It rained in Los Angeles for the past three days straight. The first droplets fell as I headed to LAX to attend one of the biggest taped events of my life, and I felt as though the water washing down over my town car represented much more than a fall sprinkle. When it rains in LA, all the filth from the air, the hills, the streets, all the nastiness that exists in this city of angels washes down over star bangled sidewalks and into the gutters that separate the tourists running for cover down Hollywood Blvd from the good people of the city letting the seasons wash their cars on their way home. We wash the city and drain it into sewage pipes and to the pacific, and the surf advisory says it’s not a good idea to swim in the ocean for a few days after a hard rain. These past three days brought a good rain, and even though I was in Chicago while it poured, even though I wasn’t here to witness the magic that is LA cleaning itself like a fabulous self-cleaning oven (which I’ve never really trusted for some reason), I came home to a sweet smelling city, walked through shiny streets no longer covered in piss and shit, trudged up a mountain I knew so well that has managed to reform it’s paths while I’ve been away. And if this mountain can make new paths in a mere three days, simply by letting the rain wash over it’s well traveled grounds, then I can certainly carve a new path for the rest of my life.
Over the past six months, some very big changes have happened in my life, some very hard rains have reshaped my trails. Some huge changes actually, changes so big that sometimes I don’t even recognize the life I’m leading today, some mornings I wake up questioning whether or not this really is my life, some nights I go to bed wondering if all these amazing things have really happened to me. There is still a part of me that feels like I don’t deserve all the wonderful things coming my way. I am trying to shush that part out with the wiser part that says “If you do the work, good things will come.” But sometimes it is hard.
This past week especially has been difficult as far as maintaining a grasp on reality goes. Some things I can’t talk about yet, but others are so particularly huge, there is no sense in passing by them as if they did not happen. For instance, I’ve started speaking with a lit agent about a memoir, a thought I’d put on the back burner figuring when the time is right it will just fall into place. It seems the time is right, as things have started to fall into place. Another huge thing that happened, that thing I said I cannot mention, and this thing is SO huge, you will know what it is before the month is over, without me even saying it. I’ve pinched myself so many times in the past 48 hours and sure enough, I am awake. And sure enough, I have tons of tiny pinchy bruise marks. It doesn’t matter though, I don’t have to take my clothes off for money anymore so if I am covered in reality check bruises I am the only one to know. Well. And now you. So don’t tell. Actually, tell whoever you want, I could give a flying….
The biggest thing that has happened is by virtue of one of my best friends E-Deezy, and while he may not know just how much it means to me, I find it very important to address here, to share with the world this change, and give credit where credit is due.
This day marks the beginning of a new era. A time in my life where I am not constantly referring to my alter ego, my played out other identity, a time where I can proudly say I am a writer, instead of a recovering pornstar, a time where the value of my words and thoughts outranks my tits and ass. At least in my mind. Today, with the help of E-Deez, I can proudly say my name is Jennie Ketcham, an American writer, artist and FORMER pornographic film actress and director. No longer does the porn part come first in my life, because that is not the person I identify most with. These past six months has been about building a new identity, about building MY identity, and letting go of hers and of her. I didn’t have the strength to go in and act like I can change it myself, but Deezy, the wonderful friend that he is, took initiative and asked if I’m ready for that change. Not realizing the huge implications behind such a silly thing, not giving much thought to a simple thing like changing my wikipedia page to my real name, I agreed and immediately he helped me. He even put a beautiful picture of me on the page, in place of the cheesy porno convention one that had been there. I did not have the courage to do a simple thing like write my own name, and my friend (maybe) saw this, and was willing to do it for me.
One of the biggest reasons I am able to maintain sobriety, with sex, drugs, booze, pot, one of the main reasons is the support that is constantly around me. The wonderful and strong people in my life today that are there for me to lean on, there for me to cry with, there for me no matter what time day or night. These are new things to me, mostly because I felt I wasn’t deserving of such unadulterated love before, and forbid that any one person show me affection. I didn’t feel I was worth supporting, and forbid people to be close enough to lean on. The biggest change though, has been in me, with my intentions and actions, my hopes and dreams, and it’s because of these people around me that I am able to see what it is that I can do. And it’s all for them.
I wish to offer support instead of being supported.
I wish to understand, rather than be understood.
I wish to help, rather than be helped.
I wish to listen, than to be heard.
to give rather than receive.
to love rather than be loved.
I dedicate my abundant joy today to my friend E-Deezy, who has helped me more than he’ll ever know. It may have been a quick fix for him, changing my wikipedia name, but for me, it solidifies the decision to destroy Penny and the adventure that is Becoming Jennie.