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The Jenna Way

Thanks, I’ll Do It My Way

I read a story on Quora about an introvert who was afraid to dance. He was at a big party, everyone was dancing. He was just standing off to the side, watching. One of his co-workers, Will, saw him standing there and danced over to him. “Why aren’t you dancing?,” asked Will. “I don’t dance, I don’t know how…” the guy answered. Will laughed and said, “Most people here don’t know how to dance, they just decided not to care about what other people think. Besides, no one will even be watching you, they’re having too much fun.” And off danced Will.

Sometimes, I feel like “the guy standing on the side” and sometimes I feel like Will. When I’m “the guy,” I convince myself that others are watching, others will judge me, that I’ll be embarrassed. So, I don’t so whatever it is that has me frozen. I stand there feeling left out, alone, wanting to stay and wanting to leave. In these times, there isn’t much anyone can say to change the way feel (and how I feel directly influences how I behave).

The “Will” Way

In the story, the person decides to do it the “Will Way” and pretend no one cares. He goes out on the dance floor and wiggles around. He’s self conscious at first, but then…he has a good time. He wonders, why he doesn’t do this more often? Why not use the “Will Way” attitude more often to face down difficulties. He wonders why he is so afraid?

The Jenna Way

As Jenna’s mom, I have watched her do it her way for a lonnnggg time. People say to me, “You should tell Jenna to do …” and I suggest to them that they should try ’cause I’m not gonna. She’s obviously a person who does what she wants (note photo above or her channel Jenna Marbles).

When I’m not sure if I should try something, I think of the “Jenna Way”. Would she give this a go? The answer isn’t always yes, but she’s an inspiration to try those things that I’m afraid to because I might look weak or stupid (I’ve got silly covered, I never mind looking silly). I know she entertains millions of people every week, I just wanted you to know that she inspires me too. Many of you inspire me also and I want to thank you for that.

Who inspires you? Please let me know. I need all the inspiration I can get. And I’d like to add some other names to my list… the Will Way, the Jenna Way…

Photo credit: Jenna Marbles Doing My Own Acrylic Toenails

15 Responses
  • Irana van Oostrum
    November 9, 2017

    this is so lovely, Debbi! Jenna truly is a special human being who I appreciate a bunch. And to answer your question of who inspires me, I got to say: you! Your hard work, your passions and your wonderful and kind soul definitely don’t go unnoticed. I wanted to remind you of that. Another person that inspire me is my sister, definitely. She kind of reminds me of Jenna: never cares about what other people think, strives so hard to make herself happy and has pushed her way through some rough times but always ends it with a dance on the dance floor ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Deborah
    November 9, 2017

    Irana, thanks for the kind words. I will keep your sister in mind when I want to be dancing but am not sure about whether I should or not. hugs, d

  • Carl Hoffman
    November 9, 2017

    Deborah, It was Jenna that got my attention back in 2010. She served as an inspiration for me to make a YouTube channel after I retired in 2014. In the process of putting my anger out there before strangers by the thousands a funny thing happened. I punched myself out battling bad religion. This put me in position for another good thing. Inspired by Julian I got into drones. This allowed me to experience mindfulness that resulted in me finally releasing my anger. My blood pressure dropped, and I purposefully lost 27 pounds. My life is beautiful now and your family helped. Thank you!

  • Deborah
    November 10, 2017

    Carl, this is so wonderful to hear. Your willingness to put yourself out there, to try new things and to look at your life and make changes is inspirational. Thanks for sharing this. Deb

  • Kelly
    November 10, 2017

    Your daughter and almost son-in-law are both incredibly inspiring people. While I don’t know them personally, their kindness, honesty and beauty shine far and wide. Their videos are always inspiring and joy-filled.
    My daughter inspires me to be a great mother, to love her without condition and to absorb her love and light. She is my true inspiration and someone I am so very proud to call my daughter.

  • Deborah
    November 10, 2017

    Hi Kelly, great to hear from you. In a world full of uncertainty, it’s good to know that love remains a constant. These daughters (and sons!) will continue to change our world for the better. We are lucky people. best, d

  • Ava
    November 11, 2017

    You are so right Debbie, Jenna is an amazing person. She makes me laugh every week. She, obviously, is an inspiration to me. Though this might sound weird to some people, another person I look up to is Nicki Minaj. She does her own thing and does not care what other people think. I want to be like both of these amazing women.

  • Deborah
    November 12, 2017

    Ava, thanks for your comment. I appreciate your mentioning Nicki Minaj. Whatever anyone else thinks, she does it her way and I’m cheering for you all the way. D

  • Viraj Thalwaharage
    November 14, 2017

    Jenna is an absolutely amazing person! I feel as though after I watched Jenna and Julien my view on life has changed. Iโ€™ve started to be a lot more care free and and even though I might not be the person I want to be right now I know I will be and thatโ€™s all because of Jenna and Julien.

  • Deborah
    November 15, 2017

    Hi Viraj, thanks for your comment, it’s great to know that we are learning from each other and that we’re in this together. D

  • Katherine Reeves
    November 28, 2017

    Honestly, Jenna has been one of my biggest inspirations for the last 6-7 years. I discovered her pretty early on and have always been amazed by her bravery and lack of fucks given, despite if one of the most compassionate people Iโ€™m aware of. As a counselor, I often think of her for a WWJD kind of thing, and it makes many decisions a lot easier.
    I am also inspired daily by my students, the Challenge Day organization, my husband, Ellen, Eminem, and many others.

  • Deborah
    November 28, 2017

    Katherine, I love to hear about your inspirations! I’m going to look up the challenge day organization right now. The variety of your inspirational sources is amazing. Sending love, D

  • Melinda Ryan
    November 28, 2017

    Hello Deborah! Lovely words. Have you heard of Miranda July? She has inspired me a lot over the years. I love this little interview, video quality is slow but I like this one where she is talking about this long term project where her and a friend created prompts for people to take part and make art, whether in the form of re-enacting a recent argument, making an encouraging batter, taking a photo of two people holding hands. There’s a great book of this project and also a website. But the video is here:

    Have you seen her first movie, Me and You and Everyone We Know? Hilarious, human, vulnerable – so great!

    So yeah, Miranda July is one of many peopleI find inspiring. Thanks for asking us ๐Ÿ™‚

  • NotEvenChad
    December 18, 2017

    Great to see you back at it Miss Deb!! I enjoyed this very much, and I’d have to say that my #1 Inspiration right now is my oldest daughter. What a gift huh??

    I look forward to hearing more from you ๐Ÿ™‚



  • Deborah
    December 19, 2017

    Chad, good to hear from you. Kids are amazing and inspirational. If we are lucky enough to be given children to raise (as they raise us!) we are equally blessed to be able to watch them grow into the people they are destined to be. Best to you and yours. DM

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