When It All Gets To Be Just Too Damn Hard

Sunbathing

I have had a shitty, shitty week. 

Not like the kind of week, where you have a flat tire, an overdraft fee and get gum stuck in your hair, but the kind that makes you question everything about who you even are in the first place. The kind that leaves you feeling lost, confused and hopeless.

It all came to a point yesterday at 7:00 am sharp. Our cat, Study Buddy, had been sick for some time and in and out of the vet about once a week for the last month. He was in pain, but no one could figure out what was wrong. I woke up at 7:00 and went to check on him on the floor at the foot of the bed, and he couldn’t even move. I called the vet, they fit us in at 9:00 (first appointment of the day), and I curled up on the floor next to him with a blanket and pet him for the next 2 hours. I cried the entire time…I knew I was saying goodbye. 

Sure enough, 9:00 came, and the vet ran through our options – none of which were treatable. I held him in my arms and Chris and I both pet him and talked to him until he fell asleep, and then was gone. I kept holding him and petting him while they went over cremation options (burying was out of the question – we’re planning on moving in a few years and I didn’t want him to get left behind). I headed home from the vet’s office and Chris went to work. 

I cried all day. Like uncontrollable, body-shaking sobbing. All day. I ate nothing, I drank nothing. I tried to work, but it was futile. Then around 2:30 I decided to chop off all my hair. I cut 12 inches off. It didn’t help. The loss of my hair, did not in fact, bring back my pet. I cried some more. 

*And before a single one of you says, “Come on, it’s just a cat, pull yourself together.” No, no it’s not, and fuck you. It’s a member of the family, and I’ll grieve in whatever way keeps me out of jail. 

Problem is though, yesterday was just the cherry on top of the shit-filled sundae that has been my week…and it was only Wednesday. Rejection letters, broken gear, taxes, a broke down car, canceled workshop seats, wedding refunds, medical bills, a debt collector trying to collect a debt that isn’t mine and more fucking snow – it just kept adding up. And on top of everything…I’m pregnant (which I haven’t formally announced yet, so that’s just a little secret for you blog subscribers) which means lots of exhaustion and time spent in the bathroom, hugging the toilet. By the time yesterday rolled around all I wanted to do was stand on top of a very high building and throw watermelons over the edge…but instead I was in a vet’s office, saying goodbye to my best friend. I was done. With everything. 

Study Buddy

When Chris got home I had crawled so deeply into a hole there was little chance of reaching me. I wanted everything to stop. I wanted to be able to go to work at a meaningless job, do meaningless tasks, come home and leave everything at the office. I wanted to be able to go for a run again without puking. I wanted to stop stressing over how much our lives are going to change at the end of September when we come home from the hospital with a new baby. About how much more money we’re going to need to make to care for an infant. About how much more art I was going to need to produce, and sell, in order to make that money. I wanted to be responsible for nothing. Fuck paying for the car to get fixed, they can keep it. I just wanted to be done. Done, done, done. 

Now I know I signed up for this. I know this is the life I chose and I know I’ve actually got it pretty damn good. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful. I make art for a living. Not a lot of people can say that. I come home every day to the most supportive, loving man I have ever known, and after about a year and a half of trying, we’re finally going to be able to start a family…and that’s a pretty amazing notch in the good news column too. But if one more person asks me to work for free, or refers to my pregnancy as a “magical time” and then proceeds to give me unsolicited advice about how to raise my future child, I will murder them in broad daylight. 

I’ve been going back and forth about sharing this. Mostly because I follow a lot of very famous photographers, and none of them ever write about imploding in on themselves like a dying star. Their feeds are bright and shiny and happy, happy, happy. “Look where I’ve been featured! Look at what I’m selling! Check out how awesome I am! Buy my book, attend my workshop, click this link and spend money on whatever it leads to!”  Surely if they are all following the same formula, and they are all very successful, wouldn’t it make sense for me to follow that formula too? To hide these ridiculous insecurities? To pretend, even on the days I want to throw in the towel and apply for a job at Target, that everything is sparkling with awesomeness? 

Maybe. But I’d rather not. It’s unrealistic to think that everything is always perfect and awesome because a lot of the time, it isn’t. And even though there are ways to help with a little self doubt, there are also times when none of that works. When the only thing that is going to help bring you back to reality is crawling under your desk, having yourself a good cry and then approaching even the smallest of goals. I remember a little while ago I was sick, in Walmart, standing in the cracker aisle in front of the Saltines, absolutely bawling…because I couldn’t find the Saltines. A lady came, asked why I was crying, I mumbled incoherently and she pointed in front of me. And just like that, I was fine. All it took to calm me down, literally, was a box of Saltines. 

I’m not writing this to vent. Or even for a little sympathy. Trust me, I vented a lot yesterday, and sympathy just reminds me of stuff I want to forget right now. I’m writing this because I want you to know that everyone has times like these, and to let you know that if you’re in the same situation, it will eventually get better. While yesterday was a horrible, horrible day in an already awful week, today is a little better. I’m still sad, I’m still overwhelmed, and I am wondering where all my hair went, but for the most part, I’m okay. And hey, I’ve never had short hair before, and it is kind of fun. I guess I was due for a change anyway. 

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Posted on: March 5, 2015, by : jennamartinphoto@gmail.com

97 thoughts on “When It All Gets To Be Just Too Damn Hard

  1. You cat looks a lot like my Moe. Sorry to hear about your loss, I know what it’s like to have to put an animal down. Anyway I have a studio here in town and a gallery, stop by when you get the chance.

    Pete

  2. Thank you for being honest! I am a work at home graphic designer / photographer and it is hard. I won’t even bullshit you. There are so many days when I don’t want the bloody responsibility. I want to drink wine and eat crap all day. I want to do NOTHING. It’s nice to hear someone else say it out loud because it is okay to get overwhelmed. It is okay to break some times. <3 So thank you again.

  3. You’ve never even met me before. I happened upon your work one day and have admired your unique talent. I too am a photographer. After reading this, I’ll say I can tell you why you are so very talented- because you are willing to be vunerable, stand in your space and speak truth about reality. Believe me, that sells! I don’t want fake. I don’t want to buy fake. I don’t want to read about fake. I won’t be fake. I admire you even more for saying what you are truly feeling. And- just a thought, but once you have that precious baby…..you’ll be photographing that child like no other……and I bet, with your unique abilities and techniques- you’ll nail something so innovative with child photography that it will all make the struggle you felt here worth it
    Blessings,
    From a Mama of 3 who were ALL sick this week and finally gave it to me. It’s what got my attention- cause it’s been a tough week for me too….I can empathize with your post and appreciated when you actually stopped to encourage others who had a rough one too. Keep your chin up. Oh, and I am so sorry for your loss. I did that crying for hours thing too-over a bird! 🙂

    1. Oh! Thank you so much Annie! I cry over any animal that dies…movie, real life, doesn’t matter. And I can’t imagine having 3 sick kids! I’ve heard of 1 sick kid being compared to the apocalypse, so you’ve got to be some kind of rockstar. I’m so glad you stopped by here and I’m so glad there are people like you out there that aren’t really interested in the fake happy side of things…because I’m definitely not too good at selling it ;).

  4. Hi Jenna 🙂

    So sorry you’re having a rough time. I recently lost my childhood horse that I had for almost 25 years…and what got me through it was speaking to him through an animal communicator (who can also talk to animals who have passed on). I did 3x in the past year and a half before he passed, and then several times since then. And actually, 5 min before we put him to sleep I was able to get confirmation that it was what he wanted. I can’t recommend it enough for peace of mind. I have a good one if you’re interested. 😉 Anyway, I don’t comment often but thought perhaps I could help even just a little. 🙂

    Bree

    1. Ugh, Bree! That had to be so painful! Horses have got to be one of the toughest pets to ever lose – they’re like a cross between people and large dogs. I’m glad you got some peace of mind. I was having a horrible time thinking I had to bury my cat at the house, and knowing we were going to move I didn’t want to leave him behind. After my husband told me we can cremate him and bring him with us when we move I felt so much better. It’s still rough though. Thanks for your comment it definitely helps :).

      1. He was the best…definitely so much like a person. Could even spell, LOL. Here’s a pic – https://www.facebook.com/CavalliPhotography/photos/pb.321337197940561.-2207520000.1425606717./743092082431735/?type=3&theater

        I’m sure your cat is still “with” you and it sounds like you gave him exactly what he needed and I’m sure he’s forever grateful for you…and I’m glad you cremated (I did too!). Of course I have 42 pounds of ashes LOL.

        Oh and p.s. congrats on your pregnancy! I’ve never had a child but I imagine after 1.5 years of trying it must be exciting. 🙂

  5. Wow. I love how raw open and honest you are in this post. It had me sobbing. I spent last night curled up on my dogs bed sobbing….knowing he does not have much time to live. Last year I said good bye to my cat that I had for 17 years, the cat that was with me for the worst years of my life. I totally understand your grief and I am so so so sorry for your loss. You grieve how you want for as long as you want. I still visit her grave in the woods and sob. And I also understand the sickness of growing a human, it totally sucks. But the magic will come in time. Congrats and I hope that your shit storm passes…and this fucking snow and cold ends. I cant take it anymore. thanks again for keeping it real, it so damn refreshing…like you said, usually everyone is being so damn awesome. but your still awesome, just so real.

    1. You’re so awesome Mary Beth. I definitely get that way too – I know when it gets close to the end and I just start panicking, trying to spend every second with them because I know it might not last much longer. Ha and yeah, I’ve told my husband this better be one cute fuckin’ kid, cause man it’s putting me through hell, lol. I’m glad you stopped by, and I’m glad you still have your dog for a least a little while longer.

  6. I want you to know how grateful I am you shared! I am terribly sorry for your loss and I understand the fluctuations of emotion especially during pregnancy. ..but my one year wedding anniversary is approaching and its been hell…like literally my wedding night my grandma died. ..four days later my close friend died unexpectedly from a tumor and two weeks after that my grandpa died ….the next 11 months did not show me and my husband any leniency either. ..from canceled weddings to a failed camera and computer. ..to dryer catching on fire. ..to kids going through horrible adjustment period…major ex issues. ..old taxes from previous marriage. .(two weeks ago I got diagnosed with epilepsy) …lol I can’t go into enough details. ..this first anniversary is a celebration of survival. ..and Thanking God for helping us survive it all…but many of times I have questioned these famous photogs and their seemingly perfect lives and I appreciate you sharing your experience. .I completely understand your loss and pray you find comfort ♡

    1. Oh geez, I’m so glad that you’ve survived through all of that! That’s brutal! It is just a “one step at a time” kind of thing, but man even the smallest step seems so impossible sometimes. I’m glad you stopped by here and left a comment, makes me feel much better 🙂

  7. You just rocked my world!!! amazing how your most f-ed up days can bring peace and sense to others. thank you for sharing your heart. and btw, pregnancy sometimes sucks, but that end result, well there’s nothing better in the whole wide world. head up sister <3

  8. Jenna,

    1) I have put down 5 dogs and 8 cats and cried like a baby each time. 2) Speaking of babies, my wife and I never could conceive. 3) Speaking of my wife, she is alcoholic and in liver failure. I have spent more than half the year at home with Fritz the Dachshund and Noodle the Maine Coon, for each of the last 4 years. 4) I own my own construction company which has now endured what, 4 recessions? and really, I wonder why sometimes 5) I am trying to learn photography and sometimes wonder “why can’t I photograph some of this misery and the crap of the life I live…”that might be compelling”…and then there is photoshop, lightroom, On1, etc… This is a hobby?? Then I just shoot a great stream or landscape shot or something and go “wow”.

    Point is, life is hard, for all of us, and the strong will make it though, generally happy as there are both great and shitty moments for everyone. I would change very little if I had to do do again. Chin up.

    Scot

  9. I don’t follow all those other “famous” photographers, I follow you. I follow you because your honesty is refreshing and your willingness to admit that your life is not perfect is inspiring. Also because your photos kick ass.

    I’ve worked in the animal care field for over 20 years and can tell you beyond a doubt that pet loss is harder for many people to deal with than the loss of a human loved one. I personally think that it’s because we have so much responsibility and control over the lives of our animal friends. We are faced at the end with feelings that perhaps we didn’t always feed them the most expensive food or spend enough time with them or we ended their suffering too soon…or not soon enough. At the end of the day, any cat that someone grieves over the way that you are grieving over your friend has had a very fortunate life and any person who can open up their heart to an animal like that can only be enriched by it in the long run.

    I hope that someday soon, you will be ready to open your heart to another lucky animal and will make your way to the nearest shelter. Children should grow up with pets 😉

    1. Thank you so, so much Tracy. My vet told me the same thing – that if I’m this tore up about their death, they were probably spoiled and loved as much as possible while they were alive. Our kids will definitely have pets – we still have 5 left :). Although if it were only up to me I’d be running a small farm by now 🙂

  10. This really touched Me. I’m a military wife and after a year of starting my newborn photography where things were actually starting to pick up, I had to pick up and move. I thought it would be a great new start. We had bought a house and I “thought” I’d have more room to fit a newborn studio. Instead we got here, and everything started going wrong. Things breaking down, bug infested, no room for all my stuff. The stress and anxiety was so overwhelming that I just cried all the time. And I mourned the fact that I could never rebuild my newborn photogrpahy bc how the heck was I going to bring a newborn into a house that’s falling apart. It’s been two months and I still haven’t figured it out. I am very depressed hate being in this house. And sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to go back to photographing newborns. But your post gives me hope! Thank you for sharing this piece of your life. Oh and CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I have two toddlers and sometimes I just want to run and hide from them for a very long time. Lol.

  11. Such an epic letter about real life. I have a great respect for this. Having just won my first award of excellence this week for my fine art photography work that took 5 years in the making I can feel some of the same feelings, wondering where do I really want to go with this art making process. And how I really hate photoshop and why does it have to be so fucking hard. That damn software drive me nuts. I could rant all day about how people will not just go away and leave me alone, don’t they know I am creating art here. LOL On a finer note, I have a great affinity for you and your family and will always be interested in your work. As a single dad of a wonderful young man off to collage now I can only say from my own experience I had no idea what love was until he came along.
    My favorite quote I think about sometimes just to remind myself of all the reasons why.

    Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return.

    You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often.
    You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives.
    It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.

    – Courtney A. Walsh –

    Thank you Jenna Martin “YOU ROCK”

    1. Thank you so much David!! And congrats on the award! You sound like an amazing dad. My husband is so excited to be a dad it’s ridiculous. He’s really already a dad, just without the kid yet :). And thanks for the quote – so true! You’ve helped so much 🙂

  12. That is way btoo much at once. I’m sorry. I hope life eases up and something really great happens. I’ve had three kids and while I love them to pieces-I didn’t really like being pregnant.

  13. You are such an encouragement. This life can be tough! It’s refreshing to hear you be real when so many others aren’t. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there, showing your vulnerability and that you’re still human even if you are a professional. Thank you.

  14. Thank you, thank you for sharing your story so that people like myself can realize that we’re normal and that EVERYONE has shit days, even successful professionals. And thank you for calling out the ‘super happies’, not that I dislike them, in fact I get a bit jealous of their ‘YAY LIFE!’ perspective, but they make me feel insufficient.
    I have been thinking I am not going to be able to compete, even in my little home town of under 10,000 people, because I am NOT a social media butterfly, filled with such positivity that everything I touch turns to whimsy bubbles of delight. I am a sarcastic, dark humoured person, with a strong twist of pure love for all, and I truly struggle to write those positive pr dream statuses encouraging people to buy my stuff. But my work is bright, vibrant and happy, like my soul, when I’m not suffering from toddler induced crazy or pre-teen induced WTF?! that is….
    Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know that this post has given me new faith and more determination to keep at it, because, like you, I’m a human and I feel stuff and some of that stuff hurts.
    I hope your heart feels a little better today,
    Cheers and keep moving forward! x

    1. Thank you so much Fel! Sounds like we’re two peas in a pod :). I started in the same way – nervous that my sarcastic, dark-humored personality would never be able to compete with the sunshine and rainbow happies…but I think we all gravitate to each other. Glad you found me here and thanks for commenting. It’s always good to know there are other folks similar to ourselves out there 🙂

  15. coming to a point 5 years on and feeling the same thoughts about the path I have chosen into photography especially at the beginning of the year when no one puts value on captured memories when bills keeps pouring in and I know this as I am one of those struggling people with beginning of the year bills pouring in – it’s very comforting to know I am not the only one with inner struggles on a daily basis xxxxxx whether it’s a cat, dog, bird or pig family animals hold a very dear place in our hearts and our daily lives – so allow yourself to grieve you in whichever way gets you thru it

    1. Thank you Connie, I know that feeling all too well. I’m glad this post could relate a bit – you’re not alone in that struggle! And you’re absolutely right. I could lose a goldfish and cry like a baby, but pets are special. I’m glad there are people like you out there that understand 🙂

  16. Thank you for writing this. I love you. Really. So raw and real. I’ve been in a shitty mood as well and this article really cheered me up… Thanks for being you. Oh and a photographer. 🙂

  17. I understand your pain in losing a precious kitty. It is absolutely horrible. I have been there.

    What I have to say next you probably won’t like, but here it goes. You need to shut the f*ck up about your middle class problems. When I read your story, here is what I learned:
    1. Your are married to a wonderful man. (so you’re not suffering from domestic violence like so many other woman. Appreciate your husband more than you do.)
    2. You’re pregnant!!! So amazing!
    3. You have a comfortable home. (I’m assuming you aren’t homeless. Do you have to deal with calling around to area domestic violence shelters or family shelters or homeless shelters to see if a bed is available for yourself/your children?)
    4. You have a job and clients who want to work with you. (That means you’re not applying for unemployment or food stamps or general assistance, or heating assistance, any other service that is in place for those in need.)
    5. You have your health (and PREGNANT! *woohoo*. And I’m assuming you have health care. And you can pay for medications. Congratulations, you’re not having to worry about cancer treatments, dialysis, making funeral arrangements for your spouse or loved one.)
    6. You own a car. (Yes it needs work, all vehicles do. You aren’t special. But are you disabled and walking everywhere to get to an appointment, or a job. Highly doubt it. Or waiting for a free ride from a social service organization that never comes.)

    I could go on and it.
    But, overall, it is entirely how you view the situation. And you have a pretty good situation there. You could lose it all tomorrow. I repeat- you could lose it all tomorrow. SO BE THANKFUL.

    You wrote that article because you wanted a response. There is my response. I hope you have a change of heart.

    Also, you’re hormonal. Take a nap.

    1. I am hormonal. And I will take a nap. But I wrote in the article that just because shit hits the fan it does not mean I’m not thankful. Even the most thankful people in the world are allowed to have shitty, shitty days, and even though there are worse problems in the world (yes, I’m not living in a homeless shelter with an abusive man), that’s also probably the worst thing you can ever say to someone. Your mom died? Well at least your dad’s still alive. See how that response doesn’t help anyone?

      1. Sounds like someone’s got a wicked case of “perpetual victimhood”. This is where anyone who is in a comfortable position in life is a threat and doesn’t understand what it’s like for all the Hobos in the world. So they shit all over them and their good situation. Well fuck that nonsense!
        I got my ass kicked by a stepdad as a kid. I was homeless my first go round in college. Had to drop out of school because of it. Went to war after that. Lost two best friends. Life has thrown lots of curve balls at me.
        But, after all that I started a very successful business. Made decent money and got out of it to pursue my passion. I’m starting all over again. Sometimes shit sucks. Sometimes I bitch about it.
        There’s always some toolbox saying, “how can you bitch? You drive a $70K truck. You have a hot wife and a nice house. How dare you?”
        How dare I? Fuck you. That’s why. I busted my fuckin ass to get where I am. So you go fuck yourself.
        THAT, Jenna my dear, is how you deal with someone throwing a guilt trip at you without knowing shit about where you come from:)

    2. Holy shit dude, way to make her feel better. Everyone has shitty days, regardless of status in life. Of course she’s thankful for what she has. She’s having a terrible week, she IS hormonal, she let out her feelings to feel better, to get support from the people who she holds dear-her followers. When your friends have a shitty day do you tell them to shut the fuck up? If so, I’m glad I’m not friends with you. There’s a difference between giving someone a nice little kick in the butt to get them to change their perspective and just being a dick. Love you Jenna and it sucks some really hairy balls, the shit you’ve been through this week. It WILL get better. In the mean time, curl up with a big bag of saltines and netflix.

    3. Wow you just can’t let someone vent can you?? You have never had a bad day and just needed to put it out there to move on and get better??? You obviously don’t know Jenna very well or follow her or you would know she isn’t a whiny attention seeker, she is one of the most loving and supportive people I have ever meant and maybe she just needs a little support right now when she is having a shit week. Just because her life problems may not be life threatening doesn’t make them any less hard for her. This is her way of coping and moving through it and helps her to move on. Way to be supportive, geeze. Maybe instead of making people feel worse you can just offer a simple “it will get better” then putting them down for going through the their own emotions.

    4. I’m totally taken back by this “shut the fuck up” comment. Comparing one’s life events to another’s is complete horseshit. You can assume you know the road Jenna or others have walked but that judgment isn’t for you to make. If you want her to shut the fuck up you could leave. You don’t have to read what she has to say. This is HER blog. I think it’s pathetic you felt the need to attack her instead of walking away and doing something more productive with your time. I didn’t realize we were in a competition of our trials in life. Some have it worse, no doubt about that but doesn’t mean we ignore our own feelings. To wind up bitter, angry and numb to empathy like you? No thanks.

      Jenna, I’m so sorry for your loss and the fact that this angry person attacked you on this way. I’m sending you hugs, feel better vibes and a troll free zone.

    5. Clearly Audrey has never been pregnant. Otherwise she’d shut the fuck up herself and let Jenna say and feel what she needs to feel. All of the wonderful things she mentions that Jenna has, Jenna already knows she has. And she appreciates. But for the love of fuck, sometimes even those great things get tough to handle and hooray hooray her husband doesn’t beat her…that’s not the only problem that is worthy of getting a woman down. Audrey, dear sweet woman, you don’t even slightly know how tough Jenna is and what she has endured in her life…abuse or otherwise. So let her grieve her pet, let her pregnancy suck her dry and let her feel what she needs to feel. She already knows she will get past it. We all know that when we get depressed but sometimes we need to feel it and usually when we express it, it helps someone else feel not so alone. Did I mention, shut the fuck up Audrey?

    6. Wow. Pushing down “gratitude attitude” down someone’s throat. Aren’t that something. Something that stinks of being abusive and overstepping boundaries. Does not sound like you had a good day, but anyhow that is not the license to be an offending party.

    7. What the fuck is wrong with you? I mean seriously, are you somehow deficient in the head? Are you on medication or something and that is the reason you could be such a bitch? I don’t know what your problem is but I think the only one who needs to shut the fuck up is you.
      You just told a pregnant grieving woman who had the courage to write about her pain and tell the world a big fucking secret and show everyone that she is human- you just told her to get over it because her life isn’t as bad as it could be.

      There will always be suffering in this world. There will always be hunger and pain and loss. Everyone will experience it, but the fact that someone else’s suffering may be worse should in NO WAY diminish the way we are allowed to feel about our own. Yes, it’s good to be grateful, and yes, things can always be worse, but the reality you’re living in right now is the reality that you are forced to bear, and the suffering of others does nothing to ease our own, so why should we not be allowed to feel each emotion and express it in any way that helps us process it.

      Oh, yeah- also, Did you happen to feel that gust of air on your head as the whole point of this article whizzed over you?
      The final paragraph is all about how she is telling us this to let us know that it’s okay to feel bad. That it does get better, and even the people we look up to still have shitty days. (it’s not as perfect as their blogs would lead us to believe)

      Jenna- this is an amazing post, and I love to see the human side of the people I look up to. You’re in the hardest part of preggies right now, but don’t worry, it’ll pass. I’m so sorry about your kitty. I know how much these furry butts mean to us, so I am crying with you now. Peace and love my dear.

    8. This is the most ridiculous and unfounded reply I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. So a millionaire can’t feel loss or depression? Is feeling sad reserved for the poor? Since when was emotion even linked to status or wealth? When I was married to my ex husband I was very wealthy and incredibly sad, now I have very little and I am happier than I’ve ever been. Emotions have nothing to do with materialism. Please, before writing such immature responses to those who are grieving, go read a book.

    9. You know what Im really REALLY thankful for? Jenna telling her story and reminding us its okay to have a poor day sometimes and talk about it. That even the people who rock have hard assed days.

      You know what Im not thankful for? You Audrey. For deciding its okay to bring someone else down and pulling out this “Be greatful” bullshit. People have bad days, talking about that is an essential part of the process – especially when it involves grief.

      Jenna Im so so so sorry for your loss. Thats horrible. Id hug the shit out of you if I was there.

  18. You are a real person, so don’t ever feel the need to hide how you feel. This was probably a scary post for you, but let me just tell you that I resonated with the fucked up mess of you than I ever have with anything I’ve read thus far! I would never use the word fuck in a comment on blog that I’ve never commented on, but I feel like I know you now, the real you, not the foo-foo photographer, you-can-do-it-all coach you. (AKA the image of the model photographer business person you might think you’re supposed to be… man this post might help me grow a set… or at least I hope it might)

    I’m so sorry about your kitty =*( I can’t imagine losing my dog, she is the love on my life, so I truly feel for your loss. There is nothing anyone can say to heal that pain… only time will dull it.

    Thank you for authentically being you. I think many will be able to relate to this. Rock on =)

  19. Oh my goodness!! I just want to put my arms around you!!!
    i am all in for a good cry!! I actually believe it clears things and you just feel better by doing it!
    Just put one foot in front of the other and breath!!
    It’s not always easy, I know!!
    Congratulations on your pregnancy.
    And I’m sooo very sorry for the loss of your beloved pet,
    They are our family, our children, and at the end of a shitty day, they make us laugh and they make us feel loved.
    Hugs!!!

    And thank you for sharing!
    Sending prayers that you get thru this!!

  20. I was the same way When my dog Milo passed back in November. I was a mess. I didn’t get the closure of holding after he went. I didn’t get to be there like I wanted. I had flown out of town to look for a new home in a city that was strange to me. So not only did I have the stress of my impending move, and how I was going to pay for it all, but I had that on top of it. It certainly does get better, but it will take time. And you’re absolutely right, they are every bit a part of the family as a child. I am sorry for your loss, but you’re definitely not alone.

    On a side note, I don’t know if this is something you’d be interested in, but if you ever sell Prints of your work, look into society6.com. I’ve been toying with the idea of putting some of my drawings on there and have already created an artist profile.

  21. Fate brought me to your post. I am having the shittiest week ever with my marriage and life goals and my S.A.D., and you just gave me hope. Thank you so much for sharing this, because I never tell anyone ANYTHING and I feel like you just unloaded a whole lot FOR me. God bless you and your aching, honest, real heart.

  22. You are not alone! And it is so refreshing to hear some honest ranting! Losing a pet is like part of your heart being ripped out of your chest. I lost 2 within 9 months of each other. I cried for a week straight after the first one and longer after the second. Tears are good. Ranting is good. And sometimes it only feels a little better when swear words are used. Thank you for sharing your shirty week with us.

  23. Hi Jenna, I am an IG follower of yours, and I think you are a brilliant photographer. Having read your blog for the first time, I am impressed with your openness, courage and heart. My heart goes out to you for the loss of your cat. We recently had to put our 12 year old dog down with cancer, and I understand the hell you are going through. There’s nothing I can say that will make you feel better now, but try to appreciate that you gave him a good life, and he knew he was loved until the very end. The only other advice I can give is to get a new kitten as soon as you are up to it. No, you can never replace Study Buddy, but you can help fill the hole in your heart with a new family member.
    You never need to apologize for opening your heart to people, whether it is good news, or the shittiest day ever. It can be a cathartic experience for you, and a bonding or learning experience for your followers. Or it can give Audrey an opportunity to vent her frustrations. I am a depression survivor, so I know what it’s like to live in a personal hell, while to others, your life is fine, and you just need to toughen up and be thankful for your blessings. I sincerely believe that it is far healthier to release and share your pain than to bottle it up and poison yourself. I pray that you never have to deal with an extended depression, but if you do, know that you are not alone. One good thing about hitting bottom is that things are only going to get better. Don’t let anyone push you out of your grieving period, but don’t lose sight of the fact that you are talented, beautiful, intelligent, with a loving husband, and a beautiful baby on the way, that will totally blow your world apart, but in a very, very good way. And your hair will grow back.

    1. Wow, thank you for such a meaningful comment Dave! Luckily I have 5 other pets, so no new one just yet, but if it were up to me I’d adopt a whole farm! And you’re right, I’m not going to let anyone push me out of my grieving period. I should stay here until it’s done. I agree…I think it’s healthier that way. Thanks for making me feel better, you’re one of good ones and I’m glad to have met you!

  24. So sorry to hear of your loss! My husband and I have four-legged kids too and one of them is my aging kitty. I know the day is coming and it hurts my heart thinking of it. Your day sounds so painful. I appreciate reading your straightforward posts. So refreshing! Hope 2015 brings you joy after this sad day!
    Laura… All the way from Alaska! 🙂

  25. Sorry about your loss Jenna, and sorry to hear you are having a bad week. That sucks, a lot. On the other hand congrats for the pregnancy and the new baby to come, moreover if you have been trying for a while 🙂 From a person who lived with her pregnant cousin in a 300 square feet apartment during the first 4 months, I can tell you, you have to get ready for being a little extrasensitive and overthinking everything (hormones are lil bitches, but they are actually a pretty awesome excuse for this kind of mood and for treating yourself with icecream, that’s what we did in the low days)

    This shitty week will eventually end, and you’ll be back at your feet. If not, you also have lots of amazing people and supporters around here to tell you to hang in there and make sure you’ll fine. Shitty weeks are the worst, but you’re the best.

      1. You’re more than welcome, glad you’re feeling a lil better and it helped somehow. I have lots of stories about pregnancy rollercoasters, it’ll all pass and will leave you funny stories to tell, you’ll see 🙂 I am not doing that well, but I’m trying to keep up with the good spirits, even if sometimes is just damn hard.

        Big hug from Spain, take a deep breath, let it all out. Next week will be a better week.

  26. Jenna- thinking of you! So sorry about study buddy…Its heartbreaking. We put our 14 year old shepherd down last August and I still miss him terribly. Stay strong! Love your work, it’s absolutely stunning!!!

  27. Jenna – this is a heart wrenching post and I feel so much for you. Losing a pet is devastating and your grief is real. It’s awful how life can sometimes seem to be conspiring against you, but it does get better and I believe we learn and become rounder as people because of the challenges we overcome. It is so damned hard at the time, though.

    It’s great that despite everything you are able to maintain some perspective and your new baby will benefit from your wisdom and experience as he or she is born into a home that is clearly loving and full of hopes and joys. Children, and in my case now, grandchildren, create a whole new paradigm of perspective and help us understand what really matters. But it can be overwhelming to go through all the shit to come out the other side.

    Thanks for sharing this post. It is brave of you! Now let your hair grow long again as I am not sure your self portraits will not have the same style without those locks flowing around you!! Or keep it short as I’m equally sure you’ll find a creative way to reinvent yourself too!

    1. Thank you so much Stephen! It is hard, but reading comments like yours help a bit because I’m glad there are people like you out there that get it. We’re pretty excited for the new baby, just need to get through this whole pregnancy thing, lol. And I may just get used to this short hair thing, it’s fun to play with :).

      And second congrats on the citizenship! Glad to have you in the US! 😀

  28. Thanks for sharing. The every positive persona that many people put on creates unrealistic expectations in much the same way as fashion mags are accused of the same by only featuring unrealistically beautiful people.
    I recently had a melt down and ended up on anti depressants. I decided to buck the trend and talk about it and am overwhelmed by the number of people who’ve told me that they’ve had the same thing but never felt confident to talk about it. So well done for talking about it and making everyone who has or will go through difficult days realise that it will pass.
    And congrats. People will always try to share their experience and knowledge about child rearing. They mean well and know in their hearts that you’ll do it your way just like they did.

  29. I’ve had to put two of my cats down, there is no pain like that. HUGS to you…

    on a side note – I hope you donated that hair…. I grow mine specifically to donate it. check out “Children with hair loss”

  30. I own my own makeup business, and this year just when I am finally starting to get busy I had twins… not only that but my daughter is sick and had a heart transplant. Throughout all that, everything else decided to go wrong as well. You have taken words from my very heart and expressed them. I thank you for putting yourself out there, now I don’t feel so alone or like I’m failing as a business owner or all around human being 🙂 ♡

  31. Daniel Boone said that when you’re bear hunting sometimes you get the bear and other times the bear gets you. Sounds like the bear has you in his grips right now. I’m sorry for your loss and all of life’s pressures crashing in at once. I’m excited for you and the baby. When it gets bad for me, experience has shown me “this too shall pass” and I retreat a little, and do the minimum I have to til it gets better. Use your support system for now, they want to help you. It’s ok to feel bad. It accents the joys when they come too.

  32. So sorry for your loss, Jenna. Losing a fur baby is difficult. We lost two in the last 6 years, and we still mourn the loss. Thank you for your vulnerability and honesty. It really is difficult to keep moving when you feel like the whole work is crashing down on you. I feel like I have been creatively stagnant for the last six months due to a crappy family situation and I am so close to throwing in the towel and just get a burger flipping job instead of work on my photography. It is hard. But reading your words makes me feel as if there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel. So thank you for that.
    Oh and congratulations…when I found out I was pregnant with my youngest (of two), I turned out to be 16 weeks! Talk about anxiety!

  33. Just started following your blog about a month ago… maybe a bit more. I’ll tell you, I live in Hawaii… perfect temperature, endless sunshine and naturally over-saturated rainbows, oceans, and mountains… right? Wrong… well, right… but sometimes wrong.

    Peaks and valleys. Life is NOTHING but peaks and valleys. I’m in a very deep valley now for all kinds of reasons, and no amount of tropical splendor will allow me out. Though, you and I both know that we find ourselves here because we put ourselves here. We dared to own a cat, to get married, to have a child, to try making money out of something that sensible people lied to us about. “Wow, good for you! You go do that! I’m so envious.” when they really wanted to call us fools.

    We dared to do things that we WILL lose or find complete. We did so because finding love and joy along the way is worth it. If I had the chance, would I drag myself through the same peaks and valleys again? Hell no! I’d drag myself through different peaks and valleys!

    Your photography has me in awe. My work is childish, at best. One day when I grow up I want to take pictures just like you. Until then, bring the little one here to Hawaii for their first birthday (it’s customary here to throw a big luau for 1 year-olds) and we’ll let those little eyes remind us how to find wonder in the world again.

    E kulia i ka nu’u! (Strive for the peaks! – Queen Kapi’olani)

    Aloha kakou,
    Jon

    1. Thanks for the kind words Jon :). It’s true, I wouldn’t give up what I had, so the pain now is still worth all that time together. Just rough for now. I’ll def have to come to Hawaii someday, it would be so awesome to meet!

  34. Jenna,

    You’re the only human who could write a blog that makes one bawl, scream and laugh in the same instance.
    You’re fucking remarkable.
    That kid is going to be damn lucky to have such a real and artistic mama.

    Thank you for sharing and being you. The winter is rough. You’ll come out of all this valiantly hoisting a figurative sword in triumph and epicness.

  35. Yes! I’m not cheering… I’m right there with you. I love you, love you, love you. I feel for you so much, (and I think there are others like me), because you are real. Like us. You are entitled to be normal. Thank you for writing about about what you are going through. We’ll cry for saltines together.

  36. I’m new to your page & I love the “realness” of this blog post! We’ve been going through a lot of junk too. A lawsuit, totaled vehicle, job that my heart is just not into any longer, & frustration of building a new business (oh and teenagers). Hope things start looking up for you soon, remember “this too shall pass” (at least that’s what I keep telling myself).

  37. I just happened on this piece as a link from G+ and loved the writing – even with such a sad topic. Having had cats over the years (currently we have 3) I know the ache that causes. Thank you for sharing honestly with each of us!

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