lost without a way to rewrite?
I wish I could rewrite this story.
Change every word of every line;
Write any story but mine.
Someone tell me when
Can I start again
And rewrite this story.
How long can I stay
Lost without a way to rewrite?
I wish I could rewrite this story."

Pity party is over-- I promise. More of my story (which i cannot rewrite and i am coming to accept that) to come in the next two days...

11 June 2013


i haven't posted in a while. i also haven't written in my journal in forever. i open the pages or my netbook and stare at all that white--it seems so overwhelming. Partly, because in the first part of June i have taken an unexpected rollercoaster ride of emotions and hardly know what to say, how much to share or how to express it. Also, i feel like i poured all of my words into my novel....which turned out more autobiographical than fictional in the end. Ok, it was completely autobiographical; and it enabled me to check  "write my life story" off of my bucket list :)

As of yet, my novel is untitled. i have decided to edit sections, and post parts here on my blog. It will be large chunks of words, few pictures, many details and lots of soul. Please, help me name it. After all, how does one title one's life? Yet it seems incomplete without a name. Here is the prologue. Tell me if you want more or if i should return to other sorts of postings.


I always wanted to die by spontaneous combustion. All that would be left of me would be a pair of hot pink chucks, smoking in the middle of the sidewalk. It’s true that most people hope to die of old age while they are asleep in their beds, but that felt too boring for me. Being as dramatic as I am, that sounded like an anticlimactic ending. My viewpoint has slightly changed since I originally imagined the front page news story of “A Flaming Ending for Jennifer Wadsworth.” Now I would leave behind a smoking  pair of fuschia patent leather stilettos. And, chances are, if I do go out in flames, it will be because God has smote me with lightning, not because my life was so incredible that I went out in a blaze of glory.

Truth be told, my life is far from incredible. In fact, when it comes down to it, even though I like to act dramatic and make everything that happens to me seem exciting or terrifying or exceptional, I am a very average person with a very average life. Maybe that is the reason that I would like to have an infamous ending-- so that perhaps I will be acknowledged and even remembered after I am gone. How then, knowing that I am nothing special,  can I justify writing a story about my life-- especially considering the fact that I am only twenty seven and therefore (in all probability) my life has truly only just started? I suppose it ties back to my greatest fear.

I am terrified of being forgotten. The thought that I am forgettable makes me feel as if my life doesn’t matter. Therefore, I am determined to make myself memorable. Benjamin Franklin said, ‘If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.’  And so here I find myself, trying to prove that the things I have done and experienced are worth writing about and that what I am writing is worth reading. That perhaps by some chance, someone some day will be interested in the life of a not so exceptional, highly average but overly dramatic and passionate Jennifer.

Besides, Jacob always wanted me to write our story. We would talk about it when we were curled up together on the couch, reminiscing about the past, giggling at the ridiculousness of the situations we had been in or pondering how we made it through some of the trials. Sometimes it would come up while something amazing was happening, like when we were flying around Isla Mujeres Mexico on a scooter after just having swam with dolphins; “This belongs in a movie almost! This chapter of our story will be amazing.”
When he talked about writing our story, I don’t think he ever thought this is what I would be writing. I know I didn’t. Nevertheless, despite all the fairy tales we believed in then, this is it— our story.