Dear Jennie Ketcham

Posted on April 5, 2010

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Hi. It’s me. Or you. I just want to chat for a minute, to talk about what we’ve done this past year, about where we started, where we went, and where we are now. I want to think of the beautiful places we can go, the possibilities the future holds, I want to remind you that today is a day just like any other, and that every day deserves some quiet moments of introspection.

Do you remember how fucked up you used to get? How you couldn’t remember days or time or how much you weighed? Remember smoking weed every day and drinking jack every night?

Remember a year ago when we packed up our things? Toys and clothes, panties and kneepads, ready to play a joke on the world and the joke turned out to be on us? Remember how afraid you were when you checked in and they called you Jennie? Remember how many cigarettes you smoked and how many tears you shed? Remember meeting Duncan, the gay love of my life? He was the first man I trusted to not want sex, the first man I related to on a deeply intimate level. Remember when he said you can do whatever you want? Remember believing it only because he said so? Remember crying with Kendra and telling her she’d never disappoint you, or hugging Duncan and saying we’d always be friends? You were right… some things withstand the tests of time, even if it’s only a short year. Do you remember meeting Jill, and Drew and learning that your patterns and relationships repeated but there is a solution if you’re ready and willing to work for it? It was a hard time.

Do you remember how afraid you were when you got out of rehab? How you spent the night at Kendra’s house and you guys sang karaoke till dawn? Remember shoving all your stuff in boxes and moving out of the valley, deleting numbers and saying goodbye to an all consuming life? Do you remember looking at your car and realizing you can’t afford it, looking through your clothes and realizing they just don’t fit right anymore? Do you remember the day you realized how selfish you’d become, how your entire life revolved around getting fucked or getting fucked up? That was pretty brutal.

Do you remember yelling at Seth for calling you Penny? That was the first time you really knew who you were, the first time you wanted to be Jennie, to be known as Jennie, to be called Jennie.

Do you remember how hard it was to talk to your Dad at first, how you were afraid you’d hurt him so much he couldn’t love you anymore? It got easier. And he never stopped loving you, even when you stopped loving yourself.

Do you remember the day where you decided you need to work on the relationship with your mother?

The day you looked in the mirror and liked the woman looking back?

The day you sold your first piece of art and the day you received your first thank you letter?

Do you remember the trip to NYC where you met with a Harvard professor who wanted you to lecture and doubting him and that possibility? Well you did it. And you’re still doing it.

Remember when you couldn’t open those tubs in the closet without crying or feeling like you’d lost something? Remember how hopeless some of those nights were, and how afraid you could be at times? Do you remember the day you made a conscious decision to live faith instead of fear? Jill always said you can’t live in both. She is usually right. I’m glad you follow her directions.

Do you remember the day you made your first amends? How nervous you were, how you walked around Hollywood for hours worrying that he would hate you forever and want you to die… Remember how he said he forgave you a long time ago and it’s time to start forgiving yourself? Yeah… That was tough too. Sometimes it’s hard to forgive yourself.

But you’re only human.

Remember the day you realized you’ll never be perfect?

Do you remember the day imperfection was okay?

Do you remember the first conversation with your literary agent? When you met Mr. Man at that birthday party and fell in love with his awkwardness and beautiful blue eyes? Do you remember the first time you kissed him, how you worried you wouldn’t be able to stop? Do you remember laying in bed next to him wanting to tell him you love him but being afraid to do so? Or the day you introduced him to your dad, the first boyfriend to EVER meet your father? Do you remember confessing your love, and being terrified his parents wouldn’t like you? That was some pretty big stuff. But we got through it, one day at a time.

And they liked you for being you…

Do you remember being happy, or sad? Being angry or content?

Do you remember when Saucy licked tears from your face or you caught her snuggling the kitty?

Do you remember reuniting with Duncan and Kendra and wondering why you’d parted ways with them?

Do you remember meeting Deezy and watching Madmen? Drinking vanilla cream soda and crying on his couch?

Do you remember the cruise with Angel, a glimpse into other peoples lives as they over ate and drank themselves to death on the deck of Radiance of the Sea?

Do you remember the day you decided to quit smoking and set an actual date?

Well that time has come, and as you are now a woman of grace and integrity I have no doubt you can do it. Just take it slow and go easy on yourself.

Do you remember the laughter? The hiking? The tears and the fears?

Do you remember where you came from and who you decided you want to be?

Well you are that woman today, and you are changing every moment.

Don’t be afraid to fail, you’ve done that plenty. Never forget that success is a process, not a race, and there really are no finish lines in life. Always be grateful for this moment, your life, for the lessons you’ve learned and the places you’ve been. Remember to tell people you love them as much as you can, and don’t worry about tomorrow because it has yet to happen.

Please believe in yourself, because you can do it.

Please love yourself, because you are worth it.

Please remember me, because I am you.

Love,

Jennie

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Posted in: Good Days