Meet my daughter, Jenna.
When Jenna was in her college years, I used to think of her as my “mini-me” because we shared so many of the same qualities, mannerisms and physical traits. However, a few years later I realized that she had transformed into my “maxi-me.” And that’s not just because she’s two inches taller!
We share the same drive, directness and love of food, yoga, and writing. But she is a better version of me at her age and in some ways even at my current age. She’s made conscious choices about her life, and I think she’s on a clear path to realizing her personal goals and dreams.
Jenna has a meaningful career, a huge circle of friends, a healthy lifestyle, and a strong spiritual life. I not only love Jenna deeply as my daughter, but I also admire her as a woman and as a friend.
Jenna’s father and I divorced when she was three years old and I remarried when she was seven. She went from being an only child to having two step-siblings — Alex (two years older) and Sara (five years older) — and of course, a step-father. Not an easy transition, but she survived and thrived.
Jen continues to have a close relationship with her dad, and you can often find them stretched out on a couch watching football together or heading into New York to catch the latest Broadway musical. She speaks regularly to her Bubbe (“grandmother” in Yiddish) who is her top shopping buddy, and shares a meal with her Pa Pa (my father) when she comes home to New Jersey.
Jenna’s family background would not be complete without a mention of Colby, her fluffy GoldenDoodle. Colby lived until the ripe old dog-age of 14 and passed away peacefully two years ago.
Jenna worked for Goodwill Industries International for four years where she wrote grants and managed corporate partnerships that brought in millions of dollars of donations to help people with disabilities find employee opportunities. It was challenging and satisfying work. Jen is now in her second year at graduate school getting her MBA and when she graduates, she hopes to leverage her business education in the non-profit/social entrepreneurship world.
An avid reader, Jenna is usually in the middle of three different books at any point in time. You can find an interesting mix of fiction and spirituality/self-development books on her nightstand. She’s been a devoted yogi for several years and gets a little cranky if she doesn’t fit in 2-3 yoga classes a week. That keeps her centered, while morning boot camp helps her burn calories. Jenna also has the travel bug and will whisk away to some foreign country when her vacation schedule and budget allow.
Jenna has a long-standing habit of losing and misplacing things: After losing her cell phone a few times, she now buys insurance, and she frequently misplace keys, jewelry, and other valuable items. Jen is also the world’s loudest wearer of flip-flops. As she drags her feet along the pavement, her shoes make a thud-like scraping sound rather than a dainty “flip-flop.” To her mother’s ears, the sound is akin to scratching your nails on a blackboard.