Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions! We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!
Jenn is an amazing woman I know from eating disorder recovery. Since Day 1, Jenn has always tilted her head, showing the utmost imporance of listening to me, given me words of wisdom and avalanched me in the ultimate bear hug before she sent me back into the world. I knew that I respected and loved her, but what blew me away with our interview was realizing how much I didn’t know about her. This woman is even more multi-dimensional, passionate and loving than I knew. It made me think about how many other people out there I might not be “seeing” all of? Check out our interview below. I’ll be shocked if you leave uninspired.
Irvina: Hey lover face! So tell me about a fun project you’re currently working on?
Jenn: Well it’s hard to say that I am just working on one project in particular. I really enjoyed making all my Christmas presents over the past holiday with a lot of inspiration from Pintrest.com. I didn’t realize how much I truly loved making gifts for people and using my artistic ability to create presents I was truly proud of and really got to put myself into them.
A great project i was working on at Apple (where I work) was iPads for soldiers who have been deployed for multiple tours of duty. I have been given a great opportunity being an intern on the Business Team at Apple. I truly get to enrich the lives of so many diverse and unique people in the world all through technology. I have an amazing job that allows and encourages me to use all of my talents from my love of photography and art to my experiences I have had growing up as a child of a Solider. Each day is fun and exciting and filled with so many challenges and successes. It’s humbling to know all of this is possible because my eating disorder is not the center of my life anymore.
Irvina: Wow, you’re a creative girl! And you’re right, I don’t see how you could do all of that amazing work while in your eating disorder. I have been amazed myself at the things I have been able to accomplish once I’ve had that monster off my back. I can only imagine the things you’ll do in the years ahead! Can you tell our readers something you’re passionate about?
Jenn: I am passionate about loving people, especially the wonderful people I have in my life. I am the proud “Auntie Jiff” of two beautiful little girls that are MacKenzie Grace, 5 years old and Charlotte “Charlie” Joy, 1 month old. They seriously make my heart feel all aglow! Recently, I got to do a whole photo shoot with both of them for the holidays and a birth announcement for Charlie. My photography has given me a creative and healthy outlet for so much that I use to keep inside. I also love playing music and painting. I have gone through some tough and beautiful parts of my life which I can translate into music. I love seeing that my struggle with an eating disorder and alcoholism was not in vain, but was so that I could get closer to a God that loves me more than I will ever be able to understand. I’ve also seen the good nature of people in recovery from addictions. These people invested in me when I literally had nothing to give in return. I have been afforded the lesson of grace in action without which I would not be here today, plain and simple.
Irvina: Jeez girl! What a parallel between the things you love to do now and the struggle it took to get there. Thank you for sharing that. It really reminds me of the priceless gift of LIVING without an addiction. So, what do you do for fun?
Jenn: For fun I love getting to hang out with family, my handsome husband and our little pound puppy Teagan Marie Charles! She’s a 1 year old, half Lab, half PitBull, Terrier Mix who can steal your heart and your shoes with those beautiful blue eyes of hers! I love going to museums and concerts with friends as much as I love having a great cup of coffee and a chat with a friend at Portola Coffee Lab. Quality time with people I love is what I love getting to do for fun. And occasionally I like to go on photographic adventures in search of the shot of the day, which will proudly hang on my bulletin board in my art room at my home. I also love going to a great farmers market and getting great fresh foods for the week, I think even though I am Scotch/ Irish (hence the red hair and blue eye) there just might be a little Italiano in this girl. Due to the fact that I am truly inspired by many Italian chef’s and their take on food, life and love!
Irvina: Awe! I love all of that! I want a puppy soooooooo bad! I’m jealous…in a good way! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I can’t really say that I have done something crazy that I can remember standing out. But in thinking about it I have never been normal in any sense of the word, let’s face it who really is? I can remember a couple of things…
1. Being that kid in school who asked for more homework because I loved learning so much.
2. Having mini art painting sessions with my grandmother on her back veranda then having a private showing of what I had painted in the garage. My grandfather framed and hung all of the paintings on the walls just for us to enjoy.
3. I built my first computer at age 7 because I was jealous that Doogie Howser (the kid doctor) got to use one to journal in and I didn’t.
4. I grew up loving art, soccer, hockey, running, read high school and college level science course books at age 9. I knew more about the construction and function of any army tank then most kid should ever know.
5. I also dreamed of becoming a part of the peace corp, because I wanted to travel the world helping people.
I have lead a creative and inspiring life and that is the craziest thing I have ever done. I refuse to let the world put me into a confined roll just because I am a girl and expected to act a certain way. I am a crazy one that believes I will make a difference in this world because I don’t see the world as it is, I see as I wish it will be.
Irvina: Um…Sorry, I think I lost my thought. You kind of just blew me away! I thought I knew you, but I now realize that I don’t. There is so much more to you and your story than I even know. Thank you for being so brave to be true to yourself. Thank you for being crazy-cool Jen! The world is better for it! I’m better for it! So back to the questions! Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?
Jenn: Hard to say what exactly I contribute but I try to be kind and passionate about everything and everyone that comes my way. I am truly proud of the fact that I am described as a loyal friend. At one time I was not loyal or reliable. Now I take comfort in knowing that I have the ability to love my family and friends with my whole heart and I hold nothing back.
Irvina: Beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and why?
Jenn: My creativity comes through in my community as looking at the world through a kids eyes, I rarely act my age and absolutely cherish that about myself. I love being able to put people at ease and make them laugh because nothing in life is so serious that you can’t find time to play with a slinky or be so consumed with how a rain drop falls off a spider web after a wonderful rain shower.
I have been told that I have a kind spirit, I like to think that comes from my Grandparents on my father’s side they were great role models and are the main reason I thrive in life today. They were never unkind to anyone about anything. They loved completely and fully and I can only wish that after I am gone I will have exuded that kindness among the world I lived in.
My strength comes from my knowing that I have weaknesses and not being afraid to face them one at a time. I was never aware of my strength until I looked back after being in recovery for almost 6 years. I realized I was never supposed to live past 10 years old ( because of a heart defect I have) and here I am at 30 years of age, healthy, happy and always moving forward. I didn’t let one person determine my destiny and I didn’t give up because I may only be around a certain amount of time. I spent my time being a kid, climbing trees, surfing in Hawaii, traveling to Ireland working for a wonderful company. I have never limited myself.
Irvina: That’s incredible Jen. You are beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?
Jenn: The most beautiful woman I knew was my grandmother Betty, she was a knock out with red hair, blue eyes and a heart of gold. She was my first best friend, art teacher, and all around super hero. She had great passion for everything she did from picking out table covers for the next church social to creating and sustaining the first arts education programs in the Glendora Unified school district and later the state of California. She always had time for everyone and could make you feel like you were the only person in the room. She had an amazing drive and confidence that stemmed from self-worth. She helped me write a letter of concern to President Bush about the first Desert Storm War, because she and I always read the newspaper together. She reminded me constantly that I had a voice and no matter how young or old I was it should be heard. She always wore a fashionable pleated skirt and blouse with a sweater and always had her hair done and finger nails painted a blush pink, she was Pink way before Victoria Secrets ever was. She loved God her family and her civic duties to her community. I can only hope I make as much of an impact as she did on this world.
Irvina: Holy Shiz-Nick! She sounds incredible! What do you wish young women knew about beauty?
Jenn: My wish for women is that they understand true authentic beauty is that it simply comes from a place inside of your heart that allows you to love unconditionally. Not only others but yourself most of all. I do my best to tell my two little nieces all the time that they are absolutely precious and loved. I want them to grow up knowing that they are so loved and completely precious to their Auntie Jiff and so many others in their lives.
Irvina: I think with you around Jenn they will. Thank you for speaking with us. Your life has touched me deeply. Thank you.