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The Beginning- You Are Here

you are here

Welcome to my space.  Jenonymously is a blog by just another Jenny — that’s me.

Before, during and after reading my entries, there are a few things I would love for you to keep in mind.

First, I loathe typos and grammar mistakes. However, as the CEO of my life, my job is never-ending. I juggle being a mom to two school-age girls and one toddler princess, manage the joys of being a wife, volunteer in my community and at school, make pot-lucks for play group, take foreign language classes, and write full time, among about a dozen other things. This means that the dreaded typos frequently escape my notice as I am feverishly pecking at the keyboard to get just one more thought completed before I have to stop and dress Barbie in a new outfit for the twelfth time. The typos happen, and I hate it. So please, give me grace if you see a mistake, and know that I likely missed it as I was hurrying to finish writing in between diaper changes and snack time. Better still, you could leave me a gentle comment and let me know about the mistake so I can correct it. That would be even better.

Second, my fundamental premise of thought is that I respect the differences of all people. As an outsider in a foreign land, it is part of my inherent need to recognize and understand my world that compels me to point out differences between cultures. I always try to be respectful with my opinions, while also being honest about my own perceptions. It’s a fine line to walk, but it’s an important line to keep. If you’re reading my words, I hope you’ll work from the same central premise that I do — all these differences are not cause for mockery, division or self-importance, but rather, are wonderful curiosities and mysteries to be unlocked and understood.

I was a child in the most secure and wonderful family in the world. I lived with my own biological parents in the same house from birth to marriage. For two decades I had one experience, and though I have no complaints at all about that wonderful childhood, when I traveled across the globe, I had the most astounding revelation — people are just people everywhere you go. We’re all the same. And yet, the way we interact with the world, the way we tame our environment and interpret our surroundings is, in some ways, as different as you can get. These are the differences that I embrace. Exit signs are not always red. Car seats are not mandatory around the globe. There are different ways to count on your fingers and different ways to gesture “come here.” The opinion of what is scary is different between cultures. There’s more than one way to flush a toilet. There’s also more than one way to sit on a toilet! These are the things that keep me awake at night writing commentary in my head. And that has become my passion — to share these curiosities so that anyone interested can get a glimpse into the great diversity of our world and begin to appreciate that there just might be more than one way to think or feel or understand. “To be right,” doesn’t have to mean “to be my way.” There are countless ways to do just about everything, and I think the more that our global nation becomes aware of these delightful differences in perspective among us, the better we will be able to embrace new ideas and the further our civilization will evolve. But, that’s just my humble opinion.

Third, along with that fundamental premise I mentioned above, I hope you’ll also keep in mind that I am in a constant state of learning. This means, that often I have zero understanding about what I may be encountering in my daily life. The only tools I have at my disposal are my own preconceptions and prior knowledge. I feel like a child who is first learning to read, or a toddler who is constantly learning about its world. Almost everything is new to me every day. When I do encounter something familiar, like a McDonald’s or a KFC on the corner of a street in Korea, or a Walmart in the center of Shanghai, China, it’s like a shock to my system, in that even these familiar things become new and fascinating to me since they should seem so out of place in this new environment, but fit so easily into the surroundings of their own city. My viewpoints in my blog entries are just that — my viewpoints. They aren’t always developed after considerate and extensive research. Some are just my impressions of what I am learning. All that to say, don’t hold me to every word. Just keep in mind that absorbing a new culture is a process sort of like wading from the shallow end of the pool to the deep end. You can only go in a little at a time, and only by mastering your skills in one depth are you able to and prepared to wade in a little deeper and understand more about a culture. It’s a process that does, at least for me, take place in layers. Before you can even become aware that there is a deeper layer to understand on a specific topic, you first have to become aware of the topic itself.  Then, learning can build on layer after layer until you reach mastery of the subject.  In some cases, I’m still wading around in the shallow end of the pool.

Well, that’s about all I have for the “preparation” part of this lesson. From here on out, I hope you’ll read and enjoy. And also, don’t be afraid to leave a comment anytime.

Welcome to my blog.

signed-jenonymously

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