Jenny | San Diego, California

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“My latest philosophy on life (it changes every hour, every week) is this one quote that says The grass is always greener where you water it. And I was like, that makes sense. Wherever you water it, wherever you put your time, your energy, your thoughts, that’s where the grass is going to be greener.

I just need to put my energies into what I want and it’s going to be good and I’m going to be happy. The grass is going to be greener where you water it. Pretty logical, pretty simple. But monumentally it’s changed my life.”

On Being American

I’ve been through so many cycles of this. I used to be really cynical, like Americans are so obnoxious and ignorant and I don’t want to be American. Really bashing it. I’ve gotten involved in politics, frustrated about all our politics.

When I lived in Uganda I was like, “It is the most incredible thing that we have this free and fair election. That women can vote. That my vote counts.” I got really passionate about voting, which is the coolest thing ever.

Living in Australia, I thought oh, Americans are so stupid.  Now, I’ve actually been really appreciating being American because that’s who I am. I was born here. Lived here. I have this newfound gratitude for being American, realizing how amazing our country is.

It’s so diverse in terms of people, culture, geography. We have the most beautiful mountains and beaches and deserts right here in our own country. People are very innovative and creative and driven here. They work a little bit too hard, I think. But… I love it. I feel so at home now being back here.

Current Mission

Get settled back into America and really appreciate being here. Even though I’m beyond grateful for all my travels around the world, I  want to build a community here and get to know the people that live across the street from me. Just really just be here. In San Diego.

On San Diego

San Diego is where I became who I wanted to be. There’s something in me that always knew I wanted to be in California. Even as a little kid my room was beach themed. I had beach sheets, I painted my walls yellow, I got a fake palm tree to put  in my room. I just knew I needed to be by the beach.

I was this awkward and shy kid, which I guess I still am but I felt like I came alive here, became really happy here. This passion for life has just evolved here. I’ve noticed that I’m ten times happier in San Diego than when I’m in Phoenix, where I’m from, or other places.

I know that this is who I am and I need to be here.

One Amazing Experience I’ve Had

I worked for Invisible Children and we had this big event, this big awareness thing: 3,000 people in San Diego helped organize events all over the country.

They were like, ‘We need to reinforce the events all over the country and you can hop on the bus. We don’t know where you’re going or when you’re coming back or what’s going on.’ and I was like, ‘Yeah I’m hopping on the bus’.

On that bus trip we ended up in Chicago, and we got to go on the Oprah show. But that’s how I met all my best friends I’m still best friends with. Like my one friend, she moved to Australia with me and she moved back because I moved back. We were all on the same bus.

We travelled around the country for a week. We didn’t know when we were coming back to San Diego, where we were staying that night, what was going on. We slept in random churches or on the sidewalk in Vegas.

It was this crazy adventure with all these other hardcore idealist people. We were all around the country, in Texas or Indianapolis, but we had a mission: this mission of social justice.

That kind of experience you can never recreate. You can recreate lots of experiences, but you can’t recreate that.

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