I've been developing a new project based on my time living in the Czech Republic and my experiences growing up with my immigrant Czech mother. Years ago, when I was pregnant with my son, I interviewed my mother about some of her stories on an old-school yellow pad, and in between, I also wrote down musings about my life in that moment. Now that I'm revisiting the old research, I found myself looking back through time at a younger version of myself.
Journaling has always been a critical element in my life. I truly believe that writing saved my life as a troubled teenager and young adult. And writing inspired my path toward filmmaking and directly influenced my debut feature film Acid Test - which is premiering late October in two amazing film festivals!
There's so much about this page of thoughts that struck me, as I looked back on a time when I left Los Angeles where I'd finally started to feel confident and capable in my chosen profession, as I embarked on the terrifying mysteries of pregnancy and parenthood in a brand new city. All before Hurricane Katrina came through and displaced me into another brand new town with a brand new baby.
I wouldn't say it's bittersweet, but there's a little bit of "oh, child, what you don't know is coming" reading through my hopes and thoughts. But I also still feel really connected to this younger version. My work ethic and determination. My anxiety. I see the clear beginnings of the identity crisis that would last the next few years as I figured out how to regroup and parent and find myself again. With about 17 years of life experience to look back on this time in my life, I think I lived up to that desire to not quit and "pre-judge myself to failure." I hope and believe that this younger Jenny would be proud of what we've managed to do.