March 29, 2011

A New Chapter

A while back a friend of mine told me that she thought I was a bit of a mystery.  I was shocked!  I always thought I was an open book.  My close friends would tell you that I am incredibly open, even sharing TOO much information at times!  But this person’s perception of me was that I was hard to get to know.  So I took a hard look at that and it made me want to be more vulnerable and genuine in my relationships.  Not just with my closest friends, but also with more casual acquaintances and even my clients.  After all, if I’m desiring authenticity and vulnerability from others, maybe I’m the one who has to show it first.

So here goes.

I’ve never lived alone.  I mean, I guess I lived alone for a month when I first moved into my house, but I was busy painting and decorating and not really in the day to day that is normal life.  Well that’s all changing.  My roommate Nicole got married March 12th and I’ve decided it’s time for me to live alone.

It’s been an interesting 8 months or so.  My last roommate, Heidi, got married November 7th.  Nicole moved in November 8th, got engaged December 17th and married, like I said, March 12th.  My house has been a busy place with lots of wedding planning going on.

So the running joke has been that if you move in with me you’ll be sure to get married pretty quick.  I’ve joked that it’s good for business and that I’m going to put it in the rental contract (which doesn’t exist) that in order to be my roommate you have to agree to have me photograph your wedding and book a minimum package. 🙂  Other people have said that that bedroom must be the magic room and maybe I should move into that room so that some of the magic will rub off on me.  Well, first of all, I’m not going to do that because my closet is like 5 times bigger than the one in that room, and second, it’s not the room, it’s me!  This has happened with two other roommates in two other apartments!

And while I’ve thought it was funny and even joked about it myself, it kinda hurts.  The more times I’ve heard  those jokes, the more it stings.  I even started to believe that maybe this was my lot in life; marry everyone else off and just take pretty pictures of it.  I’m trying really hard not to believe that.

People have asked me recently if I had single girls lining up at the door to be my roommate.  Well, no, they’re not, but even if they were, I think I might need to turn them away.  I’ve felt pretty clear that I’m supposed to live alone right now.

That’s a pretty big deal for me.  I’ve often said that I didn’t think it would be good for me to live alone.  When I had a “normal” job where I went to an office and was around people all day, I loved coming home to a quiet house.  But now, work IS at home.  For the most part I’m alone all day, so it’s nice when someone comes home at night that I can talk with or even just be in the same room with.

When I was in Vegas (of all places) for WPPI last month, I felt like God was telling me that if I would choose to not drown out the silence with a bunch of noise (i.e. tv, music, internet), this would be a really important time.  That seemed like a big deal.

So I am choosing, for this season, to be alone.

I’m excited to see what this chapter is all about.  It feels new.  It feels different.  I don’t know how long it will be.  That’s not for me to know.  I’m excited for what God’s been teaching me already.  I am excited to share it with you, my friends here, as I desire to be more and more vulnerable.

What chapter are you in?

a new chapterAbove: Los Angeles Central Library.  If you’ve never been, go!  It’s beautiful!

  1. Kim

    March 29th, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I kept relating to you as I read this post. Especially the sting of watching others get hitched and it’s not you. I’d like to think that God has good men just waiting for us!
    Best of luck living alone. You will love it. Trust me!

  2. Feuza

    March 29th, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    ah Jen, thanks for being so personal, I am in a transition big contrast chapter, so many ups and quite a few downs, will be interesting to look back later, think some time alone is good though, xoxo

  3. Carolyn

    March 29th, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Jen, that was such an incredible post. Good luck on your new adventure. I think you will love living alone and I am excited to hear more. BTW, beautiful photo, too. I’ll need to get up to the LACL.

  4. Dena

    March 29th, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Hi Sweet Jen! What an adventure you are on. I will be praying that God speaks to you and fills your days and nights with His presence. I remember all too well the revolving door of roommates while I waited for “the ONE!” I also remember wishing that I could afford to live alone, to savor the silence and just to see if I could do it. I think it’s so wonderful for you. And you don’t need that other room…enjoy your closet space and all the blessings that God will bring during this time! If you ever want someone else to cook, and you don’t mind my loud children, we would love to have you over for dinner sometime. Love, Dena

  5. Jennifer

    March 29th, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Jen, it was so good to meet you at WPPI, and it was an honor to be your seat buddy.. 🙂 God is going to bless you during this time, I have no doubt. Just in the short time I got to meet you, it’s obvious that you’re an amazing woman! Treasure this time to yourself..

  6. Jenny Arnez

    March 29th, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    This is a beautiful post, Jen, and a good chapter to be sure. My chapter right now is a time of slowwwwing way down. In the past, I’ve been so busy that I’ve missed out on stillness and deeper, authentic relationships.

  7. Amber Fox

    March 29th, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Oh Jen. Thanks for being so open and vulnerable. I remember our discussion yesterday and how hard it is for you to take this risk of living by yourself. What I didn’t say yesterday was, that I LOVED living bon my own. It was really freeing and really peaceful. I am excited for you and all that God is going to be show you. And remember your community; you are so not alone!

  8. Kristin

    March 29th, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    You are a talented photographer AND a talented writer. Is there no limit to the capabilities of Jen Disney?? Thanks for sharing.

  9. Sarah Ahn

    March 29th, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Hey! I haven’t spoken to you in a long long time but I’ve been following your facebook updates. I would totally want you to take my wedding pictures if you were close by. I think you’re awesome! Really!

    Thanks for the great post and being so honest. I’ve had about three friends married off this year already. It’s a real strange feeling. Feeling left behind and asking myself, ‘When’s my turn?’ But I’m working on being really good at trusting God at this stage of life and keep on living and doing things I love.

    I hope you enjoy living alone. I’ve lived by myself for the last four years now and kind of love it.

  10. Stephanie Casso

    March 29th, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Jen, thanks for sharing such great feelings. You’re awesome and sometimes focusing on ourselves is what leads us on a path to someone to share ourselves with. It sounds cheesy but I’m a firm believer that God always knows what’s best. Glad you’re following your heart.

  11. Kristin

    March 30th, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Jen,
    Thanks for sharing your heart… it sounds like God has some good stuff planned for you. I’m also in a quiet season right now. Starting next week, I am taking month off of work to work on myself. It’s going to be hard to choose silence, but I’m looking forward to what God is going to do too… bless you!

  12. Trude

    March 30th, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Sounds like it’s definitely time to give yourself some breathing room! As fun as it is with roommates, there’s also something awesome about being able to have things exactly like you want them and not being forced to see people unless you want to, y’know? 🙂 Good for you for going with your gut!

  13. Heidi

    March 30th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Oh, sweet Jen. I’m proud of you for taking this step…I know it will be hard, but a really beautiful hard. I love you!!

    P.S. Great picture. I wonder if you took it on an L.A. Adventure Day? 🙂

  14. Molly W.

    May 7th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    You’re awesome first of all. Second of all, I’m really proud of you, you seek the Lord and He will be faithful to show you what He has for you. Can’t wait to have one of our long chats next time I’m in LA. (PS SO glad I got to live w/ you for a season, loved it!) xo

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